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Creating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow

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Adam WelchCreating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow
by on May 23, 2008 at 3:38:36 pm

Anyone have any ideas on how to create an arrow that extends across the screen. I'm trying to create an effect that connects two video windows to each other. An arrow grows out from one video window, extending or "growing" through 3D space until it hits the second video window. I follow the arrow with a camera.

I've created a sort of cumbersome version of this effect already, using an two solids, one with an arrow-shaped mask, and the other with a rectangular mask. I placed these next to each other to look like one shape. I then scale the rectangular mask to sort of fake like the arrow is growing. It's kind of a clunky solution. Ideas?


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Brian LynnRe: Creating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow
by on May 23, 2008 at 4:38:54 pm

Well there are some products, like Andrew Kramer/VideoCopilot.net's Evolution package that has many good animated arrows as part of its collection.

Also try watching the CreativeCow hosted tutorials... Afterista by Eran Stern is a good one, Mystic Text by Grant Swanson is another good one. There are "write on" concepts covered there that might give you more ideas on how you would like to reveal or "grow" your arrow. There are other great tutorials that cover masking and creating reveals/grows in other CC tutorials as well. Poke around, you might learn some new tricks =)



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Brian LynnRe: Creating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow
by on May 23, 2008 at 4:56:43 pm

This one is good as well:

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/hansen_jaysen/growing.php



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Todd MorganRe: Creating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow
by on May 23, 2008 at 5:04:49 pm

You could also try stoke effect and animate the arrow head to follow the leader...

Todd Morgan
Creative Director
morgancreative
http://www.morgancreative.ca


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Adam WelchRe: Creating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow
by on May 23, 2008 at 5:21:24 pm

Thanks for your responses, guys. All of the referenced tutorials are great, in particular the "Making Elements Grow" tutorial. I use techniques from that tutorial quite a bit. Unfortunately, I can't quite come up with a way to keep the arrow head and rectangle aligned as they animate.

Todd -- I thought about using the stroke effect and animating the arrow head to follow it, but matching the movement of the head to exactly match the edge of the stroke is the part that's eluding me.

One idea is to line my two solids up, arrow head and rectangle, with the arrow head to the right, then apply CC Repetile to the rectangle and expand it left. This gives the illusion of "rightward" motion.



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Dustin BrownRe: Creating a Growing and/or Extending Arrow
by on May 23, 2008 at 5:51:53 pm

Here's an idea. Create two separate elements: arrow head and arrow base. Make the base in it's final state either using Illustrator or the stroke effect in AFX or however you want. Then use a mask to uncover the base over time. For the arrowhead (again it's a separate element), just animate it's motion path to follow the mask which is uncovering the arrow base, then use Layer>Transform>Auto-Orient to get the arrow head to bank along the path.

It's a pretty dirty solution, in terms of it not being a pre-made effect, but it should get the job done and it's not hard to set up.

Good luck,
Dustin Brown



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