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An excellent tool to add a little bit more interest and pop to your animations in After Effects, the Paint tool. You can paint on any video layer and Paint will give you the ability to create a much more hand drawn stylized look for your animations. Let's look at the composition we're working with right now. I'm going to load up a RAM preview. (SOUND) Let's go ahead and stop playback. As you can see, it's rather shaky footage that we'll definitely stabilize later in the title.
But for now, I like how it's shaking around the scene. I want to add some shaky paint strokes behind the word RIDE so we can better stylize it and match the whole scene together. Now, the Paint Engine works on any layer, so we need to be in the Layers panel. I'm going to paint directly on our video layer. So let's go ahead and double-click on Layer 2 to open the Layer panel. Now, there's a preset Paint workspace, so let's go up to the Workspace option and change it from Standard to Paint. Now, just so I can see more clearly what's going on in the scene, I'm going to resize or reposition my Windows.
And you want to just make sure that this composition window is positioned so you can see the word RIDE. I'm going to press the Spacebar to grab my Hand tool and just sort of reposition it here. Okay. Now let's make sure we have our Layer panel active, and grab our brush. It's up in the tool bar. You can press Cmd + B or Ctrl + B on Windows to select. (SOUND) Once we select the Brush, notice we have our Paint panel over here and our brushes. The Brushes panel will allow me to choose different tips for my brush. If I drag up here, you could see I could reset the diameter, the roundness, the hardness, and if you have a Wacom tablet, it even has options for pen pressure and angle, et cetera.
I'm just going to choose 17 pixels and we'll just move our Brushes option down out of the way. The Paint engine allows me to specify the opacity, the color, as well as what channel I'm painting on, and then the duration. If we click on that we can set it to constant, right on, single frame, or custom. Well let's choose write on to start. Now I'm going to move my current time indicator to around one second because that's when I'd like the paint strokes to start appearing. Now since we have this kind of cool red board I'll leave red as my paint color. If you wanted to change yours, all you have to do is just click in the color well, and change it.
Now we can click and drag. And as I drag around the scene, I want to create kind of a jagged brush stroke. So I'll just click and drag. (SOUND) Now notice, it looks like nothing happened. Well, if we click and drag our current time indicator down the timeline, notice now I'm starting to see the brushstroke. (SOUND) Let's select Layer 2 and press U on the keyboard to open our animated parameter. I'm just going to make the timeline a little larger as we're working here, so we can see what's going on. Notice the brush stroke automatically recorded the end parameter. If we collapse our brush, and then open it up again, see we have options for the start of the stroke, and the end of the stroke. So let's say I wanted to increase the size of this stroke after I already painted it. I could click and drag on the diameter.
Now when we scrub through you can see here in my composition panel my stroke is actually animating itself into the scene. Let's actually watch this with a RAM preview. (SOUND) Now that looks pretty interesting but the stroke was going way too slow. So let's click and drag our second keyframe way further up in the timeline. This way it will just animate in over maybe about one second. As you notice, we could keyframe the color as well. We could also change the blend mode.
Notice the blend mode is set to normal. Let's go ahead and change that to Hard Light. That way it'll blend with the background just a little bit more. We can also decrease the opacity of the stroke just by scrolling down a little bit and clicking and dragging on the opacity. When the paint brush is drawn notice I have a path there. Well if we open the transform options for our brush in the timeline. We could reposition our brush stroke. We could even animate the scale. You get the idea. The brush stroke is very flexible.
Now there are a couple of other options for brush strokes. And rather than going through each and every one, I'm just going to show you one more. And give you one super tip. When you're painting multiple brush strokes, you want to make sure not to accidentally have the Brush Stroke selected. See if I have brush one selected, and then I go to paint another stroke, its automatically going to replace my old stroke with my new stroke. And I definitely don't want to do that so I'll just press Command+Z to undo. That's a nice feature if that's what you're looking for, but I like to just make sure that I've deselected my brush stroke.
That way, when I come up and grab my brush and start painting, it's actually going to create a second brush stroke. See, here, for my second stroke. So for this one, I'll go ahead and open up the Stroke Options, and just change the color. Let's change this one to kind of blue. And just so it blends a little bit more, let's move down the Timeline here. Let's change the Blend mode for this individual brush stroke. Let's change it from Normal to Soft Light. Now, if we go back to the beginning of our composition, we can load up a RAM preview, and you can see how the brush stroke's animated through the scene. (SOUND).
Just remember, any time you paint a brushstroke, it's not set in stone. You can always go down to the timeline and make your adjustments.
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