I am new to Illustrator so forgive my ignorance. I am doing research on a historical documentary and I am wanting to create some maps in Illustrator that I will animate in After Effects. I am basically wanting to have a map of Europe and then be able to zoom in on various countries and show movements of troops as they move along their campaigns. I would like the maps to have some sort of texture or some kind of high quality look not just a plain color. Like something you would see on the History Channel.
I have also seen where they would animate either icons that represent troop formations or they would use moving lines or sometimes a somewhat transparent shape that spreads over the map to show the forces moving.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I realize that this is a lot to ask in a forum post I am sure.
[Shaun Trevathan]"I am new to Illustrator... I realize that this is a lot to ask in a forum post I am sure."
What exactly are you asking? Are you asking someone to do the project for you, or are you asking something specific? It sounds like you want to build a house but you never built one before so you are asking for help. That's a tough one. If YOU want to build a house, you need to learn the basics, how to read blueprints, building codes, do a heck of a lot of research and so forth. Otherwise you just simply asking someone to build a house FOR YOU as opposed to helping you with specific ideas, eg. how to fit a window into an opening. See what I'm saying?
[Shaun Trevathan]"I have also seen where they would animate either icons that represent troop formations or..."
Are you asking help with animation as well?
You can create a vector outline of europe and/or countries you plan to use. You can import this AI file into AE and use it as a mask for the textures you plan to use for the countries.
How to animate in AE...well, that's a very broad subject. There are excellent books out there teaching basic animation techniques in AE. Or if you prefer video tutorials, you can check out places like lynda.com or digitaltutors.com.