Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 9) that I would consider nominating into the Obsolete
effect category. One advantage that the Vector Paint effect has is
the ability to wiggle the paint stroke. Wiggling causes the edges
of paint strokes to wiggle, making them look like a hand-drawn
cartoon that varies a little in each frame.
The purpose of the Vector Paint effect is to create nondestruc-
tive paint strokes. As mentioned previously, these paint strokes
can be used for a variety of purposes. You can animate paint
strokes being drawn, similar to what we saw with the Write-on
effect in Chapter 9.
To see what Vector Paint is capable of, create a new comp, then a
new solid, and then apply the Vector Paint effect. The Vector Paint
effect paints on the solid layer you create by default, so I made my
solid black. After applying this effect, you'll notice a series of old-
style settings in the Effect Controls panel, but you'll also notice
something unusual—a new toolbar in the Composition panel for
the Vector Paint tools (Fig. 14.3 ).
For the most part, the settings in the Brush Settings area in the
Effect Controls panel have the same options provided by the tool-
bar in the Composition panel. However, the visuals may make
them easier to access quickly in the Composition panel. From
the top of the toolbar, we see a circle with an arrow in it. This
is the Vector Paint fl yout menu. Below that, you'll fi nd an arrow
tool. You can use this to select existing strokes and move them
or delete them if necessary. Next are the basic modes—paint or
erase. Below that are your simplistic brush-type options: regu-
lar paint (with hard edges), airbrush (with soft edges), or square
(with fl at edges). Note that unlike the regular painting engine
in After Effects, the changes that you make here cannot adjust
strokes that have already been created.
Below those choices is an arrow that is your undo button. Yes,
that's right, an undo button. It's not recommended that you use
Edit>Undo to undo mistakes made with Vector Paint. But it is
okay to use Ctrl+Z(Win)/Cmd+Z(Mac) to undo mistakes. This is
one of my biggest issues with this effect. Make more than a few
mistakes in a row, and you must delete the effect and start over,
or live with your mistakes. Bummer. Below the undo button,
you'll fi nd an eyedropper tool and a color swatch for selecting the
color to paint with.
The Playback Mode drop down in the Effect Controls panel is
one of the most important settings in this effect. The default set-
ting is Current Frame, which means that your paint strokes will
only last for the current frame. Hold Strokes causes your paint
strokes to appear at the frame on which you created them, and
then remain visible for the duration of the layer. All Strokes makes
all strokes visible on all frames. The Animate Strokes option is
perhaps the most interesting. It causes your paint strokes to play
Figure 14.3 The Vector Paint
toolbar in the Composition panel.
Vector Paint Options
If you want more
control over the
way Vector Paint
works, you can click on the
Options button at the top
of the effect in the Effect
Controls panel. From the
Options dialog box that
pops up, you can change
several options, mostly
pertaining to how Vector
Paint looks. For example,
you can hide or show the
Vector Paint toolbar, adjust
the way onion skinning
looks, and so forth.
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