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zka11

LInesCreator - plugin for AE

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A friend of mine gave me today the link to that plugin, I downloaded it and it looks pretty interesting.

I initially thought that it`s something like Plexus, but actually it`s completely different. While in plexus you have meshes, here you can draw lines

between ulimited number of custom objects/comps. Worth checking, it also has 7 days test period.

 

http://www.linescreator.com/

 

And a video, demonstrating some of the possibilities - http://vimeo.com/32314979

 

Cheers,

Pavel

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Huh, I wonder how this is any different than the stock Beam effect. The demo video makes it sound identical, sans having to write an expression or two.

 

(Wait, it's just a script, not an effect? I wonder if literally all it's doing is applying the Beam effect and inserting the expressions for you...)

Edited by Aaron Scott

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Well, as a person, that uses the beam effect rather often, I prefer having a tool, that requires a few clicks, rather then a few lines of code. 20$ is not something that will rune my monthly budget.

Most of the scripts/plugins are doing something, that can be done without them and I don`t think that render them useless;) None the less, there are tons of users out there, that are not aware how to use the beam effect.

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Dont mean to hijack the thread but it looks like I am one of those users who are not aware of how to use the beam effect (never really had a need for it) But I would be interested in knowing if anyone would care to enlighten me. if you dont mind shooting me a PM or email that would be great, josephpdonaldson@gmail.com (just looking to know the code and how to implement it, a brief couple sentences would do the trick)

 

In regards to this plugin it does look pretty interesting and I am usually all about anything that can aid speeding up a workflow. Definitely looks like you can yield some interesting results with this plugin. I'll have to wait to pass further judgement once I better understand the options already out there with the beam effect.

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In short, to draw a line between two layers with the beam effect:

  • Create a layer, add the beam effect.
  • Change the "Length" property to 100%
  • Under "Starting Point", put the following expression, substituting "whatever" for the name of your first layer:
    • thisComp.layer("whatever").transform.position;

    [*]Put the same expression under "Ending Point", substituting "whatever" for the name of your second layer

    [*]CASH CHEQUES, ACQUIRE MONEY

Edited by Aaron Scott

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Thanks for the breakdown. Definitely going to try it out soon. And in regards to the plug-in the workflow with beam doesn't seem to complex but I can see the appeal of simplifying the process and possible having more options.

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I just checked out the linescreator manual and it looks like it's creating a shape layer for every line, not just using the Beam effect. I can't be bothered to actually grab the demo so I may be wrong. For those that missed my post back in '09 - when I was doing a bunch of those snazzy interface graphics for Avatar the designs had lines all over the place that we had to match. We didn't have access to C4D (in which case I would've used the Tracer), so we were connecting hundreds of little nodes using the Beam effect. We found that with a little comp organization things actually started working smoothly. Here's a slightly modified post of mine from 2009:

 

 

Posted 29 June 2009 - 04:15 PM

I'm working on a similar project with between 100 - 300 beams all being linked to data flowing around on-screen. We needed the Starting Point and Ending Point of the beams to follow separate, free-moving layers. We also needed the beams to fake 3D perspective by linking the Starting Thickness and Ending Thickness to the Z-Depth of the layer it's parented to. Obviously we needed expressions to do all this. Here's what I came up with:

 

- Each Beam consists of 3 layers to maintain the most control: The solid with Beam effect applied, a Null for Starting Point (StartNull), and a Null for Ending Point (EndNull). In the timeline the Beam layer should sit between the Startnull and Endnull so the "index-1, index+1" portions relate to the Start and End nulls respectively.

 

Expressions needed in the Beam effect are as follows:

 

Quote

 

Starting Point:

a=thisComp.layer(index-1);

a.toComp(a.anchorPoint)

 

^ links Starting Point of Beam to Startnull Layer.

 

Quote

 

Ending Point:

a=thisComp.layer(index+1);

a.toComp(a.anchorPoint)

 

^ links Ending Point of Beam to Endnull Layer.

 

Quote

 

Starting Thickness:

zdepth1=(effect("Beam")("Starting Thickness")) - ((thisComp.layer(index-1).transform.position[2])/50)

position=[zdepth1]

 

^ links Starting Thickness of Beam to the Z-position of the Startnull. The "/50" part is just to dampen the effect. Changing this number will cause the beam thickness to become more/less affected by the Startnull Z-position.

 

Quote

 

Ending Thickness:

zdepth1=((effect("Beam")("Ending Thickness")) - (thisComp.layer(index+1).transform.position[2])/50)

position=[zdepth1]

 

^ This works the same as the Starting Thickness expression.

 

The benefit of using nulls to control the beam is that they can then simply be parented to other layers you'd like them to follow. You can just duplicate the 3 layers as many times as you want, and simply reposition/reparent the two nulls, no expression tweaking necessary.

 

 

Hope that helps someone.

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thankyou so much for re-posting your technique beau+++

 

I am currently working on something similar, although I didn't force the perspective with the thickness, I just linked the end of the beams to nulls in z-space as you did although it still has very much the effect I wanted. The project is almost finished now but I would have loved to have seen this a few weeks ago, woulda saved a lot of messing.

 

Now all we need is a way to simulate depth of field on these lines and we're sorted!

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Not to steal this thread, but if I may be so bold:

 

http://library.creativecow.net/articles/mylenium/world.php

http://www.aestuff.myleniumstuff.de/?p=214

http://www.aestuff.myleniumstuff.de/previews/symmetrion/symmetrion.html

 

and I'm sure I and others have posted similar code and alternate techniques a gigazillion times on forums.

 

Mylenium

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