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A ribbon of photos. How to...

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Reuben Fink
A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 26, 2013 at 8:33:28 pm

I'm trying to look for pointers on the best way to animate a ribbon of photos. Or perhaps the best way to describe it would be a series of images that snake along a path similar to what's described here:
http://maltaannon.com/articles/after-effects/cgsnake/

I'm working with over 50 images so I'm looking for a quicker way if possible. Can Trapcode Particular do this by having multiple images move along a path while following an emitter?

OSX 10.8.4
Equipment: 2.8 ghz 8 core Intal Mac Pro 3,1 Early 2008, 20 gig of ram
Aps: CS6 Production Premium, FCP Suite, Avid Media Composer


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Cassius Marques
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 26, 2013 at 8:47:35 pm

If you emmit them properly Trapcode particular can make several photos follow a 3d path, yes... the question is: how do you want it to look on sharp curves? It won't be a ribbon.

Why won't you use that snake plugin?


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Kevin Camp
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 26, 2013 at 10:50:24 pm

i'd use a follow the leader expression:

leader= thisComp.layer("Leader");
offset = .05;
leader.position.valueAtTime(time-offset*(index-leader.index));


you'd animate the first photo to move in the path that you want, then paste that expression into the position property of one of the photos. change the name that in quotes on the first line to be the name of the photo that you animated (or first change the name of that photo to 'Leader').

drag though the timeline to see how the second photo follows the first and make adjustments to the offset value (that value is in seconds).

once you have that the way you like it, select the position property with the expression on it and choose edit>copy expression only. then select the rest of the photos and paste. they should all follow the leader in a snake like ribbon.

the expression does assume that the leader has the lowest index (closest to the top in the timeline), the order of the followers is determined by layer order, ie. if you want a different photo to be in the second position, move it to just bellow the leader.

if you need the photos to rotate as they follow the path, select all the photos and choose layer>transform>auto orient and select along path.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Reuben Fink
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 27, 2013 at 1:55:06 am

I checked out the omni snake plugin but there's distortion and it's not quite the look i'm going for. The Follow the leader option is the closest one so far.

If I wanted to use particular what would be the proper settings so that the images would follow the emitter right now I've only found tuts on how to leave a trail but that trail doesn't keep up with the emitter. Thanks.

OSX 10.8.4
Equipment: 2.8 ghz 8 core Intal Mac Pro 3,1 Early 2008, 20 gig of ram
Aps: CS6 Production Premium, FCP Suite, Avid Media Composer


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Cassius Marques
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 27, 2013 at 2:23:35 pm

See if this helps: 6568_ribonpath.aep.zip


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Reuben Fink
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Oct 3, 2013 at 5:18:41 pm

YES!!! This is great. Exactly what I was looking for using particular. This is why I love the creativecow community. Although you might need to help me just a little further. I put a series of about 30 images one frame each in the Photo precomp that you provided then sequenced them. That worked now I'm just having problems tweaking things. Is there a way to change the space between the images in the Particular opt 2 version. I love the look of opt1 but i'm having a real odd anomaly occur where portions of the ribbon blink on and off. Any idea what might cause this?

Thanks a bunch. This is really on the right track.

OSX 10.8.4
Equipment: 2.8 ghz 8 core Intal Mac Pro 3,1 Early 2008, 20 gig of ram
Aps: CS6 Production Premium, FCP Suite, Avid Media Composer


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Reuben Fink
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Oct 3, 2013 at 6:58:48 pm

I think the major issue at this point is that I can't figure out how to control the spaces between the photos and also get them the right size. If I lower the number of particles a second then there's not enough particles in the ribbon. If I put say 30 particles a second then all of them stack on top of each other only showing a small part of the image. Same thing happens if I increase the size. They again start to stack.

OSX 10.8.4
Equipment: 2.8 ghz 8 core Intal Mac Pro 3,1 Early 2008, 20 gig of ram
Aps: CS6 Production Premium, FCP Suite, Avid Media Composer


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 27, 2013 at 5:46:04 pm

Create a precomp of your images or videos and apply Free Form or FreeForm Pro to distort in 3d space. You can create a ribbon this way that is 3 dimensional and you can easily edit the images or videos inside.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Mato Kokotic
Re: A ribbon of photos. How to...
on Sep 30, 2013 at 9:22:01 am

Would it be possible to make one wiiide precomp, animate ribbon inside it (left to right or vice versa), then apply puppet tool on that precomp in main comp? No 3d and stuff, but super simple.



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