How to animate/move a layer in an arc?

I'd like to animate an object so it moves in an arc but I'd rather not do it by rotating because I want the orientation of the layer to stay the same as it moves. Is that possible?


  • edited September 2017

    @THX1139  Yes, it's possible put it will be tediously manual keyframing.  Here is a magnifying glass image (I assumed you were wanting to move yours) with 5 keys of the position setting.  If you have the position selected and highlighted then you should be able to see them like this shows and you can tweak them around after they are created.  All I did to create them was to advance the playhead a bit and then push the X/Y in the direction I want the arc to be and when I had it a final I select each point and moved them until it more or less formed a nice arc.  Hope this helps somewhat.  And someone else may have a better way of doing it.

    Here's an export showing the motion:

  • edited September 2017

    Hey! I'm so pleased with my lazy self! :D It took me longer to think of than to just do it the hard way but I figured a way to do it with minimum effort! What I do is I place a point layer and offset the magnifying glass by a distance. I keyframe the rotation of the point and I parent the point to the magnifying glass. Then, to undo the rotation of the magnifying glass but keep the movement, I just make the magnifying glass rotate in the opposite direction!

    Edit: I think a limitation of my lazy approach  is that I'm stuck to using arcs from perfect circles; I can't think of a way to squash the circle/arc. Edit: Never mind; I found a way to squash the ark buy keyframing the vertical position of the point using three keyframes so it goes down towards the middle of the animation and back to starting position at the end with a smooth-in-and-out keyframe in the middle (screenshot below video).


  • edited September 2017

    You could parent the Point that is rotating to another Point, then separate the X and Y Scales from each other (break the little link) on that second Point and adjust only one of the scales and you'd get a squashed arc.

  • You do realize that you can set a layer to automatically orient towards any other layer, along it's own motion path and towards the camera, right?

    For oblate arcs, my usual method is to make certain that my object and it's pivot layer are aligned directly along an axis (usually Z) the either adjust Z-scale of the pivot (breaking the scale lock, of course), or what you did with a couple of movement keyframes.

  • I knew there were more elegant solutions out there! 

  • So glad this discussion came up now. I had a Quick Tip idea in the works re: forcing layer orientation that I now see is totally unnecessary because there's a much easier solution: target the camera.  Thanks, Mike!

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