8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 20, 2013 11:28 AM by Rick Gerard

    Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)

    perfectblue Level 1

      I am following several tutorials for an end effect of a hand or writing tool that appears to draw a picture. I am attempting to have the hand draw out the picture by first taking the picture and using a stroke effect and tracing it with the pen tool. However, I am experiencing a few issues with it so far, namely:

       

      1.  I trace the image I want drawn with the stroke effect. I copy the mask produced from tracing and then paste into the positon keyframe of my hand comp. The problem here is it masks out section of my hand.

       

      2. Get the hand to follow the mask path created on the image. The alternative in the video tutorials for this type of effect often manually keframes the hand into position. I was hoping by pasting the mask path into the position keyframes for the hand it would automatically follow the drawing.

       

      Please see image below for illustration (please click to enlarge), thanks for your time

      smileyface_comp2.jpg

        • 1. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          You're pasting the masks into the layer, and not into the layer's position property.  Make an initial position keyframe, highlight it and paste in the first mask; it will come in at a default duration of 2 seconds.  Go beyond the last keyframe pasted in, make another position keyframe, highlight it and paste in the next mask... and so on. 

           

          Carefully consider the sequence in which you paste these masks.  And be prepared to move a lot of keyframes to get the timing right.

          • 2. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            As Dave said you have to make sure that you're copying the mask as keyframe data. Do that by selecting the mask and setting a keyframe for it.

             

            Next, set a poistion keyframe for your layer and with that position keyframe selected paste. Doing anything else only works about 10% of the time.

             

            It is also important to make sure the anchor point is set to the center of the action point. In your case this would be the pencil tip.

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            • 3. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
              perfectblue Level 1

              Thanks for your help so far everyone.

               

              I was able to get it to work with one minor issue. For some reason the Z value of my hand changes as I scrub through the timeline. Becuase of this the hand dissapears about half way through the animation as the z value becomes 0. The hand appears in the first keyframe and towards the last keyframe with a negative z value range of -30 to -40.


              Is there a way to make my z value consistent? For example -40 throughout the entire animation?

               

              I am getting around this in the meantime by dragging my background further back in z space.

              zvalue.jpg

              • 4. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
                Dave LaRonde Level 6

                Why are you working in 3D?  You don't have to, you know.  You could this all in 2D with far fewer headaches... unless there are certain things you didn't mention yet.

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                • 5. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Do all the hand animation with the layers all set to 2D. Then if you need to have the hand on a 3D layer you can change it. Mask paths pasted as motion paths always come in in the comp world X Y axis. There's no advantage pasting this path on a 2D layer. The animation will still track perfectly after you convert to a 3D layer.

                   

                  The timing issue you are showing is just a matter of adjusting the keyframe positions. You have rove across time keyframes set by default when you paste a mask path as a position path. Just grab the diamond shaped keyframe at the end and drag it until the pencil matches the end of the revealed line. Everything should then match up.

                   

                  BTW, it's not necessary to greatly reduce the size of your screen shots. The image becomes so small that I can't figure out any details of your composition. Just send them on full size or at maximum reduce the size 50% so we can still see the details of your composition and timeline.

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                  • 6. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
                    perfectblue Level 1

                    Thanks again, especially for the workflow tips in 2D - 3D. I was under the impression 3D must be enabled for a light to work correctly and to have one layer appear over another. 

                     

                    @Rick Gerard, how do you prevent the image compression? I just upload the files directly through this forum (insert image tool within a post), and it compresses them. If you click the image it should be of a reasonable size. Anyways how do I get around this, host it on an external site such as dropbox?

                    • 7. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                      I was under the impression 3D must be enabled for a light to work correctly and to have one layer appear over another.

                       

                      It does, but if you're only using it to shine a light on a blue solid, just precomp and make it the bottom, background layer in the 2D main comp.

                       

                      And you don't need a light to light up the hand layer.  It's perfectly visible as a 2D layer.

                      • 8. Re: Hand Drawn Animation Troubleshooting (image)
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        You will need to convert the hand layer to 3D to make the lights and shadows work. In 2D the top layer is always visible. It is just better work flow to start in 2D, do the 2D motion, then convert to 3D.

                         

                        It's kind of like cell animators doing quick pencil studies first to see if the shot works before going through the trouble of making all of the layers and doing the final artwork.

                         

                        For projects that require a lot of client review and input I always do very simple motion and timing studies before wasting time finessing lighting, textures, color grading and the like. I haven't got time in the budget to do that kind of work twice. I can't tell you how many projects start with some rough pencil sketches (previously scanned now show with my phone) and laid in a composition to an audio track and animated. When the client (or even me) approves the timing and the flow of the story I go about the tasks of cleaning it up.

                         

                        Here's a shot from a previous post that shows my normal starting workflow. It was in answer to this question on the forum.

                        Screen+Shot+2013-03-01+at+7.02.59+PM.png

                         

                        On your screenshot: I just opened your image in a new window and it's much easier to read. Sorry about making assumptions. Making that wide composite was the problem. I try to keep my screen captures at about 1000 to 1500 pixels wide. If you need to show multiple views just upload multiple screen shots. My mac also creates PNG files. If I have time I convert them to medium quality JPGS because the file size is smaller.

                         

                        The forum style sheet keeps the images to the width of your browser when they pop out and limites their size when embedded.

                         

                        Hope this helps.

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