9 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2017 5:31 PM by monicaw73787342

    Line tracing, animation

    monicaw73787342 Level 1

      Hello AE Forum,


      I have a logo of three loops that are cut off in the middle with arrows and that have frayed edges,  and I am wondering what the best way to have this appear as if it were drawn on the screen so that it is exact. Is Live Tracing in Illustrator this best way, or is there a better function in AE?

        • 1. Re: Line tracing, animation
          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

          show us the logo, show as a reference how you want it to move. making vectors from pixels using image trace (recently called "live trace") won't help you in Ae for revealing elements.

          • 2. Re: Line tracing, animation
            Kyle Hamrick Adobe Community Professional

            There are many tutorials online detailing approaches to what you're after. It's often referred to as "write-on," though this may not always involve the AE effect of the same name.

            If the logo is already a vector, that may make step 1 below easier. If it's not, Live Trace in Illustrator may create more problems than it solves. As Roei said, it'll 100% depend on what the logo actually looks like.


            The basic steps are:
            1. Cut up the logo into pieces, so you can isolate each "stroke" that makes up the logo.
            2. Pick the appropriate technique to reveal each piece.*
            3. Play with the timing until it feels right.


            *The most common solutions will probably involve some combination of the following: masking, mattes, Stroke effect, Write-On effect, shape layers w/ Trim Path.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Line tracing, animation
              monicaw73787342 Level 1

              Thanks Kyle and Roel,


              Here are the loops. I am trying to figure out how to recreate each of the arrows that make up the loops so they appear on the screen as if they were drawn on, and the one with frayed edges to be drawn emerging out once the frayed edges appear on the screen in some fashion. This is not a vector image yet. Appreciate the personal help, have gone through tutorials and can't find the right one!




              facebook - logo png.png

              • 4. Re: Line tracing, animation
                brian704 Level 3

                You may be able to use Particular if you have it. You can get the particles to follow a path made by animating a light used as an emitter. If memory serves there is a tutorial on the Red Giant site that lays out how to do this and add the arrow heads. You could also create the "frayed" pieces the same way.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Line tracing, animation
                  Kyle Hamrick Adobe Community Professional

                  The path itself should actually be pretty easy. Fortunately for you, it's segmented already, so you don't even have overlaps to deal with! I wouldn't bother with making it a vector, unless you have another need to do so.


                  [Particular seems WAY overkill in this scenario, though it can certainly be useful for this technique sometimes.]

                  The main chunk of this could be revealed by using the Stroke effect.
                  1. In AE, bring your logo into a comp. Use the pen tool to trace an open path that follows the loops.
                  2. Apply the Stroke effect, set Paint style to "Reveal Original Image," and animate the Start/End values to your liking.


                  The "frayed" parts can be accomplished the same way, though you'll want to do those on a separate layer. Depending on the brush size you choose (in Stroke) and how precise this needs to look, you may have to trim those off the main path so you don't see the overlapping bits as they're revealed.


                  Some of these should show you the process exactly: https://www.google.com/search?q=after+effects+stroke+reveal


                  The catch: are you wanting the arrowheads to lead the path as it draws on? That becomes more complicated.

                  • 6. Re: Line tracing, animation
                    brian704 Level 3

                    I was assuming he wanted the arrows to draw on with the line - that's why I suggested Particular

                    • 7. Re: Line tracing, animation
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I would use trim paths on shape layer with stroke only as a track matte to reveal the drawing underneath. Depending on the speed of the animation you may be able to get away without doing a bunch of masking. This is pretty straight forward stuff if you understand trim paths and track mattes. Particular can be used as a track matte to reveal lines but it's way more complicated than is needed for a project like this.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Line tracing, animation
                        Kyle Hamrick Adobe Community Professional

                        If the arrowheads need to move with it, something like this would be infinitely easier than messing with Particular. Since we're making assumptions here, I'm also going to make the educated guess that someone who doesn't know how to do this technique probably doesn't have a need to own Particular.


                        Particular is great for this when you've got a path of varying width, or when it needs an organic, ink-spready feel, but that doesn't seem to be what's at play here.

                        • 9. Re: Line tracing, animation
                          monicaw73787342 Level 1

                          Thank you so much Kyle! Don't mind the assumption at all, just needed basics with this and didn't know about this preset  And thanks everyone else for taking time to help!