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Multiple dots along multiple paths

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Scott Kinney
Multiple dots along multiple paths
on Dec 8, 2016 at 1:53:23 am

Hi all,

First post here. Hopefully you don't laugh too loudly - it's been a long time since I've done work with After Effects. I'm working on an animation which needs to depict the motion of many dots (250+) from one location to another.

I've been able to animate a single ellipse along a path using a mask path -> position copy. However, this is really cumbersome and doesn't allow me to easily replicate the object with small tweaks (to its motion path or its motion timeline).

Ideally, I would create one template object and replicate, adjusting only the start/end point and the timing.

This seems like it should be super-simple, but I can't find a good way to do it. I have created the paths in Illustrator which I'd like the dots to follow with Illustrator - though I could redraw them in AE if I had to.


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Multiple dots along multiple paths
on Dec 8, 2016 at 11:30:40 am

I am not exactly sure what the result should look like. do you want a path to be made of closed dots and trim along the path one dot at a time?

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Multiple dots along multiple paths
on Dec 8, 2016 at 3:13:17 pm

I'm with Roei -- you need to clarify.
I read your description to mean a lot of individual dots moving from one point to another along different motion paths, which is a lot different than his interpretation.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Multiple dots along multiple paths
on Dec 8, 2016 at 6:19:18 pm

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, copying and pasting paths from Illustrator into position parameters of AE might be the best way.

Alternatively, you could use Motion Sketch (and then the Smoother) to quickly animate each dot.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Scott Kinney
Re: Multiple dots along multiple paths
on Dec 8, 2016 at 7:03:33 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies. I apologize for the lack of clarity in the original post. What I'm after is this: "I read your description to mean a lot of individual dots moving from one point to another along different motion paths, which is a lot different than his interpretation."

It looks like Motion Sketch will do it for me. Though I will still have to draw each motion path in AE, I won't have to add in additional copy/paste steps.


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