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Running Paint Effect

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Seb Mackintosh
Running Paint Effect
on Aug 17, 2009 at 1:20:44 pm


I want to create an effect where a paintpot is slung against a composition, depositing mixed paint of various colors in a blob. I then want the colors to move around the image like paint flowing (ie colors being liquids but not melting into each other as they move - like mercury holds itself together in oil/water), and then end up with the colours over respective B/W characters and then bleed into the layers beneath them, effectively coloring in elements of the layers beneath; and seeping away in gaps between images on the layers.

Realise this might be tricky and happy to buy a plugin?

The other option I had is to have a spray paint can that sprays a stream of colours on eg. five spray cans come on at once and colour in characters.

Thanks for any help.

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Trevor Gent
Re: Running Paint Effect
on Aug 17, 2009 at 8:26:16 pm

Hey Seb,

This is one of those "not just one way around it" kind of deals.It probably depends on the look you are going for ( photo-real/ "catoonish"...)

You might try messing around with CC Mr Mercury if you want "blobby" looking stuff.

There are probably a few retail plugins that would do this and a 3d package sure would help.

Personally I would go for animated masks. Just keyframe the heck out of them until you get the look you want.
I would go for one masked layer for color and then add more layers with different blend modes for highlights and shadows ect.. Then add more layers for splatters etc.. Maybe try to find a photo of splashed paint and try to ape it.

Its probably the most tedious way to do it but I cant think of anything that would give you more control over the final look as you can animate the masks into any shape you want and make adjustments.

(Unless yeah, you get a 3d app or Particle/Dynamics simulator.)



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Seb Mackintosh
Re: Running Paint Effect
on Aug 17, 2009 at 10:20:59 pm

Thanks Trevor - I was kind of going that way. Few more qs if that's OK.

1. Can you suggest any 3D software or effects packages that could do this type of thing really easily?
2. Failing that any tips on what to do with highlights/shadows to achieve a paint-like look
3. Any idea of effects that can create a dripping/seeping effect in the direction of the background?
4. Any idea how to combine cc mercury or something else and a bezier mask to start with bubbles, but then to physically move the collection of bubbles across the composition and gradually combine them?
5. Thanks!!

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Trevor Gent
Re: Running Paint Effect
on Aug 18, 2009 at 3:05:14 am

As far as 3d programs go everyone has their favs and some are better for certain tasks. I tried Maya for a bit and although I got some terrific results I just didn't have the time to really dive into it. Cinema 4d is very intuitive and you can get great results without spending a year locked in your room. I also hear great things about Blender, it's a free/ open source 3d App that a lot of people swear by. There is also RealFLow which specializes in fluid simulations ( as well as particles and dynamics).

Back to Ae...:) for the highlights, I would use a white or light colored solid, mask out the shape you want, feather it then switch the transfer mode to Add or Screen or the like, then parent it to your "color" layer and animate it. Same sort of idea for the Shadows. There is a great tutorial on Video Copilot called "The Ring" or something like that. Andrew Kramer has got some great tips and tricks in there for making a 2d object look 3d using masks to make highlights and shadows.

For the drips you could try a particle generator. CC particle world might do the trick depending on the level of realism you want. Or you could look into Trapcode Particular which lets you use custom layers as particles that you can make into anything you want ( even animate them ) This might be the way to go for a lot of what you're trying to achieve.

For the Mr Mercury idea I would again apply a mask to the layer in the shape you want the paint to eventually create then play around with the effect settings. Birth and Death sizes should give the effect of smaller blobs coming together and filling in to make a solid shape.

I've emptied my head of any ideas I have. I'm sure there are a lot more!
Best of luck!


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