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Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?

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Phil Johnston
Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Feb 11, 2013 at 6:54:25 am

I've been experimenting with AE CS6's brush tool and am wondering if a more powerful 3rd party plugin exists.
The closest I've found is "Vector Paint" as part of BORIS RED FX but their package is not yet developed for AE CS6.

Are you aware of any plugins for recording, animating, adjusting paint strokes in AE CS6 that goes above and beyond the brush tool?


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Feb 11, 2013 at 12:02:17 pm

BORIS RED is a standalone compositing/titling program. I have not heard of any plugins that would replace or enhance the brush tools.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Feb 11, 2013 at 2:58:57 pm

Phil -

By "more powerful" do you mean "records brush strokes in real time for animated paint playback", or "uses Photoshop library of brushes natively", or ...? There's a lot of ground to cover. What exactly are you looking to accomplish? Recording, animating, and adjusting strokes is the base functionality of a Paint feature.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Phil Johnston
Re: Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Feb 11, 2013 at 3:15:18 pm

Hi Joe, thanks for your response.
By "more powerful" I'm referring to, for example, 1) an expansive set of diverse brush presets (beyond angle, diameter, and roundness), 2) variances in the line type, such as pen, dry media, wet media, 3) an ability to add a "wiggle" effect to all strokes (this was an option originally available in CS4's "vector paint" plugin which was phased out and I've sorely missed it!)

I'm currently experimenting with adding additional effects to brush layers such as "roughen edges" and "scribble" to create a variance in line that I'm looking for - so it might be the effect I want is achievable by finding the right combination of plug-ins and setting up a system of nested compositions.

My end goal here is to find a method of recording, and playing back, the drawing of my own detailed illustrations in a fast and efficient manner. The brush tool does most of the work I need, but I was curious if a more robust painting plug-in existed.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Feb 11, 2013 at 5:48:58 pm

[Phil Johnston] "My end goal here is to find a method of recording, and playing back, the drawing of my own detailed illustrations in a fast and efficient manner."

The words "fast and efficient" compel me to write that such a thing doesn't currently exist for AE.

However, Adobe does take feature requests:
https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

If they get enough requests, they try to implement it. The system is reminiscent of machine politics in Chicago, where people are encouraged to vote early and vote often.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Feb 13, 2013 at 12:30:26 am

Dave is right. But there are some outside software packages which will do the job:
http://www.corel.com/corel/product/index.jsp;jsessionid=bbRNFOLi+rF-EJfS5xk...

Corel Painter, formerly Fractal Design Painter, has the best natural media brushes you can find, and, as I remember, there was a scripting capability which allowed you to record your strokes as you laid them down, then play them back and record them as video. There's also Artrage Studio Pro, a very nice, very cheap, natural media package which gives you a lot of natural brush and media options, but no recording. Photoshop, needless to say, has greatly improved their natural media brushes as well, but you have to record frame by frame, unless I'm missing something. I've always hoped that AE would push the boundaries and incorporate Photoshop brushes, and Combustion's Paint animation feature, but so far, no go...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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evan fotis
Re: Painting/Drawing in After Effects: Better option than Brush tool?
on Jul 10, 2013 at 12:58:16 pm

Painter unfortunately has not developed Scripting feature at all since version 4! It has a 2GB buffer limit for storing the framestack, which a decade back was OK but not any more with HD resolutions. What I do is just run camtasia to screengrab the session save to uncompressed and send it to AE.
Even AECS3 vector paint doesn't work properly nowadays on beefy x64 systems, hanging AE after a few strokes no matter what settings are used. (Tried on a copy for converting old projects to CS6 compatible).

The closest and fastest solution for line art, is to have it created in Adobe Illustrator, copy paths, and then paste as masks in an AE comp.
From there one can use the native Stroke filter or TC 3d stroke, to have masks redraw sequentially.


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