I recently created the attached graphic in Illustrator for a project and am trying to figure out how to create something similar in After Effects perhaps using a control layer.

The idea is that I want the width of the stroke on each of the lines to be linked to the black/white values of the control layer, which would have my letter W on it in this case.

I've achieved similar results in the past linking the scale of a shape layer with the colour value of a control layer but I can't figure out how to repurpose that technique for this job.

Any advice would be very welcome and appreciated!


Original vector artwork I am trying to recreate in After Effects in the past

  • Interesting question. I wonder if a similar effect could be achieve using a particle generator like form or particular somehow...
    – tomh
    Jan 15, 2021 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


I would use the ol' blur-and-threshold trick:

  • make my lines slightly thicker than they need to be,
  • precompose my lines and the control layer, and set the opacity of the control layer to say 50%.
  • Then back in the original comp I would add Gaussian blur to the precomped layers, followed by the threshold effect.
  • Muck around with the values for both effects and the opacity of the control layer until it's good.

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