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Capturing live drawing with After Effects (and other Adobe apps) ?

New Here ,
Jan 13, 2023 Jan 13, 2023

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I want to achieve a (I think) pretty simple effect in After Effects: I want to have a simple line drawing gradually appear, as it is being drawn. That is: I want to draw this simple drawing, and have it be captured (with a transparent background), so I can use it in a video.

My first attempt looked like this: Drawing in Photoshop on a green background and capturing it with OBS Studio (no cursor)

Cropping the recording in After Effects and removing the green screen with Keylight+Key Cleaner+Advanced Spill Suppressor.

 

It "works" but it is very blurry and poor quality. I know that I can do a reveal with a path that follows the line, but I want the option of make a "messy" drawing, where the lines criss-cross a lot. See the attached video for the terrible first attempt.

 

Maybe I just need to record in a higher resolution? I have a feeling though, that there must be an easier way to achieve this effect 🙂

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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LEGEND ,
Jan 13, 2023 Jan 13, 2023

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If it's just black and white you don't need any greenscreen or other stuff. The drawing itself could serve as a matte at any time. The rest is probably a matter of dropping actual image files instead of letting OBS capture an already heavily compressed MP4/ H.264 file. Other than that there's really nothing easy about it one way or the other. Digital painting is simply limited by technicalities, be that the available resolution of your screen, the computer's performance or even things like what brushes you can handle in any given program.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2023 Jan 13, 2023

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Thank you for your reply 🙂
I don't understand what you mean by "dropping actual image files instead of letting OBS capture an already heavily compressed MP4/ H.264 file."

OBS is capturing my display and I use that MP4 file in After Effects. I don't see how image files can play into it 🙂 Maybe I'm misunderstanding you?

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LEGEND ,
Jan 13, 2023 Jan 13, 2023

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You'll probably need a tool like Camtasia or similar and save an actual image as PNG file or similar every few microseconds. MP4 files are really not ideal for this type of work since the compression will eat away details.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2023 Jan 13, 2023

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Oh, that makes sense 🙂 Then I could just turn the images into a .GIF

I will look into that, thank you!

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