I would think the easiest thing to do would be to create the frame as a layer by parenting a black solid with a mask for the hole and a shape layer as the frame, put the pair above the image, set the solid as a track matte, then dupe the image and shape layers a bunch of times. When you duplicate a layer with a track matte the matte comes along for the ride. Then start with the top track matte and move the frames into position.
The shape layer frame will follow the track matte. When you have your montage laid out, recompose each pair and adjust the track Matt so only the frame and image are visible. You should be able to slide them in the position.
I am dictating this on my phone, when I get home, if I have some time, together a sample comp.
There are no scripts or plug-ins that I know of that will automate this process.
Thanks for that detailed reply, Rick. Yes, I know how to do it ... there are a few ways of course (like most things in AE ). But, yeah ... i'm looking for an automated way of handling it.
I'm surprised no one has made something like this, given the plethora of other scripts and plugins that do similar such things. I was actually surprised *I* didn't already have something like this, either as a plugin or script. It's still possible Ido, but just haven't come across it yet. Too many scripts/plugs.
OK, I'm going to edit this post now that I'm at a computer with an actual step by step.
- Create a new comp the size of you our final delivered project.
- Add a photo to the timeline
- Note the size of the photo and the scale to position the photo at it's final resting place
- Calculate twice the height and width of the photo and create a new solid that is this size
- Place the solid above the photo
- Create a mask in the solid at the exact center that is the size shape you want for your photo frame
- Either invert the mask or set the mask property to Subtract to reveal a small portion of the photo
- Set the solid as a alpha inverted track matte for the photo (you should now see only a portion of the photo
- Add a rectangular shape layer with only a stroke to act as the photo frame over the mask. You may have to use two shapes or create a mask on a shape if you want to simulate polaroids
- Make the shape layer the parent of the solid you are using as a track matte so the matte will stay lined up with the frame
- Here comes the fun, select all layers and duplicate them using Ctrl/Cmnd + D
- Immediately hold down Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + } to move all duplicates to the top
- Select the top shape layer and move the shape layer frame into a new position
- Pre-compose the top 3 layers
- Press the y key to select the Pan Benind or Anchor Point tool and move the pre-comp's anchor point to the center of the top frame
- Repeat step 11 through 15 until you have arranged your montage (it might be a good idea to have a template set up as a guide layer so you know where to put the frames
- Select all pre-comps and press Alt/Option + P to set a position keyframe for each pre-comp
- With all of the keyframe selected move them down the timeline about 3 seconds
- Now, with the CTI at the first frame drag each pre-comp into a starting position for that frame
- Preview and adjust the timing, then turn on motion blur
Your images will now assemble themselves into the final montage.
There is no script that I know of that will do all of this automatically, but it would not be too hard to write a script that would do the pre-composing if you have a ton of these to do. I'm guessing that with a little practice you could have a new picture frame created and moved into position in less than a minute. It takes me about 30 seconds. That means a 20 frame sequence should take you about a half hour. It might not be worth writing a script unless you have a ton of these to do. Select the bottom three layers and duplicate (Ctrl/Cmnt + D), group them at the top (Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + } ), move the top frame layer into position, then Shift + Ctrl/Cmnd + C to pre-compose, then move the anchor point of the pre-comp, then do it again.... When you're done set a few keyframes.
As I said, you could write a script, but you'd need a different script to move each frame into position and the script would only work for one layout. If you made a template to put on the bottom so you knew where do place the frames and which order you wanted them you could do this by hand very quickly. The sample project that I'm including which was just quickly thrown together took me less than 10 minutes. Replace my photo with one of yours and you'll get the idea.
Dropbox - photoMontage1_CS6.aep (Note: Dropbox will probably add a .txt extension to the .aep file. Just delete it and you should be able to open the project.
Garsh, thanks Rick. I still really do want to automate it at some point, but I REALLY appreciate the effort. I downloaded your aep file and will check it out in just a bit. Thanks again!
There are also dozens of Photoshop actions out there that do this sort of thing. As long as you can edit the action so that it doesn't flatten all the picture layers into one layer, you could then import that PSD into AE.
Rick, tried out your aep ... thanks again! That works pretty well. The one change I would (and will make) is that instead of a JPG (or other image) it should be a large comp containing the image. In this way you can get proper coverage, positioning, etc.
Interestingly enough, the picture I changed it to turned upside down. (Simply 180'd the comp.)
Thanks, display-artist ... that's a cool script, but not exactly what I need. I can, of course, easily add borders to all of them, but ...
... unless I'm overlooking something obvious (which is certainly possible), there isn't a way to have rotations, larger overlaps, etc. Basically, the object needs to rotate or be in any spot, but hold a specific part of the image in it's correct place.
That may be the way to go ... I actually got the idea while working Photoshop and thought it would be cool to animate. I'll have to investigate that further. Thanks. Can you point me to anything specific?