creative questions...building a city

Hi everyone,
I’m working on a scene where a city it built up from the ground. I have already drawn the finished city (line drawing scanned into TBS) and would like the scene to last about 20-25 seconds.

I have two ways in my mind that I would like the action to happen, but I can’t figure out how to do either of them.

1. time lapse
Starting with a single horizon line, the city would begin building up from the ground. There are about 15 buildings in the drawing. Each building would be coming up at different rates (like real building construction time lapse). I’m going for somewhat of a realistic style in terms of the pace.

2. stretch and pull
Again starting with a single horizon line, the city would be “pulled” up from the ground, not uniformly, but being yanked in various directions, like the way you would spread out silly putty or dough. As the city was building up, it would be deforming in all directions and then arrive at the finished drawing.

I have thought about how to achieve #1, the time lapse look, and all I can come up with is to do it in reverse: erase each line of my finished city drawing and consider each one of those new drawings a single frame. But this sounds insane to me. Is there a technique to help automate this process?

I’ve also tried using the (i can’t remember) tools that skew and scale the drawing to create the stretching effect of #2, but I seem to only get uniform changes throughout the drawing instead of being able to be random and pull the nodes in all directions.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.


It sounds like all the buildings are on the same element. I’m guessing it’s an image element unless you imported & vectorized the scanned drawing. Either way, you ultimately want to put each of those buildings on their own elements if you want to manipulate them independantly of each other. I think your 2nd idea sounds easier than the first, I think the first would involve a lot more drawing if you wanted them to really look like they were being constructed. If you make each building it’s own drawing element though, you could easily stretch/skew/distort them individually in different shapes & at different speeds to get your desired result.

It will take a little more work on your part just to trace or cut out the buildings & put them on separate elements, but if you don’t you won’t be able to manipulate them independantly unless you draw each fram by hand.

Hope that gives you something to go on. Ask away if you have more questions.

I’d put each building on its own element, but I’d use a mask to do the construction. The mask changes each frame, growing, to reveal more of the building. Remember, the mask element is actuall an un-mask, revealing things behind the shape.

You might even find it easier to use one mask and one drawing element of the city to accomplish this.

there’s another good idea for ya headphones. I haven’t really played with makes & clipping effects too much myself, so I can’t speak to them too much, but luckily Rob can :slight_smile:

These are great ideas. I’m going to give them a try and see what happens…