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Attaching objects/nulls to a waving line - any suggestions?

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Daniel Poffley
Attaching objects/nulls to a waving line - any suggestions?
on Aug 15, 2017 at 7:44:05 am


I am looking for a way to turn a horizontal line into a waving line and back again, whilst being able to attach objects/nulls to it.

The 'Wave Warp' effect seems perfect for the animation but does anyone have any ideas how I could attached several nulls to the line too?

Imagine several people holding onto a rope as it starts to shake/wave. They would go up and down with it but not move along the line.

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!

Thank you,

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Attaching objects/nulls to a waving line - any suggestions?
on Aug 15, 2017 at 3:20:44 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Aug 15, 2017 at 6:12:19 pm

This is pretty easy if you think about it a different way. It isn't particularly fast, but it IS pretty easy. You want to arrange some stuff on a straight horizontal line, and then you want these things to move up & down from one end to the other, one after another. Correct?

Yeah, that's correct, Dave!
  • So put your layers into their starting positions.
  • Go to the first layer that should move, and animate its vertical position up & down using keyframes -- bezier for the first, bezier for the second, and bezier-HOLD for the third.
  • Once you have the motion right, you'll know 1) the vertical change for each following layer -- make a note of that change -- and 2) the timing of the movement for each following layer.
  • Go to the next layer. Animate the same amount of vertical change using what you learned on the first layer.
  • Repeat the process for the rest of the layers.
  • Now you simply have to move those layer keyframes along the timeline to get that one-after-another motion right. Once it's right, you have one cycle.
  • To repeat the cycle, you just copy-paste each layer's position keyframes in the appropriate spots on the timeline.
If you want to get fancier, you can animate an up-DOWN motion, returning to the starting position. Just add the appropriate keyframes as you begin work on your first layer -- they'll be the inverse of the up vertical change value.

Sure, you can probably do the same thing with an expression. But getting the expression to work the way you want would probably take longer than the key framing method, so what's the point of using an expression?

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

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