. ,. . I have a spreadsheet with the dates of when each unit opened. I would like to have a spot on the right location on a map glow as each unit open up. Is there a way to do this in After Effects?
Unless your spreadsheet contains x and y coordinates in pixels based on your comp size for each location, a date for each location, a name for each location, and specific other data you want to reveal you can't do this automatically. To do it automatically you'll have to write a script to turn the csv values into layers, in points and locations for each layer. There's no plug-in that will do this for you.
Unless you're really good at scripting, or have a friend that is, or are willing to pay someone to write the script you'll have to do this manually by placing each dot on the map as layer, adding in the text manually, than setting the in point for each layer. You could write an expression for something like glow radius to eliminate the need to keyframe the initial glow of each dot. Something like this might do the trick.
ip = time - inPoint; //start counting frames at in point fr = ip / thisComp.frameDuration; // time to frames el = 30 * thisComp.frameDuration; // total effect length 30 frames F = 10; // glow factor ease(ip, fr, el-1) * F
This simply starts counting frames at the in point of the layer, defines the length of the effect, multiplies the glow radius by a factor sufficient to make the dots glow the way you want them to glow, then eases that glow factor between frame 0 and frame 30. You can slightly modify this expression for opacity and fade in each location. The expression for opacity looks like this:
ip = time - inPoint; //start counting frames at in point fr = ip / thisComp.frameDuration; // time to frames ease(ip, fr, 100)
All this does is start counting frames from the in point then ease between the first frame at 0 and 100%.
All you have to do is select both these properties and save them as an animation preset, then select all your location layers and apply the preset.
I hope this helps.
Right now, my spreadsheet has the date and geological location (i.e. Bilbao, Spain). I suppose I can go through each one and determine the x, y coord. of each one.
Unless there are a bunch of these locations it's probably easier just to apply the expressions to the location layers then drag them around on the map and set the in points. It would probably take you more time to figure out X and Y coordinates than to just drag the location layers in place. Scripting may also take a while to implement, troubleshoot, and make work.
BTW, here's a much easier expression to fade in a layer at the in point:
fr = 20; //number of frames to transition ft = fr*thisComp.frameDuration; //Convert time to frames ease(time, inPoint, inPoint + ft, 0, 100)
Hope this helps.
Hmmmmm... Maybe After Effects isn't the best application for this project. I have over 3,500 locations spaning 185 years. Any suggestions as to what would be best to use? Flash, Flash Builder, ???
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3500 locations is a bunch of data to sort through. There may be other options. Do you already have a map with the locations in place? If so, is it an Illustrator file? If it is you may be able to select all of the locations, move them to a new layer, then separate them into layers and open the file as a composition retaining layer sizes. This would simplify scripting and make the location marks accurate.
There are a bunch of questions that I would have liked to ask the client before tackling this problem. How accurate does the timeline need to be? Do we need to show each point? How long is the finished shot supposed to be? Could we use spreading areas instead of points? (first example vs second example). If the timeline must be accurate and the positions need to be accurate you'll have to either build a layered psd or ai file that you can use as a comp, plot the x, y position of each of the 3500 locations on the map, write a script, or do it by hand. There's no app that I know of that could do this easily. Making an accurate map is going to require a bunch of data entry or hand work.
Tell me a little more about the assets you have on hand and I may be able to come up with some other options.
I've been asked to update this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au9KiwEpyrw
I don't have any of the source files, they are unable to locate them. I would like to update the look a little as well to make the style look like: http://vimeo.com/9691077 but still use dots as each new location opens up. Everything needs to be under 3 minutes. If I need to, I can create an .ai or .psd file as a comp.
How important is accuracy? I mean, 3,500 locations in under three minutes means a minimum of 19.44 locations per second and 185 years means less than a year per second is going by.
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I tend to agree with Michael... Trying to be over-exact here is probably a futile exercise and absolutely missing the mark, even if some people may frown if they don't see their spot blipping on the screen. That being so, the inherent and obvious solution is not to try to pick pebbles from a rock and rely on tools that by themselves offer some mass replication facility like particle systems. I could well imagine that tools like Trapcode Form or even Particle Playground could easily simulate the more dense parts, if only fed with some suitable parameter maps to halfway control particle placement. You would then only have to place the less dense spots manually. Trying to place everything parametrically is not trivial and would also require the data to be available in a suitable format. For it to make sense, the city names would have to be associated with coordinates which in itself would consume a lot of time looking for the names on Google and writing down their longitudes/latitudes.... After that you need some code to parse the data and render something, so this easily becomes a matter of working on it several weeks even for someone who knows how to code. While most data visualizations are done in Flash, Processing or using scientific programs like EasyStat or Mathematica, it would be doable in AE, but with the limitations and requirements laid out above... Or more down to the point: This could cost a lot of money and require to hire people who can set it up for you...
It definitely doesn't need to be exact, especially when there are several dozen locations popping up at once. I guess I was looking for a script or data entry process that could quickly import the dates and locations without manually having to do so.
Making a script to input the dates and set the in points for the location dots shouldn't be too difficult.
I just tried duplicating layers in Illustrator, When I got up to 256 layers, selected them all then duplicated them the machine bogged down a bunch. This gave me another, possibly much better idea.
Particular. Tie the birth rate to the dates and, use multiple emitters for the major population areas. Still a pile of work but a lot less than messing around with a composition with 3500 layers.