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Looping an animated composition along a path

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Jon Ewing
Looping an animated composition along a path
on Aug 9, 2019 at 12:02:52 pm

I'm an After Effects newbie trying to teach myself without having to ask stupid questions on this forum, but thre's something I think I need to understand better!

What I am doing is (I think) pretty simple.

I've got a lightbulb graphic I imported from Illustrator. I made a composition in which the lightbulb blinks on and off. I imported that into my main project composition and used time remapping to make it loop using the script “LoopOut(Type="Cycle", numKeyframes = 0)”.

So far so good.

Now I wanted my bulb to move across the screen. So I made a path and copied the Mask Path properties to the Position property of my lightbulb composition.

Sure enough, the lighbulb now moved along the path. But it was just the first frame moving.

I managed to get it to blink on and off and I can see that it's something to do with the the timing of keyframes on the lightbulb layer and the two "Time Remap" values, which default to "00.00,00.00".

So, I am nearly there, but I am missing some fundamental understanding of how it works. Can someone explain it to me?

As an example, if my lightbulb blinks once per second and takes two secodns to cross the screen, what should my timeline look like?


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Looping an animated composition along a path
on Aug 9, 2019 at 8:38:09 pm

[Jon Ewing] "Sure enough, the lighbulb now moved along the path. But it was just the first frame moving."

what does that mean? do you mean it's not blinking? or it's not moving?

if you mean there's a problem with the loop then make sure that:
1. in the precomp, the length of the precomp is of the actual animation. for example on, off, then on again.
2. in the master comp, when you time remapping you need to create a keyframe one frame before the last keyframe, then you delete the last keyframe. this will make it loop properly (if in the precomp the first and last keyframes are the same).
3. in the master comp, stretch the out point of your precomp so it will continue on playing.

see if this helps:
https://motionworks.net/looping_precomps/

Roei Tzoref
2D/VFX Generalist & Instructor
♫ AeBlues Tutorials ♫
http://www.tzoref.com


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Jon Ewing
Re: Looping an animated composition along a path
on Aug 15, 2019 at 11:34:17 am

Thanks, Roei Tzoref - that helped me a lot.


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Cassius Marques
Re: Looping an animated composition along a path
on Aug 9, 2019 at 8:58:27 pm

[Jon Ewing] "As an example, if my lightbulb blinks once per second and takes two secodns to cross the screen, what should my timeline look like?"

This is a somewhat odd question to make. In which regard?

The only thing I can guess you may be experience is that your expression is cycling through 0 keyframes. Thus its only calculating the state in time of the first keyframe? I usually don't take the provided code, I just tend to type either loopOut("cycle") or loopOut("ping pong") or even better time%framesToTime(x) (x being the amount of frames you want to loop)

[Jon Ewing] "So, I am nearly there, but I am missing some fundamental understanding of how it works. Can someone explain it to me?"

Can you be a little more specific on what exactly?

Cassius Marques
http://www.zapfilmes.com


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Jon Ewing
Re: Looping an animated composition along a path
on Aug 15, 2019 at 11:35:37 am

Thanks, Cassius. It was intended to be more of a general rather than specific question, to help me with a broader understanding - Roei Tzoref has given me the explanation I needed.


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