Connect Layers
  • Dear friend,
    How did you make reflection and shadows on icosahedron and "CL" abbreviation? How to make connections light aware, like in your demo video? Can you make tutorial? And thank you for your excellent script, it is very useful.
  • I've used the raytrace engine of After Effects introduced in CS6:
    Thanks for the kind words.
  • Is this an upgraded version from what was available previously directly through Motion Boutique? Thanks for any info.
  • It's the same one Jeff.
  • Hello is there a suggested placement or type of shape layer to use im not getting any results some times lines to no where?

    mike d

  • Hi Mike,

    Groups are not supported, keep the shapes basic as possible.
    If it's too complex, use masks instead.
  • UPDATE 2: I offset the positions of my layers from each other and I'm still getting inconsistent results. What am I doing wrong?

    UPDATE 1: Nevermind (I think). The answer is in the error; I used Gridder from aescripts to arrange my layers so they are all aligned so I'm guessing triangulate doesn't work with aligned or evenly distributed layers.

    Hello, I'm trying to triangulate 30 or more 3D layers (they are solids right now as a placeholders, but will eventually be jpgs) but only a about a third of the layers are actually being triangulated. When I try to triangulate the layers that weren't done the first time I get the error "Error occurred when triangulating selected layers (aligned layers?)." I saw an older comment where you responded that "you must be using shape layers with the exact same anchor point position or something similar..." I'm not using shape layers but instead solids and I want to use image layers. The layers that did get triangulated have differing anchor points so I'm confused by your answer.

    Is there a limit to the number of layers or types of layers you can triangulate? Thank you.

  • Hi

    When trying to use triangulation with filled shapes for animated layers by expressions, the results are messy.!!!, but when i use it for animated layers by keyframes it works well.

    Is there any thing to solve this espacialy when using too many layers where expressions save time? or should we bake expressions and wait an update for this?
  • Hi Sam,

    You need to bake the expressions. We'll try to fix that in a future release.

  • Hi, Not working in CC 2014.2 ?

  • It works in CC 2014.2   If you are having a specific issue please open a support ticket and explain in detail (including screenshots) so we are best able to help you.
  • Thank you Motion Boutique for an amazing script. A note to anyone who needs to reverse the direction that the script draws the lines (I am using the script to create a dotted line connected to a null. The whole line would move with one null and would be 'emitted' by the other null.) To flip the direction, go into the joint's trim paths section and add 50 at the end of the 'start' script  and change the 'end' value to 100.
  • There seems to be a limit as to the number of time you can actually use Connect Layers within a single comp.  Is this a known bug or limitation?  It's a real shame!
  • There's no limitation of this kind so it might be a bug, could you please be more specific?

  • Hi, I've got a comp that only has 3 lines made with the Tree option, but a total of about 20 layers or so.   When I go to connect two more Null objects and press Tree, nothing happens.  The button is stuck in the 'on' position.  If I grab those two Null objects and precomp them, it will work in the new comp.  I've closed AE and reopened, but that didn't help.   All of these are in 2D space, BTW.
  • Could you please open a support ticket and post a simplified version of your aep so we can investigate?

  • Rope is the only thing that works.  Oddly enough, when I press Rope, my Null objects vanish from the screen.  When I select those layers in the comp, the Nulls reappear.
  • Okay, I think I found the problem.  I had 3 adjustment layers in the comp and they were all named the same thing (SPACE - which I use as a visual divider between layer groupings).  When I renamed one of them the problem was solved!  Weird indeed!
  • Love this script. Saves so much time. One note on the current version. If a layer is locked in the Comp, the Tree and Triangulation won't work
  • Hi Chad,
    The script acts on selected layers, and a locked layer can't be selected. I don't understand your problem.

  • how do I project the lines behind the layer object? They seem to project in front of each layer object I have in 3d space? 
  • here is an example of my "lines in front of my object" problem I posted earlier.
    720 x 960 - 115K
  • Hi Dennis,

    I guess you could simply make a copy of your objects and put it on the above the others.
    But, since it's a 3D comp, I would duplicate the entire composition: one with the lines from connect layers (so just hide the photos) and one with only the photos. Add both to another composition with the composition with the photos above the other one. Done.

    Hope this helps.
  • Thanks Val I will give it a try and let you know:)
  • Hey Val it looks to have worked but I have one last question,

    Do I animate the camera in one of the comps then copy paste the same camera to the 2nd comp or did I add an extra step? Can I use the cam in the main Comp with the two others?
  • You can either copy/paste the keyframe or link a camera to the other one... You can use the "copy with property link" feature in CC 2014 and above.

  • Hi guys,
    I've a problem  with the script when i want to run it. A window appears and says "Unable to execute script at line 111. Unable to create temporary image file".
    I've followed the install instructions and tried to install it in the ScriptsUI Panels and in the Scripts folder to make it accessible from the File > Scripts menu.
    Nothing doesn't work ;(

    Can you help me please ? Thanks
    Best regards

  • Chad is right. If ANY layer in your comp is locked, Tree and Triangulation won't work. Not just the layers you're trying to connect or triangulate. Thanks for pointing this out, helped me immensely up against a deadline. I reiterate: If ANY layer in your comp is locked, even the unlocked layers you're trying to tree or triangulate won't accept the script. Only Rope will work.

