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Growing a branch? NOT what you think...

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Stu HuntGrowing a branch? NOT what you think...
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 2:21:02 am

I'm a moderate AE user, and can usually figure out how to do what I need to (though it may take me 10 times longer than you gurus), but I'm still stumped on how to pull off something that should be relatively simple.

I'd like to achieve a growth effect similar to the one seen in this video, using our new church logo:

Of course I considered using vector paths and masks, but since this tree trunk has a defined endpoint throughout the animation, I don't think stroking the mask or filling the mask would work--all I'm getting is a blunt leading edge, not a nice, tapered, continuous "branch". I'm assuming there's some scaling going on here to achieve the width expansion, but beyond that I'm stumped.

I've looked all around for some forums/discussions/tutorials but haven't been able to find any answers. I also tried to contact the original creator, but have never gotten a response. Can you give me any suggestions, advice, magic beans, etc?

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Growing a branch? NOT what you think...
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:52:30 am

I have used a combination of scale and mesh distort to get that effect. Basically you set the mesh on the end frame undistorted, keyframe, then distort backwards, animating the scale as well to zero.
I bet you can use puppet tool to achieve a similar result as well.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania

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Dave JohnsonRe: Growing a branch? NOT what you think...
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 1:55:07 pm

Before you animate scale, you'll want to move the anchor points of the tree trunk and/or branch layers too so that they scale from the base instead of the middle.

Sorry, I've got no magic beans for ya.

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Kevin ReinerRe: Growing a branch? NOT what you think...
by on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:53:48 pm

Divide it into parts and work backwards. For each leaf move the anchor point to the base where the stem would attach and animate scale, maybe some rotation, and distort the path if it's from an AI file. For the truck, I would just animate it growing from nothing up into a sapling with no roots, and then as the trunk expands have the roots grow outwards and thicker.

Work backwards and play with it until it looks right.

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