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vector paint keyframing

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Julia Deakinvector paint keyframing
by on Jan 20, 2010 at 10:34:37 pm

Hi all,

I'm using vector paint to animate simple black line illustrations, and I'm surprised to find that it's visually showing on the timeline what frames have been painted on.

Am I missing something? Does vector paint not use keyframes? I can only seem to tell which frames I've animated on by scrubbing the timeline...

Also, I've read on here that there is a tweening option, but can't seem to find that either.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

ps - I waffled between animating in Flash vs AE, and AE won because I'm more familiar with the workflow and have many scenes to thread together. Am I crazy? Should I be doing this in Flash? Seems a lot more intuitive for classic line animation...

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Dave LaRondeRe: vector paint keyframing
by on Jan 20, 2010 at 10:43:05 pm

Here's how Vector Paint works:

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Julia DeakinRe: vector paint keyframing
by on Jan 21, 2010 at 2:25:44 am

Thank you Dave for your quick reply. I had already consulted the Adobe site and searched other forums. There is no mention of keyframes in vector paint anywhere. I am taking this to mean that vector paint just doesn't use them at all.

I find it annoying to not have any visual indicators on the timeline; scrubbing carefully to find which frames have been animated is not very efficient, and only being able to edit the timing of the animation by adjusting the playback speed (or redrawing) is really limiting.

I feel like I must be missing something.

Perhaps I'll work in flash and export my renders to AE for comping... unless I can find the error in my ways.

Thanks again -- going back to fiddle now!


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Wieger de LeurRe: vector paint keyframing
by on Jan 21, 2010 at 9:26:46 am

Hi Julia,

Do you have a reason for choosing vector-paint instead of the regular paint effect? You can key almost everything in paint. So the trouble you have with trying to find animated parts is no issue in paint.
And I really like copying and pasting vectors in the path of the brush in paint. It's very flexible.

Good Luck!

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Julia DeakinRe: vector paint keyframing
by on Jan 21, 2010 at 3:41:55 pm


Thank you for your urging me to look into regular paint, that's exactly the kind of keyframing and tweening I was looking for.

There are a couple of reasons I went to vector paint:

1. I really like the wiggle feature -- it gives a very nice hand-done look to the strokes. Using turbulent displace isn't quite the same.

2. My illustrations are loose -- they have tons of little strokes and hatchmarks, and the outlines of the characters have breaks in the strokes too -- working in regular paint, every new stroke becomes a new layer. I would have hundreds for each scene.... Animating like this would become very cumbersome very quickly.

Feeling conflicted over which approach to take... with deadlines approaching!

Thinking I might just have to work with vector paint.

Unless anyone has a better suggestion...

Thank you both for your replies!

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Todd KoprivaRe: vector paint keyframing
by on Jan 21, 2010 at 4:05:49 pm

I second Wieger's question/suggestion. There's a reason that this is the first sentence of the "Vector paint effect" section of After Effects Help:

"For most drawing and painting tasks, use shape tools and paint tools, not the Vector Paint effect."

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.

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Wieger de LeurRe: vector paint keyframing
by on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:29:22 pm

hi Julia,

The balance between organic shapes and control is always interesting.

Nevertheless Paint has more advantages. You can apply multiple brushes to one instance of the effect - a lot of them. Just make sure that you deselect a brush before drawing a new shape. Sometimes when I want to keep things really organised I use multiple instance of the effect. So you can have a lot of strokes in one single layer.

Another techique to make stuff look more organic is by copying the vector in the brush path of Paint and then pasting it in the position property of a null object. Every point of the path is now editable - by hand or if you like by using something like the wiggler.
When your done, select the whole position property of the null object, copy and paste into the path of the brush.
A lot of control and a lot of options for tweaking your lines.

Good luck with your deadline!

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