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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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replies 103 Replies 103
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 31, 2010 Aug 31, 2010

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

You can do that with normal paint just the same by painting on solids on top and setting the brush to paint on transparent and layer and comp windows side by side. You can even get that functionality in the layer window by adding effects like CC Composite before the paint to enforce rendering of the current frame.

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.

Yes, it's been much lamented but it's not coming back - for a while, anyway. Get yourself a "paint" plug-in liek Video Gogh or learn how to work with displacement effects to get similar results. Occassionally also consider shape layers - there's a Wiggle Path modifier there, after all.

Mylenium

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Aug 31, 2010 Aug 31, 2010

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Before I saw Mylenium's response, I was also going to point you to the Wiggle Paths operator in shape layers. So, here's a link.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2010 Sep 01, 2010

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thanks Todd and Mylenium for your responses.

With regard to Myleniums first point:

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

You can do that with normal paint just the same by painting on solids on top and setting the brush to paint on transparent and layer and comp windows side by side. You can even get that functionality in the layer window by adding effects like CC Composite before the paint to enforce rendering of the current frame.

I have tried this setup with layer and comp windows next to each other but the result is that I still have to draw my strokes in the layer window (which is transparent, so appears empty). Once I have drawn a stroke it appears in the comp window. So I was unable to use this workflow to trace over an existing layer in my comp. Can you expand on the use of CC composite in this way?  I tried adding this effect and playing with the settings but couldn't find a way to use it in this context.

Also, with regard to point 2 (and Todd's helpful link):

Occassionally also consider shape layers - there's a Wiggle Path modifier there, after all.

I have tried working with the wiggle path option in here but the results are totally different to the wiggles produced using vector paint - I'm guessing its a different algorithm or something? the variables are quite different in either package.

Can anyone here point me to a 3rd party plugin that does the same thing as vector paint? Mylenium suggested video gogh but this plugin is more about making video layers resemble brushstrokes. I am simply wanting to draw brush strokes directly into the after effects comp window and animate them, and to be able to apply some kind of wiggle modifier to create a degree of organic 'dynamicness'.

Mylenium also says:

Yes, it's been much lamented but it's not coming back - for a while, anyway.

When you say 'for a while', do you mean CS 6? CS7? I am starting to feel like my options are to sit tight with AECS3 until the situation changes, or to move away from AE altogether and work with different software to acheive this look (flash? toon boom? any suggestions?). If I had some confidence that a new improved tool featuring the same functionality as vector paint was going to be introduced in the next version of AE I would feel much better about working around it for the time being.

... yes I have filed a feature request! Please If you find this post in your own search about vector paint, can you also file a request? Vector paint had its downsides, but it is pretty clear to me that taking it away has reduced after effect's functionality in this area, which is a profound shame. I have won awards for projects that have been built around vector paint material, but I now cannot keep my AE version current without losing the ability to produce this look. thats a total bummer!

dan

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Sep 01, 2010 Sep 01, 2010

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>  but I now cannot keep my AE version current without losing the ability to produce this look.

What  would prevent you from keeping After Effects CS3 around for the times  when you need Vector Paint and then just bringing elements in from  there? Any time that you upgrade, it makes sense to keep the old version  around.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2010 Sep 01, 2010

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Hey Todd

yeah for sure this is a good solve in the short term, but looking longer its flawed - with OS upgrades and hardware developments sooner or later I'll reach a point where CS3 will no longer function. Hence my investigation of CS5.. I can only hope that the AE team will respond to the needs of users like me and others on this forum and either develop a new effect to replace vector paint or add the functionalities that have been lost (paint in the comp window & wiggle settings) to the surviving AE paint engine. does this sound fair?


dan

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 27, 2010 Sep 27, 2010

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THIS is a response from Adobe?!?! Use an old version?!? Sorry, Todd, I mean no disrespect at all, but this is not the answer to give to Dan. I too am really suffering from the removal of the vector paint effect. For all of it's shortcomings, it really did something exceptional and unique within after effects. To simply say that somebody just needs to use CS3 is severely limiting - it assumes that Dan is only using the Vector paint effect in his compositions. I absolutely love and have already come to depend on many of cs5's new features - how could I possibly nest cs3 working comps that use vector paint in the middle of projects that I am developing in cs5?

I really don't understand this one on Adobe's part. Why just dump the whole thing? Why not just include it as an optional install with a disclaimer that it's still got the same problems as before? It WASN'T THAT BAD. It worked, and artists depended on it. Everybody I speak with in the industry who animates in After Effects is pissed about this in varying degrees.

Anyway, I'm going to hunt for the feedback page to request a release of it.

Good luck with the Paint plug-in Dan. geez. really? The paint plugin?

Jonathan

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Sep 27, 2010 Sep 27, 2010

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> I'm going to hunt for the feedback page to request a release of it.

No need to hunt.

