Create a Write-On Effect in After Effects

 You're going to need to know how to do a write-on sooner or later, so why not sooner? Joey is going to show you how to master this technique a few different ways. First, you'll start with a couple of quick ways of doing a write-on which are perfect for when you're short on time and need to get the job done but still have everything look good.

Then you'll learn a very cool way of doing a write-on that looks like a paintbrush is actually painting the type on. It's a bit more time consuming, but totally worth it for those times when you want to make something look really bad-ass.

We also want to give a quick shout-out to the Ringling College of Art and Design who sponsored the 30 Days of After Effects series. You can find out more about their awesome Motion Design Department in the resources tab. 

If you have any questions, click over to the Q&A tab to post them. Other students can answer you, and we’ll put our team on the case to try and get you a solution ASAP.

01_WriteOn_v3.zip

 Ringling College of Art & Design - Motion Design Department

 Brush Strokes 

 Watercolor Textures 

 Omino Plugin - http://omino.com/pixelblog/category/after-effects/


    00:00:08,654(upbeat music)
    00:00:16,619- Well howdy, Joey here at School of Motion.
    00:00:18,972And welcome to day one of 30 days of After Effects.
    00:00:22,336Over the next 30 days we're going to learn a
    00:00:24,268ton about After Effects and I want to give a quick
    00:00:27,556shout out to our sponsor for this series,
    00:00:29,994the Department of Motion Design at the Ringling
    00:00:32,244College of Art and Design in beautiful Sarasota, Florida.
    00:00:35,683If a traditional brick and mortar school is what
    00:00:38,092you're looking for, Ringling is an excellent place
    00:00:40,792to get a motion design education.
    00:00:42,626And I'm not just saying that because I taught there.
    00:00:45,102It's an incredible place with some amazing teachers,
    00:00:47,855including our very own Morgan Williams.
    00:00:50,577Be sure to check them out.
    00:00:51,972Now on to the lesson.
    00:00:53,551For this first lesson we are going to talk about
    00:00:55,687something every motion designer will have to do
    00:00:57,597at some point in their career, write ons.
    00:01:00,616There are a lot of ways to achieve this effect
    00:01:02,714and I'm going to show you a few different techniques,
    00:01:04,804including one really neat way which takes a little
    00:01:07,716more time but gives you an amazing result.
    00:01:10,087Don't forget to sign up for a free student account
    00:01:12,509so you can grab the project files from this lesson
    00:01:15,059as well as assets from any other lesson on the site.
    00:01:17,369Now let's hop into After Effects and get started.
    00:01:21,947So before I show you guys how to create this
    00:01:24,659really nice painted write on effect, I'm going to
    00:01:28,166show you a couple of really quick and dirty ways
    00:01:30,047to do it too because this technique here, while it
    00:01:32,673looks great, it also takes a good amount of time.
    00:01:35,539And depending on the font you have and how many
    00:01:38,386different letters, it could take hours.
    00:01:40,490So sometimes you don't have hours and sometimes
    00:01:43,100you're doing those jobs that really you're just
    00:01:45,901paying the bills and it's gotta get done quick
    00:01:48,238and you can't spend an entire day creating
    00:01:51,034one write on effect for type.
    00:01:52,822So first let me show you the quick and dirty way.
    00:01:56,279So I'm going to create a new composition here.
    00:01:59,290And we'll just call this quick, quick write on.
    00:02:04,082And I'm going to spell out my name.
    00:02:08,821And you can spell out my name too if you want
    00:02:12,005or spell out your name and that's okay too.
    00:02:17,398So let me just size this up.
    00:02:19,609Usually when I do write ons I'll try to make the
    00:02:21,807type bigger than I know it's going to need to be
    00:02:24,570and that way I can always scale it down.
    00:02:26,899Obviously you don't want to scale things up
    00:02:28,404because then you're losing resolution.
    00:02:30,494So I'm going to precomp this now.
    00:02:32,532This is a type layer but I'm going to select it
    00:02:34,418and hit Shift + Command + C.
    00:02:37,542And I'm going to name this Name PC for precomp.
    00:02:41,414That's my little abbreviation.
    00:02:44,546And so now I've turned that type layer into just
    00:02:46,878a big layer that now I can put effects on.
    00:02:51,338And the first way I'm going to show you to do
    00:02:53,055this write on effect is by using the After Effects
    00:02:55,447paint system.
    00:02:56,779The paint system in After Effects is old and crappy,
    00:03:00,220to be quite honest with you, but it actually
    00:03:01,925works pretty well for this.
    00:03:03,902So in order to paint on a layer, if I click on
    00:03:06,929this paintbrush and I try to paint on this,
    00:03:10,080it's not going to let me.
    00:03:12,201And I'm going to get this warning saying use the
    00:03:13,947paint and blah, blah, blah in a layer panel.
    00:03:17,169So here's what it's telling me.
    00:03:18,814This is my composition panel right here.
    00:03:21,509This is showing me the end result of all my layers
    00:03:24,482and everything that I'm comping together.
    00:03:26,489If I want to paint on a layer, I have to do it
    00:03:29,312in a layer panel.
    00:03:30,723So the way you get to that is you control click
    00:03:33,092or right click your layer.
    00:03:35,205And you go down to open layer.
    00:03:38,035And when you click that, you can see now After Effects
    00:03:41,424has opened another window here and it's really small.
    00:03:43,710So let me stretch it out like this.
    00:03:46,669So I'm going to click over in this window for a minute.
    00:03:50,132And just zoom out.
    00:03:52,326There we go.
    00:03:53,895And then over here.
    00:03:54,998So what I'm looking at is I have two windows up.
    00:03:56,796This is the end result of my composition.
    00:03:59,345And this is just the layer, just this one layer.
    00:04:02,131And right now they're going to look identical.
    00:04:04,478You can see that now with my paintbrush selected
    00:04:07,744and my layer panel open, I can start painting on this.
    00:04:11,566Now the goal is to basically mimic the way you
    00:04:15,962would write these letters.
    00:04:18,583So I'm just going to do this for each letter.
    00:04:20,851But first we have to make sure the settings are right.
    00:04:23,253So the first thing is the size of the brush needs
    00:04:25,623to be thick enough so that when I write down like
    00:04:28,972this I'm covering up the entire letter.
    00:04:32,925A quick tip is you can just hold Command on a Mac
    00:04:37,273and you can click and drag like this and make
    00:04:40,496the brush bigger and smaller.
    00:04:42,263So if you have a thinner font, you should use
    00:04:44,158a thinner brush.
    00:04:45,264And the main reason not to just use some gigantic
    00:04:48,058brush like this is because if all I want to do is
    00:04:51,233write on the J, well I'm also writing on part
    00:04:53,444of the O right now.
    00:04:55,545So we get that brush the right size.
    00:04:59,362By the way, I'm using a Wacom tablet and that
    00:05:02,712allows you to have pressure sensitive paint strokes.
    00:05:05,853So if I hold it lightly, I can be very thin and then
    00:05:09,189as I push harder, it gets fatter.
    00:05:11,021And it's a lot easier to do this with a tablet,
    00:05:13,061so I highly recommend one.
    00:05:14,827So I have my paintbrush tool.
    00:05:18,885And over here in the paint settings, and if you don't
    00:05:22,975see this, just go to your window menu and make sure
    00:05:25,397that you grab that and that should open up this
    00:05:27,444window for you.
    00:05:28,589I want to make sure that the duration is set to constant.
    00:05:34,030Now there's actually a write on duration.
    00:05:38,053I don't like to use that, and I'll show you why.
    00:05:40,559If I use write on, this is what happens.
    00:05:43,205I draw this paint stroke and as soon as I let go,
    00:05:47,253I can't see the paint stroke anymore.
    00:05:48,920And if I hate space bar, it will play back my
    00:05:51,404paint stroke for me, which is cool.
    00:05:53,464But the problem with that is that I want to fill up every
    00:05:57,781single pixel of this font with paint and it's hard
    00:06:01,568to do that if I can't see the stroke that I just painted.
