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Creating a Watercolor Painting Effect in After Effects
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Released Jan 28, 2013
Laura Hawk

Pluralsight

Laura Hawk
In this series of After Effects tutorials, we will talk about the steps we take to create this watercolor painting effect project. We begin by using a simple masking technique to reveal the text and drawings that interact with our watercolor paintings. We talk about some of the more technical and tricky aspects of getting this write-on effect looking perfect and all throughout the course, we implement the technique in new and different ways.

We also go over how to combine masking techniques with our very own custom luma mattes to create a painterly effect that we apply to our watercolor images. Once we have a couple different variations of our watercolors, we talk about other effects we can apply to the base watercolor effect to change its color size and shape. This makes it feel like we have more unique paint effects, when in reality there are only a few. This is going to save you time without compromising the originality of your work.

We move on by compositing all of our effects together and then we add a camera which we animate throughout the scene. We talk about some ways to get your camera's animation to feel much smoother than using the default keyframe interpolation types and how to troubleshoot when your camera movement is having issues.
Introduction and project overview
1

Introduction and project overview

 
01:20
Using masking and effects to reveal our first image
2

Using masking and effects to reveal our first image

 
19:18
Using subtractive masks to refine our text reveal
3

Using subtractive masks to refine our text reveal

 
13:19
Using our masking technique to reveal our stars
4

Using our masking technique to reveal our stars

 
09:07
Beginning the watercolor paint effect using masking
5

Beginning the watercolor paint effect using masking

 
08:42
Creating a Luma Matte for a painterly reveal
6

Creating a Luma Matte for a painterly reveal

 
09:54
Practicing our watercolor techniques with another image
7

Practicing our watercolor techniques with another image

 
09:35
Bringing our watercolor and write-on effects together to create a composition
8

Bringing our watercolor and write-on effects together to create a composition

 
09:45
Retiming the watercolor effect to look more realistic
9

Retiming the watercolor effect to look more realistic

 
06:23
Adding and animating the Camera
10

Adding and animating the Camera

 
10:27
Adding our headphone cord to our composition with our reveal technique
11

Adding our headphone cord to our composition with our reveal technique

 
11:05
Animating our camera to follow the cord reveal
12

Animating our camera to follow the cord reveal

 
13:57
Time-saving tips for reusing our watercolor effect for the cord
13

Time-saving tips for reusing our watercolor effect for the cord

 
10:35
Creating a Luma Matte to reveal our headphones
14

Creating a Luma Matte to reveal our headphones

 
12:30
Adding the headphones and watercolor effects to the Composition
15

Adding the headphones and watercolor effects to the Composition

 
07:36
Adding the watercolors to the headphones
16

Adding the watercolors to the headphones

 
18:36
Adding the paint splatters, drops, and finishing touches
17

Adding the paint splatters, drops, and finishing touches

 
22:45