After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet
Illustration by John Hersey

After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Examining a finished write-on animation

If you've been following along so far, I've closed the composition from the previous movie. If the Project panel is not visible, you can bring it forward by selecting Window>Project or by using the shortcut. To show you what I mean by revealing a layer, if you have the Exercise Files, twirl down Comps_finished and open the second composition Write On_final. Since we don't need the Layer panel, I'll just temporarily close it and I'll RAM Preview. You'll see a number of layers are writing on overtime.

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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet
3h 11m Intermediate Dec 21, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Trish and Chris Meyer introduce a series of creative tools inside Adobe After Effects. The centerpiece is Paint, where Trish demonstrates how to use the Brush, Eraser, and Clone Stamp tools to draw on a layer, remove portions of it, or repeat elements around a composition. These tools can be used for artistic purposes as well as to repair problem areas in footage. Chris shows off the Puppet tools for distorting layers, and the incredible Roto Brush, introduced in After Effects CS6, which allows you to separately define foreground and background elements so that you can replace backgrounds and selectively add special effects.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.

Topics include:
  • Creating, erasing, and animating brush and clone strokes
  • Using Paint to reveal a layer over time
  • Creating animated distortions to flat artwork with the Puppet tools
  • Replacing backgrounds with the Roto Brush
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Examining a finished write-on animation

If you've been following along so far, I've closed the composition from the previous movie. If the Project panel is not visible, you can bring it forward by selecting Window>Project or by using the shortcut. To show you what I mean by revealing a layer, if you have the Exercise Files, twirl down Comps_finished and open the second composition Write On_final. Since we don't need the Layer panel, I'll just temporarily close it and I'll RAM Preview. You'll see a number of layers are writing on overtime.

I created all these layers by hand and then scanned them in. I then combined them; using techniques you've learned in earlier installments, such as blending modes, track mattes, frame blending and even the wiggle expression. We'll solo the first layer called auto- bird and we'll press U to see the keyframes. You can see that this layer is wiping on over time, but it's not a simple transition that you might get if you use the Linear Transition effect on animated mask.

It zigs and zags and follows the contour in an interesting way. Now we did this by painting on an animated stroke in the layer's Alpha channel. By the way the reason, I call this layer auto-bird is because I created it with an automatic pen which is an interesting pen that calligraphers use. Now that we know what our goal is, let's see how we would create this painterly transition.

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