    00:06:04,335So it's easier to do this first with a constant duration.
    00:06:08,961And that's it, you want to paint on the RGBA channel.
    00:06:11,998So that's every single channel.
    00:06:14,277The mode is set to normal.
    00:06:16,533Opacity and flow are 100%.
    00:06:18,147That's what you want.
    00:06:19,271For the brush, right now I've got pretty much
    00:06:22,492the default brush.
    00:06:23,627The hardness is set to 0 so you can see that the
    00:06:26,035edges are kind of feathered, which is kind of nice.
    00:06:29,626I don't want it that feathered, so I'm going to
    00:06:32,578increase that and you can see this little preview here.
    00:06:35,544It tells you what you're doing to your brush.
    00:06:38,479There we go, that's much better.
    00:06:41,505The other thing, normally the spacing setting
    00:06:44,915I think is at like 50% or 25%.
    00:06:48,199And you can see that when I draw a shape,
    00:06:50,304it actually just puts a bunch of little circles
    00:06:53,036in a row and it can kind of start to look lumpy.
    00:06:56,749So I put the spacing down as low as it can go,
    00:06:59,631which I think is 1%.
    00:07:01,269And that way you get nice, smooth curves
    00:07:04,280when you paint.
    00:07:05,737So there you go.
    00:07:06,725So the next thing to do is to draw this.
    00:07:09,789And you have to be very careful.
    00:07:11,404Draw it the way you actually write these letters.
    00:07:14,015For example, the way I write a Y is this stroke
    00:07:17,031first, then this stroke.
    00:07:20,918And so that's why I wouldn't go like this
    00:07:23,900and then do that, because that's not going
    00:07:25,938to look right if you're doing hand writing.
    00:07:27,901So first let's do the J.
    00:07:29,297Now, you're going to see a problem right away.
    00:07:31,550I can pretty much cover up this entire J except
    00:07:34,622for the serif.
    00:07:35,988So you have to make a creative call.
    00:07:38,104Do I want that serif to be kind of knocked out
    00:07:41,424with a separate stroke or you can kind of cheat it
    00:07:45,575and you can start it here and then come down like this.
    00:07:48,947And I think for this that's what I'll do.
    00:07:51,232So I've got the J.
    00:07:52,854Now I'll do the O.
    00:07:55,558And if you mess up, you just hit undo.
    00:07:58,574So let's say I didn't like that.
    00:07:59,936So I hit undo and then I just do it again.
    00:08:03,441Now I'll do the E.
    00:08:04,304Now, the E is going to be a downstroke
    00:08:05,864and three horizontal strokes.
    00:08:07,143So for the downstroke, I want to try and catch
    00:08:08,891that serif, catch this one, and then here's where
    00:08:12,822you gotta be a little careful.
    00:08:14,629And there's not really, this is one of the problems
    00:08:16,772with this paint technique is it's hard to be precise.
    00:08:19,300And you're going to end up hitting a little bit of that Y
    00:08:23,367and that's gonna get revealed and you don't
    00:08:25,291really want that.
    00:08:26,363The solution would be to separate all these letters
    00:08:28,944out onto their own layers and do this one by one
    00:08:31,322for each letter, but of course this client isn't
    00:08:34,776paying us enough for that.
    00:08:36,491So now we'll do the Y, so I'll catch this serif,
    00:08:39,570come down here.
    00:08:41,139And then I'll catch this serif and do this.
    00:08:44,398And there you go.
    00:08:45,710Now, if you come down to this layer,
    00:08:47,878and I can close this layer window now.
    00:08:52,565Let's open this back up.
    00:08:57,685If I hit E to bring up my effects, you see
    00:09:00,163here's my paint effect.
    00:09:01,409And if I open that up, you can see I actually have
    00:09:03,730these actual mini layers for every single brush.
    00:09:07,129And brush one is the first stroke I did, the J.
    00:09:10,790Brush eight is the last stroke I did.
    00:09:12,426So it goes in order.
    00:09:13,775So that's why it's important to actually write
    00:09:15,625these letters in the right order too.
    00:09:18,169And if I open up the settings for brush one,
    00:09:20,312you can see there's a whole bunch of settings in here.
    00:09:23,006And the one I want to get to is this end.
    00:09:25,917So in the stroke options for each brush stroke,
    00:09:28,673you can animate the start and end and you'll
    00:09:31,367see if I animate the end, I can actually have
    00:09:35,535this thing draw on.
    00:09:38,983It's really nice.
    00:09:40,301So I want to animate that ending property for
    00:09:43,111every single paint stroke.
    00:09:45,035So here's a little trick.
    00:09:46,467I know that the property I'm looking for is called end.
    00:09:49,314So in the little search box I'm just going to type end.
    00:09:52,429And you'll see it brings up all of those properties for me.
    00:09:57,179By the way, I don't know, maybe you guys didn't know
    00:09:59,240you could do this.
    00:10:00,073If you hold the space bar and you click in this little
    00:10:01,867area that has nothing in it, you can scroll up and down
    00:10:04,518on your timeline.
    00:10:06,586It's kind of handy.
    00:10:07,469So what I'm going to do is I'm going to
    00:10:09,460turn on the stopwatch for all of these.
    00:10:14,244And I'm going to set them all to zero to start with.
    00:10:18,623So what I'm going to do is select every single end
    00:10:24,078and I'm just holding Shift and clicking them all.
    00:10:26,183Set them all to zero.
    00:10:27,716And then I'll go forward.
    00:10:29,595Let's say I go forward six frames
    00:10:33,550and set them to 100.
    00:10:36,108Now if I hit U, and if you guys don't know, U is
    00:10:39,594the hot key in After Effects that brings up every
    00:10:41,486animated property on whatever layer is selected.
    00:10:45,087Now I just see those key frames.
    00:10:47,736I'm going to make this window a little bit smaller
    00:10:49,722so I can see all of these.
    00:10:52,303And we can still see this whole thing, great.
    00:10:55,622So next thing I need to do is sequence these.
    00:10:59,208So this J gets written first.
    00:11:02,581And then the O.
    00:11:04,626So I'm just going to drag these like this.
    00:11:07,886So we get the J, then the O.
    00:11:11,222And maybe I want to have the O start a little bit
    00:11:16,719maybe a one frame towards the end of the J,
    00:11:19,923because I want this to happen pretty quickly.
    00:11:22,864And then here's the E.
    00:11:24,986So you get that first line of the E.
    00:11:26,910And then you know that these next three strokes
    00:11:30,696are the little horizontal parts of the E.
    00:11:33,755And those are much shorter lines.
    00:11:36,290So those maybe don't take as many frames to write on.
    00:11:40,510And you just kind of sequence them.
    00:11:42,583And really this is just sort of experimenting and
    00:11:46,283playing around with timing and seeing what feels right.
    00:11:50,041So now what I'm going to do is I'm going to move
    00:11:51,369my play head over here.
    00:11:53,293I'm going to hit the N key.
    00:11:55,565And N, if you guys don't know that hot key,
    00:11:57,610that just moves the out point, this little guy here.
    00:12:00,605It moves this to wherever your play head is.
    00:12:04,017So now I'm going to preview this.
    00:12:06,356And let's see what this looks like.
    00:12:08,884So now you can see it's writing on my name.
    00:12:11,669Now obviously that's not what we want.
    00:12:13,743We want to reveal the font using this.
    00:12:15,991So all we need to do, let's rename this layer here paint.
    00:12:20,503And let's duplicate it and call this font.
    00:12:23,946And what we want to do is have this paint layer
    00:12:28,196be matted out by the original font.
    00:12:30,942So what I'm going to do is I'm going to click my
    00:12:32,232font layer, I'm going to delete the paint effect off of it.
    00:12:38,234I'm going to do this a lot and I want to make sure
    00:12:40,167I don't lose anybody.
    00:12:41,529What I'm looking for is my track matte column so
    00:12:45,635I can set the matte for this layer.
