View Full Version : How could I pull off hand animation?

02-28-2013, 04:11 AM
I'm doing a lot of tutorial work and my idea is to have stuff like arrows, circles, lines and so on all over the screen which point to and accentuate certain things on screen. So just think of a drawing board but without the hand and marker. Or actually, think of the yellow drawing you see when watching a replay of a football game.

I've thought of getting a graphics tablet but I'm not sure it'll be that easy to pull off. I'll need transparency since this is going over video and the only way I can think of that this may work is to buy a graphics tablet, then record the drawing in real time while in photoshop on a green background for keying later, recording all of it with Camtasia. I think After Effects has the capability to record brush strokes, so maybe that's of interest...

Do you maybe have a better idea?

02-28-2013, 05:21 PM
I did some animated text a couple months ago. And no I don't have a better idea. In the end I gave up, had the full text rendered, then in another render animated a timing marker. Just a bar moving across the screen as a reference where I should be in the animation. Rendered as an image sequence. Brought everything into photoshop, all of the marker frames and the original full text. I applied the full text as a mask, rendered in white on black, then painted in the color layer using the timing marker as a reference where I should be if I was drawing.

It took me less time doing it manually than trying to figure out how to do it cleverly, if you know what I mean.
The end result works. That's all that counts.

If you need an example of the raw animation in question PM me. Otherwise I don't know. Btw, I was animating a specific font. Maybe a tablet along with my method, worst case, at least would work. Good luck.

02-28-2013, 07:22 PM
You can animate the stroke of a path in AE with the STROKE effect. EFFECT>GENERATE>STROKE.

You draw a mask then generate the stroke and in the effect controls use the START and END percentages.

02-28-2013, 07:43 PM
Uhh, yeah, that's cool. Animating a fixed font though is what I was doing. Cool tip. I think that's what he was looking for.

//Then again you have to stroke it. I don't know. Good luck :) Sounds like it might work though. Maybe for freehand strokes. Not sure about fonts though.

02-28-2013, 07:58 PM
I'll tell you what. How about he post a written line (white on black) and we all can take turns animating it for him? With an alpha ofcourse.
And he can pick the winner. :)

Anyone up? We'll need a deadline too. :)

02-28-2013, 10:42 PM
I don't have Illustrator installed right now, but I believe there is a way to create a path from text in Illustrator and bring it into AE, no?

03-01-2013, 03:21 AM
It seems like the best way to do it is to use AE as mentioned. I covered that in the first post, but thought you guys might know a different way. If there were a lot more tools in AE like there is in Photoshop, I could make the animation/drawing a LOT more fancy.