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the remote controller
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how can I live without vector paint?

Aug 31, 2010 9:15 PM

hey everyone

I use the vector paint plugin in AECS3 to create hand-drawn style line art animations.

I use vector paint applied to a solid together with my wacom cintiq to draw lines freehand. sometimes I use the 'animate strokes' setting within vector paint to make it look like the strokes are being drawn on.

there are some downsides to this plugin over the standard AE paint engine (principally that I cannot edit individual strokes, easily retime my strokes, or apply masks to my paint layer without precomping), but vector paint wins for me for 2 critical reasons:

1. I can paint directly in the comp window, meaning I can easily trace directly over another layer in my comp; and

2. Vector Paint has a built in wiggle engine which enables me to wiggle my paint strokes - this makes the images I draw feel dynamic and alive. it suits the simple hand drawn style of the animation.

 

as anyone who reads this forum will be aware, vector paint has been removed from CS5. I am needing to upgrade my creative suite but I need to be able to continue making this look for my clients.

 

my question to you all is how can I continue creating animations in this style with CS5?

 

Any feedback would be *most* appreciated!

 

cheers

 

dan

 

here are some examples of the kind of animation I am refferring to -some of these are WIPs so appear quite rough!

 

 

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2010 11:20 PM   in reply to the remote controller
    1. I can paint directly in the comp window, meaning I can easily trace directly over another layer in my comp

     

    You can do that with normal paint just the same by painting on solids on top and setting the brush to paint on transparent and layer and comp windows side by side. You can even get that functionality in the layer window by adding effects like CC Composite before the paint to enforce rendering of the current frame.

    2. Vector Paint has a built in wiggle engine which enables me to wiggle my paint strokes - this makes the images I draw feel dynamic and alive. it suits the simple hand drawn style of the animation.

     

    Yes, it's been much lamented but it's not coming back - for a while, anyway. Get yourself a "paint" plug-in liek Video Gogh or learn how to work with displacement effects to get similar results. Occassionally also consider shape layers - there's a Wiggle Path modifier there, after all.

     

    Mylenium

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2010 11:21 PM   in reply to Mylenium

    Before I saw Mylenium's response, I was also going to point you to the Wiggle Paths operator in shape layers. So, here's a link.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 1, 2010 4:06 PM   in reply to the remote controller

    >  but I now cannot keep my AE version current without losing the ability to produce this look.

     

     

    What  would prevent you from keeping After Effects CS3 around for the times  when you need Vector Paint and then just bringing elements in from  there? Any time that you upgrade, it makes sense to keep the old version  around.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2010 9:21 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    THIS is a response from Adobe?!?! Use an old version?!? Sorry, Todd, I mean no disrespect at all, but this is not the answer to give to Dan. I too am really suffering from the removal of the vector paint effect. For all of it's shortcomings, it really did something exceptional and unique within after effects. To simply say that somebody just needs to use CS3 is severely limiting - it assumes that Dan is only using the Vector paint effect in his compositions. I absolutely love and have already come to depend on many of cs5's new features - how could I possibly nest cs3 working comps that use vector paint in the middle of projects that I am developing in cs5?

     

    I really don't understand this one on Adobe's part. Why just dump the whole thing? Why not just include it as an optional install with a disclaimer that it's still got the same problems as before? It WASN'T THAT BAD. It worked, and artists depended on it. Everybody I speak with in the industry who animates in After Effects is pissed about this in varying degrees.

     

    Anyway, I'm going to hunt for the feedback page to request a release of it.

     

    Good luck with the Paint plug-in Dan. geez. really? The paint plugin?

     

    Jonathan

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2010 9:27 AM   in reply to bobtilton

    > I'm going to hunt for the feedback page to request a release of it.

     

     

    No need to hunt.

