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Mask points snapping/animating

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Kristian MaňasMask points snapping/animating
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 12:58:31 pm

Hi ive been looking everywhere and wasnt able to find good souliton.



I got those 13 triangle shape layers and i just want somehow snap poinds of the shapes together.
Totaly basic thing :( but seems that its impossible in AE. Or at least be able to select two or three points together. Yes ive found scripts but making 30 or so poins, animate them without actualy seeing the shapes and then use some nasty script to every point is even more work. Even snap to grid doesnt seem to work, it looks like it works for one point but the other one cant attach to the same spot.

I dunno if im doing something wrong, maybe it will be somehow possible if i put all shapes under one shape layer or i just dont know. I take every solution, workaround, even differend software. I just have to do this and i need to focus on animation not the software limitations.

THX for any help.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Mask points snapping/animating
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 4:10:07 pm

It would help to know what you're trying to accomplish by using these triangular shapes.

And why are you using shapes? Can you use solids with masks?

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


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Kristian MaňasRe: Mask points snapping/animating
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 5:43:45 pm

Im sorry i thought its clear. I just want to be able to animate the bird thats on the image. Make him fly and change his shape to some other abstract forms (animals).

And of course i can use masks with solids but does it change anything?



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Dave LaRondeRe: Mask points snapping/animating
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 6:30:23 pm

If you're familiar with Photoshop, you can make these triangular shapes easily, and have the edges precisely the same size. Then import the document as a comp, and adjust the Anchor Points of the layers in AE where they need to rotate. You can also parent one layer to another to animate the wings. You'll also want to get familiar with null layers.

That's the flight part. But changing into an entirely different animal? That's going to require some very involved planning to get it to work.

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


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Kristian MaňasRe: Mask points snapping/animating
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 7:02:19 pm

Thank you for helping me here.

I understand what you mean, the thing is im just trying to find way to line up the vertexes (path points). And the planing you are talking about is already done, i am mainly a graphic designer and i got the abstract shapes of different animals, made of same number of triangles... this is not the problem.
I was planing to do animate it manualy.

Im just looking for some better workflow or how to say it. This way i have to change point sometimes of three triangles to the same spot. I mean i just need to parent (pickwhip or whatever i dunno) the possition cordinates of those vertexes togehter. But in AE i cant use expressions on position of just one vertex. (im sure you know this much better then me) and scripts ive found are no help to me too because i cant see the triangles.

Even some kind of snap point to point would be big help to me. (grid snaping doesnt seem to work as i said before).

I appreciate your help.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Mask points snapping/animating
by on Jan 19, 2011 at 9:55:50 pm

I'm afraid you can't snap layers together at the edge. You have to line the corners up manually.

Furthermore, the location of the Anchor point on a layer will be an important consideration for the type of animation you want to do; a layer rotates around the Anchor Point. It too must be carefully aligned along the edge to make it work as you wish.

You seem to be frustrated by the way AE does animation. If you know of another application that will do what you need it to do, I recommend that you use it.

It's not fun to learn certain aspects of After Effects simply to achieve a certain task. There are too many basics that can easily be overlooked, which leads to trouble.

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


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