Layer Stalker
  • SO just wondering how is this any different from just manually targeting a precomped layer with the pickwhip?
  • SO just wondering how is this any different from just manually targeting a precomped layer with the pickwhip?
    The biggest difference (besides the convenience of not having to open two comp timelines) is that Layer Stalker takes care of the space transforms required to convert the position you get back from pickwhipping into the coordinate space of the containing composition.  If you're talking about two comps which are exactly the same size, and the target layer has no parenting, then the results will be the same.  If not, things can quickly get tricky.
  • Is there a way to make this only happen for certain amount of frames? So that the "parenting" gets released after X frames and the connection isn't there anymore.
    Maybe as an additional feature
  • Is there a way to make this only happen for certain amount of frames? So that the "parenting" gets released after X frames and the connection isn't there anymore.
    Maybe as an additional feature
    Sorry, not currently.  Cool idea for a feature though, I'll add it to the list.

  • Hi,
    I've downloaded the trial version, and I choose position property to parent "as it's shown in the video tutorial"

    but after the parent applied successfully, I note that there's just a little different in position, but unfortunately, I can't edit the position anymore for the parented layer!

    so, I suggest adding like a little slider that applied to the parented layer in order to fix the little change of position if that happens for some reason.

    you can make sliders for scale, rotation, position, they applied depending on what I already property choose to parent.

    Generally, you have a great script and I highly recommended for all AE users.

    I will buy it if you could solve the issue f changing positions that could happen sometimes for some reason

    Thank you 
  • is it possible to make the script parent two source text to gether ?
  • Hi.

    Sorry, the current version of Layer Stalker only works when applied to un-parented layers.  This only applies to the layer whose position property you are applying the script to.  The target layer - the layer you want to follow (ie. the layer you select by clicking Choose Target Layer in the Layer Stalker panel) can be parented as many times as you like.

    As a work-around, it's possible to modify the expression generated by Layer Stalker.  For example, if you've applied layer stalker to a layer's position property:
    • Select the layer whose position property was modified using Layer Stalker
    • Press "p" on your keyboard to reveal the layer's position property then twirl down the position property to reveal the expression
    • Edit the expression by clicking in the text to the right of the position property in the timeline.
    • Scroll down until you find the line [x,y] 
    • Replace this entire line with (thisLayer.hasParent)? parent.fromComp([x,y]) : [x,y]
    • Click outside the expression text area to commit your change
    Hopefully that works for you.
  • is it possible to make the script parent two source text to gether ?
    I'm not sure I understand the question.  If you're asking if Layer Stalker can be used to affect a text layer's Source Text property, no it can't - Layer Stalker can only be applied to spatial properties like Position, Anchor Point, etc.  If you're asking if Layer Stalker can be used to affect the Position property of a text layer, say to follow the position of another layer which is animated, then yes it can.  I'm not sure if that answers your question or not.  Please let me know if I can clarify.  Thanks.
  • Hi.

    Sorry, the current version of Layer Stalker only works when applied to un-parented layers.  This only applies to the layer whose position property you are applying the script to.  The target layer - the layer you want to follow (ie. the layer you select by clicking Choose Target Layer in the Layer Stalker panel) can be parented as many times as you like.

    As a work-around, it's possible to modify the expression generated by Layer Stalker.  For example, if you've applied layer stalker to a layer's position property:
    • Select the layer whose position property was modified using Layer Stalker
    • Press "p" on your keyboard to reveal the layer's position property then twirl down the position property to reveal the expression
    • Edit the expression by clicking in the text to the right of the position property in the timeline.
    • Scroll down until you find the line [x,y] 
    • Replace this entire line with (thisLayer.hasParent)? parent.fromComp([x,y]) : [x,y]
    • Click outside the expression text area to commit your change
    Hopefully that works for you.
    Thank you for your help, is there any chance to add an update to this script to add sliders in order to change the position when I wanna change it. using the sliders much faster and easier, you can add it as an optional check box , wha't your opinion ?
  • is it possible to make the script parent two source text to gether ?
    I'm not sure I understand the question.  If you're asking if Layer Stalker can be used to affect a text layer's Source Text property, no it can't - Layer Stalker can only be applied to spatial properties like Position, Anchor Point, etc.  If you're asking if Layer Stalker can be used to affect the Position property of a text layer, say to follow the position of another layer which is animated, then yes it can.  I'm not sure if that answers your question or not.  Please let me know if I can clarify.  Thanks.
    Thank you . everything is alright 
  • Hi.

