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Adobe After Effects Video Tutorial: Elastic Lines

Learn how to create linked dot animations in this After Effects video tutorial.

These days we’re seeing elastic type line effects in all sorts of video projects. It would seem that if you’re a motion graphics designer it’s almost mandatory to have elastic lines in your demo reel! But how do you make them?

In this video tutorial by Johnathan Berkley he demonstrates how to create elastic line animations in After Effects. The video covers a few basic principles including:

  • Parenting
  • Masks
  • Basic Expressions
  • Pre-Compositions

Now of course this design element is really trendy right now but the concept of parenting beam positions to object positions is a timeless technique that can have many different applications. If you are interested in learning more about parenting check out our Adobe After Effects Fundamental Course where we are walking through all the basic skills needed to become a motion graphics expert.

This tutorial was created and shared by Jonathan Berkey. Thanks for sharing!

Know of any other ways to create this effect (hint: Plexus)? Share in the comments below.

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  • Ivan Sorgente

    i really nice tutorial, for those who have studied a minimum of expressions becomes an intuitive thing :)

    but if we want to work in Z?

    • Caleb Ward

      I had the same question so I figured it out using a little technique I learned in this tutorial:

      Here’s the steps:

      1. Make sure your dot layers are set to 3D.

      2. Place the starting point of the beam to a dot.

      3. Pickwhip the beam starting point to the position to the dot.

      4. Add this to the beam starting point expression .toComp([0,0,0])

      5. Manipulate the first two “[0,0,0]” numbers so they line up with the initial location of your dot starting point.

      Now you can move the dot in 3D space and the beam will follow. The only thing to note is the beam isn’t designed to work in 3D space so it won’t get smaller as it goes into infinity. But with most these designs it’s not that big of a deal.

      Hope this helps.

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