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how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos

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Scott Hendersonhow to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on May 16, 2012 at 4:01:12 pm

I'm looking to create a whiteboard scribe video. Here are a couple examples

I realize I could just set up a camera to record my hand drawing on a whiteboard, but I was wondering if there were any different techniques or methods that are more controllable. By that I mean, I could animate an object moving, or add effects around an object etc.

Any tips or software suggestions would be great - thanks!

Scott Henderson

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Andy GallowayRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on May 16, 2012 at 9:00:30 pm

Hi mate,

Firstly I would recommend recording yourself drawing the pictures like you mentioned as this means you can comp in your hand as a live action element later if you want.

Anyway in terms of software you should probably go for After Effects and use the built in Stroke or Write on effects.

Here is a tutorial.

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Andy GallowayRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on May 16, 2012 at 9:00:16 pm

The scribble effect is also nice for a bit of character... sorry can't find a good tutorial for this off hand but if you do a bit of googling you'll find one.

Good luck.

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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on May 16, 2012 at 10:26:00 pm

If your talent is able to draw free-hand style then that's the way to go - just shoot it as it happens. I however had the unfortunate experience of working with a talent with 'nice-looking hands' but poor hand-eye coordination.

My setup involved pre-drawing the whiteboard with a faint replica of what was to be drawn - the drawing has to be faint enough such that the camera doesn't capture it. A few rehearsals on the movement dynamics and we were good to go.


Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer

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Katie AdamRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Aug 8, 2012 at 8:06:43 am

We all know the demand of video scribing and the features that they provide which make our business life very easy and it saves our time too the presentation that take a huge time to demonstrate our views now by the help of Scribe Video we can convey our thoughts within no time.

Explainer Video| Animated Video Production

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Jared NelsonRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Sep 27, 2012 at 7:11:51 am

So I am intrigued by this type of video as well. I understand that one could just film a time lapse of the artist drawing. However I am wondering if anyone knows of another way. Besides the laborious options of creating layered files and masks etc.

Is there any software or filter for After Effects that could essentially have an artist using a Wacom tablet or monitor to draw the illustration. While the software records all the strokes. Then have it play back over a said amount of time. Thoughts?

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Ken FisherRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Nov 4, 2012 at 11:41:19 am

I was looking for something similar, but my purpose is text over in "how to" videos. It would occupy an area similar to what is seen on the video below at 2:09. Problem is it doesn't allow importing custom fonts. Anybody know of other sources for this?

Sony Vegas Pro 11
DVD Architect Pro 5.2
Sony Vaio Windows 7 Home Premium
Intel Core TM i7-2670QM CPU 2.20Ghz

Sony DCR-VX2100

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Ryan PortsmouthRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on May 29, 2013 at 6:10:17 pm

The latest version of VideoScribe that you referenced now allows you to import any fonts you wish to use from your system.

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Nathan DeanRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Mar 4, 2013 at 10:40:46 pm
Last Edited By Nathan Dean on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:15:28 pm

I was able to produce this video using a graphic I drew in illustrator and the "Stroke" effect. Essentially this process requires three steps: prepping art in illustrator, revealing the art in AE via stroke effect, and mapping a hand to draw it using a motion path. This does require some advanced knowledge of keyframes and a basic understanding of expressions.

Essential to making this technique work…
In illustrator create an additional “reveal path” for each object you want animated separately: One continuous line that covers the object... drawn in the order I want it revealed. The reveal path serves two purposes...
––A layer mask that drives the stroke effect to reveal art layer
––the hand layer’s motion path

Reveal paths MUST BE CONTINUOUS, but don't always have to be exact. Depending on your brush size in the stroke effect you don't always need to draw over every single detail either. Sometimes scribbling over it is good enough.

import your saved artwork into AE
switch back to illustrator, select and copy the reveal path of that object
switch to AE, paste copied reveal path on art layer to create a layer mask
add effect Generate > Stroke, set path options to "All masks" and check "Stroke Sequentially"
under effect options set Paint Style to "Reveal Original Image"

add a picture of a hand holding a marker to your main comp and then precomp it
set anchor point to where the marker tip is
click the position stopwatch and paste previously copied reveal path to create a motion path

The hand position has all roving keyframes except the beginning and end. Select the last keyframe and adjust to line up with the art's reveal keyframes (@ 3:23 in screencast)

The art layer MUST BE 100% scale, otherwise the motion path won't match the art layer's mask. After creating the motion path in the hand precomp, you'll need to reposition the group of keyframes so it aligns with the art layer's mask. Select the keyframes you just pasted, place your playhead on the first or last keyframe, drag the hand layer into place (3:28). This should reposition the group of keyframes instead of just one.

To add realism I randomized the rotation of the arm by 1-4 degrees. In the precomp I added puppet-warp on the hand layer. Each frame had a slight variation of the warp but kept the markertip in the same position. Then in the main comp I used the time-remapping effect with an expression to choose a random frame from the hand precomp.

For faster sequences you can get away with faking this using manual keyframes. But for detail drawings and separate sequential elements this is the way to go.

Reply and let me know if this helped. I'd love to see your production. Good luck!

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George NielsenRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Mar 24, 2013 at 9:55:16 pm

I would check out Video Scribe or view tutorials on how to create your own scribing videos/. These have become more and more popular lately and it's a valuable skill to have if you learn how to do this.

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Shaun CullenRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Apr 24, 2013 at 7:02:48 am

dude your sample and the method is awesome! thanks heaps for this. i was going to buy one of the videos for $599 now i'll just use AE and make it myself. legend thanks.

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Jonathan GordonRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Jun 6, 2013 at 5:02:55 am

Awesome work! Any chance you're willing to share your source files? Would be awesome to shortcut my way to a similar end result.


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Dana WeissRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Feb 4, 2014 at 8:07:47 pm


I have been trying to do the method you posted, however I am having trouble getting the hand to animate. I can get it to move along one path, but bringing in multiple paths at once does not seem to be possible. When I copy them into the position field it copies them as a group of masks and not a motion path. How did you manage to copy multiple paths in together? Did you need to add each one individually?

Thanks in advance for your for your help.

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Nathan DeanRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Sep 2, 2014 at 4:19:19 pm

make sure you are selecting the position property and not just the layer before you paste the copied paths. I if you copy multiple paths it will only paste as masks. See my updated post above.

Here's the short answer: Create one continuous reveal path that covers all the art. Use this reveal path as both a mask for the art layer and the motion path (position keyframes) for the motion path.

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Linda RogersRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on May 18, 2013 at 12:42:31 am

Could i predraw the entire whiteboard in Illustrator and "erase" it in reverse order in AE. Then play the video backwards?

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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Jun 6, 2013 at 8:11:21 am

Folks should also take a look at the Paint Tool and Motion Sketch (with the x/y coordinates subsequently applied onto the Write On effect - this may become slow for large drawings.

If going the Paint Tool route, keep separate drawings on separate layers to minimize memory requirements.


Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects CS6 ACE

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James DaigreRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Jun 8, 2013 at 2:36:51 am

VideoScribe is a best way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily...

I created this just 30 mins:)

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Andre AshRe: how to make whiteboard "scribe" videos
by on Mar 22, 2016 at 1:23:12 pm

Check this out. It's a AE project files that includes a hand with multiple state (angles) that vary depending on the direction the hand null is moved.

Seems like it might be the ticket if you want a hand that looks more real than a static hand just moving around.

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