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Aqeel Sami
family tree
on Nov 8, 2009 at 1:18:34 pm

how could i make a family tree by starting drawing lines beginning with the family name then going downward showing grandfather and grandmother and continue moving showing fathers and mothers and go downward again drawing sons and daughters. i tried to use write-on effect but it seems i am having a little problem do that there any help guys ?

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Kevin Reiner
Re: family tree
on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:16:53 pm

Explain a little more what it is you're trying to accomplish. Is it just the names that you're trying to write on, or do you have pictures of the family members?

If it is just the names, the write on effect (possibly combined with some animated masks and shape layers) should work. If you have illustrator, try this tutorial:

It will probably be a combination of many mask animations and write on effects. Do you have a reference picture or video to show what the final image looks like? You say that the write-on effect isn't working for you - what exactly doesn't work?

Good luck,

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Aqeel Sami
Re: family tree
on Nov 8, 2009 at 8:37:01 pm

i want to show a line that is revealed on screen moving downward and separate into two lines one goes to the left and the other goes to the right and everyone of these two lines form another two lines that go downward as well. the problem is that write on has only one direction of drawing and if i want to do that with write-on i should make many copies of the same work for each line moving in different direction.... finally pictures or names of family members appear each in its position of the tree.

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Kevin Reiner
Re: family tree
on Nov 8, 2009 at 10:18:55 pm

Yes, if you use the write-on effect you will have to use multiple instances of the effect. I did a quick test of it that is attached. It is a bit of busy work, but it can be done this way. One shortcut is that if you duplicate the effect, then select all of the keyframes in the new effect, you can adjust their positions all at the same time. Make sense?

I'm not at work and don't have access to AE CS3 right now. If I did, I would also check to see if you can do this using shape layers. Within shapes, you can also write on the stroke of the shapes. You might want to look into that.

And a third option would be to make your entire path in AI. Copy and paste that into AE, and try the stroke effect.

Good Luck,

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Nate Hanson
Re: family tree
on Nov 9, 2009 at 3:56:15 am

Maybe this might work for you:

1) Create a nice looking family tree in Photoshop.
2) Keep the lines on one layer, put the boxes or names on a different layer.
3) In AE, animate a mask to reveal the lines moving down the screen. You could create one large mask, and then animate the mask path property to stretch it vertically down the screen, revealing more and more of the line paths over time. Make sure the mask is set to ADD.
4) (optional) you could have the boxes or names scale up from zero to 100 as the line passes through its position in the tree. Maybe add a bit of a bounce to the animation (0% -> 110% -> 100%).

Nate Hanson
Pilothouse Films

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