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Dot grid - random opacity off to on

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Chris VoDot grid - random opacity off to on
by on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:58:15 pm


I'd like to animate each individual light dot to randomly come on, eventually filling the entire shape.

From this:

to this:

I'm toying with a few options but unsure which is the best route:

1. Import individual AI layers to turn on/off - this seems like the most straight forward route but unfortunately theres about 800 layers and every time I attempt to import, AE freezes even though the AI file is tiny <600kbs.

2. Copy/paste the dots as masks onto a solid - getting the masks in was quick but going through and doing the opacity for all the dots is very tedious, particularly when I'm trying to have them randomly come on (vs. in sequence).

3. CC ball - I've replicated the dot grid using CC ball but unsure what the next step is in terms of animating the opacity randomly for each individual dot.

Last resort is I'm going option (2) but just wondering if anyone has a better technique.


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Cassius MarquesRe: Dot grid - random opacity off to on
by on Oct 9, 2015 at 7:35:09 pm

If you'd like to have them show with some overlapping, I'd add a noise to a solid, apply the mosaic effect with the same number of rows and colums and animate the noise's brightness.

If you need it to be random but sequential than I can't think of anything but to do by hand.

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Chris VoRe: Dot grid - random opacity off to on
by on Oct 11, 2015 at 6:19:56 pm

Ended up doing it by hand by importing a very tiny .Ai file—sometimes brute force is the only thing you can do, but happy with the results.


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Ashish GuptaRe: Dot grid - random opacity off to on
by on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:13:09 pm

After you have created your solid with all the masks, you can separate each mask on a different layer using MasksToLayers (, then animate the opacity of all layers from 0 to 100.

Sequence the layers using Animation- keyframe assistant- sequence layers command.Now you can add a little bit of randomness using Layer random shifter (

Ashish Gupta
Motiongraphics artist and 3d generalist

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