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Old September 12th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #1
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Oncreen handwriting???

Hi--

I'd like to show an actor writing on a notepad, and have what she's writing appear, simulated, onscreen. I know I've seen this done, and if possible, I'd like it to appear as real handwriting, rather than a font. I'd prefer a software solution over hardware.

I'm working in FCP, 24p. I've also got Shake, but don't know how to use it just yet.

Any suggestions?

TIA,

Tim
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Old September 12th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #2
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I do not know about Shake, but After Effects has a setting for this. Basically it involves using the paint tool and revealing the painting with an animated matte.

http://www.wrigleyvideo.com/videotut...andwriting.htm

I imagine you can simulate the same approach in Shake.
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Old September 12th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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Thanks, Emre!

I'll have to take a look through Shake's bag of tricks--I'm taking a class next week on it.

Thanks again!

--Tim
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Old September 14th, 2006, 04:05 PM   #4
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I have used another method a few times:

Scan the handwritten piece. Save to a Photoshop file. Basically backwards erase the text and after each piece you erase (small bites) save as a targa file. Name the files like 200.tga, 199.tga, 198.tga and so on.

Once you finish, you will have the text animate on. Just keep in mind of how fast you want the animation to happen and that will determine how much to erase each time.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 01:07 PM   #5
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After Effects can do it a bit more simply if you have a tablet, or can borrow one. Just have the actor write with the paint tool and set the duration of the stroke to animate. Done. You can then adjust the width, spacing, colour, and blend of the stroke, and if you open the tool on the timeline you can adjust the speed at which it animates by draggin the keyframes around.

You can then composite it as you wish.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #6
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Cool! I didnt know this! I was writing with my wacom in photoshop, then faking the "writing" effect with linear wipes! hehe
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 03:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre Safak
I do not know about Shake, but After Effects has a setting for this. Basically it involves using the paint tool and revealing the painting with an animated matte.

I imagine you can simulate the same approach in Shake.
To be honest I'm not sure about Shake either, but my understanding is it's similar to Combustion. Here's a composite I did using that "Paint" operator in Combustion – I can’t image Shake would be drastically different.

http://www.timdan.com/media/epic

I just exported out some PNGs from Photoshop so when the paint operator revealed that layer it already had the transparency I needed.

Let me know if you have any questions about this… I’d be happy to help!
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 10:13 AM   #8
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Another WACOM based solution would be to get free version of artrage..
http://www.artrage.com

... and combine it with the $20 screen recorder iShowU:
http://www.shinywhitebox.com

then just record the screen as someone writes on the tablet.

An old-school approach would be to shoot a clip.
White paper, white glove, pen taped in white, black ink.
Then luma key the result. You can use result as a mask to create any color ink and even glow and other effects in post.
Probably have to do a bit of roto to really polish it but it could be a really fun and gratifying approach.
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