Scanning on a number line

Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Hi,

I am struggling to search for an answer to my question as Google etc. thinks I'm looking for explanations of AE tools / functions!

What I want to create is a number line which I can zoom in and out on and scan along with a rapid blurred effect. The closest I can find is the year scan effect used a lot in the show "Person of Interest". I have tried to find an example to link to, but...

Anyway, I have two primary questions:-

  1.  Is there an easy way to add the labels to the line? Obviosuly, I can draw it all and manually add the numbers, but if I can have it automatically add the numbers with a kind of "step and repeat", it would help! I want it to look something like a stand-alone x-axis on a graph. I thought of creating it in Illustrator, but I'm not experienced with that and can't find info on this either! I can see how to create a "Repeater" to duplicate something like a shape, but how do I also increment the contents of the text box?
  2. How do I animate the rapid scan? I want the numbers / line to accelerate to the side until it turns into a blur and then decelerates back to settle at a new point, (See POI reference above.)
    Advice appreciated!
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Expressions , How to , Scripting

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Timeline setups and diagrams typically involve expressions to auto-increment values and space out elements evenly if you really don't want to do it manually. Whether that's worth rigging up entirely depends on how big a project we're talking about. Makes no sense to get into any of that if we're only talking a handful of values. You'd have to be much more specific about that and show us your design concept and explain what you actualyl need. Similarly, swish wipes/ swish zooms are all an illusion. The timeline could in fact not even exist as a whole, just sections of it that are transitioned when everything is blurry and moving fast and even that is a very relative term. Since there is no way to calculate such extreme motion blur, most of these setups make exrtensive use of directional and radial/ zoom blur effects to create the perception of speed rather than actually animating things so fast. the rest is then just tweaking the timing. I couldn't find an example of the series, so I can't advise specifically, but this is the basic drill for these kinds of things.

 

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Thank you for your response.

To your first point, the number line will, mostly, span a range of about 20 at any given time. Maybe I am missing something, but can an expression reference the coordinates of the shape? Most expressions I have seen work with time in some way, which isn't appropriate in this case.

For the zoom, I figured it would involve a blur, especially at "maximum velocity". I assume that we have three parts?

  1. Starting state, which starts to acelerate to the side and has motion blur increasing.
  2. Middle, which is just blur
  3. Ending state which starts blurred and decelerates to a rest.

My problem is I don't know how to either create / configure the three parts, or how to stich them together! 😮

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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In your case you'd basically create each relevant timeline segment in a pre-composition which you then drop into the main composition and then duplicate and trim it into your three animation steps so you don't have to put up with too many animation keyframes. Then it's all just a case of animating soem basic position and scale parameters and the effects parameters where relevant. Rinse-repeat for every of your 20 segments.

 

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Thanks again!

So you are saying I have to create / manage each number separately? Ouch!

FYI, this is as close as I could find to what I'm looking for: https://youtu.be/6BWoDGR8Ihw?t=57 Since I will be travelling a much greater distance, I also want the center section of the animation to blur completely. (I'm going to be scrolling from roughly 1-20 along to a section that's around 200 million!!)
I have another animation I need to do which will involve years and, I suspect, require a similar effect. In that case I will be going back to key dates on a timeline (some mid-20th century, many in the BC era)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Setting up things with expressions would still require separate compositions for each segment, so you save nothing there. All the expressions can do is give you a bit of convenience for calculating the number increments and spacing based on slider controls. You would build a prototype comp which has the setup within and then you can just duplicate it and modify the sliders. Scripts like this can of course set you up, too:

 

https://aescripts.com/easyrulers/

 

That would then also facilitate animation. Once you have a working comp, you could duplicate it and just replace the assets on the timeline with the different segment or you use animation presets and adjustment layers which you can easily re-apply or copy & paste. A million ways to do it and it certainly isn't hard to do, especially since the example you provided looks rather trivial. you just have to be strategic about it and understand soem of these concepts in AE, which is probably the hurdle here, so I'd strongly advise to read the online help based on all the confusing magic words I mentioned and look up a few tutorials.

 

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 29, 2022 Jun 29, 2022

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Thanks you again!

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