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Animate tank-caterpillar like thing

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Dima Shishkov
Animate tank-caterpillar like thing
on Jul 11, 2013 at 7:26:19 am

Hello everybody.
I need to create an animation which is similar to tank-caterpillar moving. You can get a better idea from the image.

Shape on the image is perfect but in my animation this curvy thing will be hand-drawn (don't know if this makes any difference). Is there a way to wrap path along another path and then offset it in After Effects?
Thank you in advance.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Animate tank-caterpillar like thing
on Jul 11, 2013 at 11:21:54 am

One way I can think of is to create a wide comp and loop a horizontal "curvy thing", precomp and bring that in your main comp. Then you can use FreeForm or FreeForm Pro distortion tools to distort the precomp to fit the shape you are looking for. Puppet tool may also work for this.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Dima Shishkov
Re: Animate tank-caterpillar like thing
on Jul 11, 2013 at 11:30:12 am

Thank you very much for the answer. Googling and watching some tuts brought me to similar solutions. I thought there would be a simpler solution. Maybe using some plugins. Anyway, will try these methods to accomplish the task.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Animate tank-caterpillar like thing
on Jul 11, 2013 at 11:36:23 am

You can also use the technique from the tutorial below- just replace the snake parts and animate on a path that matches your shape.







Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Mato Kokotic
Re: Animate tank-caterpillar like thing
on Jul 13, 2013 at 7:56:42 pm

Seems like the glove's been thrown! :D

6263_caterpillar.aep.zip

VERY basic solution, just been playing with this...Used text on path, it still works.



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Dima Shishkov
Re: Animate tank-caterpillar like thing
on Jul 13, 2013 at 8:32:20 pm

Thank you for the trick and for making the file, I learnt a lot from it. I actually never used Text on path before. I had no time as the project had to be finished in short time. So I used Cinema4D to create this kind of animation.

Text on path is a hell of useful tool, especially by creating custom font you can achieve great results. Will be playing around with it. Thank you once again.


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