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Generating a scribble effect

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Generating a scribble effect

When I was a kid, I'd love to scribble all over my coloring books. Now, if you happen to be one of those kids, I encourage you to follow along and learn a little bit about one of the most versatile effects for creating detailed animated graphics inside of After Effects, the Scribble effect. Now, the Scribble effect likes to work with paths. So, let's go ahead and create a new layer solid so we can add a path to our scene. Make sure you have the timeline selected, and then press Cmd + Y or Ctrl + Y on the PC to create a new solid. Go ahead and click the Make Comp Size button to make sure that the layer is the size of our composition.

Generating a scribble effect

When I was a kid, I'd love to scribble all over my coloring books. Now, if you happen to be one of those kids, I encourage you to follow along and learn a little bit about one of the most versatile effects for creating detailed animated graphics inside of After Effects, the Scribble effect. Now, the Scribble effect likes to work with paths. So, let's go ahead and create a new layer solid so we can add a path to our scene. Make sure you have the timeline selected, and then press Cmd + Y or Ctrl + Y on the PC to create a new solid. Go ahead and click the Make Comp Size button to make sure that the layer is the size of our composition.

Then lets change the color from black to this blue color. That way we're just not creating something on solid black. Now click OK. Now lets start with a square. I'm going to go ahead and grab the Rectangle tool. If this tool is inactive for you, just keep pressing Q on your keyboard, til you get to the Rectangle tool. And I'm going to click and drag in my canvas, and then hold down Shift to create that square. Now with the square in the middle of the scene, we're ready to add our scribble effect. I'm just going to go to the Effects and Presets panel over here and start typing the word scribble.

And there it is, it's an 8 bit effect. I can drag it and drop it right onto my shape, and when I let go, I already have an effect that's created. One of my favorite things about this effect is the fact that it's already animated. If you go ahead and load up a RAM Preview, check it out. Once the RAM Preview's loaded you'll get a real time play back, hopefully on your system, that'll show you how these scribbles are working. Now, the one setting I make adjustments to the most in Scribble are start and end. So, I'm going to press the Spacebar to stop playback here for a second, and just scrub through the end parameter.

As I scrub through, you can see I could control the animation of the appearance of this square. So, let's go ahead and create an animation for that. We'll start at frame zero, and let's change the end parameter to zero. Go ahead and click the stopwatch next to end and that'll set your first keyframe. Now let's have the square draw on over the first second. So click in the time and just type one-zero-zero and enter on your keyboard. Now we'll change the end parameter to 100.

And that's it. All we have to do is load a ramp preview to see how that goes ahead and draws into the scene. If that were it to this effect, this would be kind of a boring video. Lets go look at some of the other options that we have for that square. But before we do that, I'm going to go ahead and duplicate this layer, because I do like the start of how this is set up. So I'm going to select layer one. And press Cmd + D or Ctrl + D on the Windows to duplicate. And let's turn off the visibility of our background layer. Now with layer 1 selected, let's look at some of these different options.

First option is mask, if we click on that, notice we have an option for mask 1. That's because we only have 1 mask in our layer. So, if you go to the scribble pull down at the top, notice we have an option for all masks or all masks using modes. Well we'll get to that in a quick second, let's look at the Fill Type options. If I click on that we have inside, centered edge, inside edge, outside edge, let's click through a couple of these. Centered edge it centers the scribble on the path itself.

Inside it puts it inside of the path outside goes on the outside. Now left edge and right edge are kind of interesting because they don't make much of a difference in terms of a square. So let's go ahead and add another pathway quickly by grabbing our pen tool. And I'm going to click and drag a diagonal path here. And just to set that here we'll grab our Selection tool. So now we have a second path on layer two. Let's go ahead and select Mask 2, and now we've got our scribble here. If we change the Fill Type from Right Edge to Left Edge, it's looking at the motion of the path that's being drawn. So this is the start and this is the end.

The left edge is actually up here and the right edge is down there. Here if I rotate this around. So let's say we drew the path from this point to that point. Now you can more clearly see the left edge and the right edge. So outside, centered, inside. Obviously this is one path, so we're not going to get anything for inside. It'll all just depend on the specific shape that you have selected. Now before we explore some of these other options, let's go ahead and have scribble create some text in the scene. Let's go ahead and grab out Text tool, and we'll call this scribble, and press Enter on your keypad, or just grab the Selection tool to set your type. Now I want to reposition my scribble text down in the bottom of the panel. I can't just go up under effect and apply scribble, because it's not going to apply anything.

It's looking for masks. So let's just delete that effect by pressing Delete on our keyboard. What we need to do is turn the text into outlines. So in order to do that, let's leave our text layer selected. And go up under layer and choose. Create Masks from Text. With those masks created, now we can go up under the Effects panel and apply our Scribble effect. This is where things start to get really interesting. You can have it scribble individual letters, or you could just have it scribble All Masks. Now, notice it filled in the Rs and the Bs. Just to see this more clearly, I'm going to press shift command h to quickly hide the edges of our masks.

If you change the option from all masks to all masks using modes, it will take into account the actual modes that were created to isolate the inside of each one of these letters. Now we could go through and adjust some of the other parameters, like let's say the angle. If you click and drag on the angle, you could change the angle of the scribble. The stroke width obviously makes it fatter or skinnier. If we looked at our stroke options, we can adjust the curviness. So for example, let's say I wanted this to look more like Lassos from the wild west.

If we drag curviness all the way up, we can see we have a little bit more of that lasso look. I'm going to scroll in, just by hovering with my mouse and scrolling up and then I'll press the Spacebar and drag up to go ahead and reposition in the scene. Curving as variation will just allow me to create a little bit more variation amongst the curves. Spacing controls how dense the scribbles are. You can adjust the spacing variation to make it a little more random in its filling of the letter, and then path overlap is fun to control how far its actually overlapping the letters within the scene.

Each one of these parameters you can create a key frame for. Now before we stop with our scribble, I want you to look at the scribble type. Right now it's set to smooth. If we load up a RAM Preview you can see smooth creates kind of a smooth motion. I'm going to press the Spacebar just so we can preview this. That's relatively smooth and we see a little bit from our other layer but that's fine. If we go ahead and adjust our wiggle type from smooth to jumpy, now when we lit up a RAM Preview here, you'll notice it's going to be much more frenetic in its actually change of that scribble. So let's go ahead and press the Spacebar.

Here it's a little bit more jumpy if you will, and of course the last but not least option you could change this from jumpy to static and that would add absolutely no animation to this layer whatsoever. So as you can see with scribble we've created all different kinds of options. And while all these different options give you the ability to add keyframes, if you really want to take your animation up another level, go ahead and create duplicates of the scribble layer, and then start using different blend modes and different scribble settings to actually create layered effects with your scribble.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 55497 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
      59s
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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