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Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte

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Damian Dunne
Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 27, 2018 at 10:38:03 pm

hey everyone,

so I cannot figure this out for the life of me!

I have a single comp made up of white animated vectors. This is used to drive the line work.

Then outside this comp in the main comp, I have a solid layer with a set matte that pulls the matte in and then applies a layer style stroke to it. The problem is.... that the layer style stroke doesn't support any dashed line options.

I know all about the solid layers properties and how to get dashed lines from vectors but this needs a different workflow applied directly to a non vector layer. I'm wondering if anyone has any good solutions or plugins that I've overlooked to get dashed lines over a matte?

Any help would be awesome!

Preview MP4 attached to this link:
12586_linework.mp4.zip

And Project file if you have to the time to look ☺
12587_projectfiles.zip

be the ball


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 27, 2018 at 10:52:21 pm

The layer style stroke? Why not the stroke effect? or is this your problem..wrong stroke effect used!..also the vegas effect might work better for you too...maybe


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Damian Dunne
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 27, 2018 at 11:03:33 pm

The stroke effect only responds to masks. I don’t have any masks just mattes. Plus it doesn’t support dashed lines.

Tried Vegas but it doesn’t produce a great result. Too soft and a little glitchy in places.

be the ball


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Greg Gesch
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 28, 2018 at 1:12:32 am

Hi Damian, I'm a bit confused. Is there a reason that you can't make the dashed strokes in the precomp, then use the main comp to add the Layer Style? I'm sure I'm missing something?


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Damian Dunne
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 28, 2018 at 5:35:13 am

Hi Greg.

the client wants a continuous dashed line look with objects forming out of this dashed line.

This line is then being driven by the animated mattes/objects in the precomp without the need to animate a whole bunch of mask anchor points which may get a little overwhelming.

Thought there might be way to attach a dashed line to a matte somehow. It seems simple enough when I write it...

be the ball


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Corey Curry
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 28, 2018 at 3:55:08 pm

What I suggest after looking at the project file is to use shape layer strokes. What I did is convert the AI files into shape layers (yes, it keeps the animation) and turn off fills and turn on strokes. Then in the stroke option, click the plus button for dashes. If you want the lines to move, use the time expression on offset. I suggest that you make another house and simplify because it adds the stroke into all the doors and windows and I don't think you want that.


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Damian Dunne
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 29, 2018 at 10:49:09 pm

The problem with that work flow Corey is that I can't keep the negative space at the bottom of each shape. To transition / morph into each shape while keeping the the horizontal line will require a ton of masks and manual keyframing.

Driving the dashed line with an alpha I thought would be easiest way. I can get the line but just can't get the dashes... Annoying!

be the ball


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Corey Curry
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 30, 2018 at 2:52:01 am

How about using auto trace to outline the finish animation. Then set an alpha Matt to the line with some dash lines from auto trace.


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Damian Dunne
Re: Dashed Stroke over an Alpha Matte
on Jul 30, 2018 at 3:03:48 am

the auto trace is ok. it produces a ton of mistakes and stray masks that need to be cleaned up. It can't get me to a dashed line either.

I swear I thought there was a plugin for this. I've been wrong before though ☺

be the ball


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