5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 10, 2009 8:06 PM by Production Monkey

    Tips for a tracing effect?

    Applied CD Level 1
      I’ve got a series of photos of new products. I’d like to bring these products on screen by drawing in “blue print” style lines then cross fade to the real product (ripping off a number of television commercials that do something similar but for a micro-fraction of the budget) I’ve faked this in the past by creating a series of Illustrator drawings by tracing over the real product, then using horizontal or vertical wipes to get the lines to “draw” themselves building the blueprint drawing up by layers. On rare occasions I’ve animated a mask over the line drawings to achieve the same effect. For this project those tricks aren’t going to cut it, for one thing these tricks don't work well with circular objects. Does anyone have a technique that can pull this effect off convincingly?
        • 1. Re: Tips for a tracing effect?
          Level 7
          You could try a high-pass filter in, for example, Photoshop to bring out the
          edges. Starting out with a photo which is underexposed for the subject (e.g.
          photograph it on a light-table) may help to reduce unwanted detail.


          • 2. Re: Tips for a tracing effect?
            James Newton, ACP Level 3
            You might find some inspiration >here<. In particular, at the Radians section in the Trig.dcr movie, I "drew" a circle by covering it with two rect shapes, and moving the lower shape off to the left then the upper shape off to the right.
            • 3. Re: Tips for a tracing effect?
              Applied CD Level 1
              Thanks all.

              In the interest of time I did something similar to what Andrew suggested:

              1: sized the full color image and save (24 bit)
              2: with a copy of the sized full color image:
              Select all, apply Filter > Find Edges
              Copy all, paste into alpha channel (color indicates mask)
              Invert alpha channel (Image > Adjustments > Invert)
              Adjust curves so background (mask) is mostly 0-0-0
              Reselect RGB channel, select all, fill with blue-print blue (or whatever), save as blue print image (with alpha)
              3: place blue print image in low channel, span about 30 frames
              4: place color image in high channel, same span, tween blend 0% - 100%

              It doesn’t give me that drawing effect I was looking for, I ended up just using some lame combinations of wipes on the blue-print image, however, the blue-print images could be made in about 5 minutes each and looked a whole lot better than hours of work in Illustrator. It helps that my products were similar to kitchen cabinets with strong architectural lines at interesting angles so the Find Edges filter produced a nice effect (once the funky colorization side effect is neutralized).
              • 4. Re: Tips for a tracing effect?
                mziskandar Level 1
                Thank you for sharing AppliedCD.
                • 5. Re: Tips for a tracing effect?
                  Production Monkey Level 3
                  Any Wipe or Dissolve you can imagine, can be done with copyPixels() by altering the alpha channel of the source image.