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How to create this?

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Rick Andes
How to create this?
on Jun 6, 2019 at 7:44:21 pm

Hi all,

I'm struggling for a couple of days now how to create this. I created a path, a simple line. The line has to transform to some kind of audio spectrum wave. See the example below. However, I don't want to use Audio Spectrum effect for several reasons. I'm looking for a way to create this kind of path. It doesn't have to be exactly this one. But it should be symmetric/precise and not a sketch with the pencil tool. So maybe I have to use an expression or a script to create the path?


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Sergio Cabrera
Re: How to create this?
on Jun 7, 2019 at 1:06:35 am

You could do it in Photoshop, make the left half of the spectrum with a line and curves, and then mirror the right side by copying/paste/flip horizontally so it's perfectly symmetric, then import to AE.

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Rick Andes
Re: How to create this?
on Jun 7, 2019 at 5:58:30 am

Thanks Sergio. Do you mean importing a PNG/JPG file from Photoshop and create a Mask with Auto Trace? I tried this workflow but there are two main problems:
2) This function creates an outline mask (contour). I need a single line path instead of a contour.
1) It loses functionality. For example: I can't change colors afterwards

Maybe a different workflow?

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Garrett Appleton
Re: How to create this?
on Jun 7, 2019 at 1:41:56 pm

Pen tool the shape in AE then "trim path" animate the shape. This might be your best option. There are also ae plugins on if you want a faster method. But trim paths is my favorite way to animate a path change. You can manipulate the start and end to make it look like the straight line is disappearing as the waveform is being drawn. Just a heads up, where you start to draw your path is where the "Trim Path" property choses as the start of the animation.

Garrett Appleton
Motion Design | Compositor | Dev
Apetown Art

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Oleg Pirogov
Re: How to create this?
on Jun 7, 2019 at 3:01:17 pm

My shot:
1) Create a null
2) Add this code to position expression:
X=linear(time, 0, 60,-(6+0.5)*Math.PI, (6+0.5)*Math.PI);
Y=linear(time, 0, 60,0,Math.PI);
[value[0]+10*X, value[1]+f];

- this creates something close to the wavy thing from your post and applies it to the motion path
3) Convert expression to keyframes
4) Add one key at the start and one at the end of the sequence and manually reposition null at those keys to make flat tails
5) Create a shape layer with some path and copypaste null's motion path keyframes to the path property

Gets you this:

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Rick Andes
Re: How to create this?
on Jun 7, 2019 at 7:08:18 pm

Thanks a lot Oleg!

One problem remaining. I copied the keyframes to a path as you suggested, including the two extra keypoints (see screenshot #1). The wave must emerge from a flat line, so I added two extra path keyframes with a flat line.

The wave emerges from the left instead of the center. How can I fix this?

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

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