    00:12:49,028But you can see it wasn't there, so I'm hitting F4.
    00:12:51,883F4 toggles between these two sets of columns.
    00:12:55,060There's a button down here that does that too
    00:12:57,354but I always use F4.
    00:12:59,188So I'm going to tell the paint layer, this red layer,
    00:13:02,494to use the font layer as the alpha matte.
    00:13:06,249And there we go.
    00:13:10,150Now, there's one last thing that I forgot to do.
    00:13:13,086So what's happening here is, let me undo this for a minute
    00:13:17,621and let me turn off this.
    00:13:19,066So the font layer is off.
    00:13:21,261It's not visible right now.
    00:13:22,363All we're seeing is the paint layer.
    00:13:23,692The paint layer, if you remember, is the precomp
    00:13:26,785that has my name in it with a paint effect on top of it.
    00:13:29,601And the last step I need to do is once the paint is
    00:13:32,430working the way I want, I need to click on paint
    00:13:35,517on transparent.
    00:13:36,785What this is going to do is it's going to turn off
    00:13:39,243the reference, basically, that I was painting over
    00:13:43,008and it's only going to show me the paint strokes.
    00:13:45,969So now when I set this to use the font layer as
    00:13:48,882the alpha matte, it will write on this type.
    00:13:51,802And this red color makes it horrible to see,
    00:13:54,821so I'm going to use a fill effect on this paint.
    00:14:02,337So I have my paint effect and then a fill effect
    00:14:04,435to just change the color of the layer to black.
    00:14:07,104And there you go.
    00:14:08,963You can see there's your simple, quick and dirty write on.
    00:14:11,770Now if I wasn't talking through this I probably
    00:14:14,049could have done that in two minutes.
    00:14:15,849So if you have a ton of writing that you need
    00:14:19,822to write on, this is a fast way to do it.
    00:14:22,086Now, it doesn't look very good.
    00:14:24,431And there's a couple of tricks that can kind of help it.
    00:14:27,539You can see that one big problem is that you have,
    00:14:29,910there's just a very soft unnatural edge.
    00:14:34,438So one thing you can do, because you have it set up
    00:14:37,609this way, and you are basically filling in
    00:14:45,943this font with this painted effect that you've done,
    00:14:49,405you can add more effects to the paint.
    00:14:52,997And actually another way to do this too, maybe this
    00:14:56,157might even work better, is to just reverse the
    00:14:58,913order of this.
    00:14:59,901Take this font.
    00:15:02,336Let me get rid of this fill effect for a moment.
    00:15:04,452Take this font and use the paint as the alpha matte.
    00:15:07,275And this will kind of do the same thing for you.
    00:15:11,983And now what I can do is I can take this paint effect,
    00:15:15,023which is my matte, and I can put effects on it.
    00:15:17,598So I'm going to grab the stylize roughen edges effect.
    00:15:23,821And this effect can be kind of cheesy if you overdo it.
    00:15:28,019But you can see what it does.
    00:15:29,831Actually let me turn this layer on for a minute
    00:15:31,451and you can see exactly what it's doing.
    00:15:33,503It's literally roughening the edges of that paint.
    00:15:37,453And so as it paints, it just kind of makes it
    00:15:40,675look a little bit more natural.
    00:15:44,204And so now if I turn this off, you'll see.
    00:15:45,935It's going to give that write on effect just a
    00:15:48,656little bit more of a grungy kind of look.
    00:15:53,104And there's a lot of settings.
    00:15:54,415You can try different actual different types of edges.
    00:15:58,055You can turn the sharpness down if you want.
    00:16:00,704It'll make it a little bit softer.
    00:16:03,633It can start to look really terrible if you go
    00:16:05,796too far with it, which I have.
    00:16:08,270But if you use a light touch, it actually can work out okay.
    00:16:11,548And another trick that I like to do a lot when I
    00:16:14,338do stuff like this is let's say I'm fairly happy with this.
    00:16:20,537I can take this setup, precompose this, and we can
    00:16:24,111just call this Joey write on.
    00:16:26,930And I'll duplicate it.
    00:16:28,833And I'll offset one of these by one frame.
    00:16:32,312The way I just did that, by the way, hold Option
    00:16:34,455and hit page down and it nudges your layer
    00:16:38,138forward one frame.
    00:16:39,868It's just a quick way to offset things.
    00:16:42,253And I'm going to take this bottom copy here and
    00:16:44,634I'm going to make the opacity 50%.
    00:16:47,652So now what you get is you get this kind of leading edge.
    00:16:52,967And it can just help sort of visually soften the
    00:16:56,343effect of this super hard edge.
    00:16:59,054Another thing you can do too is, I just line these
    00:17:03,205back up for a second, is you can select your layers
    00:17:06,257and you can turn on time remapping.
    00:17:09,540Right there.
    00:17:11,983And then let me scrub forward.
    00:17:14,779So the animation finishes here.
    00:17:17,454So I'm going to put a key frame there.
    00:17:19,234And then I'm going to move that key frame way
    00:17:21,397over here and what I'm doing is I'm making this
    00:17:23,419animation take longer.
    00:17:26,569And so it's going to end up smoothing out the
    00:17:28,975animation a little bit by doing this.
    00:17:31,268And this is something that when you're doing this
    00:17:34,657with paint, sometimes you'll get some weird artifacts
    00:17:38,536when you do that.
    00:17:39,821But there you go, you can see this is a quick,
    00:17:42,447super easy way to do this.
    00:17:45,784Let me show you one more way that's a little bit more
    00:17:48,557controllable and then I'm going to show you the cool way.
    00:17:51,583Here's one more way.
    00:17:53,644So let's go back into my font here.
    00:17:59,645So we've got this.
    00:18:02,611So this is my name precomp.
    00:18:05,009So I'm just going to drag this into a new comp here.
    00:18:07,861And we're going to call this write on stroke.
    00:18:12,673And the reason I'm going to call it write on stroke
    00:18:14,444is because we're going to use a different technique
    00:18:16,424to do this.
    00:18:18,259So the way we're going to do it this time, instead
    00:18:20,690of using the paint effect, we're going to use shape layers.
    00:18:23,313Because shape layers are a little bit more controllable.
    00:18:26,042So I'm going to select the pen tool up here.
    00:18:28,550Make sure you have no layers selected.
    00:18:31,027That is very important.
    00:18:32,641If you have a layer selected, it's going to put a
    00:18:34,255mask on that layer, which is not what we want.
    00:18:36,254We want a shape layer.
    00:18:37,939So I'm going to just draw a shape and you can
    00:18:42,083tell I've already practiced this tutorial because
    00:18:45,376of course it's got the perfect little thickness
    00:18:48,186of the shape.
    00:18:49,471And what I'm doing is I'm just drawing a shape.
    00:18:53,487Now, what it's doing is it's creating a shape layer
    00:18:55,971with a stroke on it.
    00:18:57,583And then I can adjust the width of that stroke
    00:19:01,468and I can adjust these points.
    00:19:05,289And then I can add more points and I can
    00:19:09,248move things around and use this to cover up the letter.
    00:19:14,911And I'm basically doing the exact same thing with the
    00:19:17,537shape layer that I would have done with paint.
    00:19:20,257So this is for the J.
    00:19:22,945And now what I would do with this shape is I would
    00:19:25,939open up this little arrow here.
    00:19:29,094And on a shape layer, you can add a whole bunch of
    00:19:31,556modifiers to it.
    00:19:33,242So one that I use all the time is called trim paths.
    00:19:36,424And the way you add it is you just open up the arrow,
    00:19:39,104click add, trim paths.
    00:19:42,387And then you can open up the options for that.
    00:19:44,668And if you animate the end property, it does
    00:19:47,251the exact same thing.
    00:19:48,500You can see here though it's very smooth.
    00:19:51,569And you have so much control.
    00:19:53,720And when you time remap this, it gets very, very smooth.
