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Activity Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions Get 3D position given the 3D angle and distance

• # Get 3D position given the 3D angle and distance

Posted by on September 2, 2023 at 6:37 pm

I’m looking to position some layers in a sphere formation. I realize I could do this by parenting each layer to a separate Null Object, and then rotating the Nulls to make the layers orbit around to different positions on the sphere. But for the project I’m making, I would really prefer to do this with an expression if possible.

This expression (from Dan Ebberts, I believe) works well to position a layer in a 2D circle around a center point, when given a Distance and Angle value:

a = effect(“Angle Control”)(“Angle”);

d = effect(“Slider Control”)(“Slider”);

x = d*Math.cos(r);

y = d*Math.sin(r);

value + [x,y]

So I’ve been trying to make a 3D version of this. Ideally, using a 3D Point Control to control the angle. Sorry, I’m not lazy, I’m just too dumb to figure this out. Thank you for your help.

3 Members · 3 Replies
• 3 Replies
• ### Dan Ebberts

September 2, 2023 at 7:16 pm

I think I’d set it up with a slider for radius and angle controls for altitude and azimuth, like this:

`r = effect("Radius")("Slider");a = effect("Altitude")("Angle");az = effect("Azimuth")("Angle");center = [thisComp.width/2,thisComp.height/2,0];aRad = degreesToRadians(a);azRad = degreesToRadians(az);y = r*Math.sin(aRad);rXZ = r*Math.cos(aRad);x = rXZ*Math.cos(azRad);z = rXZ*Math.sin(azRad);center + [x,y,z] `

• ### Noel Powell

September 3, 2023 at 12:30 am

That works so perfectly, I can’t thank you enough, Dan! Your expression skills are legendary, and I’m so grateful.

• ### Brie Clayton

September 3, 2023 at 1:08 am

Thank you for your solve, Dan!

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