how can I live without vector paint?

Community Beginner ,
Aug 31, 2010 Aug 31, 2010

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hey everyone

I use the vector paint plugin in AECS3 to create hand-drawn style line art animations.

I use vector paint applied to a solid together with my wacom cintiq to draw lines freehand. sometimes I use the 'animate strokes' setting within vector paint to make it look like the strokes are being drawn on.

there are some downsides to this plugin over the standard AE paint engine (principally that I cannot edit individual strokes, easily retime my strokes, or apply masks to my paint layer without precomping), but vector paint wins for me for 2 critical reasons:

1. I can paint directly in the comp window, meaning I can easily trace directly over another layer in my comp; and

2. Vector Paint has a built in wiggle engine which enables me to wiggle my paint strokes - this makes the images I draw feel dynamic and alive. it suits the simple hand drawn style of the animation.

as anyone who reads this forum will be aware, vector paint has been removed from CS5. I am needing to upgrade my creative suite but I need to be able to continue making this look for my clients.

my question to you all is how can I continue creating animations in this style with CS5?

Any feedback would be *most* appreciated!

cheers

dan

here are some examples of the kind of animation I am refferring to -some of these are WIPs so appear quite rough!

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New Here ,
May 26, 2011 May 26, 2011

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Unfortunately - we get stuck in a legal pinch about commenting on ANYTHING that may or may not be in future products, off the record or otherwise.

That being said, as Michael explained in a previous post, Vector Paint got stuck in the conversion of AE to 64 bit.  It's something we hear quite a bit from our users that Vector Paint is important.  Again - wish I could give you more than that, but we are bound by very strict rules.

Therefore - it is important to us, and the more we hear via this form the more likely it is to get resources behind it in a future release. Again I realize it is impersonal, but the results of this form are sent via email to a real human every time someone hits submit; then that person brings the results of submission to a weekly meeting on the AE team where we discuss features and scheduling.

Steve

Sr. Product Manager - Visual Effects

Adobe Systems Inc.

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New Here ,
Nov 19, 2021 Nov 19, 2021

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LATEST

Hello Michael,

It's been 11 years, I hope you are doing well and I hope you still work at Adobe.

I just want to ask, are you guys still converting the Vector Paint to a 64-bit native effect?
I requested it on the feature-request form that Todd suggested but I still didn't get any feedback.


Thank you

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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2010 Nov 08, 2010

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Although Dan's original post has caught Adobe's attention I want to add one more squeak to the wheel. It was great to read all the confirmations from other animators who use AE for sequence drawing in the Comp window. It has been an invaluable tool since Adobe acquired the Cult Effects package.

I'm hoping they can restore (and improve) this functionality soon. And why not add some kind of exposure sheet window too?

GG

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Contributor ,
Feb 01, 2011 Feb 01, 2011

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I'm hoping they can restore (and improve) this functionality soon.

+1 for this!

VP used to need Shift key held down in Quick Paint mode.

Why not have a nice little checkbox instead?

Also being able to change brush tip, size & colour while in this mode without loosing what has been already painted on screen andwithout  having to hunt it through the TL.

In other words, the ability to fully record the painting session sequence more or less like Painter has since v3.

Ideally merging VP with Paint, and using best features of both, plus the ability to import brushes from PS.

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New Here ,
Aug 08, 2011 Aug 08, 2011

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Hi,

I too use vector paint all the time:

As a quick way to tweak travelling mattes, I also occasionally use it to create line animations.

I am really annoyed that this feature has been discontinued, it is actually one of the features I use most in after effects.

I hope there is some kind of alternative available

or else the feature is restored!

Thank you

Peter

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2011 Aug 08, 2011

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If you like Vector Paint, follow the link given in the previous post to file a feature request. If they get enough people doing that, it'll come back.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2011 Aug 09, 2011

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Hi Szalam,

Yeah I have done that about ten times so far - I figure if I keep doing it

maybe they will get the message.

I actually have the latest version but cannot use it for this reason so have

de-installed it. Should have asked for my money back really.

Perhaps I'll sell it on e-bay.

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2011 Oct 21, 2011

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I too have just discovered that Vector Paint has gone, I was just about to do a nice little animated tree I'm very bummed to see it's not there it was a very fun feature with loads of uses. Consider my form filled in... Happy AE'ing.

