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follow leader path with a displaced path, delay or offset

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Russell Beyer
follow leader path with a displaced path, delay or offset
on Feb 2, 2016 at 5:39:19 am

I have a layer Car A following a motion path and I want another layer Car B to follow the same path however at a different position in the comp and with delay and offset.

The easy way to do this would be to precompose Car A and then copy and paste for Car B. But I also want to delay and/or offset the motion and I would much prefer to do this using an expression but I am not sure this is possible.

I will have over a hundred cars all with slight variations of motion, path, delayed movement and offset.

Would anyone know if this is possible? and what expression to use or direct me to a tutorial that can help?

Here's an image, of what I am trying to do, I have also attached the .aep file I am working on.

9734_testcarfollowleader.aep.zip

- The top 2 cars are just the same precomp copied twice.
- The bottom car will hopefully have an expression that can follow another cars path but in a different position with delay and offset.

Cheers -Russell


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Walter Soyka
Re: follow leader path with a displaced path, delay or offset
on Feb 2, 2016 at 11:12:35 am

Check out Dan Ebberts's excellent "Creating Trails" expressions here:
http://www.motionscript.com/mastering-expressions/follow-the-leader.html

To modify this to include an offset, add three Slider Control effects to your follower layer and name them delay, offsetX and offsetY.

Use an expression like this:
delay = effect("delay")("Slider"); //number of frames to delay

d = delay*thisComp.frameDuration*(index - 1);
thisComp.layer(1).position.valueAtTime(time - d)+[effect("offsetX")("Slider"),effect("offsetY")("Slider")]


Now modifying delay, offsetX and offsetY will let you tune your animation for each layer individually. You could also subtly animate them (with additional expressions, if you wish), to introduce more variation.

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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Russell Beyer
Re: follow leader path with a displaced path, delay or offset
on Feb 3, 2016 at 3:41:27 am

Thank you, that worked like magic. I am still a beginner, using offset Y and X just went over my head. I have actually spent the past few days looking at Dan Ebberts's "Creating Trails" expressions, that website is gold. He even sent me the original source file!


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