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Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions 3D position to 2D with animated camera

  • 3D position to 2D with animated camera

  • Dagur Maunason

    May 4, 2021 at 12:16 pm


    I’m trying to figure out how to have a 2D effect follow an animated 3D null exported from C4D using an expression picked up from the great tutorial linked below. It appears to work ok until I activate the animated camera I also imported. The effect coordinates seems to ignore the camera and therefore remains way off screen. I have also tried the different methods of toComp, fromComToSurface but it seems to have similar issues.

    Does anyone know how to solve this? Or any other workaround that’s solid? I have attached a demo scene with a basic version of my setup. Thanks in advance!

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  • Chris Voelz

    May 4, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    If the goal is for the “Circle” to follow the “Object to follow” why not make a stroked shape and link the position to the follow object? That way you have a 3d object following a 3d path. I attached a project to demo. I didn’t watch the tutorial so I am not sure if this is what you are after.

  • Dagur Maunason

    May 4, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you Chris for taking the time! Unfortunately I need to be able to follow the null in a 2D space, so your solution will not work. I should mention that the actual effect I’m using is a radial glow whose center point needs to follow an object, but I simplified the scene and used the built in circle effect since the glow is a paid plugin.

  • Chris Voelz

    May 4, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    The only other thing I have is drawing a motion path and have a null follow that. Then you can pair the effect center to that null.

  • Dagur Maunason

    May 4, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Unfortunately that adds a bunch of manual work and will most likely not be as exact as it need to be, and this is a process I will be doing frequently, so I would love to find a solution using the exported 3d data. Thanks though Chris!

    Anyone have any other ideas? The all knowing Mr Ebberts perhaps? 🙂

  • Chris Voelz

    May 4, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    This worked for me. I did unshy the camera and switched the viewer to “Active Camera”. The expression was simplified to using “.toComp([0,0])”. I hope this works for you and or puts you a step closer to your desired result.

  • Blaise Douros

    May 4, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Are you looking for a Layer Space Transform? Put this expression on the 2D layer, and connect it to the 3D Null:


    Replace coordinates with coordinate of the feature to be followed.

    Alternate spelling:

    L = thisComp.layer(“My3DLayer”);


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