Animating Brushes in Photoshop

Learn a technique for creating cel-style animation in Photoshop using the Onion Skin feature.

Discuss
  1. Andre
    Reply

    Any workaround to use my arow keys for the timeline or pgup/pgdown (like in ae) to travel through the timeline in CS3?

    Thx for the tut!
    Andre.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Andre, I remember there was some way to create a shortcut for CS3 but never actually did it myself. Regards, John.

  2. naimalwan
    Reply

    thanks for that, but i would love to see the AE workflow for this, tracing around video footage maybe..

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi naimalway, the main purpose of this tutorial was to show a workflow that isn’t currently available inside Adobe After Effects. How about importing some video into Photoshop and using Onion Skinning to create something cool? Be sure to share your work with us too! All the best, John.

  3. flashparagon
    Reply

    Another great tutorial. I have been a Flash designer/developer for 5 years but have always wanted to get into motion graphics. Luckily I found you and also Andrew Kramer, you both have taught me a lot and it’s very honorable of you guys to take time out of your day to put these tutorials together. Hopefully I will become 1/2 as talented as you and be able to switch from full-time Flash freelancing to also motion graphics freelancing. Sorry for rambling, keep up the great work!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi flashparagon, thanks for joining in here at Motionworks. I’m sure your Flash skills will come in handy as you’re ramping up on your motion graphics. Best wishes, John.

  4. Jim Hines
    Reply

    Fortunate coincidence, I Googled “Photoshop CS4 onion skinning” the other day looking for a tut. PS still a weaker link in my sparse arsenal. Good stuff. Thank you. One more thing, I did an animated logo for a dancers project about a summer ago and I had a vine wrapping around the words like your leaves in this. I used Apple Motion. Had I known this technique it would not have only saved me a Saturday afternoon but it would be on my reel and not buried deep in my regret pile. LOL. Live and learn.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Haha Jim that made me laugh! I hope that Regret Pile isn’t too big! All the best, John.

  5. Telli Narcizo
    Reply

    New Blank Video Layer!! That’s what I’ve missed! 🙂
    I did some experiments with video in PS after your previous E-seminar, but I was only able to paint over video layers, and I was searching a way to convert a blank layer into video layer. Is always easier than I thought 😀

    Something very interesting I found is paint a video using the Art History Brush Tool. It can be too chaotic with a broad brush, but with a smaller one is really cool.

    Thanks for the tut!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Telli, that must have been frustrating for you! I’d love to see some examples of what you do with the Art History brush! All the best, John.

  6. filmview
    Reply

    thanks for that, but i would love to see the AE workflow for this, tracing around video footage maybe..

    • naimalwan
      Reply

      did you just copy and paste what i said??? lol

  7. Storm
    Reply

    Excellent! Thanks John…. I never knew those hidden brush settings existed.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Storm, I hadn’t looked at them closely either until I designed that lesson… some cool features for sure. Best, John.

  8. NicDivi
    Reply

    Nice stuff you got here mate! Wish I was your intern 🙂

    But this tutorial gave me an epiphany…finally realised how I can create an effect I’ve been wanting to do for ages…doesn’t have anything to do with onion skin cell animation…but I totally forgot that Photoshop extended has video “editing” capabilities…jeesh, stupid me…so this tutorial definitely was helpful

    Anyways, love your stuff…keep it up!

    Cheers,
    Nic

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Great to hear that NicDivi, thanks for letting us know. Best, John.

  9. Paul Crispin
    Reply

    Hi John

    I’ve been playing around with animation and I stumbled across your excellent tutorial as I was wondering what the onion skin did – as the effects don’t transfer to the finished gif – now I know what it’s all about.

    Great tutorial, I am now able to use the video layers, brill! One more feather in the endless Photoshop hat, thanks!

    Paul

    P.S. If you are interested, here is a quick gif I put together (my fist one). The sparkles are made with Vid
    layers. http://www.pcphotography.org/ducsig.gif

    I would have liked it to be a little smoother in transition though

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      That’s great to hear Paul. Photoshop Extended is really hand now it supports video. I used it this week too, importing a 60 second Quicktime and deep etching various frames, then importing those frames back to After Effects. Much faster than saving a frame out of After Effects into Photoshop then back again. Your avatar appears courtesy of http://www.gravatar.com, anytime you comment on a blog supporting them. Best wishes, John.

  10. jai
    Reply

    hi john.. can u pls put some more tutorials of photoshop cs5 here.. its great to c here lots of usefull tutorials.. as i am a student nd working on maya and photoshop right now, but i want to do after effect well too… great work sir.. thanks for giving us ur precious time..

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      I’ll keep that in mind, thanks Jai. Best wishes, John.

  11. Inty
    Reply

    Your presentation is awesome, also your presentation skills as well. Could you tell me , what kind of software do you use to record session (i like that keyboard shortcuts) Thanks,
    Inty

  12. Jetthro
    Reply

    Hello, thanks for the tutorial! Gave me some good inspiration 😉
    But problem: when I export the file into a video file, the onion skins effect doesn’t appear!
    Is there any setting to control more than activating the onion skins effect in the animation frame?
    Thank you!

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>