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After Effects Stroke Effect

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Elisha Kranz
After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 30, 2011 at 7:42:06 pm

I am having trouble with the Stroke effect in AE5.

I've used this effect multiple times before, even in the current project. I have text drawn as a path with rising and falling lines. (It's for a business model) over an adjustment layer so I can pan over them. I went in to redo the mask so it was one continuous one after unsuccessfully trying to put on the Vegas effect to stop the extreme pixilation of my line (which is another problem I'm having). So, when I went to add the stroke effect and move the start time..nothing is happening! I've tried redoing the path once more, closing and opening AE, restarting, but I'm out of ideas. I've deleted and reapplied the effect, but nothing is happening. I'm getting so frustrated. (With THAT and the pixilation of the line when it DID work). IF anyone can help, I'd appreciate it.


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Steve Renard
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 30, 2011 at 8:50:30 pm

Can you post some screen shots? I'm not sure I understand the various issues you're running into.

To guide you on what to post, here are the things I'd like to know that might help me answer your question:
1. How are you achieving the panning effect? Are you moving a 3D camera over the layer? Is it possible you're in too tight on the layer, causing it to break down? Or that the layer size itself is too small or has been scaled in a weird or unexpected way giving you pixelation?
2. If I understand correctly, you have multiple layers with mask lines of them, and you are trying to unify those by using a Stroke on an adjustment layer. Is that correct? (I've never done this myself but it sounds like what you're describing) If so, why not copy all the masks to one layer and the put the effect on that layer?

Whenever I get frustrated with AE, it invariably turns out to be something ridiculously simple that I did not notice at the time. Take 5 minutes, get yourself your beverage of choice, sit back down, and retrace the pieces of the comp to figure out where something is going wrong.

Good luck,
Steve



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Elisha Kranz
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 30, 2011 at 9:25:22 pm

I have only two layers, an adjustment layer in which the mask is drawn on.


I apply the stroke effect to that mask and should be able to key frame it so it looks like it's writing on and moving, and I had it working once, but decided to redo the mask.






And now when I apply the stroke effect, nothing happens when I move the 'Start' value.


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Elisha Kranz
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 30, 2011 at 9:32:15 pm

Once I get the stroke effect to work, I can fiddle with my camera layer to work on the pixilation, never thought the camera might have zoomed in. I can always ditch the camera layer too and just move the adjustment layer using the position values. I just need to get the dang stroke effect to actually work first.


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Cassius Marques
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 30, 2011 at 9:45:22 pm

your "paint style" is set to reveal original image, you're using an adjustment layer... change it to "over transparent"


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Elisha Kranz
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 31, 2011 at 1:14:20 am

Tried that, did not work. I had it working with those settings before. I don't know what changed, other then I redid the mask.


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Steve Renard
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 31, 2011 at 2:32:00 pm

A few things strike me as weird about your screen shots:
1. Your preview resolution is set to "Third" - do you still see pixelation if you change it to "Full"? (Sorry to ask the obvious, but I have managed to drive myself crazy with this one once or twice)

2. Though your layer is called "Adjustment Layer" the adjustment switch (circle that is half black and half white) is not turned on. In this setup, there is no reason to have it turned on, because if it was, everything would disappear. An adjustment layer affects "only all the layers beneath it in the layer stack", to paraphrase either the AE manual or Trish and Chris Meyer - can't recall which. If the switch is not on, theoretically that layer should behave as just a normal layer and is no longer and adjustment layer. At least, that's been the case in my experience. However, just to be sure, follow the instructions below.

Here's what I would do to try to work around your problem: first, select your adjustment layer and hit Cmd-Opt-Y(Mac)/Ctrl-Alt-Y(PC) to bring up the layer properties. Note the pixel size of the layer and close this window. Create a new regular layer (not an adjustment) of the same size as the adjustment layer. Copy your mask from the adjustment layer to the regular layer and turn off the adjustment layer. Apply a new stroke effect to the new layer and see what you get.

If you're still having trouble, I have a few more questions:
1. What are the pixel dimensions of your comp?
2. What are the pixel dimensions of your layer?
3. Why did you use an adjustment layer in the first place? I don't think it's necessary here.

I have a render running but when it's done I will post some screenshots of this same process to demonstrate what I'm talking about.

Cheers,
Steve



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Dave LaRonde
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 31, 2011 at 2:50:11 pm

I would also look at the Spacing and Hardness properties in the effect controls, then double-check that the effect is using the correct mask.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Elisha Kranz
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 31, 2011 at 3:08:21 pm

See, I would try all of that, but I can't even get the stroke to show up. I could answer your questions, but my MAIN problem, is that the stroke effect will not take. I can move the 'Start' and 'End' values all I want, my red line never shows up.


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Elisha Kranz
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 31, 2011 at 3:13:50 pm

I don't know why it worked before on an adjustment layer, but I changed it to a shape layer and now it's fine. Thank you very much everyone.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: After Effects Stroke Effect
on May 31, 2011 at 3:45:19 pm

According to your screen shots, you didn't ever use an adjustment layer, nor should you have done so. Your screen shots revealed a 3D layer.

I'd also be interested to know how you went about creating this shape layer that's now so successful.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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