Convert Scale to Position: After Effects Tutorial

I worked on a project making three 3D bar graphs which would grow. I wanted the text of the item being measured to actually sit on top of the bar graph as it moved. In doing so, I ran into some issues with the text changing size as the bar grew, rather than it appear as if it was just sitting on top.

I could have easily animated the text to move with the bar, but I wanted to expand my knowledge and figure out how  to make it work. After two days of math, reasoning, and trial and error, I got the desired result. I decided to share the experience with YouTube and make a tutorial on how to do this effect and offer a free preset to anyone who would want to do the same.

To download the preset, click the file sharing box on the right and download. To install it, open your After Effects program files and drop the preset in your Presets folder.

To use the Scale-to-Position preset, make one layer called “front.” Make an invisible Null Object called “Multiplier” with a “slider control” effect in it. Apply the “Scale-to-Position” preset to the layer you desire to be controlled. The “front” layer will be the one you use to control. Follow the formula in the tutorial to make sure your multiplier is the correct value.

[UPDATE] To simplify the download of the preset for Flash-incapable devices, I’ve made the following link just for you! Download

4 thoughts on “Convert Scale to Position: After Effects Tutorial

  1. Exactly what I was looking for man, thanks loads. Had a relatively smart setup, with adjustable values scaling up the bars in a bar chart, really pleased with it but couldn’t get my head around fixing the unwanted squashing of text!

    Thanks again!

  2. Hi
    This is great! But, i’m trying to do the opposite, i created a null object, then, i want to move it on ‘x’ direction and other layer has to be affected in the ‘x’ scale. Position controls the scale.
    Could you help me?

    • It’s been a while, but I think what you would have to do is change the expression to affect transform.scale[0] in stead of [1]. That will move it on the X axis instead of the Y. Hope that helps!

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