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Tutorial 188: Isopush

Joe Clay | Aug 9, 2019

You know what's really not fun to do inside of After Effects? Moving things at angles that aren't multiples of 90° is a pain. There's not really any guides for isometric projection. It's not even easy to draw in Illustrator. Isometric art has been popular for quite a long time—ever heard of M.C. Escher or seen architectural drawings—so it's kind of annoying that it's difficult to work with isometric art inside of AE.

Well, I can help to make it a tiny bit easier to work with. Without sacrificing our ability to move layers anywhere on screen, we're going to build three sliders that will let us move our layers in angles corresponding to our isometric projection. This tutorial builds upon what we built in Tutorial 87: Angular Controls. If you need more explanation on the math behind this, check that one out.

This one is pretty simple, but it will save you a ton of time. I had to build some boards with a lot of isometric art in it last week, and it probably saved me hours already. And that's why I built this! I hope it saves you time too.

Expression Code

If you have Pseudo Effect Maker and you want to build your own preset you'll need to modify this code. Otherwise, you just make three sliders, name them X, Y, and Z, and add this expression to position. Note: if you're a Journeyman patron or above, a preset for this will be in your download this month.

//ISOPUSH
function getPoint(angle, magnitude) {
    return [Math.cos(degreesToRadians(angle)) * magnitude, Math.sin(degreesToRadians(angle)) * magnitude];
}

x = effect("X")("Slider"); //30
y = effect("Y")("Slider"); //0
z = effect("Z")("Slider");//-30

x = getPoint(30, x);
y = getPoint(90, y);
z = getPoint(-30, z);

value + x + y + z;

Grab the Project Files

Get the project file through our Gumroad Store. This project file contains everything shown in the tutorial. It also includes other elements used in the thumbnail. The After Effects project was built in AE CC 2019 but a version was saved that will open in v14 (2017). It shouldn't have any issues with either expression engine.

If you're buying project files, consider becoming a Patron. At the $5/mo. tier, you get access to project files as they come out and some tutorials also come with additional BTS content showing more of the builds.

Get the project on Gumroad

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