    Sorry, the current version of Layer Stalker only works when applied to un-parented layers.  This only applies to the layer whose position property you are applying the script to.  The target layer - the layer you want to follow (ie. the layer you select by clicking Choose Target Layer in the Layer Stalker panel) can be parented as many times as you like.

    As a work-around, it's possible to modify the expression generated by Layer Stalker.  For example, if you've applied layer stalker to a layer's position property:
    • Select the layer whose position property was modified using Layer Stalker
    • Press "p" on your keyboard to reveal the layer's position property then twirl down the position property to reveal the expression
    • Edit the expression by clicking in the text to the right of the position property in the timeline.
    • Scroll down until you find the line [x,y] 
    • Replace this entire line with (thisLayer.hasParent)? parent.fromComp([x,y]) : [x,y]
    • Click outside the expression text area to commit your change
    Hopefully that works for you.
    Thank you for your help, is there any chance to add an update to this script to add sliders in order to change the position when I wanna change it. using the sliders much faster and easier, you can add it as an optional check box , wha't your opinion ?
    It's a good idea.  A scheme I sometimes use is to modify the expression to refer to a "Strength" slider so that when the strength is at 100% the layer will be exactly at the position of its target layer, and when it's at 0% the layer will be at it's original keyframed position.  Watch for this feature in a future version.

    If I want an absolute offset from the target layer's position, I animate the Anchor Point of the layer to which I've applied the Layer Stalker script.

    Thanks for the input!
  • Hi there, in a future update could you please consider making this Kbar accessible, so the script panel doesn't have to be launched? This is a perfect candidate, since there's only one awesome button to make the script work!


    Thanks
  • Hi there, in a future update could you please consider making this Kbar accessible, so the script panel doesn't have to be launched? This is a perfect candidate, since there's only one awesome button to make the script work!


    Thanks
    Good idea David, I'll look into it for a future version.
  • It would be lovely if i can use this script for adding nulls to multiple layers. One stalker per layer selected. Not running the script one by one for each layer. Thanks
  • Hi Scott,

    I just want to say I love this script, and it has saved me numerous times - I could never get my head around toComp/toWorld etc etc.

    But the one problem I have found - and I don't know if it can be fixed, is that the "stalking" breaks down if the stalked layer has been retimed. Example the movement on the retimed layer finishes in half the time but the stalking null finishes in the original time.

    Don't know if you could read the time values from the pre-comp and apply them to the motion of the null.

    Anyway thanks again for this script.

    Chris
  • This is really cool tool! Hopefully LayerStalker 2 is coming someday! :) 

    In addition it would be cool if you could enable/disable what the layer stalks. So you could only stalk position and disable rotation, scale etc if you want :) Perhaps also stalk % would be cool. Meaning that you could set how "strong" the stalk is. So if you would set % to 50% the stalk layer would do only 50% of the movement etc of the layer that is being stalked.
  • Hi Scott,

    I just want to say I love this script, and it has saved me numerous times - I could never get my head around toComp/toWorld etc etc.

    But the one problem I have found - and I don't know if it can be fixed, is that the "stalking" breaks down if the stalked layer has been retimed. Example the movement on the retimed layer finishes in half the time but the stalking null finishes in the original time.

    Don't know if you could read the time values from the pre-comp and apply them to the motion of the null.

    Anyway thanks again for this script.

