I have eight icons arranged in a circle, a Null object in the centre, and a camera that's parented to the Null. Each icon is set to be a 3D layer, and Auto-Oriented towards the camera. The camera is Auto-Oriented to Point of Interest, and parented to the Null, so that I can adjust the Z rotation of the Null to have the camera orbit the circle (producing the effect that the circle of icons is carouselling around).

Everything else is perfect, but the icons on the sides are somehow inheriting quite a dramatic Z orientation / rotation. I've attached a screenshot below to illustrate what I mean.

I tried this expression, but it made the problem worse, and I don't have the expression skills to adapt it to my needs.

How can I have each icon always face the camera, but remain fully level without manually adding keyframes to compensate?

Screenshot showing orientation

  • 1
    That expression is correct, when you applied that expression did you apply it to just the x and y rotation, with z rotation set to 0? And did you turn off auto-orient?
    – stib
    Sep 23, 2017 at 5:12

2 Answers 2


A solution would be parenting the icon to a 3D null and applying auto orientation to the null, afterwards you can rotate your icon back.



I did the following:

  1. Make 8 icons (I used text numbers).
  2. Make them 3D.
  3. Add a 3D null in the centre.
  4. Add a circle shape at the mid point of your comp as a guide.
  5. Make the circle 3D and orient it so that it's visible from top view.
  6. Add a camera.
  7. Position all the icons around the circle (more accurately than I did).
  8. Parent the icons to the centre null.
  9. Select all the icons and select "Auto-orient --> orient to camera"
  10. Rotate the null in x and y.

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