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Ink animation (3D or AE Particular) ?

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Max AndersonInk animation (3D or AE Particular) ?
by on Jun 16, 2014 at 4:51:12 pm

I'm trying to re-create something like this video below for a short animated film. (see from 1:35 the way the ink flows for example)

I was wondering if the scene was created in 3D (Fume FX, Krakatoa?) or AE plugin (Particular etc).
Is there any way to mimic this look in AE Particular or do I have to do this exclusively in 3D and then import it in AE for editing/post-production?

Any help or anything that can help me out will be well appreciated.
Thanks in advance!


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Kevin CampRe: Ink animation (3D or AE Particular) ?
by on Jun 16, 2014 at 11:02:14 pm

it looks like an animated texture applied to a mesh, quite possibly in a 3d app.

you could try creating the animated texture in ae with particular. you could either use a skinny comp, or plan on masking it when you nest it in another comp, but either way, try adding the puppet tool to create a 'branch' that the texture would travel along.

you can make the branch layer 3d and arrange several of them to resemble the branches in your example.

the puppet pins could be animated to make the swaying or you could try a distortion effects like cc bend it or cc bender to create some swaying.

it would be a lot of work , but i think you could create something similar in ae.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Max AndersonRe: Ink animation (3D or AE Particular) ?
by on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:27:16 am

Hello Kevin,

Thanks a lot for your reply! It's been very helpful!

What did you mean by skinny comp? I've been working on AE for 4 years by now but never heard that term before.

Even though it sounds like a lot of work, using the puppet tool and mask sounds like reasonable solutions.
I think if I manage to achieve this effect in Particular would save me tons of time though.
I've realized that in the tree ink video I've posted above the ink branches loop themselves. How is that looping done in AE?

I've also seen lots of people using Particular and then combining it with some blur and spin/turbulence parameters. I guess I will just have to mess around with the settings there.

Check the video below tooIt's not like the video I've posted above but at least it has an ink approach to it which is what I want to create.

Thanks a lot again!


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Kevin CampRe: Ink animation (3D or AE Particular) ?
by on Jun 20, 2014 at 6:38:50 pm

sorry, by skinny i just meant long and narrow. you'd use that to put your animated texture (or particle system) in and then use that long narrow comp as a 'branch' in another comp, using the puppet tool to deform the narrow comp to look like a branch. that setup was just to get the texture to flow along a mesh path, which would tough to do otherwise with a particle system (though you could look for tutorials that use motion paths with particular).

a particle system would necessarily need to loop, but if you wanted to be able to speed things up by pre-rendering (which is not a bad idea) looping a particle system is pretty easy, here's a tutorial:

that music video is really cool, i remember seeing that when it first came out -- he actually created it as a study for particular 2, inspired by the music. later the group made it their official video, which is really cool. anyway, you'll want to spend a lot of time with the physics>air properties. the horizontal movement is mostly generated by using the wind properties, and the organic 'trail' movement uses variations in spin amplitude/frequency and turbulent field. i'm sure there's hours more finesse work, but those are the properties i'd focus on.

Kevin Camp
Art Director

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Max AndersonRe: Ink animation (3D or AE Particular) ?
by on Jun 27, 2014 at 7:04:19 am

Thanks a lot Kevin!
That was really helpful! Thanks for the tutorial link and all the other very useful information.

I experimented with the puppet tool the past few days but it seems like tons of work to be done, at least in the way I want to apply the ink into the project.
I also played around in particular and I could achieve something similar but I find it really hard to move it into space cause the other project elements are in 2D. (characters,backgrounds etc). It needs lots of fine tuning there.

On the other hand, I've also tried experimenting with a green screen setup (which I build at home) to see if I can achieve something similar by recording it, masking it and editing it in a way that the ink preserves the closest to the original look as possible.
One problem is that the brush tip and my hand gets in the way sometimes which I'm fixing by editing it but I would like to achieve something like that in the example below. I know this has nothing to do with After Effects or whatsoever but I would be really thankful if you had any idea on how the guy in the video achieved this? Also, will it work on green paper? Looks like he is using a very thin rice paper so maybe that's why the ink comes through?

Thanks a lot again! :)


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