    Chris
    Hey Chris.  Sorry it took me a while to get around to your comment here. Thanks for the feedback.  Looks like After Effects has changed the way it implements toComp, etc. when time remapping is involved.  Watch for a fix in the near future.
  • This is really cool tool! Hopefully LayerStalker 2 is coming someday! :) 

    In addition it would be cool if you could enable/disable what the layer stalks. So you could only stalk position and disable rotation, scale etc if you want :) Perhaps also stalk % would be cool. Meaning that you could set how "strong" the stalk is. So if you would set % to 50% the stalk layer would do only 50% of the movement etc of the layer that is being stalked.
    Thanks for the ideas, Miika.  Strength slider is definitely on the feature list for version 2
  • This is really cool tool! Hopefully LayerStalker 2 is coming someday! :) 

    In addition it would be cool if you could enable/disable what the layer stalks. So you could only stalk position and disable rotation, scale etc if you want :) Perhaps also stalk % would be cool. Meaning that you could set how "strong" the stalk is. So if you would set % to 50% the stalk layer would do only 50% of the movement etc of the layer that is being stalked.
    Thanks for the ideas, Miika.  Strength slider is definitely on the feature list for version 2
    Awesome Scott! I've got close to 200 scripts on my AE... And when this got released I thought I'd buy it but I didnt. Now when I got it, I realised how useful this tool can actually be! This tool can change the way you work with AfterEffects. 

    If you add the stalk%, it would be cool if it would go beyond 100%... So you could make the stalk% like 540% if you want etc. Btw if I'm stalking a 3D layer, it creates 2D null. If I turn the 3D on, on the 3D null. Does it stalk the "stalked" null in 3D at that point... So basically I would like to just have 3D null of 3D layer within a subcomp in my main comp. 

    Btw. what if you could "reverse" the stalking. Meaning that you could control a subcomp layer from the "STALK NULL" in the maincomp? For an example if you would have something animated in a precomp, you could control it within the composition, without going into the precomp by using NULL's created by this tool.

    Anycase! Thanks for this tool! This is sooo great!
  • Hi Scott, does this script work with CC2019?

    Thank you!
  • Hi Scott, does this script work with CC2019?

    Thank you!
    It does work, however time-remapping is handled slightly differently by After Effects in CC2019, so if you target a layer in a comp that's been time-remapped, Layer Stalker will break.
  • Hi!

    I'm doing the similar beam effect as the map tutorial, but the stalking tracks the top left corner of the targets vs. the center.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    ~TPS
  • Hi!

    I'm doing the similar beam effect as the map tutorial, but the stalking tracks the top left corner of the targets vs. the center.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    ~TPS
    Hi Tom.  That's odd behavior.  Things I would check for are non-centered anchor points (maybe your targets are shape layers or nulls?) or targets which don't have anchorpoints, like lights and cameras.  In either of these cases, Layer Stalker will target the [0,0,0] point on a layer which is top left.  If your targets are comps with centered anchor points and you're still seeing that behavior, I'd love to see a screen shot if you're able to upload one here.  Thanks!
    Scott
  • Strange, I assumed that layer stalker would also stalk the Z position of a precomped element. but it doesn't. Is that correct?
  • Strange, I assumed that layer stalker would also stalk the Z position of a precomped element. but it doesn't. Is that correct?
    Yes and no.  It will track the z position of the precomped element in terms of the precomp source composition space, and the layer space of the precomp in the comp which contains it.  So, if you were make the precomp a 3-d layer, for example, and move/rotate it so that it no longer fills your comp, Layer Stalker should still correctly track the position of the element, but only as it sits on the plane of that 3-d layer.

    All this being said, I did notice this week that I have a bug affecting certain 3-d layers in pre-comps, which I've since fixed.  I'll upload a patch ASAP
  • YOU DA MAN. it works.!!
  • YOU DA MAN. it works.!!
    Glad to hear it!
  • Would be amazing to also be able stalk the rotation of the layer.
  • Would be much more useful if this could stalk rotation and scale.
  • I've heard this before, and I'll consider adding the feature to a future release.  For now, you can add an expression to those properties and simply pick-whip them to the corresponding property on the layer you want to track.
  • Working in AE 2022?
  • I can't say I've tested it exhaustively, but I have used it in 2022, and haven't identified any new issues so far.  If you're concerned about purchasing, maybe download and try the demo first - happy to offer whatever support I can with any issues that arise, of course.