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Another animated line question

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Branden CokerAnother animated line question
by on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:11:31 pm

Here's another seemingly simple animated line question that's been vexing me for two days now. How can I show a dashed line, attached at either end to two moving objects while also animating the dashes moving along the line. Think of an illustration of data moving from one point to another.

I can get as far as tracking the two points, creating an animated path, and using text to illustrate the dashes. However, I can't get the dashes to move after this. Animating the text on the path creates overlapping, and gives the illusion of a blinking line. You can see a short clip of what I've got so far here (dashes are static), and here's a still:

Branden Coker

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Walter SoykaRe: Another animated line question
by on Dec 14, 2010 at 8:19:05 pm

Rather than using text, I like to use a dashed stroke on a shape layer. You can use Trim paths to animate the start and end point. If you add dashes and gaps to the stroke, you can animate their offset to make the dashes crawl.

Aharon Rabinowitz did a great tutorial that explains all this in more detail here:

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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Kevin CampRe: Another animated line question
by on Dec 14, 2010 at 8:20:53 pm

try creating a shape layer that is just a line (layer>new>shape and use the pen tool).

then twirl down the attributes to get to contents>shape>stroke and set the width, color and dash as needed. then you can animate the dash offset to create the moving dashes.

you can animate the shape path the same way you animated the mask path to keep the endpoints where you need them.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Branden CokerRe: Another animated line question
by on Dec 14, 2010 at 9:38:41 pm

Walter/Kevin, thank you both! I had tried doing this with a path on a shape layer, but I hadn't yet tried trim paths. That was the key! I've got the desired effect now. Thanks again!


Branden Coker

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