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How do I get the position of a point on a mask/shape WITHOUT copying and pasting?

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Jeff Gill
How do I get the position of a point on a mask/shape WITHOUT copying and pasting?
on Mar 13, 2015 at 10:29:52 pm

Hey folks... first time caller, long time listener!

I've got a problem that's been racking my brain for weeks now, and I'm hoping someone in this forum can help:

I'm trying to parent Nulls to a Mask Path that changes over time. I've done a lot of digging on this and the only advice I can find is to click on the Mask Path, then paste it in the Position property. While this may work for baking out static paths, for the purposes I have in mind, I need the path to change shape and for the Nulls to follow/stick it dynamically. (for example, I would have 3 Nulls following the curve, and others at the 25%, 50% and 75% markers of the path's shape)

I understand that Position paths and Mask/Shape paths aren't exactly interchangeable, and while you can change the start/end lengths of a Stroke effect, it won't tell you the position of that location. The best way I feel like I'd be able to get that data is by creating a Text layer with a path, then adding characters that would be evenly spaced along the path. There's a way to click and drag the Margins so I'm kind of hopeful that means there's a way to get the .toComp position data, however what makes this approach seem even more possible is that if you click the 'Animate:' arrow next to Text and select 'All Transform Properties', a bunch of little red crosshairs appear under each character that's following the path. (!!!)

So I *feel* like there should be a way to link the position data of a Null to the individual character position data from a Text, however I'm not sue what the expression lingo to do this would be...

If anyone has any ideas, or even has alternative suggestions, I'd love to hear 'em!! Thanks!



-Jeff


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Dan Ebberts
Re: How do I get the position of a point on a mask/shape WITHOUT copying and pasting?
on Mar 14, 2015 at 1:42:16 am

I don't think there's a way to do what you're trying to do with expressions. A scripting solution is probably the best you can do. Check out TrackerViz if you haven't already. (I haven't tried it, but it may give you a workable solution).



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Jeff Gill
Re: How do I get the position of a point on a mask/shape WITHOUT copying and pasting?
on Mar 14, 2015 at 1:59:01 am

Thanks for the suggestion!

I found a thread from 2009 which is actually similar to my thinking, but they didn't figure it out back then, and I was hoping there'd be a solution by now:

http://www.videocopilot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14159

I know in the Obsolete menu there's an effect called 'Path Text' which has some of the parenting options I'm looking for (allows you parent the ends of a curve as well as control the tangent handles)... only problem is that it chugs when adjusting in real time, and doesn't allow for multiple curves (unless you duplicate the effect and parent the handles to each other)

Still open to any other ideas that might be floating around out there! Thanks!

PS: is there a list of specific properties that can be accessed for Text attributes while using expressions? I was hoping I might be able to use a 'toComp' type of result to parent values to

-Jeff


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