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Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?

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Kell Smith
Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:44:15 am

I would like to animate line drawings similar to the ones you see in a lot of commercials these days. I'm assuming this would start from line drawing artwork which would then be scanned, although at some point I may create it digitally from the start.

Can someone guide me to the best method for this, from start to finish?

Also, I traced a piece of artwork in Illustrator Live Trace, and came out with a bunch of paths. Is there a way to combine the masks in CS3?

I am working with Illustrator CS3 and After Effects 6.5.

Thanks


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Dec 31, 2012 at 12:39:23 pm

Kell

I would be better if you upload a reference of what you exactly want to achieve.

Well, You can use Illustrator to create Vector graphics and then import them in AE for animation.

See the tutorial for using Live Trace in illustrator and import the curves in AE.

Working With the Scribble Effect – Part 2

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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John Cuevas
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Dec 31, 2012 at 12:52:53 pm

There was a pretty detailed discussion about it here: How would you go about producing this animation?

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 2:52:13 am

Thanks all,
I have seen those whiteboard videos with the arm revealing the drawing before - but it was interesting to follow those threads and look into specifically how those are done. I think there is also a software that will do that - so it never occurred to me that people might be doing that manually. I might give that a test run.

As for the links below, my specific question is how to get started in the process and what is the best method for doing so. And specifically, the exact process of bringing it from line drawing to computer animation - what to do, in what sequence.
And the way to get it from Illustrator (CS3) to AE without two hundred masks from Autotrace - how to combine and simplify. And without tracing everything manually with the pen tool.

I would like to do this animation in After Effects (6.5) for now, because I want to become skilled in it. However, if there's a better method let me know for future reference.

Originally this is the type of thing I had in mind and would like to be able to offer:






But upon really sitting down and considering it, I'm interested in being able to do something like this - although my drawing skills are functional but limited. I guess the correct term would be cartooning.
I also like the watercolor shading.
(these are hilarious BTW - give them a look):












Thanks =)


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 4:39:29 am

I meant to say Livetrace....


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John Cuevas
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 1:05:31 pm

The first video looks like she was shot on a green or white screen and moved around in post production to add the graphics. The key to that video is story boarding ahead of time to get her to look and interact with the graphics at the right time. Thought it looks like they strobed the video a bit---so you could cut out a bit of time and probably not be very noticeable. The graphics all could be made in illustrator(or even AE if you really wanted), then doing the final composite in AE.

The second two are traditional animation, whether computer assisted-I don't know. You might want to google search and see if somebody breaks down the technique.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:03:10 pm

Yes, I haven't done a test yet, but it seems that the first one I could
1 draw the drawings,
2 trace them in Illustrator, maybe doing different parts on different layers,
3 Figure out how to combine the paths into a single one in CS3 (anyone know how)?
4 Copy and paste them into AE
5 Create a mask with render>stroke
6 Reveal the mask under stroke end property.

For the second ones, I guess I would need to work from actual drawings/paintings?
1 I guess I could draw them in Illustrator, but I'm not really that proficient in it yet. I have a cheap tablet,but it feels awkward to use it.
Or maybe I could draw/paint the main frames, then modify them in Illustrator under Live Trace?
2 Would I need to do this for all ten thousand frames? Or is there a way to have the program fill in?

I cannot afford (and may not have the system resources since my equip. is older) to get a program like Maya or 3D Max right now, so what I am working with at this point is the CS3 Suite, a very old Final Cut and Motion, After Effects 6.5, and perhaps I could find one of those free animation programs out there. But I want to learn first and foremost how to use After Effects.


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John Cuevas
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:49:28 pm

I really can't emphasize enough that you probably don't want to start trying to do a project first, but should start learning the fundamentals of the program. AE has a high learning curve and you might find yourself pretty frustrated trying to do stuff without the proper foundation.

On this page are some links to some great tutorials for getting started. If they have .aep files you won't be able to open them in CS3, but you could still follow along and much of the information is the same(and most will provide the assets needed to complete the projects). Also if your computer can handle it, you might want to go to adobe.com and download a trial of CS6, believe you can use it for 30 days. Great if you are just starting.

Getting started with After Effects (CS4, CS5, CS5.5, & CS6)

You will probably get quicker answers for your illustrator questions in the Adobe Illustrator forum(I myself have only a rudimentary understanding of that program).

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 3, 2013 at 2:18:14 am

Thanks John!
Point taken. I actually do have the Total Training series for AE 6.5 and am working my way through it (a very large undertaking as it is a pretty extensive training series). So I am slowly getting a grasp of the basics. it's not too bad as I do have a working knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop, except for the aforementioned question, as well as FCS and similar. BTW I do have a parallel thread in the Illustrator forum for the mask question, just haven't solved it yet.

You're certainly right about having the foundations - and I'm getting those. I like giving myself assignments and then finding the answer - as long as it's not at 3am on a paid project - we all know what that's like! But I will complete the TT program for sure.

I think I understand how to do animation #1, in theory at least, but will try it hands-on and see how it goes.
However, if anyone out there can guide me as to animation #2 and #3, what the proper way is for such projects, I'd like to tackle it and just try to do it. Just need a clear method of approach.

i was hoping to have a grasp of this by the New Year, but maybe not...

BTW, love your quote, and posted it as my New Year's Facebook status.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 4, 2013 at 6:41:08 am

I guess everyone's left =( I'll figure it out


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John Cuevas
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 4, 2013 at 12:53:37 pm

Did I miss a question?

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 4, 2013 at 10:28:40 pm

Hi John,
No, I wasn't saying that - you've been great. I think we're the only ones left in the thread though.. =)
I"m still unclear on how to approach animations #2 and #3 though but I'm working on it. Been doing some Google searching and it is filling in some of the holes - but haven't tried it yet.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 5, 2013 at 3:45:07 am

John, sorry... didn't mean to sound like a jerk... I think I was just having a moment - some other things going on in the background on my end and my frustration about those just showed up in the tone of my post.. but unrelated.


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John Cuevas
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 5, 2013 at 10:03:16 pm

No worries Kell.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Kell Smith
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 7, 2013 at 3:28:01 pm

Thanks John, and thanks so much for your help and suggestions. I'm going to hit the TT training series harder.
I came up with some watercolor animation ideas yesterday and am going to try them just to see how the process works.
And the unrelated things going on have been resolved...In the future I'll make sure I don't post in the forum when I'm mad at someone here at home. =)


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bryant ty
Re: Can someone guide me to the best method for line drawing animation?
on Jan 15, 2013 at 11:19:32 pm

I'm also trying to find out how to create those animations. When you figure it out please share! thanks


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