11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2009 1:49 PM by teetime17

    How to apply image or footage to shape?

    teetime17 Level 1

      How do I apply an image or footage to a shape layer. Also, is possible to apply a different image to the front and back of the shape? I am using AE CS4.

        • 1. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee
          How do I apply an image or footage to a shape layer.

          Teetime: By their very definition, shape layers are vector-based. They can't contain bitmap images like photos or video.

          If I understand correctly what you want to do, you can use the content of a shape layer as a track matte for any footage item. In that case, the shape layer would act as a mask for the footage.

          To do this, place the footage/photo/graphic directly below the shape layer in the timeline, and then press the Switches/Modes button at the bottom of the timeline panel. In the TrkMat menu for this item (right next to the blend modes), choose "Alpha" so that the footage is masked by the opacity values of the shape layer directly above.

          If this is not what you wanted to do, then let me know.

          For more information on masking layers with the contens from other layers, see Tracking mattes and traveling mattes in After Effects Help.

           

          Also, is possible to apply a different image to the front and back of the shape?

          I assume you mean a back side in 3D space, that shows when you rotate the layer or move a camera in the 3D scene?

          To do this, create a second layer to use as back side, nudge it back in 3D space a tiny bit so that it's behind the other layer (0.1 pixel will do!) and then set the first layer as a parent for the back side, so that any transformations you perform on the front side layer are automatically applied to the back side layer.

          • 2. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            Also, is possible to apply a different image to the front and back of the shape?

             

            Check this: http://www.motionscript.com/design-guide/invisible-facing-away.html. You need to create two layers, then use that expression on them - one layer as on the page, on the second you redefine the facing vector as [0,0,-1].

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
              teetime17 Level 1

              Both of you interpreted my question perfectly - these two complimentary techniques help me to better understand shapes and how to approach my problem. Thanks!

              • 4. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                teetime17 Level 1

                I have a followup question on this. I would like to have a matrix of 25 or so square or rectangle shapes, and would like to "flip" them more or less randomly to reveal the "back side" of each shape. I can see how I could do this using either technique presented earlier to flip individual cells front to back. What I would now like to do is create my basic framework of cells and animate the flip using slug images. Then for each new project I will replace the front and back side slugs with the appropriate images. I have both Illustrator and After Effects CS4. Any general suggestions how to most efficiently put this together? I'm thinking Illustrator might be the best tool for creating the matrix of cells and slicing the images, but use AE to assemble and animate the cell flips. Since I will be replacing the slugs with new front and back images I want this to be as efficient as possible. Any better ideas?

                 

                Jerry

                • 5. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                  Well, using Illustrator or something else is a matter of what kind of content do you want to create. If you want to do it with vector-based shapes, it's a great idea. A ton of people do this, because of the great design tools in AI, and you also have the scalable nature of vector graphics as an advantage. If you're going to use bitmap images, you may want to slice things in Photoshop. It's up to you. Bear in mind, though, that Illustrator uses an object-based model that invites you to create multiple objects per layer, while AE uses a layer-based model. Because of this, multiple objects in an Illustrator layer will come in as a single entity. This is because AE can't separate things in AI files beyond the layer level (sublayers, groups, objects). So, one way to work around this can be: work in AI as usual, but at the end distribute all the groups and objects to separate layers, using the "Release to Layers (Sequence)" command in AI's Layers panel.

                  • 6. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                    teetime17 Level 1

                    Aldolfo, thanks for the informative reply. I ended up using Illustrator to create an 8x9 rectangle matrix. I liked using Illustrator for this part of the workflow because it gave me an easy to understand approach for creating a precise matrix with 5px spacing between the cells.

                     

                    For anyone else interested in this: Basically I created one rectangle, duplicate eight times, and distributed horizontally to get a row of nine cells with 5px spacing, then grouped. Next, I duped the group seven times and distributed vertically with 5px spacing. Voila, matrix of 72 cells nicely spaced. Then I found this article referenced in the AE Help that provided some additional information about distributing the objects into layers for import into AE. Worked great. Again, thanks for getting me off on the right foot here.

                     

                    Jerry

                    • 7. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                      Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                      I am glad to hear that worked for you, teetime.

                      Note that you can achieve the same result directly in After Effects, by using using a shape in a Shape Layer with two instances of the Repeater - One to create the horizontal copies, and the second to repeat the patern vertically.

                      • 8. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                        teetime17 Level 1

                        Adolfo, you can save me a lot of work if in fact I can use the repeater for this. But recall from earlier in the thread I need to create a matrix of 72 cells that will be individually flipped to show the backside of the cell. Each of the cells is created by two identical shapes that represent the front and back of the cell, and a front image and a back image. For each cell, the front shape is parent to the back shape. As I understand the repeater, it creates virtual shapes that can't be controlled in the manner I intend. But I would love to learn that I am mistaken and can use the repeater's virtual shapes in my scenario. Tell me more.

                         

                        Jerry

                        • 9. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                          No, you're right. The Repeater wouldn't work in this case. I forgot about your need to flip the shapes.

                          • 10. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            If you want to have square or rectangular cells with a different image on front and back then I'd suggest you take a look at Card Dance. It is an effect that has been around since AE5.0 and would be perfectly suited to this application.

                             

                            The only prep work would be to set up your original artwork for the front and back faces. You can get an idea of how this plug-in works by viewing this tutorial.  You should be able to figure out the rest.

                            • 11. Re: How to apply image or footage to shape?
                              teetime17 Level 1

                              Rick, thanks for the suggestion regarding Card Dance. Originally I thought it wouldn't allow me to introduce the degree of randomness in the flips of the individual cells (cards). After your post, and while looking for a tutorial, I ran across a forum post from a gentleman who created an old mechanical train schedule board in AE using Card Dance. The mechanical train schedule board is close to what I am trying to represent. He mentions he improved the realism by incorporating some randomness, shadows, bevels, etc., but doesn't indicate how. I assume the randomness can be introduced via the gradient and will give that a try. But at the moment, I have what is surely a very basic question about Card Dance.

                               

                              I've started with a a simple one row, two column dance, with a front and back image so I can learn the basics. I can flip the two cards to their back side by rotating 180 about the y axis. But when it comes to rest at 180 with the back image showing, the cards are now joined along their outside edges, rather than the centerline edges. IOW, the two cards are transposed. I can see that I could keyframe the x positions to realign them, but I'm pretty sure there is a more basic thing here I am missing to have these properly align horizontally after the flip. Anyone?

                               

                              EDIT: I do understand that the transposition of the two halves of the backside image is what would happen in the real world, but I don't want the transposition for my purpose. I want the flip to reveal all the pieces of a new image properly assembled for viewing the image.

                               

                              Jerry