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How to join a number of paths in cs3

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Kell Smith
How to join a number of paths in cs3
on Dec 27, 2012 at 4:02:02 am

I'm in the process of searching out the answer for this in forums, so please forgive me if this is an obvious question.
It seems like it should be simple...
The software I'm using is older, namely Illustrator CS3 and AE 6.5 .

I'm trying to learn to animate line drawings in After Effects. I've traced a drawing in Illustrator CS3 using Live Trace, which traced a bunch of separate paths. Is there a simple way to join them into one line? So that they can be imported into AE as one item?

As far as I've been able to tell, this is easy in CS6 but not in earlier versions?

Imported into AE as is, it produced 160 masks. I could not figure out how to join them in AE.

Also, if I am going about this completely the wrong way, hopefully someone here will point me in the right direction. I don't know either program well, only moderately, and am at the beginning of the learning curve.

Eventually I would like to be able to animate 1) line drawings, and 2)watercolor effects.

Thanks =)


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Kell Smith
Re: How to join a number of paths in cs3
on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:05:41 am

Hmmm... anyone?


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Vincent Rosati
Re: How to join a number of paths in cs3
on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:55:57 am

Initially, I'd suggest selecting all of the objects, object / expand the trace, possibly select / same fill color to separate the good from the bad, and finally pathfinder / unify the desired components into a single object.
Let us know if any of this points you in the right direction.

Vince

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Kell Smith
Re: How to join a number of paths in cs3
on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:08:44 am

Thanks Vincent,
I'm not finding the pathfinder command you suggested. Is there something equivalent in cs3?
I've tried commands that sound similar (add, merge), tried the join command, and also tried to make a compound shape, but they either do strange things to the picture (make some unintended lines show up) or produce an error message.
ALso, I'm trying to produce an open path, lines - although maybe a closed path might work - not sure yet, haven't tried it in After Effects.
There's got to be a simple way to do this... when you see all those animated commercials, for instance, it's hard to believe that everything was traced manually with the pen tool- although maybe they were.


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Vincent Rosati
Re: How to join a number of paths in cs3
on Jan 1, 2013 at 12:03:05 am

Hmmm, I was unsure about your need for open paths.
Any chance you could create a demo project and attach it to this thread?

re: Pathfinder / Unite, in the Pathfinder palette it's actually under Shape Modes, possibly as Add to Shape Area.

Vince

*Please remember to Rate our replies or check Solution if solved. If you get a good idea from the post, consider clicking the Kudos option.


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Kell Smith
Re: How to join a number of paths in cs3
on Jan 2, 2013 at 3:03:22 am

Thanks Vince,
I'll try that.
I created a parallel discussion in the After Effects forum with some examples of where I"m going with it. To be honest, I don't know the process well enough to know if open or closed paths are required - open paths seemed easier for the idea of revealing a line with a mask - but i"M trying to figure out the basics right now, so not sure..

It does seem that there must be a way to combine and simplify masks in CS3 that does not require clicking on every little teeny tiny end point? SO that they can be imported in one path?

I tried the add to shape area - with the whole drawing selected, all the paths selected, and I can still select separate shapes with the white arrow - so it has not been unified into one path.

Here's a link to the other discussion: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/202/896641


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