Apple Motion Write On Paint Stroke for Photoshop

Apple Motion Write On Paint Stroke for Photoshop
In this tutorial, we will create a simple paint stroke animation in Apple Motion using the Write On feature. Then we will export the animation as an image sequence that we will add to a Photoshop animation project. We need this animation to be 600 x 200 pixels, with a transparent background and a 1 second duration.

  1. Start a new Blank document in Apple Motion, with a custom preset (see screenshot).

    Resolution: Width 600, Height 200
    Aspect Ratio: Square
    Frame Rate: 30 fps
    Duration: 1 Second

    In the new document, you will have an empty project and group layer in the Layers panel.

  2. Select the Project layer and the Inspector tab. Under Properties, set the Background to Transparent (see screenshot).

    Leave the Background Color set to black, as it will not be visible when we export the animation.

  3. Rename the Project layer to Image Sequence and the Group 1 layer to Paint Stroke.

  4. With the Playhead at the first frame of the Timeline and the Paint Stroke layer active, select the Paint Stroke tool (see screenshot).

  5. Open the HUD and set the Width to 100 pixels, check the box for Write On and set the Shape Style to Grease Marker Heavy. Or expand the list and choose the Shape Style of your choice.

  6. