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A Ring of Cows

A Ring of Cows
Adobe After Effects Tutorial


Tielman Dewaele creates a Ring of Cows

Tielman Dewaele Tielman Dewaele
http://www.tworks.be
Bruges, Belgium, Europe

©2007 Tielman Dewaele and CreativeCow.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
In this tutorial, CreativeCOW Contributing Editor Tielman Dewaele demonstrates a quick way to position layers into a ring, with null objects and animate them with another null.





Here is how it goes:

Start by importing a logo.
I used the cow logo. But you can use any logo, still or video.
The .ai-file is 200px*200px

Create a new composition, name it ring. Mine is 1000px *1000px (it's big, so we have a lot of room), 25 frames, 10 seconds long.
Put the logo into the new composition.

Press Cmd+D(or Ctrl+D) 24 times, so you will have 25 Cow layers in total.


Create a Null object.
To make it a lot easier, make your composition window a 2 view. One the active view and one custom view 2.
Make all the layers, including the null, a 3d object by switching the 3d box on.
Select the first layer and then shift select the last one.
Now parent all the layers to the null object.

Change the z-position of the cow layers to 400. But you can choose less or more.
Change there y-axis to 180°.

At the Null, set a x-rotation keyframe at 0 and at frame 25 or one second(PAL)add another of - 345°.

Unparent the last layer from the null layer at the beginning of the timeline.
Cmd(or Ctrl)+right arrow to go one frame further. Then unparent this also from the null object.
Do this for all the layers.
When you look in the custom views you will see the layers get placed in a ring position.

Why do we choose 25 frames? Because there are 25 layers. So whenever we go 1 frame further in time, the position of each layer change because of the parent with the null.

So now we have a ring. But it looks like there overlapping each other.
Select all cow layers and change the scale to 40. Now you will have a space between each layer.

Select all layers again and parent them again to the null layer. You can delete the keyframes of the null layer.

Make another null object and name it controller. Parent then the null 1 to the control null.

Right now you can do whatever you want to do with the ring -- scales, rotation or whatever.

Add a camera to have more perspective. Use a 35 mm or your choice.

What if you don't want the inside to be the cow logo, but a color?

For the color:

  • In the beginning of making the ring, make a precomp from the cow layer(Cmd or Ctrl+N)
  • Make 3d.
  • Duplicate the layer.
  • Make a change with 1 in z-postion.
  • Add the fill or tint effect. Change it the layer 2 whatever color you want.
  • Also rotate the y-axis to 180 for the first layer.
  • Add this precomp to a new comp where you want to build to ring.


Then do the process over again. And turn on the collapse transformation(sun) button for those precomped layers.

Making this a precomp in the beginning is best so that you can then change the logos or stills and use it as a template.

That's it! Play around with it, there are unlimited variations to make.


Feel free to ask questions in the After Effects forum at CreativeCOW.net.



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Comments

Re: A Ring of Cows
by Dawud Ali
hi is there a way so that all the cow pics face straight up as they rotate round the controll null. like how the seats of ferris wheel stay straight
reply to Brett Dal's Comment
by David Knag
i bet you could pre comp it all and then collapse transformations

attach it to a null in the middle of it all and rotate that....
A Ring of Cows
by Brett Dal
How would i actually rotate the ring of cows? so that it looks sorta spins like a ferris wheel..?
A Ring of Cows
by john isaacks
I followed this tutorial but when I tried making the null keyframe end at 25 the end result had a gap where a missing logo should have been in the ring. I redid it and tried putting the keyframe at 24 instead and it worked. I think this is because 0 is a frame too so 0-24 = 25 frames.

I think i this is a really good tutorial tho, I tried to do something like this myself and it came out very bad so thanks for the great tutorial.

One thing I did run into, when I added outter glow layer styles to the logos it made the 3d rendering postion the logos wrong....the farther away ones overlapped the closer ones. I took the layer styles off and it went away. I dunno what that was all about.


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