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Contributor ,
Oct 21, 2011 Oct 21, 2011

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...what surprises me is, there are no third party add-ons /plug ins (that I know of) which will do this sort of thing, an advanced  paint engine for AE.
At the same time so many plugins around have overlapping functions, glows, blurs, noise,  3d text, time remapping etc.

If one knows  of a paint addon, it'd be nice to share.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 01, 2012 Feb 01, 2012

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I would love to go on record in saying that if AE is to be considered a true compositing program, it ought to have the equivalent of vector paint. It is imperative to have the ability to paint in the alpha channel of a layer and see it in real time as it is composited over the layer below. It ought to be put back in to future releases. In the meantime, I jump out to Quantel's eQ or Autodesk has Smoke for the mac desktop which also has a great paint system. A pain in the neck to do but the job has to get done.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2012 Feb 01, 2012

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I have not used AE CS 5 or 5.5 since release because of this problem. To me not having the ability to paint in the alpha channel of a layer and see it in real time as it is composited over the layer below is liking having a Ferrari with one of the wheels missing. Quite incredible that they released a crippled product like this, and even more incredible that they have done noting about releasing a fix or a firm announcement of re-inclusion in the next release.

I have send reminders to the adobe suggestions team every couple of months for over a year now and in the meantime CS5 and 5.5 sit in a box on a shelf in front of me whilst I use CS3 for 8 hours a day. Madness.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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Just a reminder to Sam and others: If you want to go "on record" officially with Adobe, you need to file a feature request and encourage others to do the same. Adobe is a company that, in my experience, actually listens to their customers to give them what they want. However, the AE team is rather small and has limited resources. So, the more people they have asking for a certain feature, the more likely they are to allocate those resources to that feature. Squeaky wheel, grease, and all that.

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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Excuse the long-winded piling on below:

I just upgraded to 5.5 and have found again to my dismay that Adobe has not re-integrated VP. Having sent another  "feature request" I'd like to add to this thread again, this time from the POV of my particular practice which is experimental, collage, and cartoon animation. Many of us appreciate the compositing (fundamental to AE) and now 64 bit. Rendering is a so fast. But there is a large segment of the animation world which does not use Maya and Flash. I meet them at film festivals, on panels, in schools. Their primary tools are PS and AE, i.e. painting, sequencing, and compositing. VP has always been that extra bit that can add touches and alter lines. I have used it ever since it was acquired from Cult. The ability to draw in the Comp, over another layer (or many layers), and instantly preview, has led to numerous design solutions.

Coming out of the film world I taught at Pratt and Parsons here in NYC and shifted my classes to AE as soon as I mastered the transition. In addition to grafting my workflow onto AE I found that one could start drawing and animating from scratch, using onion skinning, then adding exciting additional styles to the line (think roughen edges) and matte in boiling textures to give the line internal character. And this was in addition to wiggling, which is an inadequate term for the powerful kinetic distortions than can be introduced and controlled. AE was THE app that built on the importance of the artist's hand to create drawings in time.

When Adobe made its decision to drop VP (seems like ages) we were told that "maybe" it would come back if enough users wanted it. To those who say they never used it or didn't know what the fuss is about, my reaction is "who asked you?" To those who say "use AE3, quit, open 5.5" I say what if you want to alter or continue? Isn't mutability an essential function of any app?

I assume Adobe based it decision on a theory of "collateral damage," that VP users were just an unfortunate, dispensible minority; that the majority have "other priorities" and would ignore the loss. I can understand that improvement can have unintended consequences, but I can't understand why the developers don't level with us and admit they cannot or will not restore VP; or better say it can be done and will be done.

GG

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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I agree with all your comments but would just like to say that I work in a completely different way and still rely on VP. I produce short movie clips for ImageBank Film and part of my standard technique involves me adding an effect to a layer then blanking the layer out by use of a white solid as a luma inverted matte. I can then paint in the invisible matte and brush the effect in or out directly over the composition. I use this not only for applying effects to selected areas but also to apply invisible images layers to the comp as well.

This has been a BASIC ability in graphics programmes since layers were first introduced. It beggars beleif that they have crippled the product by removing this and seemingly are not in any great rush to put it back.

It has been repeatedly suggested to me that I should use a 'workaround' by painting in the layer window and watching the result in the comp window. This is just useless for me.

I have made feature requests at least ten times over the last year or so and encourage everyone who feels the loss of VP to do the same. In the meantime my copies of CS5 and 5.5 remain gathering dust on the top shelf in my office whilst I plod on with CS3.