    00:19:57,605It never gets jerky the way paint can get
    00:20:00,005if you're not careful.
    00:20:02,347So what I would do is I would just set a key frame here.
    00:20:05,639I would go six frames forward.
    00:20:09,549Do the same thing.
    00:20:12,197And one thing that's great about doing this trick,
    00:20:16,580so now let's do the O.
    00:20:18,717So I have to make sure nothing is selected.
    00:20:21,453If I have this layer selected and I try and draw
    00:20:23,640the shape of the O, it's gonna put that O shape
    00:20:27,761on the same layer as the J, which is not what I want.
    00:20:31,462I want a separate layer.
    00:20:32,595So nothing is selected.
    00:20:34,126And I just quickly fill in O here.
    00:20:40,815And you don't have to be super duper precise because,
    00:20:44,123again, you're not going to see this stroke at all.
    00:20:47,660You're just gonna see the layer that's using that
    00:20:53,596stroke as a matte.
    00:20:55,011Now this O needs to be a little thicker.
    00:20:57,597So I can make that stroke thicker.
    00:20:58,952And this is why I like to hae things on different
    00:21:00,646layers, because now it's very easy.
    00:21:02,534This stroke can be thicker than the J.
    00:21:04,837We'll call this O.
    00:21:06,390And now I can actually click on this trim path that
    00:21:09,360I added and it's got key frames on it.
    00:21:12,730And I can copy and then just move this O
    00:21:17,526to where I want to start and hit paste.
    00:21:20,786I did that wrong.
    00:21:21,825Let's try that, copy, paste.
    00:21:24,137There we go.
    00:21:25,047And so now if I hit U to reveal the key frames,
    00:21:28,080you'll see it copied that trim path and those
    00:21:30,840key frames on there.
    00:21:32,039And what's cool about this is you can do easy ease
    00:21:35,854and you can make, you know, if you really want to
    00:21:38,360slow this down, what you could do is move these
    00:21:44,265key frames further apart, like maybe a second,
    00:21:46,527so it takes a longer time to write these letters out.
    00:21:49,782And then you can select your key frames.
    00:21:51,710Go to your curves editor.
    00:21:54,719And really amplify the ease.
    00:21:59,029So now you can get a little bit more.
    00:22:02,822And what's cool about this as opposed to the paint
    00:22:07,799is it's super duper smooth, it's super duper controllable.
    00:22:12,164It just has a different feel to it.
    00:22:14,279So I'm not going to do every letter.
    00:22:16,654I don't want you guys to have to sit and watch me do that.
    00:22:19,170So let me just precomp this real quick, the J and the O.
    00:22:23,844And it's the same trick, so this is going to be our matte.
    00:22:29,036And we're just gonna tell the font underneath
    00:22:31,832use the matte as our alpha matte.
    00:22:35,192And there you go.
    00:22:36,998Now you have a much smoother write on.
    00:22:38,895And you can still do the exact same tricks.
    00:22:41,848If you want to put roughen edges on that, you can.
    00:22:47,466And now here's a problem with roughen edges.
    00:22:50,295It actually erodes away some of your image.
    00:22:53,609So if you have it set too high, the edge looks really
    00:22:58,005nice here, but the problem is we're actually eating
    00:23:00,563away at some of this type here.
    00:23:02,334So a good trick to fix that is to use an effect called
    00:23:06,119a simple choker.
    00:23:08,805And you're going to want this before the roughen edges.
    00:23:11,531And what the simple choker does, if I turn the matte
    00:23:13,588back on and turn roughen edges off, the simple choker,
    00:23:16,386it just erodes or creates more matte.
    00:23:21,431It's called eroding or dilating.
    00:23:25,327So what I'm going to do is dilate it just a little bit.
    00:23:29,065I'm just dragging this choke matte backwards into
    00:23:31,573negative numbers, and so that way when we roughen
    00:23:33,548the edges, you still get those nice rough edges,
    00:23:36,949but you're not losing any of the matte that you
    00:23:39,817need to fill in the letters.
    00:23:42,252Cool, so that's another cool way.
    00:23:44,563Now, this is actually the way I do it most of the time,
    00:23:47,513because it takes a little bit more time than painting,
    00:23:49,809but it's very controllable and you have a lot of
    00:23:52,999flexibility and precision with it.
    00:23:56,227And then you can add texture to it really easily.
    00:24:00,843If you look in the description of this tutorial,
    00:24:03,492I've linked to a bunch of resources that I used,
    00:24:06,076which are all free to use, and I've given credit
    00:24:08,210to the right people.
    00:24:09,281SO there are some really cool resources out there
    00:24:11,916if you just want to get some nice textures
    00:24:14,821and make things feel a little bit more organic.
    00:24:18,971I can basically put a texture over this whole setup
    00:24:21,391and click the transparency button, which a lot of
    00:24:24,815people don't know about, but it's a nice little trick.
    00:24:27,817It basically just lets you use everything underneath
    00:24:32,392it in the composition as a matte.
    00:24:34,689It's really a slick way to do it.
    00:24:36,665And there you go.
    00:24:37,973And so now you've got this nice paint effect.
    00:24:41,351There's a nice texture on there.
    00:24:44,367It's obviously too bright.
    00:24:47,260We need to push that a little cooler, desaturate it,
    00:24:50,889darken it a little bit, there we go.
    00:24:54,225So now what you all came for.
    00:24:56,974Let's talk about the big fancy write on here.
    00:25:00,387Now, this has a lot going on.
    00:25:04,783And I'm going to try, in true School of Motion fashion,
    00:25:09,319to let you see in my brain how I figured out
    00:25:13,012how to do this, because it's great.
    00:25:15,032I can show you exactly what to do and you can copy it.
    00:25:17,493But it's better if you can start to think this way
    00:25:20,141and figure this stuff out on your own and
    00:25:21,954make up your own cool effects.
    00:25:24,187So what has always bothered me about the write on
    00:25:27,189effects that I've done is they don't really look
    00:25:30,022like a paintbrush, because that's what we're trying
    00:25:33,184to mimic here.
    00:25:34,246It's either a paintbrush or a marker or a pencil.
    00:25:36,671It doesn't really look like the actual brush
    00:25:41,242is following the contours and making those letters move.
    00:25:45,856Sorry, or making the ink move to fill in the letters.
    00:25:48,990And if you see what we've achieved here, it really
    00:25:51,636does look like there's little brushes painting
    00:25:54,743these things on.
    00:25:56,182And by the way, this is not the only way to do it.
    00:25:59,139There may even be better ways.
    00:26:01,020But this way seemed to work pretty well for me.
    00:26:03,880So here we go.
    00:26:05,275So to start with, I created in Illustrator, I just
    00:26:09,176took this kind of nifty thick font, and thick fonts
    00:26:13,447are good for this because they give you a lot of
    00:26:16,708chunky areas of type to reveal.
    00:26:19,522And I just split them up into each letter and I
    00:26:22,326kind of offset them a little bit.
    00:26:24,332So what I want to do is one at a time create the
    00:26:27,594brush strokes that are going to reveal each letter.
    00:26:30,431And I won't do them all in this tutorial.
    00:26:32,108I'll do one or two and then you'll get it.
    00:26:35,313So let's start with the R.
    00:26:37,829What I'm going to do is precomp this R.
    00:26:40,694And I'm just going to call this R-PC.
    00:26:45,078We're going to dive in here.
    00:26:46,872Now, what I was thinking was I want to be able to
    00:26:51,425use a real brush stroke to be able to reveal this.
    00:26:55,399The internet is just filled with brush stroke video,
    00:27:00,938brush stroke stills.
    00:27:02,891You can go to the art store and make your own brush strokes
    00:27:06,549and take a picture and scan it.
    00:27:08,493There's a million ways to get great brush strokes.
    00:27:10,923I found a free resource on the internet, which I have
    00:27:13,939linked to, so you are free to grab these if you want to.
    00:27:16,912And these are just high contrast paint stroke images.
