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Activity Forums Adobe After Effects Expressions Random vertical strokes generator!

  • Random vertical strokes generator!

    Posted by Gerben Greuliker on April 19, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Hi there!

    I’m trying to make a mask which contains vertical or horizontal lines/strokes that randomly and slowly move and change in thickness. I thought i could fix it with Fractal Noise but the sudden appearance and disappearance of the lines is not what my client wants. Is there a plugin (AE standard only) that can fix this or is this fixable by a simple expression? I like to control the maximum thinness/thickness, the amount of strokes and the movement by a random seed.

    Brie Clayton replied 5 months, 2 weeks ago 3 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Filip Vandueren

    April 19, 2023 at 8:57 pm

    It is something that can be done with expressions, or with a particle systems, or perhaps even with fractal noise with some different settings, but it’s hard to pinpoint without seeing a few styleframes, or a render with a description of what’s good and what’s lacking.

    Not sure what you meant with the sudden disappearance of the lines ?

  • Gerben Greuliker

    April 19, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Flip!

    Thanks for replying 🙂
    I’ve attached a clip with all the color- and aberration effects stacked on top. This video-comp contains 2 instances of the footage that have a mask. This mask contains either the horizontal or the vertical strokes. I have set Fractal Noise with an extreme scale on either the x- or y-axis and a b*ttload of contrast to get solid blacks and whites. As you can see some of the lines appear and disappear and that is something I like to change into something more fluid. And i’m more or less dependent on the whims of the Fractal Noise seed.

    What I want to find out:
    – Can I have more control over the thickness of the individual lines (eg: a random thickness for each individual line between a value of 20 and 40 pixels).

    – Can I seed the movement of the lines and set a min/max movement value so they always render different?

    – Can I seed the amount of strokes and set a min/max value?

    I was thinking somewhere in the line of using random(20,40) for al the min/max values and have read the ‘random motion’ tutorial by Dan Ebberts on but changing the expression and combining it with something that generates strokes.. well that just goes over my head.

  • Filip Vandueren

    April 20, 2023 at 7:50 am

    Two avenues:

    create a precomp with narrow solid layers and add very slow wiggles() to the position and horizontal scale, you’ll get more or less lines by adding more layers.

    Or instead of noise, I experimented with a Cell Pattern (Crystals) that was stretched out with CC Scale Wipes and got this:

    Using the offset results in sliding over an irregular grid where lines always join or split, but never suddenly disappear. And using evolution gives a different effect, but like noise, the evolution can optionally be seamlessly looped which can be interesting

    View post on

  • Gerben Greuliker

    April 20, 2023 at 8:02 am

    And thats exactly what i’m looking for!
    Like your Cell Pattern approach 😀
    Never occurred to me to use it that way.

    And again… Flip to the rescue!

    ¡Muchas grazias amigo!

  • Gerben Greuliker

    April 20, 2023 at 8:07 am

    oh stupid me, I mean Filip of course😬

  • Brie Clayton

    April 21, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Thank you, Filip!

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