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John D

Best way to execute hand drawn video effect. Any ideas?

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I've been tasked with making an animation at work that looks like its been hand drawn. I've been messing around with Sketch and Tune and a Noise Deformer plugin I found online but the results aren't great. Anyone have any ideas or tips. I've been told they want a 2d look to the animation so simple black and white. Any ideas, tutorials or workflow tips would be appreciated.

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if they want a hand drawn look then i recommend printing out your frames, firing up your light box and start rotoscoping. scan them in and sequence them with after effects. you could omit every other frame to save time or bug your coworkers to help trace.

 

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if they want a hand drawn look then i recommend printing out your frames, firing up your light box and start rotoscoping. scan them in and sequence them with after effects. you could omit every other frame to save time or bug your coworkers to help trace.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svAs-6MiqxE

 

I recently used this method here. It is pretty time consuming and if you do go this route I strongly recommend using a document scanner.

 

If you dont want to go all out with a digital to analog back to digital work flow.

 

I feel like you could get some good results if you were to render just the lines of the animation out of C4D (which I am guessing what you are using based on the Sketch and Tune/ Noise Deformer reference) using Sketch and Toon or possibly the Cell Shader option. Then you can fine tune everything to get that organic hand made quality in AE working with the frame rate as well as working with the different blending modes and different textures. I think is you use a nice charcoal texture overlay on the lines with lowering the frame rate and possibly using like a Reeves BFK paper texture for the background you could get some nice results.

Edited by joedonaldson

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Both are good ideas. Maybe I can print out the cell animations and rescan so I get that organic grey tone and make sure i don't line up all the frames perfectly so I get the stop motion look going at the same time. Sketch and toon looks ok but it doesn't have an organic look to it.

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damn...

 

you can also open up a movie file in PS and just add layers, roto, save as...

 

I did that on a music video. took bloody forever but when it was all said and done I was quite pleased with the result.

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I like Flash for this kind of thing, especially if you're drawing over video. I find the onion skinning really helpful and the drawing tools are easy to use once you get used to their idiosyncrasies. Way less time-consuming than having to scan every image. I just finished a big project with lots of hand-drawn elements all done in Flash, so it's pretty fresh in my mind.

 

R

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What about using the auto roto feature from CS5? Get a rough roto of your subject, then if thats not shaky enough for you, try putting the roto into shape layer paths and use a wiggle on the paths.

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Agree that there isn't anything better than the real thing. Really hard to emulate the warm, organic wobble of hand drawn animation.

 

In a pinch though, maybe try mixing some Roughen Edges, Turbulent Displace, and hold every frame on twos? Scan a couple crumpled pieces of paper for background texture, maybe a couple of smudged up pages from drawing and erasing on a lightbox. Maybe even a couple copied linework layers at low opacity, offset and color graded to be red and blue pencil underdrawings, below your final black line?

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I haven't used this software myself but a coworker has created some pretty cool character animations with it.

 

http://beta.toonboom.com/professionals

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lAJCQDm_4w

 

Edit: I guess if you are trying to apply a look to existing shot footage or animation this is probably irrelevant.

Edited by sbmotiondesign

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Flash Might work. I'm pretty good at Flash. Maybe I'll check out Toon Boom also. I've heard good things about the software although I have also heard that its not the most user friendly at first. I'm going to try to do most of the animating in Cinema 4D if I can and see how that looks. I found this video on Vimeo that is along the lines of what i wanted to do. I like the look and feel although I wont have any realistic elements in my video because there are no assets.

 

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Use Photoshops much underused video features. Which have onion skinning plus everything else that PS offers in terms of image manipulation. With a tablet and some time you will be all set.

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You can always just scan some different paper surfaces, animate them on 2s or so, and transfer mode over the top of the whole thing. That will do a lot to add something organic to it all with minimum effort. Obviously it's best to choose paper you can see a little bit, something with a little texture. You can also use "roughen edges" in AE to get some fairly nice torn edge looks.

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Anything to avoid pencil and paper. Sheesh.

I don't think it's so much about avoiding pencil on paper (I actually prefer this). It's about avoiding hours of obnoxious scanning, unless you have a multi-page scanner - and even then you're probably spending time cleaning up in photoshop.

 

R

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Use Photoshops much underused video features. Which have onion skinning plus everything else that PS offers in terms of image manipulation. With a tablet and some time you will be all set.

 

 

Anything to avoid pencil and paper. Sheesh.

 

Done projects like this both with pencil, paper, scanner and with photoshop and wacom. Both have pros and cons. Nothing looks like pencil and paper really except pencil and paper,but you really need to nail the animation in one shot otherwise the cleanup and roto can be a bitch. Photoshop and wacom has a ton of practical advantages, super easy to "pencil test" your frames, easy to correct a piece here or there, because you have the alpha much easier to do stuff in pieces and comp afterwards (which can be a lifesaver if there could be client changes).

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I was thinking of doing Sketch and Toon in Cinema and then trying to print and pencil trace that but like you said you still have to nail it. It might not look great. Is there a sketch and Toon type of plugin in AE by chance?

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I was thinking of doing Sketch and Toon in Cinema and then trying to print and pencil trace that but like you said you still have to nail it. It might not look great. Is there a sketch and Toon type of plugin in AE by chance?

 

If you are just tracing frames from C4D it's a lot easier and real tracing could work fine (especially since you can get client sign off on the C4D before you start tracing). Also depends on how clean you want your final look to be. Recently saw a piece where the animator left in frames where you could see the traces of where some errant lines were erased and re-drawn and it gave the whole thing a cool grungy look.

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I was thinking of doing Sketch and Toon in Cinema and then trying to print and pencil trace that but like you said you still have to nail it. It might not look great. Is there a sketch and Toon type of plugin in AE by chance?

This sketch and toon demo from Mostyle just popped up on my Vimeo radar - might be worth checking out to see how far you can go just in C4D.

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I thought nothing looked weirder than overlaying an unmoving wrinkled piece of paper on an animation, but that video proved me wrong. overlaying the same wrinkled piece of paper in the exact same position on multiple scenes looks even more wrong. :P

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