    00:27:23,053And I said I want to be able to make this paint stroke
    00:27:25,828animate and come down this way and then curve around
    00:27:31,119this way and I want it to feel like a paint stroke.
    00:27:34,887So I come from After Effects and Cinema 4D background
    00:27:40,679primarily, so in Cinema 4D you've got this great tool
    00:27:44,363where you can sweep a shape along a spline.
    00:27:48,438So if I have this paint stroke, which is just a horizontal
    00:27:52,337paint stroke, but I want to curve it around this shape,
    00:27:57,419in Cinema 4D that's really easy to do.
    00:28:00,260In After Effects there's no built in way to do that.
    00:28:03,082But I have to thank EJ over at iDesign because I
    00:28:07,481can't even remember when I saw this, but I saw a
    00:28:09,721tutorial of his.
    00:28:10,811He mentioned this plugin called Omino Snake.
    00:28:14,330And it is free.
    00:28:15,974And I've linked to that as well.
    00:28:17,246So I'm going to use that plugin for this
    00:28:19,244and it's amazing, so watch this.
    00:28:21,482First thing I need to do is I need to precomp
    00:28:23,600these brush strokes.
    00:28:24,884So I'm going to precomp them.
    00:28:26,774Shift + Command + C.
    00:28:28,794And I'm going to just call this brush.
    00:28:33,341And I'm going to call it brush-R because this
    00:28:36,373is going to be specifically the brush stroke for the R.
    00:28:40,121It may also be the brush stroke for every other letter,
    00:28:42,917but I just like to name things carefully just in case.
    00:28:47,690And you can see my composition.
    00:28:50,758It's getting a little sloppy here.
    00:28:51,903My project's getting sloppy.
    00:28:53,579I normally wouldn't stand for that, but I'm trying
    00:28:56,003to be a little briefer with these things.
    00:28:59,475So here's our brush precomp.
    00:29:01,559Now all I want is this stoke.
    00:29:04,701You could use any of these, but I like this one.
    00:29:08,598So what I'm going to do is I'm going to click
    00:29:10,231this little guy here, this little button.
    00:29:12,548This is the region of interest button in After Effects.
    00:29:16,509And what it does, it lets you draw a window.
    00:29:21,774And the first thing it does is it tells After Effects
    00:29:25,045this is the only part of the composition
    00:29:26,973I want you to render.
    00:29:28,460So it's really useful if you have a very complicated comp.
    00:29:33,367It takes a long time to render and you just want to
    00:29:36,212work on this piece of this and it'll render faster for you.
    00:29:39,716You can also crop your composition with it.
    00:29:43,828So if you click that button, drag a box around here,
    00:29:46,631and then go up to edit.
    00:29:48,703Sorry, composition.
    00:29:50,238Crop comp to region of interest.
    00:29:53,613And it will crop your composition for you.
    00:29:56,082So that's step one.
    00:29:57,716You crop this paintbrush.
    00:30:00,212So now let's go back into our R-PC.
    00:30:03,216Now, the first thing I need to do is I actually need
    00:30:07,176to turn this black and white image into something
    00:30:09,961that has transparency.
    00:30:11,451So let's go back into that precomp real quick.
    00:30:15,484There's an easy way to do it and there's a
    00:30:17,861slightly harder way, which is what I'm going to show
    00:30:19,910you because I like it better this way.
    00:30:22,023Here's the easy way.
    00:30:23,544You take a white solid, Command + Y, create a new white
    00:30:26,844solid, and you put it underneath the brush stoke,
    00:30:31,272and you say track matte, luma inverted matte.
    00:30:34,792If I turn on the transparency grid, you can see that
    00:30:37,400now I've got a nice transparent white paint stroke here.
    00:30:40,356The reason I don't love doing it this way is because
    00:30:42,691now if I scale this brush stroke like this,
    00:30:46,739I'm seeing the white behind it.
    00:30:50,807So that can create problems if you have to
    00:30:53,190stretch this thing.
    00:30:54,626So the way I like to do it.
    00:30:57,759Let me delete that, turn this back on.
    00:31:00,024And let me scale this back up to 100%.
    00:31:03,854I'm going to use two effects.
    00:31:06,955One is the, it's in the channel menu here,
    00:31:11,696it's called set matte.
    00:31:14,610And set matte is an effect that lets you use
    00:31:18,429either a different channel within an image
    00:31:21,505or a different layer as an alpha channel.
    00:31:25,528And so when I put it on this layer, the options are,
    00:31:30,395which layer am I taking the matte from?
    00:31:33,654And by default it's looking at itself, at the image.
    00:31:37,820Use for matte alpha channel.
    00:31:40,879Well, this image doesn't have an alpha channel.
    00:31:43,082That's my problem.
    00:31:44,228So I'm going to change that to luminance.
    00:31:47,520Now I'm going to turn on my transparency grid.
    00:31:49,364And you can see what it's done here.
    00:31:51,866What it's doing now is it's actually knocking out
    00:31:55,281the paint stroke, it's doing the opposite of what I want.
    00:31:57,612So you can just click this invert matte button.
    00:32:00,555And now there we go, now I've got transparency.
    00:32:03,358Now, I don't want a black paint stroke.
    00:32:05,073I want a white paint stroke.
    00:32:06,503So then I'll go to my old buddy generate fill.
    00:32:11,754And we'll just make it white.
    00:32:13,444And there you go.
    00:32:14,277So now we go back into this R-PC.
    00:32:16,557I now have this nice paint stroke.
    00:32:19,272And this is great because now, let me turn this grid off,
    00:32:22,457if I scale or stretch this, I don't get an of
    00:32:24,779those weird artifacts.
    00:32:26,851Nice little tip.
    00:32:27,948So now I need this brush stroke to follow the
    00:32:30,576contours of this letter.
    00:32:32,451Now, obviously that's not going to be that hard
    00:32:34,542to do for this part of the R, but it's going to
    00:32:36,717be a little bit harder for the curvy part.
    00:32:39,719Now this is where this amazing plugin comes in.
    00:32:41,904So first thing we do is we turn off this layer.
    00:32:44,587You don't need to see it.
    00:32:45,958We make a new solid and I'm going to call this
    00:32:48,243solid R matte 01.
    00:32:56,559And let's make this a different color.
    00:33:01,353Just so that we can see the paint stroke
    00:33:03,100over it if we need to.
    00:33:04,783And I'm going to apply the effect.
    00:33:06,464The effect is in the Omino group.
    00:33:09,521And these are all free plugins.
    00:33:11,219Whoever made this, this guy is amazing.
    00:33:15,276Pay him, give him money, throw money at him.
    00:33:17,646So Omino Snake.
    00:33:19,986And the way this plugin works is you have to tell it
    00:33:24,223first which layer is going to be the source
    00:33:26,969of the image that you want it to wrap.
    00:33:29,713And I want it to use this paintbrush image.
    00:33:31,602So I'm going to tell it to use brush-R.
    00:33:34,048The second thing it needs is a path.
    00:33:37,094So if I click on, I'm going to click on this
    00:33:42,669adjustment layer icon for a minute.
    00:33:45,357This is a trick I use a lot.
    00:33:47,507The only reason I did that is so I can see
    00:33:49,569through the layer.
    00:33:51,080I don't actually need it to be an adjustment layer.
    00:33:53,049What I do need to do is put a mask on this layer
    00:33:55,638in the shape that I want the Omino Snake effect
    00:33:59,256to warp that paintbrush image.
    00:34:02,996So the first stroke of the R is going to
    00:34:05,329be this down stroke.
    00:34:07,310So now what I can do is I can turn this adjustment
    00:34:09,852layer off and I'm going to tell the effect
    00:34:12,382the source layer is brush-R, the path is mask 1.
    00:34:16,414And you can see I'm going to turn the mask visibility
    00:34:19,827off for a minute and you can see what's going on.
    00:34:21,572There's a little white line there.
    00:34:23,474By default, the source scale is set to 5%.
    00:34:28,205So you generally need that to be a lot bigger.
