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  • Animating a line drawing?

  • Caitlin Folchman-Wagner

    March 23, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Hi, I’ve never used After Effects before, but I need to figure out how to animate a line drawing. Its a simple image drawing itself, but I have no idea how to do it.
    Thanks a lot

  • Caitlin Folchman-Wagner

    March 25, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    The image is a black and white pen drawing, but I can easily turn it into an Illustrator file if that would facilitate this process. I’ve never actually used After Effects before, so I’m looking for the simplest way to do this, if thats even possible. I would greatly appreciate any advice at all, because I don’t even know where to begin.

  • Mike Derk

    March 26, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Aharon has a tutorial on “animating a signature” (look in the podcasts area) that might be useful.

    I’ve also seen a video tutorial about growing vines. I can’t find it right now, but it uses “Stroke” to reveal an image. Essentially, you import the entire image, cover it, and then reveal it using masks.

    Hopefully someone else will be able to point you to it.

  • Simon Bonner

    March 26, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    Maybe you mean something like Stefan Bucher’s Daily Monster series? There are lots of these videos, this is just an example one. Stefan draws monsters on paper, then scans them into his computer and animates them. He doesn’t use AE (he uses Anime Studio) but you could do something similar to what he does in AE.

    After you import your scan into AE, you’ll need to make a new composition and place your image into it. Then make several copies of the image and use the pen tool to mask out the individual parts of the image on each layer. For example, in the example I’ve linked to you might have an eye layer, mouth layer and leg layers, then a layer for the body. Once you have these layers prepared, you can animate them independently, e.g. move the legs while keeping the body still.

    Once you are happy with this, you can experiment with parenting so that you only have to animate one layer and the rest follow (e.g. animate the body and the legs move with it) and (if you have AE CS3) with using the puppet tool to ‘bend’ layers, such as Stefan does with the legs in the example video.

    As you are new to AE, you’ll have to get to grips with several new topics (making new compositions, using the pen tool to make masks, animating and using keyframes, parenting, puppet tools, rendering). You can find great introductions to all these at (go to AE Basic Training) or in Aharon’s AE podcast here at the Cow.

    Good luck!

    Simon Bonner

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