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Animate saw tooth around letters

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rich nosworthyAnimate saw tooth around letters
by on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:15:51 pm

Hi guys,

Have got letters that i want to animate a bunch of triangles around the outline so that the text has a chainsaw style effect. Anyone ever tried this or have any ideas how i'd go about it. Theres a lot of triangles to be animated so doing it by hand would be pretty full on. Is there maybe an expression based approach?

Or was thinking maybe theres a way to do it in particular, but just looking into that now

Any ideas would be helpful.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Animate saw tooth around letters
by on Dec 8, 2010 at 7:27:10 am

Use particular, create a triangular particle, set lights as emitter, make light follow path, draw a path for each letter and link one light to each path. Particles need to orient according to the path.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist

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Kevin CampRe: Animate saw tooth around letters
by on Dec 8, 2010 at 4:54:06 pm

you could also convert the text to masks, select a mask path (there will be one or more for each letter) then copy/paste the mask path into the position property of the triangle layer.

select the triangle layer and choose layer>transform>auto orient and choose along path.

then create an adjustment layer and add the echo effect. increase the echo # and adjust the echo timing. you should get repeating triangles around the mask path of a letter.

you can adjust the speed of the triangles by adjusting the timing of the position key frames. and you can add the expression loopOut() to make the triangle continue moving indefinitely.

you may also want to adjust the anchor point of the triangle to be on an edge, rather than in the middle.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Dave LaRondeRe: Animate saw tooth around letters
by on Dec 8, 2010 at 5:01:42 pm

To add to these gents' wise advice, I'd only add a design consideration: go look at a chain saw.

No kidding -- you'll learn a couple of things, because chain saw engineers have already solved the problem of keeping the teeth properly spaced while turning a 180-degree corner. Notice the size of the teeth and the radius of the curve.

Then think about the corners contained in an upper-case H, and think about what you'd have to do to that letter to make it a nice, smooth animation.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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rich nosworthyRe: Animate saw tooth around letters
by on Dec 8, 2010 at 8:24:38 pm

Thanks guys, great ideas. Gonna do a bit or experimentation today and see how i get along.


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