    00:34:31,814Now if you just scale it like this,
    00:34:36,088you'll be able to see right there
    00:34:40,380it starts to clip the image.
    00:34:42,238So I need to bring it back and that is the ideal
    00:34:46,125scale for this stroke at this kind of scale, basically.
    00:34:53,082There's an option here that I'm going to turn on called
    00:34:55,390clear background, which now gets rid of the background.
    00:34:58,633So now I can see the paint stroke over the R.
    00:35:01,494It's not thick enough.
    00:35:03,613And so there's a few options you have to make
    00:35:05,533sure are set correctly.
    00:35:06,992The source Y center.
    00:35:09,691Let me zoom in here and go to full res for a
    00:35:12,075minute so you guys can see this.
    00:35:13,611The source Y center you can see it kind of shifts
    00:35:18,080the image around.
    00:35:20,608So you can see.
    00:35:22,482Let me turn the mask visibility back on here.
    00:35:25,215It shifts the center of that image on the mask.
    00:35:27,589And so you want to make sure that that's centered
    00:35:29,312so you get both the left and the right side
    00:35:31,568of the image.
    00:35:33,221You've also got the Y width, which if it's too thin,
    00:35:38,195you need to expand that out.
    00:35:39,642But that's not the problem.
    00:35:40,795And then you've got the X length, which is set correctly.
    00:35:45,141That's why you're not seeing any problems.
    00:35:46,785But if it's no set correctly, it will actually
    00:35:48,736get rid of some of the image there.
    00:35:51,989And there you go.
    00:35:53,225Now the main settings you use on this when you're
    00:35:55,430animating it, you use the advance setting here and
    00:35:58,665this lets you move the image along the path.
    00:36:01,872This is amazing.
    00:36:03,002This should be built into After Effects.
    00:36:05,005Adobe should just buy this from this guy.
    00:36:07,134Oh, this is great.
    00:36:08,423But it's obviously not thick enough right now.
    00:36:12,186So what I'm going to do is I need to thicken
    00:36:14,659that stroke up quite a bit.
    00:36:18,488So what I actually want to do is thicken it up
    00:36:21,436in this precomp.
    00:36:23,208But I want to be able to see the result of it here.
    00:36:26,062So I'm going to use two comp viewers to do that.
    00:36:28,773What I'm going to do is I'm going to come up here
    00:36:30,408and click this lock and lock this comp viewer.
    00:36:33,722Then I'm going to double click my brush-R
    00:36:36,407and I'm going to lock this comp viewer.
    00:36:38,894So now I've got two comp viewers.
    00:36:40,845And I can grab the little left side of here.
    00:36:43,467You see there's these little tiny almost invisible
    00:36:46,655divots in this tab.
    00:36:48,084And you can click and drag and move this window
    00:36:50,800to the left side here.
    00:36:53,441And now I can see both.
    00:36:55,910The results and the comp.
    00:36:58,520So I'm going to move the anchor point of this layer.
    00:37:00,647You can see right now it's here, so I'm going
    00:37:02,088to hit Y and move it right in the middle.
    00:37:05,006And then I'm going to scale it up vertically like this.
    00:37:11,272So now it's thicker.
    00:37:13,426So now I can come back into this comp and I can
    00:37:16,439adjust this mask.
    00:37:21,890Like this.
    00:37:24,275And now just to get this out of the way,
    00:37:26,474you are not going to be able
    00:37:29,744to obviously fill in this font perfectly
    00:37:32,808just with a paint stroke.
    00:37:34,368There's holes in the paint stroke.
    00:37:36,059That's what makes it look natural and makes
    00:37:37,490it look like a paint stroke.
    00:37:39,284So we're going to have to do something else
    00:37:41,634to actually get this to fill in.
    00:37:46,006So that'll be another trick I'll show you in a few minutes.
    00:37:49,160But first let's just try to get this as close as we can.
    00:37:54,345And what's cool is you can kind of just interactively
    00:37:57,149adjust this mask.
    00:37:58,685So now we've got one paint stroke.
    00:38:00,567And what I'm going to do is, oh here's another
    00:38:03,176setting I want to talk about.
    00:38:04,844You see these little lines?
    00:38:06,982It almost looks like there's an error happening.
    00:38:10,396Well, the way this plugin works is it actually divides
    00:38:12,736this image up into a bunch of little triangles
    00:38:15,082so it can move them around and that's why
    00:38:17,595you can see little triangles here.
    00:38:20,274The default setting is designed to make
    00:38:23,618the plugin render faster.
    00:38:25,519It's not designed for quality.
    00:38:27,250And so that is a problem and that's easy to fix.
    00:38:31,606There's a setting here called draw step.
    00:38:33,890And the smaller that number is,
    00:38:36,743the more detail you get.
    00:38:38,279So if you set that down to one, now you get maximum detail.
    00:38:42,830And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to start,
    00:38:45,422I'm going to animate this advance parameter here.
    00:38:48,291I'm going to start here.
    00:38:51,071And you can see that this isn't actually doing
    00:38:53,826exactly what I want.
    00:38:55,004I want that to start here like that.
    00:38:59,180There we go.
    00:39:01,723That's what I want.
    00:39:02,932And end about there.
    00:39:05,439So we'll start here.
    00:39:07,398Put a key frame on advance.
    00:39:09,126Let's go forward maybe one second.
    00:39:12,295We're working at 24 frames a second,
    00:39:14,801so that was 24 frames.
    00:39:17,703Go like this.
    00:39:19,620Wonderful.
    00:39:20,617I'm going to go into the curve editor here.
    00:39:22,658I'm going to select those key frames, hit F9
    00:39:24,993to make them easy ease key frames.
    00:39:26,829Come into the curve editor.
    00:39:29,354And I'm going to stretch out these Bezier handles
    00:39:33,932so I get a nice ease in, ease out.
    00:39:38,219If you're not familiar with the curve editor,
    00:39:40,678go back and watch my tutorial called
    00:39:42,359introduction to animation curves.
    00:39:44,709That will explain everything you need to know
    00:39:47,082about what that is doing.
    00:39:49,178So that's one stroke.
    00:39:50,958Now I need to do another stroke and then there's
    00:39:53,484obviously this little serif here we need to fix.
    00:39:56,111So what I'm going to do is just duplicate this layer.
    00:39:59,614And then I'm just going to turn off the
    00:40:01,750effect for a minute.
    00:40:04,874Delete that mask.
    00:40:07,602Make this into adjustment layer.
    00:40:09,786And I'm just gonna draw a new shape.
    00:40:19,360And before I turn this effect back on,
    00:40:22,816I'm going to set the path to this new mask.
    00:40:27,765And then turn the effect back on.
    00:40:29,949And we're good to go.
    00:40:33,194Now, here's something.
    00:40:35,461Look, this plugin, it was written by this guy
    00:40:39,021and he even says on the website that this was
    00:40:41,418written in like one night for this project he was doing.
    00:40:44,084So it's a little bit buggy.
    00:40:45,425So I have to warn you if you ever turn the effect on
    00:40:48,741and you don't have a mask set, it will lock up
    00:40:52,268your computer for 30 seconds and it may make you
    00:40:56,542think that it's going to crash.
    00:40:58,575So you just gotta be careful.
    00:41:00,176Obviously save your work a lot when you're
    00:41:02,362doing this kind of stuff.
    00:41:04,366And there's also this strange bug where now the
    00:41:06,888clear background actually seems to be
    00:41:10,042doing the opposite of what I need it to do.
    00:41:12,745So let me turn that off now.
    00:41:15,713So again, I'm sorry that this isn't a little bit
    00:41:19,644more polished, but sometimes motion design is messy.
    00:41:23,338But now we've got our second stroke.
    00:41:26,304And you can see that the mask goes all the way down
    00:41:29,813to the tip of the R but the paint stroke doesn't.
    00:41:33,041So what I'm going to go is I'm going to go back
    00:41:34,447to this last key frame here on the advance property
    00:41:36,883and I'm going to move it.