You can file a feature request here: http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

More on how to give feedback here: http://bit.ly/93d6NF

Regarding  my answer about using an older version: I'm not commenting pro or con  regarding the removal of the Vector Paint effect. I'm not the person who  makes those decisions. Rather, I'm giving the best workaround that is  available under the circumstances. I'm technical support, not product  management.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 29, 2010 Sep 29, 2010

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Hey Todd

I got my new system today with cs5 preinstalled. Am I gonna screw anything in cs5 up if I now install ae cs3 alongside? This is just so I have an app that can use vector paint when I need it.

Thought I would consult an oracle beforehand and hopefully save myself any pain... Thanks!

Dan

r e m o t e l i m i t e d

+6421 769 998

control@remote.co.nz

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Sep 29, 2010 Sep 29, 2010

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Installing CS3 software after CS5 software may cause problems. Going the other direction works fine. To be totally safe, I recommend uninstalling CS5, installing CS3, and then reinstalling CS5. I know that that sounds like a pain, but the old installer was not written with the CS5 software in mind, so it may not respect the files installed by the CS5 installer.

I have CS3, CS4, and CS5 software on the same computer, but I installed in that order.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 29, 2010 Sep 29, 2010

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Hey man

Thanks for the quick reply! Can I just un- and re- install ae, or will I need to do the whole creative suite each time?

Dan

r e m o t e l i m i t e d

+6421 769 998

control@remote.co.nz

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Sep 29, 2010 Sep 29, 2010

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I recommend uninstalling and reinstalling the whole suite. The components that I'm most concerned about (becuase I've seen them messed up by out-of-order installations) are things like Bridge and Adobe Media Encoder.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 29, 2010 Sep 29, 2010

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Dang!

ok,I guess I need to get to know this new box anyways...

Oh yeah, I have a render machine with cs5 render engine installed, I'm probably gonna have to do the same thing here too huh?

Thanks Todd

Dan

r e m o t e l i m i t e d

+6421 769 998

control@remote.co.NZ

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 27, 2010 Sep 27, 2010

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Hi Jonathan

thanks for the supportive response, I was beginning to think I was the

only guy in the universe that ever used vector paint!

I have posted a feature request myself, and I can only hope that

everyone who misses this plugin does the same. My previous experience

with the AE team is that they are pretty responsive to feature

requests if there is enough of a call from the users. so fingers

crossed. I hope it makes it into CS5.1!

Much respect

Dan

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Participant ,
Oct 01, 2010 Oct 01, 2010

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Dan you are not alone.

I'm not quite sure what your reasons Adobe have for removing this very useful feature it would be great if they could maybe make it an optional plugin that you can install yourself should you want to.

I'm an After effects animator at The Mill in London and I use Vector paint constantly. ONe of the main advantages over normal paint is being able to paint within the comp and on alpha enabling you to trace or matte out images.

Apart from that VERY important feature there is the wiggle feature. I use this sooooo much to achieve a 'hand animated' style.

Also the onion skinning abilities of this little plugin make it an essential for anyone wanting to animate within after effects.

Just the ability to be able to freehand draw directly in vector paint is enough to at least keep it in after effects, why remove it completely?

Should any 3rd party developers be reading, this would be a useful project that would help loads of animators....

I urge people to join the campaign to bring back Vector Paint!

^_^

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2010 Oct 01, 2010

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Atta boy, Wolf. You've touched on some great features of the Vector Paint plugin. Another deficit that I've painfully realized this week in production with the brush plugin is the ability to smooth any drawn lines.

I think a good course of action would be to send this up on some of the sites such as motionographer. It's a little bit of a boys club to get a post on there, but since you're at The Mill, somebody might perk up their ears. If enough folks make some noise there, I bet Adobe would suddenly find the inspiration to reinstate the effect.

Worst case, maybe kickstarter.com is a way to get the thing back.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 01, 2010 Oct 01, 2010

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Hi Everyone,

Michael Coleman here. I'm the product manager for After Effects. I'd like to respond to a couple points in this thread. I can offer a little explanation, and make a small request/suggestion.

First of all, @the remote controller (Dan), I really love your animation. Really beautiful and creative stuff. Thanks for posting the links.

Next, I apologize for the hassle we've created. When we started working on CS5, it was our goal to consolidate the functionality of the vector paint effect and the built-in paint tools. Maintaining 2 paint systems with similar features doesn't really make sense, so it was our plan to combine them. Thanks to the 64-bit conversion, we didn't have the option of leaving it in as is. Unfortunately we underestimated the time it would take, and we simply ran out of time to convert Vector Paint to a 64-bit native effect. We got a ton of awesome things into CS5, but fell a bit short on Vector Paint.

