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Dots appearing over time (fastest/most efficient method)

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Adam WhiteDots appearing over time (fastest/most efficient method)
by on Apr 2, 2013 at 8:03:37 pm

I'm fairly familiar with After Effects, and have dipped in and out of it for a few years now.

I have a pretty straightforward animation to create with a logo, and I wanted to post on here to see what the experts think would be the most efficient way of doing it.

I have a logo that is made up of separated dots (the dots are quite far apart from each other and do not touch each other). All I want to do is have the logo build up over time with each dot appearing in succession until the whole word/logo is revealed. Ideally I'd like to mess with the sequence of the way the dots appear a little so that the way it builds up looks a bit more interesting.

I have used "auto trace" command to create masks around all the dots, which worked fine. Applying the "Stroke" effect works OK but looks just like a linear wipe. I've separated each letter of the word in the logo so each has it's own layer, and then set the "Stroke" effect on each to "All Masks/Stroke Sequentially"

At the moment I'm guessing that I need to break up each letter into a layer per dot, apply the "Stroke" effect and set it so that it reveals just one of the dots in the letter per layer, and then play around with the sequencing of the dot layers in the timeline to get a less linear look.

But as I am by no means an After Effects expert so I feel that I might be doing this a horrendously inefficient way - if anyone has any other ideas to complete the task at hand faster I would be most grateful for any input.

Many thanks,

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Dave LaRondeRe: Dots appearing over time (fastest/most efficient method)
by on Apr 2, 2013 at 8:20:34 pm

The word "appear" could mean a number of things, from animating opacity, animating scale, animating position (to make it look like the logo assembles from off-screen elements).... sorry, but it's a little nebulous.

But I think you might want to start with a perfectly-spaced grid of dots, such as you'll find with the CC Ball Action effect. You could precomp it, mask it in the shape of the logo, and animate a mask -- in another precomp, and used as a track matte -- to reveal them.

That's just one way. There are others, and they all use different techniques.

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

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Cassius MarquesRe: Dots appearing over time (fastest/most efficient method)
by on Apr 2, 2013 at 9:21:01 pm

Where does this logo came from? Can't you break it apart in its creation software and import separated pieces so you can be free to do whatever you want?

But as Dave said, if you can recreate the dots in AE, you'll probably have a better control.

Copying and pasting an animation (scale maybe) between layers, then sequencing them gives a way better look than any stroke reveal effect IMO.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Dots appearing over time (fastest/most efficient method)
by on Apr 3, 2013 at 7:22:47 am

I would suggest checking out Newton2 - it's quite easy to create complex animations with just a few clicks once you have your logo split into shapes.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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