11 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2016 1:07 PM by Roei Tzoref

    animate with brush tool?


      people make really fancy and smooth animations like in financial commericals on TV, but i don't want that. i am going to buy after effects to animate, and to make sure i'm on the right app, i have looked up for some information online. i found out you CAN animate, but with the smooth commerical-type animation etc etc, but not what i'm looking for:




      i wish to animate in the same way as this. is it possible to use the brush tool to make this? i will be using a wacom tablet.

        • 2. Re: animate with brush tool?
          Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

          Actually both of the examples you provided are not complete and fair execution of any of these two techniques. the first may be called Traditional Animation, and the second Keyframe Animation. but both results are not that compelling and need more work. you just need to learn more about the different techniques and then you will be able to have a more clear understanding on which software to use. take a look at this: The 5 Types of Animation - YouTube


          there are many ways to implement After Effects in your workflow. it can do so many things. some people for example animate frame by frame with wacom tablet in photoshop, and then assemble their animation in After Effects. some do use only Tv Paint or Toon boom. recently our tribe elder Rick Gerard posted this Oscar winning animation  The house in little cubes - YouTube  and it was done using hand drawn backgrounds and characters frame by frame animation, and then used Photoshop and After Effects to assemble, composite and even animate some of it. (the hard work is frame by frame animation by hand)

          • 3. Re: animate with brush tool?
            dysmnesias5126734 Level 1

            you know how you can draw with the brush tool? i just want to know if i can keyframe it. drawing each frame on another program and saving each and every frame uses up too much space.

            • 4. Re: animate with brush tool?
              Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

              you can keyframe brush strokes in Ae, but the Paint tool in Ae this is more for VFX work and not Classic Animation. when you start using it you will figure out why you don't use it to draw figures or anything like that. it's just not that clever - you don't have custom brushes and control can be complicated within a timeline. it's more intended for precise control for matte extraction or very simple paint operations.


              what exactly do you want to accomplish? is it the first example? then you want traditional animation and there are many ways and tools to do that. After Effects is not for this type of animation. it can support it, enhance it, assemble it - but NOT create it. trying to do classic/traditional/cell/framebyframe animation in Ae is to try to fist a nail with your bare fist. not the right tool.


              saving each and every frame uses up too much space.

              this is not supposed to be a space problem. you need to invest more time in the tools to perform what you want to accomplish and you will figure out the type of workflow you need. there are dozens.

              • 5. Re: animate with brush tool?
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                AE is pretty good at traditional animation with the Paint & Stick effect from AE Scripts.

                Photoshop is pretty good at traditional animation, but you'll probably want to bring it into AE to add some flair to it.

                • 6. Re: animate with brush tool?
                  dysmnesias5126734 Level 1

                  so what program should i use to make something similar to it? (if you know one that's helpful and free at this same time, please do tell. also, it is ESSENTIAL that it has the ability to view music, so I can make a music video, which i am planning to make.)

                  • 7. Re: animate with brush tool?
                    dysmnesias5126734 Level 1

                    found a program called pencil, and from first impression it seems to fit with everything i need. ill check it out.

                    • 8. Re: animate with brush tool?
                      Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                      from your questions and familiarity with the technical terms and workflows, my guess is learning after effects to the point where you can successfully use something like Paint & Stick Szalam suggested will be very difficult. if all you need is frame by frame animation for this one thing and not as a process you want to dedicate a few months or even years to, I would recommend you use a simple approach with a simple tool. learning after effects from scratch just to use it for traditional animation seems unreasonable to me. there are tools far superior for it and much more robust for this type of things.


                      all  you need is a software that support a workflow of frame by frame animation, onion skinning so you could see the before and after frames, and a few tools to help you navigate, and test your animations and there are many. pick one that you think is easy for you to learn. I would recommend photoshop. here's a good tutorial about it: Photoshop Animation Series Part 1: One's, Two's, and Squiggles on Vimeo Lynda has a course on toon boom Traditional 2D Animation in Harmony here's a flash one: Hand-Drawn Animation in Flash


                      Good luck!

                      • 9. Re: animate with brush tool?
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        If you want powerful and inexpensive hand drawn animation then look at CartoonSmart.com. You'll get more for your money and be hand drawing animations faster.


                        After Effects has a steep learning curve, Photoshop also takes a while to get a hang of when you are animating. You can morph, move and animate lines in AE, you can do a bunch of things, but if you want to hand draw and animate then AE is the wrong place to start and that's all there is to it.


                        One of my daughters did some amazing things for a school project a few years ago when she was in middle school using Cartoon Smart and she did it all in a week with very little help from me.


                        When you are ready to composite and add effects to your cartoons come back for another look at compositing apps. When you are ready to turn your animated scenes into animated movies look into non linear editing.


                        Here's how the pros create animated movies and stories - and even though there are a lot of steps, this is the fastest way to deliver a product that actually tells a story when it is going to be longer than a few seconds.


                        1. Develop a story idea and scenario
                        2. Write a script
                        3. Do character sketches
                        4. Storyboard your script
                        5. Record some scratch audio
                        6. Edit your storyboard to the audio to see if the story holds up
                        7. Animate individual scenes or shots in your storyboard using very simple quick sketches
                        8. Preview those shots or short scenes to see if the motion works
                        9. Edit a few shots together to see if they work
                        10. Fine tune the - they are called pencil tests - simple animated sketches and scenes and edit until you like what you see
                        11. Using your sketches as reference polish the drawings, add color and complete the shots or scenes
                        12. Add backgrounds and other details to your shots
                        13. Replace the simple animated sketches in your edited film with the polished animations
                        14. Add sound effects and the music track and the final audio to your edit
                        15. If you need compositing of other effects use a compositing app to fix up the shots in your movie one shot at a time
                        16. Use a good audio mastering and editing program like Adobe Audition to finalize your sound track
                        17. Wait a few days to look at your edited master and make sure you have made all the changes you need to make because finalizing a project after days of working on it without a break is seldom the best way to turn out the best product - you will need a break
                        18. Render your project as a production master using a good lossless or nearly lossless format
                        19. Render you deliverable product using the current industry standard h.264 MP4 format
                        20. Promote your video and try and figure out how you are going to pay for your next masterpiece.


                        Starting on day 1 with an animation program and making a polished first frame and then beginning your animation is the least efficient way to work unless your project is going to be under 30 seconds.


                        I hope this helps.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 10. Re: animate with brush tool?
                          dysmnesias5126734 Level 1

                          pencil2d is what i was looking for


                          • 11. Re: animate with brush tool?
                            Roei Tzoref Adobe Community Professional

                            You are welcome to show what you made eventually when you're done!