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HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.

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ben ramirez
HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
on Aug 28, 2017 at 4:53:15 pm

Hello all, thanks in advance for your help. I need to add multiple (like 50) .png layers to one path so that I can animate the path and create a "wave" effect to make it look like the images are all doing a wave up and down in the "y" direction.

Kind of like this: (if all the "o" shapes started in a single flat line and then animated in the "y" only (up and down. ) (Just using the --'s as spacers)



-------------o
-------- o ------o
--- o-----------------o-------------------- o
o------------------------ o ----o---- o


I thought about maybe creating a sine wave on a path and attaching all the layers to one path, but I can't seem to figure out how to attach separate image layers to one path on a separate layer. I'd really like to avoid having to do an individual mask path and pasting to each separate layer because if I want to tweak the motion after I have all the layers set up, i'd have to start all over.

If you can think of another way to do this, maybe like attaching all the image layers to a slider control via expression, but I need to be able to control the layer "y" positions a little better than just offsetting the "y" transform expression or wiggle. Maybe a particle replicator with the image set as the particle and multi-object? I'm struggling here, but it seems like a solution should be so simple. Perhaps i'm overthinking it.

Thanks so much!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
on Aug 28, 2017 at 5:55:06 pm

Actually, it's a lot simpler than you may think. You just have to animate the vertical position of each layer. Now granted, you have to tweak the timing of the animation and animate the layers in a specific sequence, but it's pretty straightforward.

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


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ben ramirez
Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
on Aug 28, 2017 at 6:13:12 pm

Well, yeah if I wanted to go through and animate each layer's vertical position manually, that'd be no problem, it would just take forever to put in 50 different animations. It'd be so much easier to just connect them all in a row to a line and animate that line's anchor point beziers instead.


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Shawn Ankersen
Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
on Aug 28, 2017 at 6:14:03 pm

Right click on the "Position" variable and click "Separate Dimensions."

You can animate the Y separately from the X, so if you have 50 images you can set a keyframe at the base line, then set another keyframe in the future at whatever height you want them to go to, and can stagger the timing by moving the keyframes.

If you don't want the time to move, you could stagger the layers by:
  • Trim the layers to just the keyframed height change
  • Selecting all the layers
  • right-click and choose keyframe assistant>Sequence layers
  • extend all the layers so that they keyframes remain where they are but the images remain on screen before/after the keyframes as desired.
  • then the images will do a wave.


  • There are some free plugins that can help do this easier. Try MisterHorse.TV.

    Or, you can write an expression and copy-paste it into each image. The expression would go in the Y variable. Try: wiggle (5,1);

    This will go between negative 5 and 5, at a rate of 1 per second. You can mess with the numbers and come up with a pattern you like.

    You mentioned some trigonometry or SIN equations but I have never done that, so I can't help there!


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    ben ramirez
    Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
    on Aug 28, 2017 at 6:20:46 pm

    Yeah, I did check mr horse earlier just to see if there was anything, but didnt see anything that'd really be easier than separating the dimensions like you said. I'd really like to figure out how to attach all these layers to a path and do it that way. It seems like there'd be a way.


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    Shawn Ankersen
    Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
    on Aug 28, 2017 at 6:30:05 pm

    It's also hard to use a trig expression because the center of the comp is not "0,0" it's 540x960 or whatever...there is a plugin on DUIK that creates null objects and zeroes out an object's position.

    You could write an expression for each object and base it off a single slider control. So if you set the slider to 10, one object would be Y+10, the next would be 90% of 10, or Y+ 9, and so on. It would be a pain to set up, but once you do you could just adjust the slider.


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    ben ramirez
    Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
    on Aug 28, 2017 at 6:34:54 pm

    I see what you're saying. But yeah, that'd be about as tedious as just doing it manually. Is there no way to connect multiple objects to one path and have their "y" value reference back to that path's transform?


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    Dave LaRonde
    Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
    on Aug 29, 2017 at 12:17:15 am

    [ben ramirez] "Is there no way to connect multiple objects to one path and have their "y" value reference back to that path's transform?"

    Nope.
    That's because neither a path on a solid nor a shape contains the proper position information you need. Even if it did, it would still be in the context of the size of the solid or the dimensions of the shape, which in one case may not the the same dimensions as the comp, and in the other case has no bearing at all to the dimensions of the comp.

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


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    ben ramirez
    Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
    on Aug 29, 2017 at 1:45:00 pm

    Gotcha. Thanks Dave!


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    Walter Soyka
    Re: HALP! Need to "attach" multiple layers to one shape or mask path.
    on Aug 29, 2017 at 1:54:04 pm

    Here's a quick system I whipped up for doing a sine wave with some arbitrary number of objects. Maybe it will work for you. All the controls are on the CONTROL layer:



    11630_thewave.aep.zip

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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