    00:41:38,842And now you can see what's happening here.
    00:41:40,876The paint stroke is no longer long enough to reach
    00:41:44,116and so the way you can fix that is by turning up
    00:41:47,083the source scale.
    00:41:48,783So I need to adjust the advance property back like this
    00:41:54,161and then turn the source scale up
    00:41:58,613until we get the result we're looking for.
    00:42:01,550And now I think that X length needs to be longer too.
    00:42:06,687There we go.
    00:42:09,613So now you can see you get this
    00:42:12,519really nice brush stroke here.
    00:42:15,407This is great.
    00:42:16,240And I want this brush stroke to start back here
    00:42:21,785just so there's no weird overlaps.
    00:42:24,045So now I can offset this in time.
    00:42:27,020Let's move this forward 12 frames.
    00:42:28,580Now you get first that stroke.
    00:42:31,392And then this stroke.
    00:42:32,823And the advance needs to be adjusted here.
    00:42:36,219Here we go.
    00:42:38,772There we go.
    00:42:39,666So now you've got most of the R filled in.
    00:42:43,549And I'm going to try to make this work a little bit
    00:42:47,305better, I'm going to up the source scale a little bit more.
    00:42:49,872I don't want it to go too far because I don't want to
    00:42:52,181distort the paint stroke too much.
    00:42:54,262But you can also mess with the actual shape
    00:42:59,073of the mask and try to cover up a little
    00:43:00,877bit more of the shape there.
    00:43:02,836That's great.
    00:43:05,700Now I need to do the serif part here.
    00:43:07,993I definitely need that to be filled in.
    00:43:10,020So maybe what I'll do is I'll just duplicate
    00:43:12,450this R matte 01.
    00:43:15,863We're going to call this layer R matte 03.
    00:43:21,146We'll offset it in time a little bit.
    00:43:23,169And I'm just going to manually,
    00:43:26,403I'm going to delete a bunch of these points
    00:43:28,818on this mask so there's only two left.
    00:43:32,515And then I'm just going to move this mask down here
    00:43:35,604like this and I'm going to adjust the source scale
    00:43:39,371until it's the right size for me.
    00:43:43,537There we go.
    00:43:45,161And then I can adjust the advance amount
    00:43:49,103until it gets right to edge there.
    00:43:52,833And then that's going to be a quicker stroke.
    00:43:54,816So these key frames will happen faster in time.
    00:43:59,546And now you've got this happening.
    00:44:05,818Now you're probably starting to see where this is going.
    00:44:08,696This is going to start looking cool.
    00:44:10,386So now that we've got that set up,
    00:44:12,955there's a little bit more to it.
    00:44:14,946And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to
    00:44:16,514take this R and I'm going to move it up to the top
    00:44:19,879of this comp.
    00:44:21,935I'm going to hit F4 and I'm going to set the
    00:44:23,819transfer mode to stencil alpha.
    00:44:26,437Now because of my screen capture software,
    00:44:28,916you can't actually see where my mouse is going.
    00:44:31,110But I'm going down to stencil alpha.
    00:44:34,156And what that does is it tells this layer
    00:44:36,577to become the matte for every single layer below it.
    00:44:42,577So now you can kind of see
    00:44:45,129the paint stroke drawing on.
    00:44:49,981And it's working fairly well.
    00:44:52,830Pretty cool.
    00:44:54,800Now I'm going to duplicate this R.
    00:44:58,002Turn the mode back to normal.
    00:45:00,571And I'm going to turn the stencil off,
    00:45:02,485because I still need to work on this a little bit more.
    00:45:04,996Now, one of the things that I found was that I'm getting
    00:45:08,283a little bit too much of the sense that this is
    00:45:12,743not a paintbrush actually creating a paint stroke,
    00:45:17,178but that it's a picture of a paint stroke being
    00:45:19,571moved through a font.
    00:45:21,465If that makes sense.
    00:45:22,925It just looked a little bit too synthetic for me.
    00:45:26,081So what I did was.
    00:45:29,405Let me go back to my initial setup here.
    00:45:31,892And let me turn off the last two paint strokes
    00:45:35,793so we just have one paint stroke here.
    00:45:38,864So what I decided to do was to duplicate this layer here.
    00:45:46,628Let me open up my key frames.
    00:45:49,747And on this top copy here, which I'm going to make
    00:45:53,883into a different color just so it's differentiated,
    00:45:57,654instead of having it advance all the way through
    00:46:00,757the letter, I'm going to set the initial key frame
    00:46:03,773to zero so it moves, but just a little bit.
    00:46:08,330And it's actually moving backwards.
    00:46:09,747So let me scoot it back a little bit.
    00:46:11,641I just want it to move a little bit forward,
    00:46:14,500just a little bit.
    00:46:16,460And then I'm going to tell the bottom copy
    00:46:20,792to use the top copy as the alpha matte.
    00:46:24,820And it's a subtle, subtle, subtle little difference.
    00:46:28,460But basically what it's doing is it's revealing
    00:46:32,257the paint stroke with the paint stroke
    00:46:34,575but the two paint strokes are ever so slightly offset.
    00:46:38,379And you can offset them even a little bit more
    00:46:41,775if you want to.
    00:46:43,377But what it ends up doing is it just gives a
    00:46:46,400little bit of a shimmer to it.
    00:46:48,748As parts of the paint stroke pass through a copy
    00:46:52,559of itself that's offset, you get these nice
    00:46:55,177little kind of natural touches.
    00:46:59,962So I want to do that with every paint stroke I've done.
    00:47:03,833So here's an easy way to do it.
    00:47:05,861Let me reset this, get rid of this.
    00:47:08,000So I've got three paint strokes.
    00:47:09,781Select them all.
    00:47:11,504Duplicate them.
    00:47:13,649With the duplicates still selected, click on the
    00:47:15,720color swatch over here and make them a different color
    00:47:18,071so I can tell that they're different.
    00:47:20,703Hit U to bring up the animated properties.
    00:47:24,196And then just select all three of the initial
    00:47:27,600key frames and double click them.
    00:47:29,367And now I can just type in a value for them.
    00:47:32,066So they're going from negative 500, negative 28
    00:47:37,767to all the way to this one almost goes to zero,
    00:47:43,272this one goes to negative 100.
    00:47:44,563So the values are increasing.
    00:47:47,101So that's key.
    00:47:48,212So I just want them to increase a little bit less.
    00:47:51,270So I'm just going to click on this and instead
    00:47:54,998of having these numbers be so far in the negative,
    00:47:57,202I'll just set them all to zero.
    00:48:01,403And then I'm going to select the bottom layers
    00:48:03,846and tell them use the top layers as alpha mattes.
    00:48:07,613And now if we play this.
    00:48:14,571So there's our paint strokes.
    00:48:16,698So now I'll turn the bottom R off, turn the
    00:48:18,549top one back on so we can see how we're doing.
    00:48:22,759Cool.
    00:48:23,898All right, os we're getting there.
    00:48:26,885So now the next thing we need to do is we need
    00:48:28,886to fill in some more of these letters.
    00:48:31,495So an easy way to do it is to just duplicate
    00:48:33,983these paint strokes you've already got working
    00:48:36,819and just scoot them over a little bit.
    00:48:38,899So I'm going to take these bottom two.
    00:48:41,656And those bottom two layers are the first
    00:48:43,614vertical paint stroke.
    00:48:45,012I'm going to duplicate them and then I'm just going
    00:48:47,254to use my arrow keys and I'm just going to nudge
    00:48:48,832them over a little bit.
    00:48:50,603Over and up a little bit and just fill in a little
    00:48:53,503bit more of that R.
    00:48:54,982And I'm going to offset them two frames forward in time.
    00:48:58,015Just so it's not perfectly lined up.
    00:49:02,355So now you see more of that R is filled in.
    00:49:04,476I'll do the same thing with this big curvy paint stroke.
