A visitor just left this comment question in one of the Toon Boom Animate articles, and I might as well answer this in a real post. Here’s the Q…
i’m completely new to animate and i wonder how i works together with illustrator, photoshop and after effects.
i’m used to do all of my characters and illustrations in illustrator and photoshop, and i’d like to import them into animate. (my HD is full of eps-characters … ) have you experienced any problems with adobe and animate? has anyone combined after effects and animate?
thanks for any comment.
Animate works great for importing in images either pixel or vector based (including .swf) . I wouldn’t praising this program at all if I didn’t. Importing in other formats has fortunately become pretty standard in the design world. Even before Adobe bought Macromedia, those two companies did a decent job of importing from one another ( AI to Flash, or Flash to AI). And although I can’t speak for the developers at Toon Boom, I’m sure they realize they are an emerging player in the world of animation / graphics software and Adobe is king of that world right now. So it makes sense to support importing their files in, because most everyone’s past art has been made in Adobe programs.
Now the real reason I’m writing is because of the last part of leBeat’s question. After Effects and Animate do work VERY well together. When I first published from Toon Boom Animate one of the things that surprised me (pleasantly though) was that it rendered out a transparent image sequence. First off I love image sequences. I majored in Computer Art at SVA (in da ’90′s!), and my focus was on 3D, so ever since then I get excited watching a computer render one file named sequentially after another….ohhh babby. Name those files in order… But seriously, an image sequence is ideal for animation. Which might sound strange to my Flash crowd, because we’re just happy to publish a .swf file and be done. But a swf is horrible for doing anything other than popping it up on a website. So if you’re creating an animation for a demo reel, or festival, or just to import into After Effects, you probably want an image sequence. Especially if its an HD sized project. But by the way, you can export to a .mov file too (with sound). So don’t think that you are limited to just exporting image sequences. Again, if you haven’t worked professionally in the video/animation industry and are just used to publishing .swf, the beauty of an image sequence might be lost on ya.
Anyway, long story short. YES! Animate is perfect for exporting either images or a movie to later be used in After Effects. Especially since it creates transparent image sequences, you don’t have to worry about keying out some color once its in After Effects.
Now what about bringing a video file into Animate?? I just did that, because prior to writing this, that wasn’t something I had tried yet. Here’s the options you get when you do this…
You might notice that says “Import Drawings” at the top, thats because the video first gets converted to individual frames, then this prompt shows up. So they are treating the imported video like an image sequence.
The defaults, seen above, are probably your best option for just bringing in the video like you’d expect. But notice you can choose to vectorize the video, which would be useful if you wanted to draw on some of the frames, or edit them. Or just give the video a vectorized look.
Once the video is in, you can scrub through the main timeline of your Animate project and see the progress of the video as well. So you aren’t stuck just seeing frame 1 of the video or something lame like that. So you can really time the rest of your project with what you are seeing in the video. Plus, the niftyness of the Drawing Substitutions panel got talked about a lot in my tutorial on that (refresher here), but the video gets treated like a symbol with frames to swap among. So you can really quickly move frame 150, in place of frame 10, if need be.
And best of all… You can animate the video in Perspective just like everything else in Animate. So to see what I mean…
The cartoon dude is vector art in front of the video. And you can see the video is obviously being viewed in perspective. And I could stack layers of video behind or in front of each other by changing the Z-depth. So imagine my camera panning or zooming paste different layers of video like that. Pretty cool right.