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copying strokes with pressure data from Illustrator to AE

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stephen dixoncopying strokes with pressure data from Illustrator to AE
by on May 14, 2013 at 12:48:32 am

I have a bunch of hand-written text that was done in Illustrator (CS6), on a Wacom tablet with pressure support. I need to get the strokes into AE (CS6) and to animate them with a write-on effect. I was hoping to be able to paste the strokes from Illustrator onto the paint effect, which is pressure-sensitive and preserve the thickness variation. Then it would be just a simple matter of animating the beginning / end of the stroke to get nice natural handwriting.

Problem is, that when I bring them in they come in as outlines - whether I copy and paste or import the .ai files. The text looks fine, but outlines are a lot more work to animate.

Is there any work-around, or am I doing something wrong?

Stephen Dixon
Editor, Animator, Motionographer
Museum Victoria


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: copying strokes with pressure data from Illustrator to AE
by on May 14, 2013 at 3:20:35 am

I think that if you convert the strokes to outlines, you can then paste them into After Effects and animate them. I believe that outlines is the only way you'll get them. I generally do this, then use the paint plugin, and paint an animated mask to write the strokes on. It's a pretty quick process, and allows a lot of control of the order in which the parts of the text animate.

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


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stephen dixonRe: copying strokes with pressure data from Illustrator to AE
by on May 14, 2013 at 4:54:18 am

Yes, that looks like what I'm going to have to do - actually you don't even need to convert to outlines, it just pastes the as outlines by default.

Unfortunately there's a lot of text, and this method won't be half as easy as just animating the end property of the stroke. The big problem is where you have strokes that cross, you have to get the width just right or you get the other parts of the stroke revealing too soon. With variable width strokes this is especially tricky.

Stephen Dixon
Editor, Animator, Motionographer
Museum Victoria


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: copying strokes with pressure data from Illustrator to AE
by on May 14, 2013 at 1:09:50 pm

Stephen -

You are absolutely correct - I've done this many times, and with the more florid scripts it is absolutely tedious, especially where the strokes cross. If the move is happening fairly quick, you can get away with lot. If not, you're in for a lot of work.

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


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