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Keyframing hundreds of images

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Kevin Sawicki
Keyframing hundreds of images
on Nov 8, 2013 at 12:19:42 am

Hello Creative Cows,

I have collected over 1000 pictures of my co-workers and would like to make a collage in the shape of a christmas tree.

I've been following this tutorial:

At 1 minute and 34 seconds, he sets a keyframe at 10 seconds, then he sets a keyframe at 0 seconds and drags the photo off the canvas. He proceeds to do this with all of the layers.

Considering I have over 1000 photos/layers, is there any "easy" way to do this step? Maybe an expression? Sorry, I am really new to after effects and couldn't figure out what to search.


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Dave LaRonde
Better get busy!
on Nov 8, 2013 at 12:39:31 am

Nope, that's the way to do it. No shortcuts around a simple animation like that.... particularly when each is a different image, and each has a different motion path.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Cassius Marques
Re: Keyframing hundreds of images
on Nov 8, 2013 at 11:45:48 am

no expression would be ideal, some photos may get to run within undesired moments/places. Its way quicker to drag a bunch to each side and then adjust some. Half the way there it will look random enough.

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John Cuevas
Re: Keyframing hundreds of images
on Nov 8, 2013 at 3:01:07 pm

This script might help you out: Randomizer. If you can, try to donate to those guys too.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Kevin Camp
Re: Keyframing hundreds of images
on Nov 8, 2013 at 10:30:42 pm

if you want all the photos to start scattered at random positions and then move to a final position, then an expression like this could work.

w = 1280;
h = 720;
dur = 10; // value in seconds

startPos = random([0,0],[w,h]);
endPos = value;

define the w and h values as needed, they define the width and height of the area that will be used to set the initial random position (with current values the layer will be placed randomly within a 1280x720 rectangle)

dur is the number of seconds you want the layer to move from the random position to the final position.

what i'd do first is set all your layers up in the final arrangement, then copy/paste this expression into the position property of one of them.

set the w, h and dur values as needed, then select that layer's position property, choose edit>copy expression only, select the rest of the layers and choose paste. all the layers should move from a random position to their final position over the duration that you set in the expression.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Bosco Mattel
Re: Keyframing hundreds of images
on Nov 11, 2013 at 1:49:22 am

Animate it backwards ;) form the shape in the laste keyframe and in the fist randomply move all layers one by one

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