I am trying to create an animation of the UK map being created by a load of circles. This has been created so far using particular and an ai. file as the layer emitter with no velocity on the particles, so all good. However I wanted the circles to not touch each other when they are popping into place.
I have had a look around however most answer seem to resort in using a 3d application which I do not have at my company. Does anyone have any suggestions? That would be amazing!
if you can live with the dots being in a grid pattern, then i think you can do this, but you need to go a step further with the uk shaped layer.
in version 1.5 (my version) you don't have much control over how the layer grid is used... you can set the grid spacing in the options (click 'options' at the top of the effect), but then particles emit from the grid all at once, or in a traversing pattern. later versions may have more options, like random, perhaps, so you might be good to go with just those options.
if not, you'll need to pre-compose the uk layer and create a way to have it reveal. this could be as easy as adding fractal noise, the threshold effect (animating the threshold level to go from black to white) and then adding unmult to make the black transparent (unmult is free from red giant, but you could also use channel combiner, setting luminance to alpha only).
the effect should look something like the uk eroding on.
now you can go back to the main comp and set up the grid spacing... the idea is that the particles will not emit from the transparent areas of the uk pre-comp, so as the uk comp reveals, particles will start to emit from those opaque areas, and since the particles are in a grid, you can determine how they are spaced.