Tracking an object/shape in an animation + keep centered.

Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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Hi; new at AE. I created this simple animation of a circle following a path (Ad Comp 1 on Vimeo ). I now want to zoom into the animation, have the circle animation start but then the circle stay in the center of the screen as it continues to follow the path (Ad Comp 1_3 on Vimeo ). A little like this video that someone posted asking a similar question but it wasn't answered (I ATE EVERYONE ?! SOLO AGARIO GAMEPLAY (Agar.io) - YouTube )

I'd rather not render the composition and use the motion tracking, I figured there's an easy way to do this since it's already a shape.

I created the animation by drawing the path and then creating a null layer following the path and then the circle is connected to it. Or parented I guess.  (See attachment on layers).

I need to do like 10 of these, different path being followed so I was hoping something easily repeatable. I've read bout "Basic Object Tracking" but I can't find it, only find 1 point motion tracking and that only works when the composition is rendered.

Also need to figure out why my colored background didn't render, he he. 😉

Thanks!!Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 9.47.39 AM.png

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

If you already have the motion path of the circle you want to keep centered there is nothing to track. You already have better data than you can get from a tracker.

It looks like your comp has no 3D layers and no camera. If that is true then the way to get everything but the circle to move is to:

  1. Select the path layer's path and set a single keyframe
  2. Press Ctrl/Cmnd + x to cut that keyframe and store the path data
  3. Make sure that the circle layer's anchor point is centered in the circle - easy to do
...

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Community Expert ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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If you already have the motion path of the circle you want to keep centered there is nothing to track. You already have better data than you can get from a tracker.

It looks like your comp has no 3D layers and no camera. If that is true then the way to get everything but the circle to move is to:

  1. Select the path layer's path and set a single keyframe
  2. Press Ctrl/Cmnd + x to cut that keyframe and store the path data
  3. Make sure that the circle layer's anchor point is centered in the circle - easy to do if the circle is a shape layer, just press uu and set the Transform>Ellipse 1>Postion to 0, 0
  4. Make sure the Circle layer is selected and press Alt/Option + P to set a position keyframe then Ctrl/Cmnd + V to turn the path you copied into position keyframes
  5. Check the timing and adjust it by dragging the last position keyframe left or right
  6. Add a new null to the timeline
  7. Make sure the CTI is set to the starting point of animation, hold down the Shift key and parent the Null to the circle layer
    (this moves the null to the same position, orientation and scale as the circle)
  8. Remove the parenting of the null, then select all layers except the null and parent them to the null
  9. Select the null layer and press A to reveal the anchor point
  10. Select the Circle layer and press P to reveal the animated position property
  11. Hold down the Alt/Option key and click the stopwatch on the Null's anchor point property to start an expression then drag the pickwhip to the position property of the circle layer. The circle will now stay in one place and everything else will move around the screen.
  12. Position the null where you want the circle to be or just reset the null's position to center the circle in the comp panel

Here's what it looks like with one path and one circle layer before I centered the null. All modified properties of all layers are shown (uu):

Screenshot_2019-05-20 08.35.31_X3aFTc.png

After recentering the null and running a preview I get this:

example.gif

I don't like that look much. I think it could be improved if you added a bit of animation to the position of the null. Motion blur would also help.

If you decide to go 3D you can use a similar trick. Parent the 3D null to the circle, then parent the camera to the 3D null. You might bet a better looking and easier to understand design using 3D layers.

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Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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Whooaaa!! I'm gonna work on it right now.

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Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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Thanks for the tips Rick; not working out so far, but keeping at it.

Should I start anew with my file? When I copy/paste the path position into my circle keyframe, the path pastes in an odd spot on my screen, not where it used to be, and then is like madness. Thanks!

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 12.17.33 PM.png

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Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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Its working!!!!!! Mostly. He he. So nice of you to send these instructions.

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Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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May I ask one more question? How would I go about 'scaling it' so I am zoomed into a portion of it. I tired scaling everything 300% but the path gets out of whack.

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Community Expert ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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You can animate any of the transform properties. If you want to scale the view just animate the scale of the null.

animate.gif

These are basics. You should spend some time with the user guide that I would cover in the first hour of an AE class.

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Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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Duh. I tried every scale combo except just the null. I may do a class this year; I'm near Boston and they have great face to face classes as the AGI institute. Did Basic Premiere; seems like time for Basic AE. Should also do the Lynda online, as I have access to that. Thanks again!

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Participant ,
May 20, 2019 May 20, 2019

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New Here ,
Apr 14, 2022 Apr 14, 2022

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round mass oriented like agario 😄

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New Here ,
Sep 25, 2022 Sep 25, 2022

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i think paperio made by this periods

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