8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2018 4:06 PM by Gutterfish

    Arrow heads on Trim path?

    Joolsd Level 1

      I have lots of arrow animation on lines to do.


      I know about the copy and paste of a mask onto the position attribute of an object, (which could be the arrow head.) But this is really not a nice way to work. Particularly if the mask you are orientating along is in itself morphing into different shapes.

      There is a plugin if I remember, called 'easy arrow'. But I was hoping there would be an easier option within the layer shapes hidden away somewhere?

      Are arrow heads, on Trim path is this possible? A bit like the ones in illustrator or InDesign?





        • 1. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Unfortunately no. Depending on what kind of shapes you use you canb use some creative hacks like text layers and it would of course also be possible to create some expressions that may take off some of the burden, but that's pretty much it.



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          • 2. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
            Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

            in addition to what M suggested, here's a nice arrow preset that consists or a text layer with an explanation of the exact ingredients:


            I use a simplified version of the same recipe and find it very useful.


            please file a feature request if you want arrows for shapes, taper edge maybe or even the ability to move and distort any layer along a drawn path: Feature Request/Bug Report Form

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            • 3. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
              Joolsd Level 1

              Thanks All. The plugin looks quite nice. The only thing missing is the style of type of arrow.


              There is ''easy arrow and it is possible to change the head.


              I think I have managed to create this effect with the default settings.

              • 4. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                There are other options. One of my favorites is to copy the path and paste it to the position property of a custom arrowhead made with a shape layer. You then adjust the timing by moving the rove over time keyframes you will get in the motion path. I should probably do a quick tutorial. Here's how it looks:


                Here's a project file from a couple of years ago: Dropbox - bendyArrow.zip

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                • 5. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
                  Joolsd Level 1

                  Thanks... yes this was the original way I did it.  It is easy to do with a simple arrow, but becomes more complex when there is a lot of bespoke actions for the arrow to do.  It is difficult to explain, but the arrows - also have to tween to a different position in the graph.


                  It isn't so much art or creative design on this occasion, but graphs and statistical graphic design.


                  I think this thread has been useful, think at the end of the day it is just a fairly difficult process to do.

                  • 6. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
                    Liran Tabib Level 1

                    Hi Jools

                    You should try ArrowHead (better late than never...), it's a fairly new script Iv'e been working on and it can easily reduce the time and effort you put into arrows, also because it can edit/create multiple arrows at once, based on lines created inside After Effects (masks/shapes) or imported from Illustrator/Photoshop.


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                    • 7. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
                      Ben U

                      +1 for arrowhead. Just purchased it -- very smart scripting that you can add right to your existing shape lines.


                      A couple notes:

                      - the trial version does NOT allow you to test it on your own custom shapes. (So it's a bit disconcerting to buy the software when you aren't quite sure it's going to work -- but it does work, or for me it did)

                      - If you're animating the Trim in your original paths, you will need to re-animate everything with the "Arrowhead" effect that is created. It has a Start and End property that is not animated (or didn't animate for me). Personally, in most cases I imagine it could just copy the trim keyframes over and get the same results without requiring re-animation. But if you take note of where your keyframes are, or perhaps even make a duplicate and be ready to copy-paste, it won't slow you down much. And once it's underway, you can work very fast with it.

                      • 8. Re: Arrow heads on Trim path?
                        Gutterfish Adobe Community Professional

                        I like the path arrow script that  Roei Tzoref  linked to because you can taper the tails which none of the other scripts do.  You can add your own "heads" as well it just takes a few extra steps.  It's text so all you have to do is delete the last character (the arrow) and then copy paste the mask info to your own custom layer and correct the timing & orientation so it lines up.  Also since its text based you can use any letter of any font and special characters without the extra steps.  Path arrow is really smart script and0 the way to go

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