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Animate rectangle like a stroke

Community Beginner ,
Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021

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Hello, 

I am trying to animate an architectural plan in after effects. I want to animate a rectangle so that the whole rectangle moves from one end without using trim paths. I am looking to animate the stroke, not the fill. 

 

I am new to after effects and I couldn't find any resources about this.

 

any help will be appreciated

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Community Beginner , Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021
Thank you for your response. I will surely look more into path animation. However,  I achieved the desired effect by using a thick white stroke and further adding a black stroke to it. I then animated it using trim paths.  I attached a gif below to show what I did. if there is any way I can do the same thing with a simpler method other than the ones you stated above I would really appreciate it. if not, I will use those methods. thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021

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I'm not 100% clear of your goal, but it seems you simply want to animate the object "growing" from a rectangle to a more complex L-shape.

 

If that's the case, my first suggestion would be to simply create a matte shape with a mask and animate the matte shape.

 

But, if your object is stroked and filled, and you want those elements to animate, you will need to learn the basics of path animation in order to keyframe the path changes.  typically you would start from the end design's path keyframes, then set keyframes at the point right before the "elbow", then right after the "elbow", then at the start position.  

 

If you post a more detailed explanation of your goal we can discuss it in more detail.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021

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Thank you for your response.

 

I will surely look more into path animation. However,  I achieved the desired effect by using a thick white stroke and further adding a black stroke to it. I then animated it using trim paths. 

 

I attached a gif below to show what I did. if there is any way I can do the same thing with a simpler method other than the ones you stated above I would really appreciate it. if not, I will use those methods.

 

thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021

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By far the simplest solution is to use a thick stroke on a path with no fill and then just set up Trim Paths. 

 

If you want a dashed line outline of the shape that can also be easily created using a duplicate layer and the Layer/Auto-trace menu to create a mask that you can copy and paste to a new shape layer as a path, then set up dashes. Here are the Auto-trace settings I used to create this animation in about 2 minutes.*

Auto Trace.png

The Animation:

wall.gif

If you want the dashed lines to animate on you can just use the animated stroke as a Track Matte or as the Source for Set Matte. 

 

The screenshot shows everything I did to all layers. Trim Paths is a Shape layer animator. You can find more detailed instructions by typing "trim paths" in the Search Help field in the Top Right Corner of After Effects. It is a valuable tool for all users. I use it all the time.

 

* The "Drag & Drop here..." area is buggy and should not be used to share images. Please use the toolbar or just drag your images to the reply field.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 15, 2021 Jul 15, 2021

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Thank you. This was very helpful and i will definitely explore all the options.

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