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Forums Adobe After Effects Z-Space Fighting

  • Z-Space Fighting

  • Scott Thomas

    May 6, 2005 at 11:00 pm

    I just finished a project in AE 6.5 with the heaviest use of 3D that I have attempted in the program. I started out with a large Photoshop comp of an envelope in layers. I then did the regular things to make the envelope open and the contents fly out. I did the usual adjustments to make the envelope work as it flew around. I made these adjustments while the AE comp was still sized the same as the Photoshop comp. When I sized the comp down to my video-res and moved the elements into place the layers began to pop and change their priority in Z-Space. I finally worked through it and got the layers to behave. But instead of friendly values that were a fraction of a pixel, I had values ranging from 2 to 6 pixels to keep the layers in order. I was using the Advanced 3D mode assuming that would be the best. Would another mode have worked better? Can anyone point to a tutorial that shows an AE comp that involves something that is mostly flat like an envelope?

    I continue to get more comfortable with 3D in AE but feels more difficult than a dedicated 3D app like Lightwave.

  • Scott Thomas

    May 7, 2005 at 8:40 am

    This is a sample of the animation in queation. It ends abruptly, but in reality, pads out to :15.

  • jean hauptman

    May 9, 2005 at 12:43 am


    I assume that you created your comp in 3-d with 3d on all layers clicked on.
    Then MOVED that comp into the smaller comp?
    That is how you should have done this, and if should have worked.

    If you actually did this, and things were still helter skelter, here are more things to try:

    1. Compress transformations in the last comp. Normally you do this to make your 3d comp 3d in the final comp. Sometimes, though it actually screws the 3d up and it only works correctly when “compress” is off.

    2. Is 2d on in both comps? If all comps are 2d and compress transformations is clicked on, then start different combinations of clicking off.

    I’ve been working intensely with 3d for the past few months, and am stlll finding that things that are supposed to work in the final comp don’t for whatever reason, and juggliing uncompressed and the 3-d on and off eventually gets things right.

    I don’t have time to look at your project right now, but if you would like to email it I may have time in a couple of weeks.

    Hope some of this works for you.

  • Jeff Dobrow

    June 6, 2005 at 12:50 pm

    Jean is correct as usual.
    I am working on a piece now that involves a huge 3space setup in AE with multiple “multi-plane” scenes and to make it managable every scene is a seperate comp with its own 3space,…all put together in another main comp with its own 3space.

    I typically so far have always had my pre-comp with all layers 3D,…then when I bring it in to main comp I collapse it AND make it 3D as well so I can use my main camera…. I have run into issues with effects and track mattes in the sub comps not working once in the main comp……then I un-collapse and it works??? A bit of trial and error im afraid.

    Would love to know the true source of these anomolies……

  • Steven Benton

    June 6, 2005 at 10:43 pm

    Hi scott I aso work for a news station WPXI Pittsburgh.
    Your animation looks good. I made a project exactly like this before for a promotions contest.
    I can tell that you understand ae pretty well.

    Here’s an idea:
    make 2 precomps, one with (the perfect wedding type) an a comp with just the invitation and make them 3d layers.
    allign the 2 precomps between your 3d envelope layers ( flap inside front and back), then add a null layer with the
    3d switch selected. parent all the layers to the null and add a camera. before you animate the null nudge the back
    of the envelopes z position so that you see the back side when it flies in. The null does the fly in and all the layers
    can still be animated without moving the camera.

    I hope this helps.

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