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The easiest way to think about the Motion Paint engine is to look at it as kind of a hybrid between a particle system and a replicator. Now if you haven't used either of those tools then I guess you could think about it as kind of a more natural way of creating animation. It's sort of like drawing a pen on a piece of paper; the only difference is the paper is your project and the pen is the Paint tool. So instead of me sitting here trying to verbalize it, let's go ahead and build some paint.
Now we can create paint in a number of ways. The first way is to just use the Paint Stroke tool. So if we grab the paintbrush, making sure our playhead is at the beginning of the Timeline, let's select our layer in the Layers panel that we'd like to paint on. And I just want to create a stroke of paint that'll come in and sort of wipe over the type and then down through the scene, and we can use this as a transitional element or whatever. But I want it to start off screen, so I'm going to press Command+Minus, and again make sure that you have the brush selected. And now I'll just click and drag and draw right over and down. And there we go; I've created my first paint stroke.
If you press the spacebar, notice nothing is really happening. That's because there is no animation tied to this just straight out of the box; it just sort of recorded what I drew. Now there are different ways of interpreting this and creating animation, which we can get to through the Inspector. So in the Inspector, under Shape, you want to look at the Style and if you move down, you can check out, we have Outline selected, and here we have a solid color of white.
Now we can adjust things like the overall opacity of the line. We can adjust the width. You can set Preserve Width which doesn't matter for the style that we've created right here, so let's move down and look at First Point Offset and Last Point Offset. So these are the parameters that you can adjust to actually create your animation. Now, if we look at the Geometry section over here, notice that the edge of this is kind of jagged.
Well, if we go to adjust the roundness, we can smooth that out. So see, it takes out all that stuff that it recorded in the initial stroke. I could choose Closed and it would actually close the path back around, but yeah, let's just increase the roundness there a little bit. Down here you can actually see the number of points that were used to create that brushstroke. See, paint strokes are nothing more than Bezier paths just covered with geometric shapes.
So to see that, I'm going to click right here on my Transform tool and actually choose Adjust Item. See, now in here you can see the Bezier path that was created. Now, I am still not seeing all the control points, but you get the general idea. If we go to Edit Points here, that way you can see every single point that's in there. Now I don't want to go back and re-record this, but I do want to create a completely different look for this stroke. So to do that let's change the Brush Type from Solid to Airbrush.
Now with Airbrush you have a couple of different options. You can actually adjust the Opacity, but you can adjust the Brush Profile, which if you notice now I've got a little bit more of a soft edge. Let me zoom in here. We could adjust the Profile. If we adjust the Width here, yes, it definitely adjusts the width. But the most important setting with the Airbrush is this spacing. See, as I adjust the spacing, you can see it's just little dabs of a shape that actually create this initial paint stroke.
Now again we still have the same option with the offset. So as you can see, this is kind of a neat easy way if you want to create kind of that Vegas-looking strobing light thing going on, but the fun really begins when you start to add images. Now I don't have any custom images set up to automatically load in here, but what I do have are a bunch of preset shape styles. So if we click here, you notice I have a style that I could use to create a map animation.
I have styles I could use to create measurement. There are some more advanced styles, like Birds. There are all kinds of more fun, flowy effects like Light. So definitely go through and check out some of the different effects. What I was honestly thinking was one of these light effects would look really slick here. So I am going to choose this Light Tail 01, and once I choose that, here you can see I've got a much more dynamic brush stroke that's moving through the scene.
So let's check that out by pressing the spacebar. Now you'll notice that animation actually was applied as a part of the preset. Now this isn't uncommon, so any time you use a preset you want to make sure to start playback and check things out. Now the animation of this stroke was actually created, if you go to the Style section of the shape and scroll down here at the bottom, notice there are keyframes applied to this First Point Offset and Last Point Offset.
But also the way this was created had a lot to do with what's going on here in the Advanced tab. See, there are dynamics that are actually applied to this. Now since there is a speed of 0, we are not seeing exactly what's going on. See, these dynamics are giving this spin to the shape of the brushstroke, but really if you think back to when I showed you that Airbrush, it had the little dots, this stroke is created by a bunch of dots as well.
Just under the Advanced setting for Dynamics, if I adjust the Speed here, you'll notice that it will actually behave just like a particle system emitting from the edge of this path. So let me change the Speed back down to 0. I just kind of wanted to draw your attention to that. So if we click through the different channels, you'll notice with presets, there are a ton of different options, and when it comes to animation there are a number of different parameters that you can go ahead and keyframe.
So if you think you might want to learn how to actually create animation from scratch, follow me to the next video because I am going to show you exactly how to animate brushstrokes with Paint.
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