     

    You can file a feature request here: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

     

    More on how to give feedback here: http://bit.ly/93d6NF

     

    Regarding  my answer about using an older version: I'm not commenting pro or con  regarding the removal of the Vector Paint effect. I'm not the person who  makes those decisions. Rather, I'm giving the best workaround that is  available under the circumstances. I'm technical support, not product  management.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 29, 2010 10:26 PM   in reply to the remote controller

    Installing CS3 software after CS5 software may cause problems. Going the other direction works fine. To be totally safe, I recommend uninstalling CS5, installing CS3, and then reinstalling CS5. I know that that sounds like a pain, but the old installer was not written with the CS5 software in mind, so it may not respect the files installed by the CS5 installer.

     

    I have CS3, CS4, and CS5 software on the same computer, but I installed in that order.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 2, 2010 10:04 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    I recommend uninstalling and reinstalling the whole suite. The components that I'm most concerned about (becuase I've seen them messed up by out-of-order installations) are things like Bridge and Adobe Media Encoder.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2010 6:48 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    Dan you are not alone.

     

    I'm not quite sure what your reasons Adobe have for removing this very useful feature it would be great if they could maybe make it an optional plugin that you can install yourself should you want to.

     

    I'm an After effects animator at The Mill in London and I use Vector paint constantly. ONe of the main advantages over normal paint is being able to paint within the comp and on alpha enabling you to trace or matte out images.

     

    Apart from that VERY important feature there is the wiggle feature. I use this sooooo much to achieve a 'hand animated' style.

     

    Also the onion skinning abilities of this little plugin make it an essential for anyone wanting to animate within after effects.

     

    Just the ability to be able to freehand draw directly in vector paint is enough to at least keep it in after effects, why remove it completely?

     

    Should any 3rd party developers be reading, this would be a useful project that would help loads of animators....

     

    I urge people to join the campaign to bring back Vector Paint!

     

    ^_^

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2010 7:07 AM   in reply to thebobwolf

    Atta boy, Wolf. You've touched on some great features of the Vector Paint plugin. Another deficit that I've painfully realized this week in production with the brush plugin is the ability to smooth any drawn lines.

     

    I think a good course of action would be to send this up on some of the sites such as motionographer. It's a little bit of a boys club to get a post on there, but since you're at The Mill, somebody might perk up their ears. If enough folks make some noise there, I bet Adobe would suddenly find the inspiration to reinstate the effect.

     

    Worst case, maybe kickstarter.com is a way to get the thing back.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 2, 2010 10:06 AM   in reply to bobtilton

    Hi Everyone,

     

    Michael Coleman here. I'm the product manager for After Effects. I'd like to respond to a couple points in this thread. I can offer a little explanation, and make a small request/suggestion.

     

    First of all, @the remote controller (Dan), I really love your animation. Really beautiful and creative stuff. Thanks for posting the links.

     

    Next, I apologize for the hassle we've created. When we started working on CS5, it was our goal to consolidate the functionality of the vector paint effect and the built-in paint tools. Maintaining 2 paint systems with similar features doesn't really make sense, so it was our plan to combine them. Thanks to the 64-bit conversion, we didn't have the option of leaving it in as is. Unfortunately we underestimated the time it would take, and we simply ran out of time to convert Vector Paint to a 64-bit native effect. We got a ton of awesome things into CS5, but fell a bit short on Vector Paint.

     

    I do ask for your patience while we address this gap. If the workarounds listed in this thread don't work for you, the best way to communicate this to the After Effects development team is to use the feature-request form that Todd mentioned above. Even though a web form seems impersonal and corporate, I assure you that the request goes directly to a living, breathing member of the After Effects team. Starting a thread in other web sites is not an effective way to make yourselves heard. After all, I'm the AE product manager, and I've heard you loud and clear right here on the Adobe forums. Next step: the feature-request form. It really helps us if you use it.

     

    Regards,

     

    Michael Coleman

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2010 6:16 PM   in reply to ADOBEmcoleman

    Thank you so much Michael!

     

    That was what I've been hoping to hear!! I know a lot of artists will be relieved to learn of this as well.

     

    I definitely respect the opportunity that this forum provides. The only reason that I brought up a site such as motionographer is because of the clustering of After Effects users there, and that if it was a case of Adobe simply not understanding that the plugin is presently sorely missed, that surely a group such as that would raise the flag officially.

