After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Understanding Axis Modes

Moving layers relative to the world, the current view, or themselves.
Chris and Trish Meyer

As we mentioned earlier, we've been busy this year creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Each course has two or more movies that are free for all to view; we're re-posting those videos here on PVC to make sure you don't miss them. This movie explains the differences between the three axis display modes in After Effects.

The eleventh Apprentice course (available both by subscription to lynda.com and stand alone from Focal Press/Class on Demand) - is a beginner-level introduction to 3D space inside Adobe After Effects. If you've never worked in 3D before, we build up your knowledge base step-by-step explaining what's different between 2D and 3D, then moving through cameras and lights - including how to build camera rigs and manage shadows. Once you've become familiar with those bedrock skills, we then demonstrate several different workflows for creating 3D objects inside Adobe Photoshop and importing them in After Effects. A set of sidebar movies at the end share additional tips on the difference between 3D rotation and orientation, using the different Axis Modes, and how to maintain maximum quality in 3D.

The "sidebar" movie above is about those different Axis Modes. An innocuous set of buttons along the top of the After Effects user interface controls how a 3D layer's axis arrows are oriented: according to the way the layer itself is oriented (Local Axis Mode), according to the overall XYZ world space (World Axis Mode), or based on the current view you have into that world (View Axis Mode). Each has its uses when it comes to grabbing the axes of a layer to reposition it in space. If you didn't have a clear idea of what these different modes meant - or even that these options existed - this movie will give you an extra tool to use when arranging your 3D worlds. Enjoy!

FTC Disclosure: We make a bit of money whenever you purchase one of our courses from Class on Demand, or have a lynda.com subscription and watch one of our courses. We do not make any money from either when you watch these free videos. We've worked with Adobe over the years, and they give us free access to their software in exchange for testing and consulting, but they did not subsidize the creation of these videos or the book they are derived from. We're just trying to pay the bills by sharing what we've learned from using After Effects in the real world since version 1.0.

The content contained in After Effects Apprentice - as well as the CMG Blogs and CMG Keyframes posts on ProVideoCoalition - are copyright Crish Design, except where otherwise attributed.