GT

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Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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See this post from me on the After Effects team blog for an indication that we are still trying to determine how we can bring back the important features of the Vector Paint effect.

As I explain there (and as Michael Coleman explained above), porting this entire effect to 64-bit would have been a huge amount of work, and time spent on it would have prevented us from being able to implement several other features.

We have asked for feedback---and gotten it---to determine which parts of this gigantic effect people miss and can't replace with shape layers and the existing paint tools. This will allow us to do more focused work that is much more likely to fit within our schedule. So, thanks for that feedback.

There's some more useful information here:

http://aeportal.blogspot.com/2010/10/vector-paint-in-cs5.html

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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Hi Todd,

This is good news for me! Always presuming the bits you put back in are the bits I need - maybe then I can dust off those cs5 boxes and get back up to date with the only product I use every day.

I presume it is abundantly clear what I need - which is really very basic - from the explanation of how I use VP in the post above. (or should I copy that into a feature request?)

Many, many thanks for getting back on this and giving those of us who need this feature some hope that the situation will be at least partially remedied in the future.

Is that the near future, by the way?  Minor upgrade or new release?  Any vague timescale?

Regards

Geoff

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Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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> or should I copy that into a feature request?

Please do. The number of requests for each change matters, and official feature request submissions are the best way of registering a vote.

> Any vague timescale?

I can't comment on that.

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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Thank's for your response, Todd. Shape Layers may be fine for some, but not if you're trying to draw with the intuitive feel of a pencil; in VP the line can spring to life with a huge variety of kinetic character. Painting in the Layer window is clumsy. It's not a "work-around." it's a limitation. You imply that Adobe's suggestion box is closed and, based on user feedback, some aspects of VP (big secret) may be re-instated at some date (another big secret). Frankly, I had hoped 5.5 was going to do that.

GG

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Feb 02, 2012 Feb 02, 2012

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> You imply that Adobe's suggestion box is closed

I certainly didn't mean to imply that. I meant to say the opposite when I suggested submitting specific feature requests.

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Community Beginner ,
May 07, 2012 May 07, 2012

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So... is Vector Paint a hidden feature in CS6 that I haven't found yet? Has it been renamed? Or did we simply not vote enough?

Jonathan

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 06, 2012 Aug 06, 2012

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I have been looking for 2 days to find an alternative method for painting, I think I found a very close one. I never took it seriously because I am a VFX person but now I am pushed to photoshop video editing capabilities. What I dont understand is Adobe beeing one of the bigest cg firms around cant get the painting tools from photoshop to after effects (in 2.5 years)? Its like your wife whom you have been with for many years has all of a sudden forgot to iron! for those who cant do without a steamed up flat shirt photoshop is the path i will take, I can see layers ontop and beneth while painting, rotoing, cloning( EDIT: and the smudge tool!!). I hope this helps to those who have been disapointed in ae. best regards Dogus.

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Contributor ,
Aug 06, 2012 Aug 06, 2012

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Can you elaborate on your workflow?

Is there a way in Ps that frames advance while you are drawing like in a recording session that AE VP had whith the Shift key pressed down in Write On mode, or are you talking about manually doing so for each frame?

I had hoped that the new recording function in Ps Cs6 that can be assigned to an action could be applied to frames and save as a movie, but this doesn't work afaik.

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New Here ,
Aug 06, 2012 Aug 06, 2012

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It's completely pathetic that having removed a basic functionality of all

graphics programs that Adobe has done nothing to correct this gaping hole in

subsequent releases.

I have modified the way I do things where possible and go back to AE3 when I

need to use vector paint. This is okay as long as I pre-think how the project

is going to proceed as its not possible to open up a project started in later

versions with the earlier versions that actually worked in this regard.

I suppose not enough of us complained to make it worth their while to fix it.

Shame.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2012 Aug 08, 2012

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very primitive im afraid. export from ae, import to photoshop, import back to ae. would be great if photoshop also had the dynamic link connection with ae.

Evan what you are looking for may be achieved from doing drawing from illustrator and using it to animate strokes in ae. Though I dont remeber how, google may be your assistant.

I also found out the boris has a plugin for vector painting, but I never used it. for you info.

Dogus

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Contributor ,
Aug 08, 2012 Aug 08, 2012

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yes I've been using this for a while now. Its just copy paste from Ai to an AE layer which arrives as multiple masks, and then with either stroke sequential masks or TC 3d stroke one can achieve a clean vector animated drawing fast and easy.

But VP could be used to reveal more "paintery" artwork..

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