     

    And now that it's out there that Vector Paint is being worked on for a future release, I, for one, will definitely use the wish form to suggest improvements/features that I would love to see for it's grand reappearance. It's a beautiful and versitile plugin - nothing comes close.

     

    Thanks again,

    Jonathan

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 2, 2010 10:27 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    Just a note in case this detail was missed:

    Compositions created with a previous version of After Effects that use the Vector Paint effect will still render in After Effects CS5, but you will not be able to modify the Vector Paint effect properties in these compositions in After Effects CS5.

     

    In other words, it's the Vector Paint UI (user interface) that is missing from After Effects CS5, not the underlying effect for rendering.

     

    A hard and time-consuming part of porting an effect to 64-bit is the custom user interface stuff (which any of you waiting patiently for Zaxwerks plug-ins to come to After Effects CS5 know all too well).

     

    It's a bit of a hassle, but doing my Vector Paint work in After Effects CS4 and then importing that project into my After Effects CS5 project works fine.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 8, 2010 8:53 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    Although Dan's original post has caught Adobe's attention I want to add one more squeak to the wheel. It was great to read all the confirmations from other animators who use AE for sequence drawing in the Comp window. It has been an invaluable tool since Adobe acquired the Cult Effects package.

    I'm hoping they can restore (and improve) this functionality soon. And why not add some kind of exposure sheet window too?

     

    GG

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2011 4:15 AM   in reply to George Griffin
    I'm hoping they can restore (and improve) this functionality soon.

    +1 for this!

    VP used to need Shift key held down in Quick Paint mode.

    Why not have a nice little checkbox instead?

    Also being able to change brush tip, size & colour while in this mode without loosing what has been already painted on screen andwithout  having to hunt it through the TL.

    In other words, the ability to fully record the painting session sequence more or less like Painter has since v3.

    Ideally merging VP with Paint, and using best features of both, plus the ability to import brushes from PS.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 20, 2011 2:55 AM   in reply to ADOBEmcoleman

    Hello Michael,

     

    Could you give some sort of idea as to when Vector Paint, or something similar which allows painting on layers in the comp window,will be reintroduce? We are up to v5.5 now and still no sign.

     

    For me the removal of this feature makes the product useless as I routinely paint in track matte layers to brush-in effects or layer visibility.  I have had to go back to using CS3.

     

    If the feature is going to be added back soon then I will keep my copy of CS5.5 - otherwise I might as well give it back and get a refund.

     

    Some sort of confirmation that the reintroduction of this feature is a high priority would set my mind at ease.

     

    Thanks

     

    Geoff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 12:45 PM   in reply to geoff tompkinson

    Hi Geoff,

     

    I'm the new product manager for AE - I recently took over for Michael (although we work together a lot!).

     

    As I'm sure you already know, across Adobe, we can't comment on what will be in future releases, so I wish I had a better answer for you.  That being said - this specific topic has come up several times on the AE team, and are constantly evaluating things like this.

     

    As I said - I know it's not the answer you're looking for, but the best I can do for now I am afraid.

     

    Steve

    Sr. Product Manager - Visual Effects

    Adobe Systems Inc.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 2:59 PM   in reply to steveforde

    Thanks for the update Steve. I was holding my breathe for a 5.5 appearance of Vector Paint, but understand how those things go. If there's anything the depressed folks in this forum can do to grease the wheels of change, please let us know.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2011 6:39 AM   in reply to steveforde

    Hi Steve,

     

    Many thanks for getting back to me on this. It's normally very frustrating

    trying to get any good information from Adobe when normally you get routed to

    some guy in India with a script to follow who really has no idea what the

    software is or how it works.

     

    I fully understand that you cannot give any firm committments regarding what

    will, or won't, be in future releases of AE but this is a bit different in

    that it is not a new feature we are asking for - just that you put back the

    functionality that has been removed.

     

    Can I take it, off the record, that you are intimating that this is likely to

    happen?

