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Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue

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James PiersonCopying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 11, 2013 at 3:18:36 pm

Hello,

I have an image I have drawn in Flash/Illustrator with the pen tool (so all the lines are paths, no fills).

From Illustrator I want to copy the path, and paste it into After effects as a mask, with the goal to apply the stroke effect, and also have an image follow the same path at the same time as stroke is revealing the image.

However, when I bring it into after effects there are 30+ masks, as the paths I am copying from Illustrator interpret as lots of individual paths, rather then one whole mask/path.

I know you can tick 'apply to all masks' within the stroke effect which is good, but I need to also copy the mask position into an assets position, so the asset follows the path as the stroke reveals the image and I cant do that with 30+ masks..

Is there any way of merging/combing masks inside after effects into one mask?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:24:00 pm

Auto-trace might help but a perfect result is dependent on your original masks. Otherwise, it's back to AI to massage the paths such that you will have fewer paths to work with in AE.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Darby EdelenRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 11, 2013 at 9:59:03 pm

I'd recommend using the Pathfinder to combine (Unite) the paths in Illustrator. You'll want to make a copy of them first.

Darby Edelen


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James PiersonRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 11, 2013 at 10:07:25 pm

Hi,

Thanks Roland and Darby for the replies.

I tried auto trace, it traces the image well enough, but again, it makes it into tons of individual masks, which means I cant have an image follow the masks path as the mask is revealed with stroke..(copying the mask path into the assets position)

I've also tried the unite option with the pathfinder in illustrator. I'm not sure if im doing it wrong, but it acts much the same as using the 'join' path command, where all the lines are joined but spread loads of crazy straight lines all over the image in doing so...


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Darby EdelenRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 11, 2013 at 10:20:32 pm

Can you share the Illustrator file in question or post some pictures to illustrate the problem?

Darby Edelen


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James PiersonRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 11, 2013 at 11:24:32 pm





I've attached a quick screen shot,

I just drew a simple snail to illustrate the problem. The top version of the snail is what I would like to bring into after effects as a single path (at the moment inside illustrator it says it is made up of 4 paths, despite all being connected).

Once in after effects I want to be able to apply the stroke effect, as well as copy the mask path properties into an assets positioning, so the asset follows along the path at the same time the stroke effect reveals the lines (in the screen shot, I would like the blue circle to following the path)

At the moment when I bring this image into after effects, it recognises it as 4 individual masks, which means I can still apply the stroke effect (using 'apply to all masks' option) and reveal the image, but I can't however use it to copy the mask path into an assets positioning.

This is just a simple example of the issue, as if the image was this simple I could just use the pen tool to quickly trace around the image and problem solved, but my actual image is a lot more complex and if I I could just get this to be recognised as one path it would save me a lot of hand masking time...

The image underneath the snail is the same snail as above, but with the 'unite' option applied to it in the pathfinder window. As you can see it joins everything up but with distorted straight lines.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 12, 2013 at 12:18:12 am

It's impossible to draw that image without round-tripping a similar path region at least four times if you intend to draw this without lifting your drawing device from the surface. I believe that this may be your issue in Illustrator - and hence AE.

Your best shot if to copy paste each mask's path into a position property. Each time you paste into the position prop, ensure that you remove duplicate first/last position points. Then check for validity of the path before pasting each subsequent path.

Once you've copied all the paths, apply Roving Keyframes and adjust the duration accordingly.

Before starting out, you will still have to decide how the overlapped paths will be drawn.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE/ACI


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Darby EdelenRe: Copying paths from Illustrator into After effects issue
by on Dec 12, 2013 at 8:10:01 pm

As Roland has already suggested the image you've provided is impossible to create with one path. The smallest number of paths you could possibly use to create that (or something very close to it) is 2. A path cannot branch into two directions as it would have to where the body of your snail meets the shell.

Additionally, the Unite operation needs closed paths to work properly so that Illustrator knows what is 'inside' the path versus 'outside' the path.

Darby Edelen


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