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Fine tuning animating shape layers

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Christopher Brockman
Fine tuning animating shape layers
on Jan 16, 2014 at 10:12:25 pm

While I frequently haunt the Creative Cow forums for tips and tricks, this is the first time I have actually asked for advice.

I imported paths from Illustrator, then converted them to shape layers, then pasted the path keyframes to achieve the start and end keyframes I need, but the frames in between are not animating in a straight forward way that I expected.

Perhaps an image would clarify what I'm trying to do:

The center circle is a screenshot from in-between the two keyframes.
I just want the line to extend the branches out without contortion.

I'm relatively new to After Effects, so maybe I'm missing something obvious...


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Fine tuning animating shape layers
on Jan 16, 2014 at 10:48:51 pm

You'll have to fix it manually and end up with an additional keyframe - that's how it is with most morphs.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Darby Edelen
Re: Fine tuning animating shape layers
on Jan 16, 2014 at 11:24:01 pm

To expand on what Roland said it will make it easier if you modify the shapes so that they have the same number of vertices and those vertices are all in the same relative position on the path from keyframe to keyframe.

The way the path animates is by looking at the index of each vertex on the first keyframe and moving that vertex to the position of the vertex with the same index on the second keyframe. So the "first vertex" on one keyframe will interpolate to the "first vertex" on the second keyframe.

If there is a mismatch in the number of vertices between keyframes then AE will automatically create new vertices that will likely not match the correct relative position of the vertex at that index on both keyframes. That's what's happening in your case.

There's also the Mask Interpolation tool accessible under Window > Mask Interpolation that will give you additional options for interpolating between Masks (not Shape Paths unfortunately, but you can copy the shape paths to masks, operate on them and then copy and paste them back). The downside is that this tool will create a mask keyframe on every frame.

Darby Edelen


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Christopher Brockman
Re: Fine tuning animating shape layers
on Jan 17, 2014 at 3:11:04 am

So, in theory, the issue could be solved by adding enough anchor points to even out the vertices, so long as the first vertices are next to each other?

Also, would I be right in asking if the point with the ring around it is the initial vertex?


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Fine tuning animating shape layers
on Jan 17, 2014 at 8:43:28 am

When morphing, it is ideal that the start and end shapes have the same number of vertices. This often results in a more intuitive process as it helps you to align vertices more accurately when tweaking the result.

Watch this tutorial -





[Christopher Brockman] "Also, would I be right in asking if the point with the ring around it is the initial vertex?"

The First Vertex has TWO visual cues. When a Shape Layer is selected via the Direct Selection method - CTRL+click, the First Vertex appears with a ring around it. However, when a Shape Layer's path is selected by selecting the Path property in the Timeline, the First Vertex appears with an additional square around it.

HTH
RoRK

AE MoGraph Intensity Workshop - Promo Video

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Darby Edelen
Re: Fine tuning animating shape layers
on Jan 17, 2014 at 3:51:13 pm

[Christopher Brockman] "So, in theory, the issue could be solved by adding enough anchor points to even out the vertices, so long as the first vertices are next to each other?"

Yes, that's the basic idea. Although every vertex should be near where you expect it to be at each of the keyframes. The first vertex is just a very convenient place to start :)

Darby Edelen


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