How to Quickly Attach Objects to Different Surfaces and Planes in Adobe After Effects CC

This is probably one of the coolest and easiest post-production tricks you can do in After Effects CC, especially when you need to deal with a clip with some sort of camera movement involved in it. And the best part is that the possibilities of this effective trick are virtually limitless once you get it right.

Even though the workflow is relatively simple, many content creators often get confused how exactly to pull this off. So, to walk us through the process from start to finish, Justin Odisho has put together an insightful and easy to follow video tutorial that covers the ins and outs of the workflow below.

First, open your clip in the project media bin in After Effects and then simply drag it onto your timeline to create a new composition. After that, navigate to Window in the top menu, scroll down and enable the Tracker panel. Typically, you’ll find the latter located on the right-hand side of your screen.

Access the Tracker and hit Track Camera to analyze the camera movement involved in your clip. Once the analyzing is done, you should see different color tracking points populated across the available surfaces visible in your video. By hovering over each of these tracking points, a red target should appear thus giving you a clear preview of the perspective that you’re about to use for placing your 3D object.

After you’ve selected a tracking point, right-click and choose Create Solid and Camera from the drop-down menu that appears on your screen. This particular step will allow you to create a reference area that sticks on the plane you’ve opted for thus allowing you to insert a graphic, an object or even separate video in this exact portion of the image.

Now, everything you need to do is to edit the content of the Track Solid you’ve just created. To do so, select the Track Solid track on your timeline, right-click it and choose Pre-Compose. That way you’ll be able to create a new nested composition while editing its content and adding whatever type of media or graphics you want within. As a rule, precomposing layers places them in a new composition, which replaces the layers in the original composition. The new nested composition becomes the source for a single layer in the original composition.

Once you’ve created the nested composition, find it on your timeline and double click to open it up. Delete the default solid color layer, adjust the Composition Settings and add your Animated Lower Third intro just as shown in the video above or import any other type of media and modify the composition just like you would normally do with any other composition in After Effects. Optionally, you can adjust the blending mode if you want to improve the results further and mix things into the background a little bit better.

When you’re ready, exit your nested composition and go back to your main composition in After Effects. Furthermore, you can access the Transformation parameters of your nested composition to adjust its parameters accordingly. You can repeat the process and create as many nested compositions as you’d like inside your main composition in After Effects CC.

[source: Justin Odisho]

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  • Eno

    A very good article, thanks!