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Bezier stroke with parametric endpoints?

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Jared FlynnBezier stroke with parametric endpoints?
by on Dec 3, 2009 at 10:52:17 pm

Good afternoon folks,

I'm hoping someone out there might be able to help me out of an After Effects pickle.

What I'd like to do is create a stroked Bezier curve with endpoints I can place/animate via X and Y coordinates. Think the Beam effect (with Start Point and End Point properties), but curved.

I'm working on a music video that has some futuristic HUD elements, and one look I'd like to achieve is to have a few small "widget" style nodes that connect via this curved stroke to other nodes. Sort of like the compositing nodes interface in Blender:







(check out around 4:30.)

Granted, I could animate a curve in the form of a mask, which I could stroke, but ideally I want a situation where I can use parenting or expressions to lock the endpoints of my curve to the two nodes it connects.

I'm all ears to hacks and workarounds, so let rip with any ideas! Thanks so much in advance.

-J


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Anders HattneRe: Bezier stroke with parametric endpoints?
by on Dec 4, 2009 at 11:14:56 am

For now the only thing I can contribute with is two nulls and tie the start and end points of the Beam effect to either null.
That will only create a straight line.

How to get the curve or if you could use these nulls to move vertex points in a mask, I don't know, ...yet!!

http://www.ardillamedia.com


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Jared FlynnRe: Bezier stroke with parametric endpoints?
by on Dec 4, 2009 at 8:05:45 pm

Hi Anders,

Thanks for the comment-- I've actually been using the null/Beam effect combo for other elements in my scene (I managed to build some really cool wireframe geometry that way). Right now the only trick is the curve... if only path points were parametric!


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Walter SoykaRe: Bezier stroke with parametric endpoints?
by on Dec 4, 2009 at 3:19:58 pm

How about shape layers with the puppet tool? The puppet pins are controllable with expressions.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chris WrightRe: Bezier stroke with parametric endpoints?
by on Dec 4, 2009 at 7:10:21 pm

I just did a quick test with a shape line and cc bender and it looked exactly like the video. The plus side, you can easily keyframe parts, sections, bending style, easily with cc bender.


http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Jared FlynnRe: Bezier stroke with parametric endpoints?
by on Dec 4, 2009 at 8:10:14 pm

Hi there Walter and Chris,

Great ideas. The puppet technique has a lot of potential-- the real challenge being some clever maths on the puppet pins to allow the object to move/warp without mangling the layer (which ALWAYS happens to me when I use the Puppet tool).

Using this in conjunction with Chris' CC Bender idea may just do the trick for me. Thanks so much guys!


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