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adjusting dashes globally

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Malcolm DeSoto
adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:09:27 am

I'm creating and animating some dashes in AE.

I'm just using a shape layer and key framing mask shapes. On some shape layers, I have 20-30 shapes.

I'm trying to find a way to make global changes to all shapes, i.e. stroke size, dash number.

I can't seem to shift + click all the shapes and make global changes.

It's rather tedious going into every shape property one at a time.

Any help?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:18:46 am

If you can animate those properties (don't know if it's true), you can make an expression and pick-whip to the property in question on a master layer.

Change the master... they all change.

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


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Malcolm DeSoto
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:23:11 am

I guess that would be the easiest way. You still have to twirl through dozens of properties to pick-whip.

I wish there was a better way to create dashes. Is there any third party plug-in or alternate method aside from animating shape layers?

Using the stoke effect and adjusting the spacing is a little less clunky, but that only creates a dotted line, not a dash.


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John Cuevas
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 3:54:52 am

don't need to twirl to all to properties, just set up the expression for one layer. Then right-click the property and select "copy expression only". The select all the layers you want to add it to and "cntl-v". Done.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"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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Malcolm DeSoto
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:28:06 am

What would be perfect is a Beam effect where you can parent the start and end points to objects, control thickness, spacing and key frame the shape.

Qucik, someone code this and become rich...


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Walter Soyka
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 11:21:41 am

You can use the timeline search feature -- really more of a filter feature -- to make the multi-selection of the dash property easier across layers.

Deselect all layers (or select only the layers you'd like to limit the search to). Press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F (PC/Mac) or click in the timeline search text box next to the magnifying glass. Type "dash" in the text area. Only properties which contain the word "dash" will appear in the timeline.

Ctrl+click or Cmd+click each of them to multi-select (as you note, Shift+click won't multi-select them). You can now adjust them together, or as Dave notes, paste an expression on them to link them so you don't have to repeat this exercise in the future.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Malcolm DeSoto
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 11, 2014 at 8:17:50 pm

Thanks, all. These are all decent work arounds that will make things easier.


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Kevin Camp
Re: adjusting dashes globally
on Dec 12, 2014 at 12:37:34 am
Last Edited By Kevin Camp on Dec 12, 2014 at 12:44:47 am

What would be perfect is a Beam effect where you can parent the start and end points to objects, control thickness, spacing and key frame the shape.

Qucik, someone code this and become rich...


use the beam effect then add the venetian blinds effect and add this expression to the direction property:

p = effect("Beam")("Starting Point")-effect("Beam")("Ending Point");
radiansToDegrees(Math.atan2(p[1],p[0]))


then just set the transition completion and width values as needed to create the dashes.

i'm not sure i'll become rich on this though...


Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


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