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Animating Handwriting

Post by blutea21 » 22 Jul 2020, 09:53

Hello There,

I've been looking for some information around animating handwriting and was wondering if anyone here had some tips and tricks for making an animated handwriting effect using TVpaint.

In the past, I've used the method of taking a word and just erasing it bit-by-bit to create the illusion, but I'm hoping there's a less time consuming method. I'm still learning the different FX stack items and thought I could use the "simple text" option under the "rendering" section but it didn't work the way I'd imagined.

If anyone has managed to find an interesting way to replicate handwriting in the program, please feel free to share!



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Re: Animating Handwriting

Post by slowtiger » 22 Jul 2020, 11:01

Lots of ways to achieve this. First you need to determine the speed of writing. Spreading one letter over more than one frame is only recommended for one of two words, at most. One letter per frame is too slow in most cases for anything longer than 3 words, I'd go for reading speed. You could record a temporary voice track while reading the text aloud and use this as reference.

I did stuff like this in Moho where I could animate a no-destructive mask, but you could do the same in TVP.

1. Have one layer containing the writing.
2. Have a background layer.
3. Duplicate this, put on top of writing and set invisible.
4. Create a new layer for the mask. You could have a long rectangle covering one line of writing and animate this automatically via Keyframer. Depending on your design this rectangle may have a fuzzy outline.
5. You only need to animate one line, then duplicate this animation layer and shift it in position for the next line.
6. Merge all your mask layers into one, clean up any gaps, draw/erase delicate letters if necessary.
7. Make this layer the active mask, make the 2nd background layer visible and erase what's going to be visible text.

Why do I use a duplicate BG layer? Because it's easier to adjust the mask than to undo/redo erasing of the text.
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Re: Animating Handwriting

Post by Dean » 22 Jul 2020, 13:57

Hello blutea,
Did you have any issue using the Drawing Recorder tool? ... g-recorder
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Re: Animating Handwriting

Post by Svengali » 22 Jul 2020, 14:34

Another way is to use the DRAWING RECORDER: (find under the Windows Menu / Drawing Option...)
1. open the little Drawing Recorder Window.
2. select a new layer (it can originally be just 1 frame in length but will extend to accommodate your text as you write it).
2. No need to select a new layer since the new recorded layer you create will be in a new clip... from which the layer can be copied and pasted anywhere needed...
3. select your writing tool, penbrush, or whatever.
4. press the red record button and write your text in real time. (the cumulative text shows on the frame AND in the Draw Recorder Window...)
5. press the little page - plus icon in the Drawing Recorder Window.
Your layer frame length will have grown to show your writing in progress. Play it to see if it writes on the way you want.

If you like how it looks, but want to INCREASE or DECREASE the time... (or you can press the delete button and try the write on again):

Select the handle at the end of your write-on layer and adjust the length... shorter or longer to speed or slow the writing.
A. If you stretch the layer, the Increase Layer Length popup will appear:
the Stretch button will be selected, uncheck the Interpolate box, and click APPLY.
B. IF you shorten the layer, the Decrease Layer Length popup will appear:
The Shrink button will be selected, uncheck the interpolate box, and click Apply.

You can UNDO and try out another stretch or decrease length, over and over until you get exactly what you want.

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Re: Animating Handwriting

Post by blutea21 » 28 Jul 2020, 06:55

Thank you all for the information and tips!

I think I'll try both of these methods and see which one I like best! Thank you guys for taking the time to reply!

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