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Map conquering animation

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John Wilson
Map conquering animation
on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:15:26 am


I'm looking to create a map animation, where countries that belong to certain factions are in a certain color. We've seen this in certain documentaries, for example about the second world war, how the if one country attacks another it shifts from color to color, essentially it fills the original color with another color. Like so:

How would I go about to create this?

Help appriciated!

Thank you

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Eric Holzapfel
Re: Map conquering animation
on Oct 11, 2011 at 2:26:37 am

Hello John,

This is not a trivial task, but doable in AE or Apple motion. I am working on just such a project, and
have it working up to a point. I have a problem with layer coordinates vs. comp coordinates.
I will not go into to this here, I plan to post on this forum, and hopefully get an answer.

On you your question. You will need to create a comp, or several comps. Also you will need several layers,
I will guess at these: you will need an audio layer, a basic map layer, with colors you need. You can start
with Photoshop, and work up the map, and create layers in photoshop for flags, same country but different color, etc. Then you can import this into AE, and set keyframes to turn on (or off) county colors, maps, etc.

This is just a quick summary of a typical workflow for a project like this. I have a similar project.
I start with a basic map of Germany (this is my project). That is one layer in a Photoshop doc.
then my next layer consists of red shapes (circles) and city names. I can change the opacity of these
objects to make them visible or invisible, etc. Next, I have a black solid layer, with opacity set at about
30 percent. This can be a layer in PS, or a layer added in AE. I create paths on the black solid layer,
which are displayed by a stroke (like painting).

That is a quick explanation. It does take some experience with AE to develop this. The learning curve can be steep (it is for me). I am 90 percent of where I want to be, but have not yet figured out how
to deal with my paths, positions, and objects.

keep at it.


Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop

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Darby Edelen
Re: Map conquering animation
on Oct 13, 2011 at 6:29:07 pm

There are a couple of ways to achieve this, but the easiest might be using Masks.

Once you have your Map layer, duplicate it and apply some new "conquered" color to it. Then you might consider changing the blend mode to Multiply or Color. Then create a series of masks on the top "conquered" map layer. I'd recommend working backwards, so create your masks to cover all of the territory that will become conquered, set mask path keyframes late in the timeline (when the pillaging and looting will is done) then move toward the beginning of the timeline and move your Mask points in toward the origin of the conquering army.

This doesn't match what you linked to exactly. If you're looking for a simpler sort of animation then you'd just need to mask individual countries, either in PS or AE, duplicate the 'conquered' countries, add some color to them, maybe change their blend mode and animate the layer opacity.

Similar process, just a different last step that would provide a very different feel.

Darby Edelen

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Visarion Galland
Re: Map conquering animation
on Mar 27, 2016 at 12:49:08 am

Hello, first of all, yeah I know this was posted around 5 years ago but I have been looking for help on this subject and have found nothing but this one post and I honestly do not know much about using Adobe After Effects so where can I get started on all of this?

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