8 Replies Latest reply: May 12, 2009 11:54 AM by Merged Content 1
Level 6 (11,040 points)
This is a pretty good example of the question I am asking:

To add, my goal is to get some text to appear as handwriting being written onto a chalkboard. The Alpha blend mode is a nice halfway solution, but obviously it doesn't really look like the font is being written by hand. I am assuming that the only way to efficiently get this effect in Motion is with a Wacom tablet? Do these tablets do a good job for this sort of thing? -- I've never used one. I read the manual, but there isn't anyway to convert the text to paths similar to Adobe Illustrator so that you could just apply a write-on behavior to each path is there?

Just looking for ideas here before I spend hours trying several different way to create this effect as closely as possible to how I want it. Thanks in advance for any help.

Using FCP studio 2.

MacPro (Late 2007), Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • zoom00 Level 2 (275 points)
    The Wacom with Motion's Write On Behavior is great. But Adam Scoffield had a nice solution for a decent handwriting effect using a paint brush as a mask to reveal the text.

    Here it is in essence:

    Cover your type with a Paint Stroke. Use a Write On Behaviour set to Erase. Set the Blend Mode to Silhouette Alpha.
  • Level 6 (11,040 points)
    Yes, thanks, I gave that method a try earlier and it is a nice substitute and very easy to do. Obviously it doesn't exactly simulate handwriting, but it gives a slight appearance - better than anything else I have tried. I will stick with that if I can't think of anything else. Thanks for your response.
  • black cat video Level 1 (5 points)
    Here is a tutorial on creative cow that covers a very similar effect although it's using photoshop and after effects.


    There a bunch of other stuff he is doing that is unrelated, and you may not use these programs but even so it might give you some insight as to suitable way to do it.
  • zoom00 Level 2 (275 points)
    If you can spare the cash for a Wacom, it makes life a lot easier in a number of ways. Even wrist health. Motion really comes alive with one, IMO.
  • specialcase Level 4 (2,225 points)

    You can try to freehand the strokes, but I think the trial-and-error would be a killer. I'd just find a chalkboard or handwriting font, such as this one, and then use your mouse and trace over it with paint strokes. Then you have two choices: either style the strokes till they look good, or use the strokes as a mask to reveal the font-based type.
  • David Bogie Chq-1 Level 7 (25,490 points)
    Almost any handwriting typeface can be effectively animated to appear to be manually written. You can research this topic endlessly on the Net, the handwriting question comes up often.
    Your decision is based on your need for the illusion of actual handwriting. Animating a script or handwritten font is a total pain and to get it to actually LOOK correct you mave to devote much time to keyframing the penlifts and human time changes.

    It's FAR EASIER to put your camera under a piece of glass and write on a heavily translucent surface with a bold marker. Use this video as a key source. That's how we did it in the olden days.

  • Level 6 (11,040 points)
    Excellent, thanks everyone for the suggestions. David, I might give that a try in the future, certainly not on this project though because I am kind of on a time crunch and am doing things as well as I can with my current toolset.

    This seems like it would be a great addition to future versions of Motion (some kind of handwriting behavior. Or, at least the ability to convert font to paths and bezier points so that they could behave like strokes.

    Still, thanks again everyone - I certainly have some ideas to go with. These forums are great. Take it easy.
  • Level 6 (11,040 points)
    I might just have to look at adding one of those to my workstation tricks. I've already thought of a bunch of different applications for a tablet that could speed up some of my animations.