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Learn how to use Paths: Make your movie travel through a map!
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Posted on July 22nd, 2005
Adobe After Effects
I am doing this mapthing because of 2 reasons.

1- It's a pretty cool effect and it's very easy to be done.
2- I want to ask my girlfriend where we should go for our next holidays, in a creative way. smile

This idea came up as I watched last night "morning" a piratefilm, where they showed a map with a X marking the spot, you maybe know it from movies like Indiana Jones and such stuff...

Let's get to work:

Step 1:
Get a map, I've found mine by doing a search in google for "europe map".
You can download it HERE but please be aware of the copyrights.. I'm just using it privately for myself. So stick to that!

Edit your map with photoshop to get a "old" look. I will not get into it, since this is not the purpose of this tutorial, there are a lot of tutorials for that, have a search on P2L.

Step 2:
- Create a new composition with a length of 10 seconds, I'm using 320x240 as framesize just for this tutorial.

- Import your map and place it in your composition.

Step 3:
- Double-Click on your layer to open your map, and with the Bezier tool, create your path you want to go through! Step 3
IMPORTANT: Don't close the Mask!!

If you are having problems seeing the mask just change the color. With the layer selected in the Timeline press the M key to bring up the Mask for the layer.
Click on the color swatch next to the word mask.

To create a more fluid motion you can use the Rotobezier option to create some curves if you want.
Step 3.1

As soon as you are done close the layer window, we will not need it anymore.

Step 4:

- Adjust the position of your map accordingly to your Path start point.

- Apply the Stroke effect (Effect - Render - Stroke)

Here the parameters that I've used:
Step 4

Use the appropriant BrushSize.. I've used 8, I've also tweaked a bit on the brushhardness, to get a little bit of a blurried stroke, I've also set the spacing to 63 (that worked best for me) to show dots and not just a straight line, and most important set a keyframe for "end" on 0. Why 0? Since you are at keyframe 0 of your composition also the start you don't want to show the whole stroke right now.

- Activate your timeline window and press the "END" button to jump to the end of your composition. and adjust the end value to 100%. Now you see the whole stroke. :)

Step 5:
Since my Map is far too big for the small comp size, we need to move the position fo the map accordingly to the motion of the path. We could also do it with some expression, but I still didn't figured out how to do it. (i'm working on it)

Finished!! yay!!!
Here my EXAMPLE as an AVI File.

Like I said my composition is much bigger, and I've put some small stuff on the places we have been like photos or reminders of our stay. That's something that I maybe shouldn't show here :)
Let your creativity flow, and create the new treasureisland map :D

Have a nice Evening

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