So I traced a bunch of hand written text in Illustrator, copied and pasted into AE, applied the stroke effect, set it to reveal image, and the stroke begins on the right and moves left. So now the text looks like it's being written on backwards. Anyone come across this before? Tracing in AE results in the stroke effect moving left to right, but I don't want to have to retrace all this text in AE or redo it backwards in Illustrator. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated at this point.
When you select a mask in the AE timeline and look at it in the viewer window, the square that represents one of the vertices is a little bigger than the others ... that is the mask's first vertex and, thus, where a stroke effect will begin. Just select the vertex on the opposite end and go to Layer > Mask Path > Set First Vertex.
You can also accomplish the same by reversing the stroke effect, but it's simpler and makes more sense to just reverse the mask vertices.
I see what you're saying and what you're saying should be working as you say it, but it doesn't. The bigger anchor point (first vertex) is where it should be, but the mask begins revealing on the stroke from the last anchor point and moves left. So I tried setting the last anchor point as the first vertex and all that does is delete the last anchor point and make a line segment back to the original first vertex. By reversing the effect do you mean time reversing the key frames? If so, that's just the opposite of what I want the effect to do. I want it to reveal the image (in this case the hand written text), not erase it. Any other ideas? I think I'm going to have to retrace this whole image in AE.
Yes I did finally! I asked an after effects smartie pants at the studio where I interned. I feel so dumb now. So when you apply the stroke effect, instead of messing with the 'Start' parameter, leave that alone and do all your animation with the 'End' parameter. It will animate from left to right just like I wanted it to. Of course make sure you have the effect set to reveal on image. Let me know if that doesn't work or is confusing. If it doesn't work, write back exactly what you've got set up.