04 April 2006, 07:18 AM
You're not doing anything wrong, but there may be workarounds for you:
(The REASON why this is so has to do with AE being a compositing app, and the paint features are geared towards cloning and wire removal rather than creative applications. But this is changing I guess).
- A. A.
04 April 2006, 09:16 AM
I just completed a project that involved a number of animated brush strokes. It came out fine, but I realized that I've been working around what appear to be limiations in AE's brush support and would like to know if the problem lies with me, or AE itself.
Basically, Is it true that you can *ONLY* paint on a layer window, but never over the full composition? As I understand it from the help files and my own experience, I can't draw a brush stroke until I've double-clicked the target layer to bring up its window. This leads to two problems, though:
1) Often times, I want to paint a stroke while looking at multiple layers. If I can only see one layer at a time, it forces me to take a trial-and-error when attempting to paint strokes that are based on the position/shape/whatever of other layers as well. There obviously must be a way to do this, but I've yet to find it.
2) A layer's paint stroke must fit within the layer's dimensions. So if I have a layer that is half the width of the composition, but want to paint a stroke on that layer that reaches into other parts of the frame, I'm out of luck. A work-around here is to keep all layers the same size as the composition, but this is often an awkward way to do things, and I certainly shouldn't have to do this just so my paint strokes don't get clipped.
Anyway, I honestly don't understand why painting must be done in a separate window anyway. Imagine if painting on a layer in Photoshop couldn't be done on the main canvas with everything else and couldn't extend beyond the layer's current size! :) I can only conclude I must be doing something wrong, but I haven't been able to get anything out of the help files or Google on this topic.
In AE terms, your logic is completeley wrong (no offence). All of what you describe hinges on the fact, that in AE you cannot create pixels on the fly, a weakness inherent in AE's render pipeline. This makes it a requirement to paint in the layer window because only after that the pixels are defined and can be fed into the render pipeline for further processing. Similarly it makes it impossible to paint beyond the layer bounds. Other than that, like already stated, paint tools are not intended for artistic stuff in the first place and when doing roto-work the level of interactivity you desire is not necessary many times. Anyway, the latter can be considered a personal preference, but if you really want to do more of this artsy type of stuff, you should get a program that can do it more elegantly and with much better options. Both Painter and Dogwaffle for instance allow the creation of image sequences that you could then import and further manipulate.
04 April 2006, 09:16 AM
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