    That being said, this script is utterly amazing and worth chipping in some dollars!
  • Orff Orff said:
    How did you make 3D mask?
    Filled triangulation shape layers + Ray tracing engine + extrusion. 
  • Hello,

    Your script doesn't work when connecting Lights, because those objects don't have an anchor point, but I think it would be an easy fix and a useful feature (for use with those effects that can use lights as emmiters, or optical flares, for example).

    Both lights and cameras don't have an anchor point, but you can use L1.toWorld([0,0]) instead of L1.toWorld(L1.anchorPoint) and it is functionally the same as far as I know. You could check when creating the shape layers if the target layer has an anchor point or not, and use either option.

    With that, you would be supporting every type of layer in AE.

    Thank you for an amazing script. All the best.
  • Hi Diego and thanks for your feedback.
    Will add this to this to a futur release.

  • Hey. I'm really interested in the rope feature of Connect Layers, but as it is with most people, I can't really afford to throw $300 at a pair of After Effects plugins. Are there any cheaper options for acquiring both this and the Newton physics simulation pluggin which I assume is required to run this? A subscription service or something, for example?
  • Hi Niall,

    Connect Layers is a "Name your own price" product.
    So you can choose to give the full price, give more, give less and even nothing.
    And no sorry, we don't have a subscription service for Newton2.

  • Sorry if this is a really obvious question. I'm trying to use this to draw network diagrams (and hopefully move on to doing them in 3D so they can rotate). However, I'm starting in 2D to make some basic triangulations. 

    Mac OSX & AE CC 2015

    So, I made three circle shape layers. I opened up and made sure the anchor points were all different instead of zeroed out. When I click triangulation it consistently makes the right shape, but it's slightly offset. It behaves properly and moves when I drag the circles around as if it's properly jointed. It's just not attached in the right spot.

    I'm sure it's some kind of setting I'm overlooking.  Any ideas?
  • Hi Erin,
    Select the shape layers and choose Layer > Transform > Center Anchor Point in Layer Content, then execute ConnectLayers. This should fix the offset issue.
  • @Motion Boutique 

    Worked like a charm. Thank you so much!
  • This is an awesome addition to AE.
    Is it in any way possible to create the joints' shape layers BELOW the selected layers?

    I'm trying to use it on wiggled nulls (and wiggle takes its random seed from the layer index).
    The problem is: All the nulls get a new position assigned as their layer indices change with every joint layer created, and this seems to mess up the delaunay algorithm finding the nearest null to connect to, while the script runs. We've tried moving the joint layers below the others afterwards but it still looks off.
  • Hi Joerg,
    You could try to convert the wiggle expression to keyframes before executing Connect Layers.
  • Is there an option for maintaining consistent stroke width when connecting 3D points? 

    Trying to triangulate some 3D points, and the resulting joints have relative orientation instead of orientation towards the camera. This creates the effect of random stroke width as the perspective changes. Thanks.
  • Hi Aidan,

    No sorry you have to do this manually.

  • What is the color expression that you are using in the face triangulation at the end of the video ?

  • What is the color expression that you are using in the face triangulation at the end of the video ?

    In the option of CL, there's a "use color from layer" bouton to check and select the appropriate layer as source for the color.
  • Mike, thanks! I was scrambling why triangulation wasn't working. It was indeed because of some unrelated locked layers... Thanks, you saved my day :)
    Chad is right. If ANY layer in your comp is locked, Tree and Triangulation won't work.
  • Can connect layers work with masks as well?
  • Hi,

    I have a comp with multiple connected 3d layers. When I switch to 2d layers the joints get messed up. 
    Is there is a way to cancel the 3d without reconnecting all the layers ?
  • Hi Yaniv,

    2D and 3D connections have different expressions so you cannot switch them to 2D <-> 3D.

  • Hi, I've been using connect layers for years now and its really great but for some reason its stopped working? I've just re-installed it as I recently updated AE and nothing is happen when I click on Tree or Triangulation? If you have any ideas on how I might fix this it would be much appreciated. 
  • Hi, I've been using connect layers for years now and its really great but for some reason its stopped working? I've just re-installed it as I recently updated AE and nothing is happen when I click on Tree or Triangulation? If you have any ideas on how I might fix this it would be much appreciated. 
    Hi David,
    Please open a support ticket here:
    Connect Layers is working on AE CC2018 so don't really know what to say.

  • Just wanted to chime in and say that the 'rope' doesnt work anymore and it just lays down keyframes instead of connecting the layers. Tree works still which is strange. I tried reinstalling as well and I have backups of my computer which I tried for fun and I just don't think it works with the latest of the latest of updates.