     

    For my workflow AE5 is not an option, so I have a redundant piece of software

    I've paid for whilst still continuing to work with earlier versions.

     

    Do I wait - or ask for my money back?

     

    Thanks

     

    Geoff

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2011 7:21 AM   in reply to geoff tompkinson

    Unfortunately - we get stuck in a legal pinch about commenting on ANYTHING that may or may not be in future products, off the record or otherwise.

     

    That being said, as Michael explained in a previous post, Vector Paint got stuck in the conversion of AE to 64 bit.  It's something we hear quite a bit from our users that Vector Paint is important.  Again - wish I could give you more than that, but we are bound by very strict rules.

     

    Therefore - it is important to us, and the more we hear via this form the more likely it is to get resources behind it in a future release. Again I realize it is impersonal, but the results of this form are sent via email to a real human every time someone hits submit; then that person brings the results of submission to a weekly meeting on the AE team where we discuss features and scheduling.

     

    Steve

    Sr. Product Manager - Visual Effects

    Adobe Systems Inc.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 8, 2011 1:16 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    Hi,

    I too use vector paint all the time:

    As a quick way to tweak travelling mattes, I also occasionally use it to create line animations.

    I am really annoyed that this feature has been discontinued, it is actually one of the features I use most in after effects.

    I hope there is some kind of alternative available

    or else the feature is restored!

    Thank you

    Peter

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 8, 2011 7:55 AM   in reply to peter_bunzl

    If you like Vector Paint, follow the link given in the previous post to file a feature request. If they get enough people doing that, it'll come back.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 9, 2011 1:19 AM   in reply to Szalam

    Hi Szalam,

     

    Yeah I have done that about ten times so far - I figure if I keep doing it

    maybe they will get the message.

    I actually have the latest version but cannot use it for this reason so have

    de-installed it. Should have asked for my money back really.

     

    Perhaps I'll sell it on e-bay.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2011 9:50 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    I too have just discovered that Vector Paint has gone, I was just about to do a nice little animated tree I'm very bummed to see it's not there it was a very fun feature with loads of uses. Consider my form filled in... Happy AE'ing.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2011 10:15 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    ...what surprises me is, there are no third party add-ons /plug ins (that I know of) which will do this sort of thing, an advanced  paint engine for AE.
    At the same time so many plugins around have overlapping functions, glows, blurs, noise,  3d text, time remapping etc.

     

    If one knows  of a paint addon, it'd be nice to share.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 7:42 PM   in reply to the remote controller

    I would love to go on record in saying that if AE is to be considered a true compositing program, it ought to have the equivalent of vector paint. It is imperative to have the ability to paint in the alpha channel of a layer and see it in real time as it is composited over the layer below. It ought to be put back in to future releases. In the meantime, I jump out to Quantel's eQ or Autodesk has Smoke for the mac desktop which also has a great paint system. A pain in the neck to do but the job has to get done.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 11:14 PM   in reply to sam.hamann

    I have not used AE CS 5 or 5.5 since release because of this problem. To me not having the ability to paint in the alpha channel of a layer and see it in real time as it is composited over the layer below is liking having a Ferrari with one of the wheels missing. Quite incredible that they released a crippled product like this, and even more incredible that they have done noting about releasing a fix or a firm announcement of re-inclusion in the next release.

     

    I have send reminders to the adobe suggestions team every couple of months for over a year now and in the meantime CS5 and 5.5 sit in a box on a shelf in front of me whilst I use CS3 for 8 hours a day. Madness.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 6:28 AM   in reply to sam.hamann

    Just a reminder to Sam and others: If you want to go "on record" officially with Adobe, you need to file a feature request and encourage others to do the same. Adobe is a company that, in my experience, actually listens to their customers to give them what they want. However, the AE team is rather small and has limited resources. So, the more people they have asking for a certain feature, the more likely they are to allocate those resources to that feature. Squeaky wheel, grease, and all that.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 8:12 AM   in reply to the remote controller

    Excuse the long-winded piling on below:

     

    I just upgraded to 5.5 and have found again to my dismay that Adobe has not re-integrated VP. Having sent another  "feature request" I'd like to add to this thread again, this time from the POV of my particular practice which is experimental, collage, and cartoon animation. Many of us appreciate the compositing (fundamental to AE) and now 64 bit. Rendering is a so fast. But there is a large segment of the animation world which does not use Maya and Flash. I meet them at film festivals, on panels, in schools. Their primary tools are PS and AE, i.e. painting, sequencing, and compositing. VP has always been that extra bit that can add touches and alter lines. I have used it ever since it was acquired from Cult. The ability to draw in the Comp, over another layer (or many layers), and instantly preview, has led to numerous design solutions.