I do ask for your patience while we address this gap. If the workarounds listed in this thread don't work for you, the best way to communicate this to the After Effects development team is to use the feature-request form that Todd mentioned above. Even though a web form seems impersonal and corporate, I assure you that the request goes directly to a living, breathing member of the After Effects team. Starting a thread in other web sites is not an effective way to make yourselves heard. After all, I'm the AE product manager, and I've heard you loud and clear right here on the Adobe forums. Next step: the feature-request form. It really helps us if you use it.

Regards,

Michael Coleman

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2010 Oct 01, 2010

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Thank you so much Michael!

That was what I've been hoping to hear!! I know a lot of artists will be relieved to learn of this as well.

I definitely respect the opportunity that this forum provides. The only reason that I brought up a site such as motionographer is because of the clustering of After Effects users there, and that if it was a case of Adobe simply not understanding that the plugin is presently sorely missed, that surely a group such as that would raise the flag officially.

And now that it's out there that Vector Paint is being worked on for a future release, I, for one, will definitely use the wish form to suggest improvements/features that I would love to see for it's grand reappearance. It's a beautiful and versitile plugin - nothing comes close.

Thanks again,

Jonathan

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2010 Oct 02, 2010

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hey there michael

thanks for your kind words. and I'm stoked to hear that vector paint is not completely dead, i guess its more like its in cryogenic storage waiting for a 64bit organ transplant...

i already filled out the wish form. a couple of times even. i might get into the habit of busting out another wish form every time i have to open CS3 to use vector paint

Hey its great to know that people up the Adobe chain of command read this forum too - makes all the $$ I spend on buying legit software feel just a little bit more worthwhile. Thank you.

Keep up the great work!

dan

ps @thefrkinwolf, how about you get all the guys at the mill to knock out wish forms for vector paint too - if we can lovebomb Michael with requests maybe we can get it bumped up the priority list!

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Oct 02, 2010 Oct 02, 2010

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Just a note in case this detail was missed:

Compositions created with a previous version of After Effects that use the Vector Paint effect will still render in After Effects CS5, but you will not be able to modify the Vector Paint effect properties in these compositions in After Effects CS5.

In other words, it's the Vector Paint UI (user interface) that is missing from After Effects CS5, not the underlying effect for rendering.

A hard and time-consuming part of porting an effect to 64-bit is the custom user interface stuff (which any of you waiting patiently for Zaxwerks plug-ins to come to After Effects CS5 know all too well).

It's a bit of a hassle, but doing my Vector Paint work in After Effects CS4 and then importing that project into my After Effects CS5 project works fine.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2010 Oct 02, 2010

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hey Todd thanks for pointing this out - this way I am able to build a vector paint layer in cs3 and then import the project into cs5 to comp it up. i don't have to render my cs3 comp before importing, and it means there is a clearer edit path for revisions. it's by no means ideal but it will keep me going until you guys roll out an updated paint tool. awesome.

dan

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New Here ,
May 20, 2011 May 20, 2011

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Hello Michael,

Could you give some sort of idea as to when Vector Paint, or something similar which allows painting on layers in the comp window,will be reintroduce? We are up to v5.5 now and still no sign.

For me the removal of this feature makes the product useless as I routinely paint in track matte layers to brush-in effects or layer visibility.  I have had to go back to using CS3.

If the feature is going to be added back soon then I will keep my copy of CS5.5 - otherwise I might as well give it back and get a refund.

Some sort of confirmation that the reintroduction of this feature is a high priority would set my mind at ease.

Thanks

Geoff

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New Here ,
May 25, 2011 May 25, 2011

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Hi Geoff,

I'm the new product manager for AE - I recently took over for Michael (although we work together a lot!).

As I'm sure you already know, across Adobe, we can't comment on what will be in future releases, so I wish I had a better answer for you.  That being said - this specific topic has come up several times on the AE team, and are constantly evaluating things like this.

As I said - I know it's not the answer you're looking for, but the best I can do for now I am afraid.

Steve

Sr. Product Manager - Visual Effects

Adobe Systems Inc.

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Community Beginner ,
May 25, 2011 May 25, 2011

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Thanks for the update Steve. I was holding my breathe for a 5.5 appearance of Vector Paint, but understand how those things go. If there's anything the depressed folks in this forum can do to grease the wheels of change, please let us know.

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New Here ,
May 26, 2011 May 26, 2011

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Hi Steve,

Many thanks for getting back to me on this. It's normally very frustrating

trying to get any good information from Adobe when normally you get routed to

some guy in India with a script to follow who really has no idea what the

software is or how it works.

I fully understand that you cannot give any firm committments regarding what

will, or won't, be in future releases of AE but this is a bit different in

that it is not a new feature we are asking for - just that you put back the

functionality that has been removed.

Can I take it, off the record, that you are intimating that this is likely to

happen?

For my workflow AE5 is not an option, so I have a redundant piece of software

I've paid for whilst still continuing to work with earlier versions.

Do I wait - or ask for my money back?

Thanks

Geoff

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