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Animated 3D arrow (think airline routes)?

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Brice ShultzAnimated 3D arrow (think airline routes)?
by on Apr 7, 2010 at 5:09:55 pm

I was wondering how one can make a set of arrows that arc up in 3d from one area of a map to another. It would be flat like a ribbon, and the arrows fly through the air in an arc, and land on their target (the end of the curve). I was wondering how this could be done.

An example of what I'm looking for (but with more prominent arrows/less lines): http://www.barnabu.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/usa-air-routes-google-earth.JPG OR http://airlinecrisis.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/aloha_airlines-route-map.j...

Can you map a 2d object (the arrow) flat onto a curve and animate it in a third dimension from one location to another?

Thanks!


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Erik WaluskaRe: Animated 3D arrow (think airline routes)?
by on Apr 7, 2010 at 6:20:28 pm

"Can you map a 2d object (the arrow) flat onto a curve and animate it in a third dimension from one location to another? "

Not exactly, because you can't bend a layer along a curve like you're wanting to do in AE. Zaxworks makes a plug in for AE that does exactly that but it's a few bucks:
http://www.zaxwerks.com/3dserpentine/index.shtml


-E


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Animated 3D arrow (think airline routes)?
by on Apr 7, 2010 at 7:05:56 pm

Yes. Serpentine does that.

You could also get 3d ribbons with Particular. It would be a little tricky, but I think it's possible. Make a small comp and put a thin line in there. In your main comp make your particle type a textured polygon. Use your precomp as the particle type. Make your velocity a very low number and set your particles to orient to motion. Then animate the emitter to go on the arrow's path and adjust the rotation of the particles to get it to look ribbon like. I would suggest creating a null object, making it 3d and tying the emitter position to the null object with expressions. That makes it a lot easier to smoothly animate it.

If we're trying to avoid 3rd party plugins, you could do it with CC Particle World too, but that might end up being less of a ribbon, more of a solid line.

Here's a tutorial on it.

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