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How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)

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alex ezorskyHow to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 1:35:13 am

Hey yall,

My project plan is to have a tree grow made out of people. I know how to make a a tree with lightning, which is great because the effect automatically generates the right kinda of fractal. But I've got footage of subjects going from a grouching position (the bud) to an outstretched position (a grown branch). My goal is to somehow automate the process of having these videos (I would precomp them to have the same bud point and end point) grow a tree.

As far as I can tell this would require 2 things:

1. Automatically stacking sequential layers in a fractal (ideally somewhat randomized) form, that ensures each bud starts at the endpoint of the previous branch.

2. Dynamically timing precomps so that child branches don't grow from the bud (with a scale of 0 at first so buds don't sit in the air waiting) until their parent has reached full growth.

3. As a cool 3rd optional effect I figured it would be cool if it all scaled relatively too. In other words apart from the branch growing due to the actor standing up, the branch's scale value could grow as well and its child would move outward as if still affixed to the parent's the endpoint.

Any thoughts ways to do this would be supremely appreciated.

Thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 4:47:08 pm

That sounds pretty time-consuming -- lots of keyed footage inside precomps, with Time Remapping applied to freeze the image after moving from a crouch to standing. Lots of adjusting anchor points to make rotation of layers to create the branches.

And it sounds like it could be a pretty thin-looking tree, too -- your trunk would only be 1 person wide, as would all the branches.

Am I missing something here?

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


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alex ezorskyRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 5:33:40 pm

Thanks Dave for your response.

I think the person I wish I could ask my question to is Cyriak, who seems to do this fractal tree growth of video clips in every one of his videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Q3EEaPj-5qs#t=155


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alex ezorskyRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 5:42:53 pm

This!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W_ETBVdoKc#t=29

Even just the beginning, neverless the insanity towards the end.


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 5:54:43 pm

You mean other than the fact that it was done in a 3D application and not AE?

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


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alex ezorskyRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 7:34:41 pm

Cyriak uses AE even though it's hard to believe.

I'm now playing with a concept where I have all my different dancer layers sitting at an origin point, and I have a bunch of nulls that have motion paths which draw out the tree. I figured I can just use an expression to tell each consecutive layer to be at the position of a null valueAtTime(index), and it seems to work great. But now the issue is having the layers auto orient the same way the nulls do. Since auto-orient doesn't create keyframes there is no rotation value for me to parent the layers rotation to on the null. I tried looking up a relative .toComp for rotation but can't find anything.

Any idea how I could parent a layers rotation to a layer with auto-orient?


Thanks!


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alex ezorskyRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 7:39:29 pm

Here it is, sorry, I'll do more research before I post again

http://www.motionscript.com/mastering-expressions/lst-2d-auto-orient.html


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Richard GarabedainRe: How to make a growing tree made of layers (not a stroke or lightning)
by on Jan 16, 2015 at 4:50:44 pm

child branches...lol, because they would actually be children...right?


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