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Best workflow for animated stroke illustration

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alex ezorsky
Best workflow for animated stroke illustration
on Mar 19, 2011 at 5:11:39 am

So my project is to have a chalkboard that magically draws images on itself. I am using AE CS5 (no vector paint :( )

These images are often quite complex so using paths is pretty out of the question.

My current solution is to use paint. My first issue with paint is that unlike flash, there is no smooth feature, so if I draw something with the monitor window zoomed out, and then zoom in, even though the paint is a vector, the path I've drawn is stairsteppy.

The second issue I have is that while its awesome to choose the "write-on" drop down so the line automatically animates itself the fact that it does not jump to the end of the line animation to start the new line, makes it really frustrating to draw something with multiple lines as the lines disappear as soon as they are drawn.

Is there a way to have AE automatically jump to the end of you're last line to draw the new one? Or if I keep the setting to "constant" does someone know of an expression I could use to make all the line timelines animate to %100 within a certain time? And then the question would be is, is there a way to achieve the equivalent of "sequence layers" with these strokes?

Thanks a ton yall.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Best workflow for animated stroke illustration
on Mar 19, 2011 at 6:11:08 am

[alex ezorsky] "Is there a way to have AE automatically jump to the end of you're last line to draw the new one? Or if I keep the setting to "constant" does someone know of an expression I could use to make all the line timelines animate to %100 within a certain time? And then the question would be is, is there a way to achieve the equivalent of "sequence layers" with these strokes?"

Set Duration within the Paint Panel to Write-on and Channels to RGBA. Start with your Timeline Indicator at time=0 and draw your first paint stroke. Once you are done drawing, you should see two keyframes in your Timeline for the End property.

Move the Timeline Indicator to the second keyframe and begin drawing your second stroke, continuing from where you left off. A new Brush Stroke will be created. Repeat until you're done.

Should you want to sequence the strokes, you will have to do it manually in the Timeline by selecting each Stroke's timeline bar. Alternatively, you can simply move each Stroke's End parameter's keyframe.

HTH
RoRK

AE Training in South East Asia. AE templates for sale and rental. Click here for more


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Best workflow for animated stroke illustration
on Mar 19, 2011 at 9:56:43 am

You may want to consider a different way of doing this. Build the drawing in AI and use the brush strokes/ink strokes for interesting lines. This way you can get close up to the line and you will not use the quality. Separate your lines in layers and then just animate masks to reveal the lines.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Dan Allison
Re: Best workflow for animated stroke illustration
on Mar 24, 2011 at 9:31:15 pm

Is there a way to have AE automatically jump to the end of you're last line to draw the new one?

I've been having the same problem. I found a clunky work-around that works ok. I use the hotkeys U and K, in that order, after every stroke. U is the hotkey to make keyframes visible in the timeline, and K is the hotkey to jump to the next visible keyframe. It's not automatic, but at least you don't have to pick up your stylus and manually move the cursor after every stroke.


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