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Layers in a Circular Placement

Written by r on 22. July 01:41

01. Information
In the first tutorial from his "Work Smart, Not Hard" series, Oui will show you how to align a series of layers in a perfect circle using expressions.

02. The Guide
Stream here:
Primary Mirror

03. Credits
Guide by:

©2014 Bartlomiej Otlowski.
#1spunge spunge 22. July 2014 02:37
Good stuff. I've never used AE scripting much but I presume you could also add a multiplier for the offset, so they can start stacked and expand into the full circle? (Like with the 'colours' animation you showed near the start?)

Is "index" predefined as the layer index or did I miss something? Is there any way to get an index of a certain type of element (so 0 is always the first of the logos for example, regardless of how many other layers you have)

And I suppose you could use a slider to control the visibility? (if slidervalue > index, opacity = 1.. etc) I've only used the expressions for pretty basic things before, so I'm curious as to whats possible. Make more tuts!
#2slize Elegato 22. July 2014 02:56
Yeah pretty good stuff.
For making is stacked at the beginning you could just use 2 keyframes with scale parameter or make it adjustable by slider (so simple expression needed, even pickwip might do the job, it depends).

The visibility can also be achieved, there are many examples with this kind of expressions @ net.

The other way to do circular placement or offseting the animation automaticly is to use Trapcode Echospace, it is quite similar to cloner object in C4D. Yeah I know, you gotta pay for it.

Nice job Oui, I'm sure some people will find this useful.
#3xyanide Style-Productions 22. July 2014 15:29
I'm impressed by how much many of you learned over the years. I was never really interested in motion design, but I'm glad to see other people continued to develop their skills in it.

Good stuff Oui!
#4Oui BartlomiejOtlowski 22. July 2014 17:43
spunge: you can make everything you want. :D

1. If you set the amount of layers over the real value you won't have the full circle like in the Color animation or Hipster - stars are made in this way but you can obtain the same effect when you just turn off the visibility of the layers.

2. Index is equal to number in the stack of layers in the timeline. You can't say "layer index 7". You can add or remove numbers to index to achive what you want for example (index+1). Or just take the name of the layer: thisComp.layer("Null 2").transform.position but it will always take the value from this layer, no matter on which possition in the stack it will be. From other hand it's pretty handy to use 'index-number' because you can shuffle layers on the timeline and automatically they will set up in a circle.

3. Basically you can make everything you want. It just depends of what you want to achive. In the preview_Space I've made this heptagon with expressions and it's controlled by sliders. Without any third-party plug-ins.

Thanks slize and xyanide!

Last changed: 22. July 2014 17:44
#5slize Elegato 22. July 2014 20:53
2. Yeah thats great method (index's). I've used similar expressions to distribute layers in space with random or the same value. I've just duplicated the layers and automaticly more objects were spread in the distance. Same could be with the opacity, for example away from camera = less visible and blurry if DoF enabled.
Very handy method but most of the times I use just simple expression to speed up my workflow, don't have much time to figure out how to code properly :D
Also expressions with custom sliders, checkboxes etc. are useful for making your own setups. For example, you have around 20 layers with the same colour (Fill/Tint effect).
You make an adjustment layer with Fill/Tint effect and you parent all your layers effect properties to that adjustment layer.
By doing that you only change the colour once and automaticly 20 layers will follow.

Last changed: 24. July 2014 05:30
#6Oui BartlomiejOtlowski 23. July 2014 09:27
My 'Oh chili!' was made like that. Change the color in all compositions in standard way will take at least one hour. With smart setup - 2 seconds. :D
#7slize Elegato 23. July 2014 19:17
Indeed :D
#8r Style-Productions 23. July 2014 23:41
You know evolution has taken effect when two Poles start having more intellectual conversations than everyone else :-P :-P
#9Oui BartlomiejOtlowski 24. July 2014 18:48
Said by American. ;D
#10r Style-Productions 24. July 2014 19:47
hahaha :-D great work, again, Bart. Look forward to more from you.

Last changed: 24. July 2014 19:48
#11shiz 24. July 2014 20:47
loved the tutorial, loved the accent. :D
#12Oui BartlomiejOtlowski 25. July 2014 10:12
thanks :D
#13slize Elegato 25. July 2014 17:10
Anthony, myyyy maaaaan :D
#14r Style-Productions 29. July 2014 01:08
hahah adam <3
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