I want to have a bunch of circles arranged on the screen in the shape of a circle, evenly distributed, and I need for them to be able to move inward and outward from the center (all at the same time). What would be the best way to go about doing this?
This sort of works, but what would be the best way of animating the path? I'm having a lot of difficulty with that aspect of it, as masks don't have their position values as readily accessible as say, a layer position property. I need a perfectly circular mask in the center of my composition to animate from a size of nothing, up to where the edges are off screen.
If you have fit to path for the text tool then it's lot easier.
Animating the path requires keyframes to the mask shape property. To draw a perfect circle, choose the elliptical quickmask tool and depress the shift key as you click and drag the mouse. To draw the center, move the cursor to the center of the comp. clcik in the center and drag the mouse. As you drag, add the ctrl key and then the shift key. The ctrl key draws the circle/sllipse from where you first clicked and dragged the mouse.
The path an be of any size and shape - ie, a very small circle (one pixel) and extend out, outside of the comp panel. The tricky part is to animate the text (circles) to keep in sync with the circle but this is actually quite easy.
broadcastGEMs - AEPro Volume 02 (Professional Adobe After Effects Project Files - Now Available)