Line Wrap
Bending 3D Stroke in Adobe After Effects

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The WB Network has a very cool corner bug where a glowing line sweeps across the screen and around their logo. While it may seem like you have to do this in a true 3D program, with Trapcode’s 3D Stroke 2.0 you can get the same results in a few simple steps.

If you haven’t tried Trapcode’s 3D Stroke plug-in, then you are missing out on a very cool way to create some very complex animations. On the surface, 3D Stroke looks a lot like After Effects’ own Stroke effect, but with a twist – the ability to twist the entire mask in true 3D space for very unique looks. In addition 3D Stroke also allows you to taper the stroked line for a more organic look.[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Try warping a mask with the built in Stroke effect, and you will quickly discover the joy of 3D Stroke

In order to fully understand how the Bend feature of 3D Stroke works, look at the next image. In it we have taken some text – created with After Effects 6.0 Text Tool, then converted to outlines – and applied the 3D Stroke to they layer. At the default it looks like a normal stroke effect.

In the Effect Controls Panel, there is a drop down arrow for Transform. Twirling this open reveals Bend, Bend Axis, and Bend Around Center among the many options. At first Bend may seem a little confusing, but it is simple really; the higher the value, the more the layer will bend into itself. A value of 1 is a half wrap, while a value of 2 is a complete circle.

A value of 1 for the Bend amount creates a semi-circle effect…

…while a value of 2 completes the circle

Can you go higher than 2? Of course you can, the higher the value the more wrapping will occur. In the case of the DMN text, the words simply get tighter and tighter as the values go up.

A value of 5 creates a very tight wrap of the mask

Source: Digital Media Online, Inc.

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