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Replicating "Marching Ants" Photoshop selection effect in After Effects

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Mikey Zoppo
Replicating "Marching Ants" Photoshop selection effect in After Effects
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:07:54 pm

Marching ants, the dashed lines that slowly travel over any selection you make in Photoshop. I'm trying to recreate those in AE.

It's pretty simple right? Well, I'm a big dumb dumb.

I've got a square, it is stroked with dashes. If I animate the "offset" parameter, the dashed stroke will travel across my shape much like the Marching ants travel across a selection in photoshop. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE! The Marching ants move in small intervals, as opposed to one continuous smooth motion. Much like a clock hands ticks from one second to the next, it's not smooth.

I can easily get what I want by just animating the offset and applying posterize time with a super low number.

But this seems like a really useful thing to know how to do with an expression. I'm assuming it's kind of like a blink expression, except instead of oscillating between two values, we just want our value to continue growing/shrinking in those stuttering intervals.

Basically an expression that is a counter, that counts up/down at a rate you define, and will pause at an interval you define, how long the pause is would also be a value you define.


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