View Full Version : Q: Using paths to animate positions.

04 April 2005, 09:32 AM

I have a problem in After Effects and I am really stuck this time. I really can’t figure out a workaround without jumping into a 3D program. Please, PLEASE help me!

I have a number of layers that I want to follow a path in After Effects. Please have a look at this image and I will explain further: (

Figure 1 - The green circles illustrates cells that will be moving inside of a bacteria. In order for the cells not to end up outside of the bacteria it is going to follow the yellow path that has the same shape as the bacteria. The bacteria is not visible in the illustrated example and in the final composition I will use 6-8 cells instead of 3.

Figure 2 - Every fourth second the bacteria will change shape and I therefore need to animate the path that the cells (green circles) are following every fourth second. The shape will not change seamlessly, it will change over 1 frame and keep the new shape for another four seconds.

My problem is, I do not even know where to start or if this is at all posible in After Effects. I am going to use almost twenty bacterias in the final 40 sec composition and I am open to any workaround you guys can think of. I also have access to all possible plug-ins for AE so if you can think of one, just name it...


Robert “during one of his helpless days”.

04 April 2005, 11:57 AM
Turn on 3d on the layers.
animate the positions of one cell, tweak the motion path as you want it. Copy the key frames to the the oter cells. slide the key in time to get a position difference between the cells.

Redo the whole thing but with new positions for evry new motion shape you want the cells to travel in.

Om du är svensk kan du PM mig så kan jag skriva på svenska i stället :)

04 April 2005, 12:27 PM
double post

04 April 2005, 02:56 PM
Only one problem that I forgot to mention in the example. I will also need to control the speed of the cells. They don't look too good moving at a constant speed, I therefore need to give them some sort of random speed.

The problem with using that solution is that I can't keyframe the speed for all of the cells at the same time.

P.S Det är ok. Vi kan hålla oss till forumet men tack för erbjudandet. :)

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04 April 2005, 02:56 PM
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