Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Editing and animating clone strokes

From: After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet

Video: Editing and animating clone strokes

In the last movie, I made a bit of a mess. I think I will simplify it by deleting the Paint Effect, as I show you how to edit and animate a Clone stroke. I will return to preset number 1 which used this element as an origin point, and I will create a clone. I will press PP and that will twirl down Paint in the timeline. And here is Clone stroke 1. The Clone stokes are very similar to the brushstrokes. They have a Path property, Stroke Options, and Transformations.

Editing and animating clone strokes

In the last movie, I made a bit of a mess. I think I will simplify it by deleting the Paint Effect, as I show you how to edit and animate a Clone stroke. I will return to preset number 1 which used this element as an origin point, and I will create a clone. I will press PP and that will twirl down Paint in the timeline. And here is Clone stroke 1. The Clone stokes are very similar to the brushstrokes. They have a Path property, Stroke Options, and Transformations.

When you select a Clone stroke, you will see its anchor point in the Layer panel. If I press V to return to the Selection tool, I can drag the Clone stroke around and reposition it. You will also find the position value on the Transform, and you can scrub that value in the timeline. Don't confuse the position of the Clone stroke with the position that appears on the Stroke Options. Here we have Clone Source and Clone Position.

Scrubbing Clone Position changes the area that you're cloning from. The other parameters in the Transformations like Anchor Point, Position, Scale, and Rotation should be pretty familiar. For instance, you can rotate the element that you've cloned. In fact, let's just set up a couple of keyframes. I am going to rotate this, say, three times. Now I would like my Layer panel to RAM preview. So I am going to turn on the Always Preview this View switch.

Now when I RAM preview, the Layer panel will play back. Of course, I can also scrub the timeline in the Layer panel. If you change the value for the Anchor Point, the element will now rotate around the new Anchor Point. So nothing too surprising there; let's return that to 0 and of course, you can scale it so the Clone stroke is a little different from the original. All of the other options are very similar to what we saw over the brushstroke.

Now let's consider the rendering order for a Clone stroke. I will return to the Clone Stamp tool, make sure I press F2 so I don't replace my first Clone stroke. I'll create another one of these elements. Right up here, I'm still on preset number 1. Let's say I would like to erase the original element. That way I can just have a Clone stroke that I can animate. I'll select the Eraser tool and let's check the settings. I don't want to create transparency. So I will first set the Channels to RGB only.

If I erase now, I'll end up with a black background color. So I will click the black-and-white switch that makes the Background Color white. I also don't want to erase the Last Stroke. So I will select the layer Source & Paint. The Duration of Constant should work. Make sure I am back at time 0, press the Command key to resize my brush, increase the Hardness value as we don't need the soft edge, and now I can delete the element with just one click.

Now you see I have Eraser 1 in the timeline. It's very important that Eraser 1 is rendering after my Clone strokes. Notice if I drag Eraser 1 down the timeline, it now renders after Clone 1, but the second Clone stroke I created at the top-left is no longer visible. That's because Eraser 1 is removing the element before the second Clone stroke is able to do its job. So do keep an eye on the rendering order. Of course, once I have removed the element, I can't now move this element down into the original position.

If I try to do that, let's select Clone 2. We will change back to the Selection tool. You will notice now it's just moving that element behind the Eraser stroke because the Eraser stroke is rendering last. Before we go, let's take a look at the final composition. I will RAM preview. This style of cloning might be handy when you are adding more stars to the sky and of course, it works on video layers as well. You can even offset the frame it's cloning from, using the Source Time Shift feature.

However, it's often the case that if you are cloning a large object, it might be easier to just duplicate the layer and then use the masking tool to isolate the object you're trying to clone. Once the object is on a separate layer, you will have more control when you want to animate it or apply effects in blending modes. In the next movie, I will cover some options for shifting time.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet
 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.