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Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions How to create a dot grid with expressions?

  • How to create a dot grid with expressions?

  • eduardo asta

    August 22, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Hello,Does anybody know how to create a dot grid with expressions? I’m talking about 1920 dots sizing each 40 by 40 px. It means 48 columns by 40 lines along a 1920×1080 comp.I need each dot as a layer cause I want to manipulate transparency and color.My bestedo

  • Walter Soyka

    August 23, 2020 at 1:24 am

    Ae is not going to work well with 1920 layers.

    Trapcode Form is probably the best tool for this — you can use layer maps to manipulate the transparency and color of dots based on their position, it will be much faster than trying to manipulate them all individually:

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • eduardo asta

    August 23, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Walter Soyka,

    Thanks for the quickly answer. It is true, the AE can’t support this amount of layers. I tried it myself. The Trapcode Form seems pretty fine. I will try it.


  • Filip Vandueren

    August 24, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Alternatively, you might do it with a text-layer full of dots.

    This expression on sourceText will quickly add them:


    Then you can use leading and tracking to space them.
    Then text animators to do other stuff with it.

  • Blaise Douros

    August 26, 2020 at 12:14 am

    You could probably get some mileage out of creating a sphere Shape Layer, and then using repeaters to create the dot grid. You can even control the transparency across each repeater instance, though it wouldn’t work for color.

  • eduardo asta

    August 26, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Hi Vandueren,

    It seems a great idea! However, there is a function missing here, right?

  • eduardo asta

    August 26, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Hey Douros,

    It sees nice. But how can I control each transparence instance? It might work….

  • Filip Vandueren

    August 26, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Check if you’re not running the “legacy extendscript” javascript engine in project settings

  • eduardo asta

    August 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm


    It works! Thks!

  • Blaise Douros

    August 26, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    You wouldn’t be able to control the transparency individually–only across instances of the repeater. So if you created a line of dots, you could make each one fade gradually down across the line. Then, if you’d duplicated the line, each line would follow. So they’re not the kind of truly granular changes that will let you control each one, but you can make cascading changes across the set.

    I know this doesn’t perfectly solve your problem, but it’s something that might solve part of it.

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