Polyline is a plug-in for Adobe After Effects CS6 or later, for creating a 3D polyline from an existing motion path. A polyline consists of a sequence of connected straight segments.
The effect can be found in Effect > Motion Boutique > Polyline. Typically, you apply Polyline to a 3D null layer for which you have set position keyframes.
Polyline analyzes every position keyframe of the layer, and creates a 3D segment between every pair of consecutive keyframes. Each segment is a precomp layer so it is easily customizable. Furthermore, since each segment is a section of a unique master precomp, you can quickly modify the appearence of the whole polyline by editing the master precomp.
For a better control of the polyline, the plug-in also creates a null layer at each corner of the path. This allows you to adjust the path of the polyline by moving the null layers in 3D space.
Polyline provides additional features such as the ability to create a closed polyline, a reveal animation, or colorize the polyline with one the many color themes.
For a quick test of what Polyline does, you can follow these steps:
- Create a new composition
- Create a new null layer and make it 3D
- Add 3 different position keyframes, forming an upside down V shape for instance
- Go to Effect > Motion Boutique > Polyline, and click on the Create button
- You should see something like this:
- Select the middle null and move it to the right:
- Add a light to the composition
- Select the first segment layer, and change the X rotation:
Polyline provides some parameters to customize the look of the default polyline built when you hit the Create button.
This parameter specifies the width in pixels of the polyline.
This parameter allows you to colorize the polyline. You can select a single color, define a gradient, or choose one of the most popular Adobe Color themes.
- Customizing the appearence of the polyline can also be done very easily by simply editing the master precomp representing the flattened (unfolded) polyline.
|Friends and Foes|
|Herbs and Spice|
|Orange on Gray|
|Orange on Olive|
|Pear Lemon Fizz|
|Salmon on Ice|
|Sandy Stone Beach Ocean Diver|
|Zen and Tea|
This parameter allows you to create a reveal animation of the polyline. Animation is done with masks. Note that mask animation is using expressions so that the reveal is synchronized with the original path keyframes. For instance, moving the last keyframe of the path 10 frames forward would lengthen the reveal animation by an amount of 10 frames.
The default reveal animation can be easily customized by creating the reveal effect directly in the master path precomp. For instance, in the example below, 3 instances of the Linear Wipe effect were used to reveal the polyline.
Polyline provides the ability to create a closed polyline, by adding an extra corner at the position of the first corner. This additional corner is linked by expression to the first corner, so that their position always match.
- Since the polyline is rigged to the null layers, animating these controllers will also animate the polyline.
When you create a polyline with Uprez Factor set to 1 (the default value), the size of each segment corresponds to the distance between the corresponding path keyframes. If you later decide to move the null controllers (i.e., the corners) to modify the polyline a posteriori, segments will be dynamically rescaled. In some situations (important changes between the initial path and the modified corners, or camera very closed to the segments), increasing the Uprez Factor allows you to upscale every element by a certain factor so you get better resolution.
Once the segments of the polyline are in place, a corner pin effect is used to connect them so that they join nicely. In general, you wouldn't have to change this parameter as both options produce the same results in most situations. However, for compatibility reason and to better handle particular cases, you may choose either the standard Corner Pin or the CC Power Pin effect. For cases where the two options yield slightly different results, CC Power Pin usually provides better anti-aliasing, but it's sometimes less precise (i.e., the layer might exceed the area defined by the four corners of the effect).
Polyline provides the ability to control the Material Options of the segments. This includes all usual After Effects material parameters such as Ambient, Diffuse or Specular settings.
If you detect a bug or have any questions about Polyline, do not hesitate to contact our customer support team.
Please visit Motion Boutique website to be informed about Polyline updates, tutorials, and more.