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View Comp While Painting?

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xssight
View Comp While Painting?
on Sep 26, 2007 at 2:22:11 am

Hi all- this seems like a REALLY simple question to me, but I promise I have spent hours scouring the web and Adobe's Help and don't have an answer yet, so thanks in advance for your time.

THE QUESTION IS: How can I paint or erase on a layer while seeing the layers beneath it?

I know that I can view the comp in another window at the same time, but that's inaccurate and extremely difficult. There MUST be another way, right? Can't I just view the layers beneath the one I'm working on as I work on it?

In case it matters, what I'm trying to do is remove telephone poles from a shot as a car drives by. I took a still into Photoshop and made a layer that nicely removes the poles and laid it on top of the video in After Effects. But I now need to erase where that layer overlaps the car as it drives by, frame by frame. I have found a few work-arounds but they seem INCREDIBLY indirect


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Dave LaRonde
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Sep 26, 2007 at 3:10:21 pm

[xssight] "I now need to erase where that layer overlaps the car as it drives by, frame by frame."

You're using Photoshop thinking when you should be using After Effects thinking. Hey, it happens.

Instead of erasing on the Photoshop layer, animate a mask around the car and put the resulting layer above your Photoshop layer. Since I don't know specifics, you may have to duplicate the car layer and modify the upper car layer's in and out points, but it's going to be a LOT easier than what you're currently trying to do.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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xssight
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Sep 26, 2007 at 7:16:52 pm

Thanks. I see what you're saying. Thing is, as the car moves in three dimensions, it changes shape dramatically. It seems easier to erase the small areas where my layer overlaps the car, than rotoscope the whole shape of the car. This is probably still Photoshop thinking, but I'm pretty new at After Effects and only use it when I have to to get by on jobs that can't afford a pro, so any help here is greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

I assume the answer to my main question about viewing layers beneath the one on which I'm painting is a "no." That seems odd, but I probably just have the wrong mindset about this.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Sep 27, 2007 at 6:00:56 pm

[xssight] "hing is, as the car moves in three dimensions, it changes shape dramatically. It seems easier to erase the small areas where my layer overlaps the car, than rotoscope the whole shape of the car."

Well, who says you have to roto the entire car? Just look through the clip, find what part of the car need to cover up your Photoshop layer, and do that small portion.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV


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Asa Fox
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Apr 2, 2012 at 2:34:29 am

Did you ever find an answer to this? I have the same problem but for removing dusts spots. Roto tracking would be absurd as it changes each frame, I just want to make an alpha subtraction each frame where the dusts spots are to a blurred (dust removal filter is blurry) layer below.... Also if I were hand coloring frames I'd want to use an adjustment layer for tweaking, it seems like seeing where you're drawing is essential to using the paint tool for anything useful at all!

So yeah, you ever find a solution or just the roto option?


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Michael Klaumann
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on May 21, 2017 at 9:49:06 pm

Here it is 2017 and this problem still exists.

Is there no simple way to paint directly on a layer in a comp without having to open that single layer in a layer window so you can't seen any of your other layers? I'm simply trying to paint over a handwritten name so I can reveal it through animation. I've tried the Pre-Comp method and then apply the paint effect to the pre-comp but AE just keeps crashing as I'm doing the actual painting. EPIC FAIL that this is still so complicated.


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Richard Garabedain
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on May 24, 2017 at 4:22:04 pm

Ive wanted to paint using a wacom tablet inside of after effects for years now...Im still waiting on the fix to this problem.


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John Mayer
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Jul 3, 2018 at 11:57:09 pm

If you still looking for a way, my method is not as direct, but a fine alternative. You lock the panel edit you are working on and move the painting window as another window side by side. You'll still be seeing your painting layer as an individual object, but with the first working panel you will still see what you are doing as you are painting.

Not the finest solution, but it worked for me.


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Steve Bentley
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Jul 7, 2018 at 2:55:26 pm

I've been ranting about the lack of true paint in AE since Adobe bought COSA. If only Adobe owned a preeminent paint package they could port from! Seems only fair since Cosa's layering tech appeared in Pshop in the next rev after the purchase.
Anyone who has used Nuke or Fusion or the holy trinity of Flint,Flame,Inferno scratches their head for hours in AE looking for what to them is an obvious but missing feature.

For the OP, Mocha would be a good alternative to track and remove those posts.



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Kraig Winterbottom
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Aug 6, 2018 at 2:04:33 pm

Just ran into this myself. Doing a job in After Effects for the first time in a while and desperately missing rotopaint in Nuke. Some objects are just so much easier to quickly paint the alpha instead of messing around with loads of fiddly mask vertices. My only real solution so far is to paint on the video where I know I want a matte, then copy and paste the paint effect to the proper layers (or duplicate the video with paint and use track mattes to use it as the alpha).


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Steve Bentley
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Aug 6, 2018 at 4:10:09 pm

While not ideal, and not within the "workflow", pshop's "paint on video" tools have really grown up of late. It's not perfect but better than no solution at all in AE.
There used to be a CC paint that got a little slow with many strokes but it could paint in the viewer. I'm not sure if it still exists or not (or why adobe didn't roll it in when they rolled all the other CC effects in for free - oh wait, I remember CC paint being very big for what it did. So maybe AE's waistline was already hanging over the belt too much.
There may be a third party effect you can add on at AEscripts.com
This is long overdue. Usually I switch to Flame or Nuke when I need to do this.



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Kraig Winterbottom
Re: View Comp While Painting?
on Aug 6, 2018 at 4:34:59 pm

Yeah I was thinking of checking out AEscripts.

I actually did manage to get some half decent results from the workflow I described in my last post once I split the view into two panels. I painted on a duplicate of the plate and had the duplicate set as the alpha track matte for the CG, then split the view into two panels like someone else suggested earlier and set paint channel to alpha. That way so long as I'm painting on the plate itself, I had the correct reference for the matter and I could also immediately see the CG being erased in the locked comp panel because it was already set up as the track matte for the CG.

Would be better if I could see it updating interactively (rather than when you let go of the mouse), as well as not having to look back and forth between the two panels to keep track of whether on not I've "coloured outside the lines" but it worked better than I expected ☺


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