    00:49:07,458I'll select these two layers, duplicate them,
    00:49:09,653move them forward two frames, and then I'm just
    00:49:13,026going to nudge them up and to the right with my keyboard.
    00:49:17,886And I'm just trying to find the sweet spot
    00:49:19,982where they fill in the most R.
    00:49:22,282And then I'll do the same thing with this last
    00:49:24,059paint stroke, select them, duplicate, forward
    00:49:26,489two frames in time.
    00:49:28,337And I'm just going to move this around until
    00:49:30,959it's filling in most of the R.
    00:49:33,912So by doing that we filled in even more of the R.
    00:49:37,911There's still a big chunk here that's missing.
    00:49:40,982So let me grab the copy of my first stroke,
    00:49:45,184duplicate it one more time, and scoot it over to the right
    00:49:49,752so it fills that in.
    00:49:53,389Cool.
    00:49:54,993All right, so you can see now we're pretty close
    00:49:58,624but there's still these little holes.
    00:50:00,211So this is where the last trick comes in.
    00:50:02,316I'm going to add an adjustment layer.
    00:50:07,359And I'm going to put it right above all
    00:50:10,983these paint strokes that we've made.
    00:50:12,632And on that adjustment layer, I'm going to call
    00:50:16,013this adjustment layer dilate.
    00:50:19,013And I'm going to use an effect in the channel
    00:50:22,182menu called mini max.
    00:50:24,481Now let me turn this R off.
    00:50:26,699Let me turn this stencil alpha layer off for a minute.
    00:50:29,667What mini max does is it kind of works like a
    00:50:32,552matte choker.
    00:50:35,385But it does it a little bit differently.
    00:50:38,882It's a little bit sort of, I don't know, smoother,
    00:50:41,773more organic, whatever.
    00:50:43,108It works a little bit better for this effect.
    00:50:45,311The only reason I know that is because I tried
    00:50:47,189the matte choker, I didn't like how it looked.
    00:50:48,936Mini max, it does a different thing.
    00:50:50,911So first thing I need to do is tell it to
    00:50:52,699do this effect on not just the color but also the alpha.
    00:50:57,241So alpha and color.
    00:50:58,799And you can see what it does.
    00:51:00,386It basically takes each pixel and it blooms it
    00:51:03,725a little bit.
    00:51:04,823So I want it to start out with the effect zero
    00:51:07,913and as the paint begins to finish drawing the letter,
    00:51:12,705I'm going to put a key frame there.
    00:51:15,349And then I'm going to go forward maybe 12 frames
    00:51:18,036and I' going to dilate it.
    00:51:21,473Now I don't know how much to dilate it yet,
    00:51:23,148so let me turn the R back on.
    00:51:25,939Let's go back to zero here.
    00:51:27,194All I want to do is dilate it until
    00:51:30,575all the holes have been filled.
    00:51:33,434And so when I get to three, everything's been filled now.
    00:51:37,126If I hit U on this dilate layer, I'm just going to
    00:51:40,377easy ease these key frames just so that the transition's
    00:51:43,465a little bit smoother.
    00:51:45,099And so now when I ran preview this, you'll see
    00:51:47,350as the paint is finishing, it's actually thickening
    00:51:51,332up those strokes at the same time.
    00:51:57,539Cool?
    00:51:58,423All right so now is there anything else
    00:51:59,922that's still bothering me.
    00:52:01,122Well, one thing that's still bothering me
    00:52:03,718is this stuff here in that first vertical stroke of the R
    00:52:09,541because I'm just noticing it, it's drawing my eye.
    00:52:12,745So what I want to do is maybe make one more copy
    00:52:16,613and maybe offset these even a little bit and just
    00:52:19,906try to just do my best here to try and
    00:52:23,725there we go.
    00:52:28,521Cool.
    00:52:33,565So now what I'm going to do.
    00:52:35,189Now I've got this R precomp.
    00:52:36,835So let's go back to our little letters precomp here.
    00:52:43,246And I can close this.
    00:52:45,083I don't need to see this anymore.
    00:52:47,644Get a better look at this.
    00:52:49,359So my other letters, we haven't done anything with yet.
    00:52:55,690And I still have this composition viewer locked,
    00:52:57,620so let me unlock that.
    00:52:59,434So now I've got the R painting on.
    00:53:04,174Cool?
    00:53:05,254I would just do that to every single letter.
    00:53:08,230And that's exactly what I did.
    00:53:09,920If we go into my comp here.
    00:53:12,017And we go into the letters.
    00:53:14,021You can see that I just did that to every letter.
    00:53:17,381I offset them in time.
    00:53:20,475And that's pretty much, that's the big trick.
    00:53:23,403The rest of it was just compositing.
    00:53:27,271Adding a little texture.
    00:53:29,083I will show you one cool trick that I did think
    00:53:32,087was pretty neat.
    00:53:33,496I wanted to have a little bit of a leading edge
    00:53:36,544to this, so here's my animated letters.
    00:53:43,434Letters animated is the name of that.
    00:53:46,814So if I take all of these and I precomp them
    00:53:52,628and I duplicate my precomp and I take the
    00:53:55,382copy and I move it forward one frame,
    00:53:58,800I tell the bottom copy to use the top
    00:54:01,038as an alpha inverted matte.
    00:54:05,333You see what it makes?
    00:54:06,816It makes this interesting sort of leading edge
    00:54:10,449animation which even on its own is pretty cool.
    00:54:13,115One problem is it does give you this
    00:54:15,252one or two pixel stroke here.
    00:54:19,913So I do need to get rid of that.
    00:54:22,062So what I would do is just take the top copy,
    00:54:25,468apply simple choker to it, and just erode it a little bit
    00:54:32,319until that goes away.
    00:54:34,424There we go.
    00:54:37,885And now you get this interesting leading edge comp
    00:54:42,087that you could do, you could layer that on top
    00:54:44,930of your write on and get an interesting kind of
    00:54:47,618looking like a glowing leading edge or something.
    00:54:54,856So yeah, so in my comp I used that leading edge.
    00:54:58,763That leading edge is, let's see.
    00:55:01,893That leading edge is right there.
    00:55:03,867But that leading edge really can just help add
    00:55:07,074another little visual cue that makes it look neater.
    00:55:14,083So there you go.
    00:55:15,416That was a ton of information.
    00:55:17,578As a motion designer, you will be asked to make
    00:55:20,234something write on at some point in your career,
    00:55:22,486probably multiple times.
    00:55:23,828And now you know not only two easy ways to do it
    00:55:28,215that can be done very quickly, but now you know a
    00:55:29,963pretty slick way to get a really very natural
    00:55:34,878painterly looking write on effect.
    00:55:37,546So thank you guys.
    00:55:39,805I hope this was helpful and I look forward
    00:55:42,158to seeing you on the next episode of
    00:55:45,28330 days of After Effects.
    00:55:47,477Thank you guys.
    00:55:48,664Thank you so much for watching.
    00:55:50,323I want to give one more quick thank you to
    00:55:52,071the Department of Motion Design at the Ringling College
    00:55:54,322of Art and Design for sponsoring the
    00:55:56,40030 days of After Effects.
    00:55:58,042I really hope this lesson gives you some new ideas
    00:56:00,917on how to do write ons that you can make on the fly
    00:56:03,433or spend some time on and really wow your clients.
    00:56:06,716If you have any questions or thoughts, please
    00:56:09,100let us know, an we'd love to hear from you if you
    00:56:11,308use this technique on a project.
    00:56:13,167So give us a shout on Twitter @schoolofmotion
    00:56:15,685and show us your work.
    00:56:17,160And if you learned something valuable from this video,
    00:56:19,198please share it around.
    00:56:20,518It really helps us spread the word about School
    00:56:22,464of Motion and we truly appreciate it.
    00:56:24,825Don't forget, sign up for a free student account
    00:56:26,864to access project files for the lesson you just watched
    00:56:29,619plus a whole bunch of other cool stuff.
    00:56:31,533Thanks again and I'll see you next time.
    00:56:37,595(upbeat music)