     

    Coming out of the film world I taught at Pratt and Parsons here in NYC and shifted my classes to AE as soon as I mastered the transition. In addition to grafting my workflow onto AE I found that one could start drawing and animating from scratch, using onion skinning, then adding exciting additional styles to the line (think roughen edges) and matte in boiling textures to give the line internal character. And this was in addition to wiggling, which is an inadequate term for the powerful kinetic distortions than can be introduced and controlled. AE was THE app that built on the importance of the artist's hand to create drawings in time.

     

    When Adobe made its decision to drop VP (seems like ages) we were told that "maybe" it would come back if enough users wanted it. To those who say they never used it or didn't know what the fuss is about, my reaction is "who asked you?" To those who say "use AE3, quit, open 5.5" I say what if you want to alter or continue? Isn't mutability an essential function of any app?

     

    I assume Adobe based it decision on a theory of "collateral damage," that VP users were just an unfortunate, dispensible minority; that the majority have "other priorities" and would ignore the loss. I can understand that improvement can have unintended consequences, but I can't understand why the developers don't level with us and admit they cannot or will not restore VP; or better say it can be done and will be done.

     

    GG

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 8:59 AM   in reply to George Griffin

    I agree with all your comments but would just like to say that I work in a completely different way and still rely on VP. I produce short movie clips for ImageBank Film and part of my standard technique involves me adding an effect to a layer then blanking the layer out by use of a white solid as a luma inverted matte. I can then paint in the invisible matte and brush the effect in or out directly over the composition. I use this not only for applying effects to selected areas but also to apply invisible images layers to the comp as well.

     

    This has been a BASIC ability in graphics programmes since layers were first introduced. It beggars beleif that they have crippled the product by removing this and seemingly are not in any great rush to put it back.

     

    It has been repeatedly suggested to me that I should use a 'workaround' by painting in the layer window and watching the result in the comp window. This is just useless for me.

     

    I have made feature requests at least ten times over the last year or so and encourage everyone who feels the loss of VP to do the same. In the meantime my copies of CS5 and 5.5 remain gathering dust on the top shelf in my office whilst I plod on with CS3.

     

    GT

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 12:24 PM   in reply to geoff tompkinson

    See this post from me on the After Effects team blog for an indication that we are still trying to determine how we can bring back the important features of the Vector Paint effect.

     

    As I explain there (and as Michael Coleman explained above), porting this entire effect to 64-bit would have been a huge amount of work, and time spent on it would have prevented us from being able to implement several other features.

     

    We have asked for feedback---and gotten it---to determine which parts of this gigantic effect people miss and can't replace with shape layers and the existing paint tools. This will allow us to do more focused work that is much more likely to fit within our schedule. So, thanks for that feedback.

     

    There's some more useful information here:

    http://aeportal.blogspot.com/2010/10/vector-paint-in-cs5.html

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 12:52 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Hi Todd,

     

    This is good news for me! Always presuming the bits you put back in are the bits I need - maybe then I can dust off those cs5 boxes and get back up to date with the only product I use every day.

     

    I presume it is abundantly clear what I need - which is really very basic - from the explanation of how I use VP in the post above. (or should I copy that into a feature request?)

     

    Many, many thanks for getting back on this and giving those of us who need this feature some hope that the situation will be at least partially remedied in the future.

     

    Is that the near future, by the way?  Minor upgrade or new release?  Any vague timescale?

     

    Regards

     

    Geoff

     
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