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Growing Arrow Issue Support Needed

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Guido Agüero
Growing Arrow Issue Support Needed
on Jul 1, 2011 at 8:51:10 pm

Hello everyone!!!

I am having an issue trying to make a growing arrow in After Effects!!!

I have an Arrow imported from illustrator in 2 difference layers: One, the arrowhead and the other one the arrow path...

what I need is to know any way to make the path grow as the arrowhead moves...

Yeah! I know some of you are going to suggest me to use a mask with the stroke effect over the arrow path but the problem is that if I use a mask over the path, the brush size of the stroke effect is smaller than the width of the arrow path that i am using so I can not use it.

So. Another thing is that the shape of the arrow path is like an "L"
This is the only thing I need to know about this issue that i am having this time!

The idea of this is to have the big and fat arrow path animated along the arrow head...being driven by some path in AE...

I would appreciate any help you give me!!!
thanks in advance!!

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David Johnson
Re: Growing Arrow Issue Support Needed
on Jul 2, 2011 at 3:04:46 am

The simplest way may be to split the arrow L into two pieces (either by duplicating and masking AE layers or making separate layers in Illustrator), animate the X or Y scale of each side of the L separately so that the second starts just as the first ends and animate the position of the the arrow head to correspond. You'll need to move the anchor points of the L sides so they grow from where they should.

I think it will all only take 7 key frames - 2 each for the start and end X or Y scales of each piece of the L and 1 each for the start, corner and end positions of the arrow head. In the illustrious words of another COW member ... easy peasy lemon squeezy.

By the way, another option might be to use a linear wipe on the arrow L and and keyframe the wipe angle at the corner, then animate the position of the the arrow head to correspond ... the greatest thing about AE is that there's a million ways to do everything so you get to choose whichever one you like best.

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Guido Agüero
Re: Growing Arrow Issue Support Needed
on Jul 2, 2011 at 4:31:43 pm

Hey David! Thanks for the fast reply!

Yes, as you have said... there're many ways to do that in AE which is amazing!

But the main issue i am having is that the corner of the path is curved it's not a strait 90 degree angle.
so i finally could do it by copying the path from illustrator and paste it in AE so i could have the same shape of it in AE. Then i put the mask in the 3D stroke effect (this effect allow me to make bigger the brush size so i could fill the path width totally) then animate it from 100 to 0, then I put that mask behind the path then I set it as inverted luma matte and that solve my problem.

The rest of it is to copy the same mask path to the position of the arrowhead and there you go! works is done! activate auto orientation and thats it!!!

I figure this out trying different things and worked for me! but if there is another easy way please let me know in case of having another and bigger arrow path.

Thanks for helping me David and hope you can understand my english!!!

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David Johnson
Re: Growing Arrow Issue Support Needed
on Jul 2, 2011 at 4:48:54 pm

You're welcome, Guido. I'm very glad that my input was helpful.

[Guido Agüero] "I figure this out trying different things"

In my opinion, that is the best way to learn how to do things in AE since what you learn yourself tends to stick with you better than just mimicking the steps of a tutorial ... it works that way for me anyway.

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Adrian Thompson
Re: Growing Arrow Issue Support Needed
on Feb 17, 2015 at 11:23:16 pm

Hi Guido,

I know this post is very old, but I wanted to share in case it helps other people searching like I have. We've recently developed this new After Effects script, Easy Arrows, which allows you to attach an auto-orienting arrow (or any shape) to a stroke, with the click of a button.

Hope you find it useful. :-)

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