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Activity Forums Adobe After Effects Double stroke on open path in After Effects

  • Double stroke on open path in After Effects

    Posted by Nikki Van onna on March 15, 2023 at 9:07 am

    Hi, I’m trying to create a double stroke on an open path in After Effects.
    I’m familiar with Offset Path, but that doesn’t do the trick. I want to create a line animation where the lines are intersecting. When adding an Offset Path it becomes 1 shape, without intersection. Also, I want the line to have open ends. I added some images to illustrate what I want to achieve (the first image, with the S en intersecting strokes).

    Does anybody knows a solution for this?

    Thank you.

    Nikki Van onna replied 1 year, 2 months ago 3 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • Graham Quince

    March 15, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Do you want the lines to cross over, like in the image with the S or not, like the second image?

    Second image option – I’d suggest a second layer/shape underneath a white shape. The underneath layer to have a single thick stroke, then just keyframe it.

    Lines crossing option, I’d be tempted to use two shapes and offset, one for each side.

  • Nikki Van onna

    March 15, 2023 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you for your reply Graham. I want to have it like the first image.
    The second is what happens when I add an Offset Path to the stroke.

    Your suggestion for two shapes and an offset will not result in a stroke with an even width, it will be more like a calligraphic stroke. I really want an even stroke.

    A good reference would be a pattern brush in Illustrator; the you can draw any path and the double stroke will always be in the same with around it.

    Hope that makes sense!

  • Filip Vandueren

    March 16, 2023 at 7:58 pm

    Hey Nikki,

    I achieved it with text on path (force Alignment =true):

    There’s a text-animator with expression selector which alternates the Y-position offset for odd and even characters.

    With a few hundred _ characters (or . characters for finer detail, but that would need maybe thousands) you get two continuos lines. You can fatten up the lines using a stroke on the font.

    Strokes via text on Path

  • Nikki Van onna

    March 17, 2023 at 7:59 am

    Hi Filip, thank you, that is actually a great and really smart solution!
    Only problem is that I want to use the stroke on an animated path inside a shape layer. It’s dynamically animated with Connect Layers Pro, that means I can’t copy the path in a mask on a text layer. Do you have an idea how to apply this method to a path outside the shape layer?

    Dank je wel alvast! (ik dacht ik schrijf de rest in Engels, dan hebben anderen hier wellicht ook nog iets aan :))

  • Filip Vandueren

    March 17, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I don’t have Connect Layers Pro, but as long as its result is a (single) shape, you can pick-whip the path on the text-layer to that path and it’ll copy the path, and it should work ?

    Otherwise, can you give a screenshot of what exactly Connect Layers Pro outputs ?

  • Nikki Van onna

    March 20, 2023 at 8:17 am

    Yes, you’re totally right, works like a charm. Thank you Filip!

  • Nikki Van onna

    March 20, 2023 at 8:45 am

    The only problem I’m running into now is how this is handled at path point’s. Once the the curve gets to a certain extreme, the distribution of the characters on the path is off.
    See attached screenshots

    Do you have any idea how to fix this?

  • Filip Vandueren

    March 20, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Hey Nikki, I can’t see the screenshots.

  • Nikki Van onna

    March 20, 2023 at 10:30 am

    That’s strange, I did attached them. Again below!

  • Filip Vandueren

    March 20, 2023 at 11:27 am

    I believe you will have almost exactly the same problem if you want do to an offset paths in shape-layers or even in illustrator: if the curves are too sharp, then mathematically they will “fold over” themselves.

    I think the easiest solution is to tweak the design so the corners are less pointy

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