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Question: Best Software to Combine Tradition Animation with Video

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  • Question: Best Software to Combine Tradition Animation with Video

    I have a potential client that I'm tossing ideas around with for a marketing animation. One of my ideas is to have traditional frame-by-frame animation with a pencil sketch look that eventually evolves into live action footage. What would be the best program for this? I'm pretty well versed in Adobe Flash and have just played with After Effects a bit. I also understand that some people use Photoshop for animation, but I've only used it for photo editing and design layout. Perhaps I would have to use a combination of two programs: one to draw frames in and one to place all the elements into a video timeline. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Sounds like your looking for a rotoscoping program. Question is whether you want this to be real hand drawn scans imported into Photoshop or a digital brush strokes imitating graphite... Since rotoscoping is a VERY labor intensive and time consuming process I would recommending digital brush strokes which involves just importing the video frames as layers and drawing over each one.

    To expedite the process even further, you could draw paths in After Effects and animate them over the footage with a "Wiggle Paths" node that will make the paths appear jagged - like hand drawn. It really depends on the budget you're working with. If this client is will to pay for it, you can hire a few artists, divide up the frames and create real, hand drawn animation like in the Disney days. Of course there are too many variables here (the length of the video, complexity of the drawings, timeline, etc. etc.) for me to give you a straight answer.


    • Caleson
      Caleson commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Protagonist. It wouldn't be a major project, just my modest undertaking, hopefully done in a few weeks. I imagine the animation length would be no longer than ten seconds, like a title/logo animation. It could potentially involve rotoscoping of some sort. Perhaps I could use a tablet to draw pencil-like illustrations in Photoshop and import those into a video project in After Effects?

  • #3
    When you said Live Action Footage I assumed you meant people. If this is for a logo why not simply use the paths from say the illustrator file? Unless this logo is complex it should be pretty straight forward. Again, I don't what the specs here are on this project but in generally I would stay away from frame by frame rotoscoping if it could be avoided. 10 seconds at 24fps is 240 frames or 120 if you plan on drawing every other frame.

    There are also ways to creates this look with FXs and filters applied to the footage


    • Caleson
      Caleson commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry if I'm being vague or misleading; at the moment, I don't know entirely what the animation needs will even be; I'm just mulling over basic concepts that I think would be interesting for marketing purposes, like short, social media advertising (I have to pitch my ideas over the phone this week). The company makes skirts which they describe as showing one's personality through fashion. They already have some nice video footage showing off the designs, so I'm thinking of creating some basic black & white animation, perhaps the creation of lines that form the skirt body which then begins walking and eventually blends into the video footage of a walking woman to bring it full circle. Then the logo could be sketched in and then become solid.

      I hear what you're saying about the number of frames, but I figure once I get a basic walk pattern animated, I can just cycle it repeatedly with slight variations here and there to give it some free-form character. At this point it looks like Photoshop would be a good program to create those hand-drawn frames in and then import them into After Effects where they will be married with the live action footage and any text/video effects.

      I appreciate the link; however, I'd really love to work in tradition animation for this project. I might even start the drawing lines as cursive/script words or phrases describing personality qualities, which then morph into or zoom out to become the simplified drawing lines of the skirt as the walking cycle begins.
      Last edited by Caleson; 01-04-2017, 12:05 AM.





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