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Creating and animating a chain in AE CS5

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Jamie HancockCreating and animating a chain in AE CS5
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 2:40:48 pm

Hello,

I've just landed a pretty cool contract and am doing some preliminary work into creating and animating a linked chain. I've created a chain in Photoshop which is attached at the end of this post to give an idea of the kind of thing I'm looking to achieve. The two ideas I have are to have the chain appear from right to left (or L-R), or for it to come onto the screen and form a circle/oval shape, then for short videos excerpts to appear in each link of the chain. These videos will then be zoomed in upon, as each link the the chain of the story is reached. At the end of each segment, I want to zoom back out to the chain on screen. I've tried looking for a tutorial for something similar, but can't seem to find anything. Would it be a matter of recreating the chain entirely in AE, or could I just import the Photoshop one and animate that, assuming that this is possible. I hope that all of this makes sense! Any help would be appreciated.

Jamie...



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Michael SzalapskiRe: Creating and animating a chain in AE CS5
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 3:10:51 pm

Import the PSD to AE. You should be able to animate it from there. Although, depending on what kind of animation you're looking for, it could be tricky.
You might need to rig some sort of IK chain to make it work or maybe simply use the Puppet Tool.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Creating and animating a chain in AE CS5
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 6:03:29 pm

If the chain is just moving from one side to the other and it is pretty 2dimensional, I would recommend re-creating the artwork in vector form using Illustrator. This way you will not encounter any resolution issues as you zoom in. If you need the chain to be more 3d then using a plugin like Zaxwerks Invigorator Pro and importing a 3d model of a chain may be a better option.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Jamie HancockRe: Creating and animating a chain in AE CS5
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:33:15 am

Ok, that sounds good, thanks. I'm an Illustrator novice, though. Is recreating that in vector fairly straightforward?


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Creating and animating a chain in AE CS5
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:08:35 am

You can use the Live Trace feature in Illustrator to do that fairly quick. Here's an older link that leads to an article explaining the process:
http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/illustrator/articles/illcs2ttlvtrace/illc...

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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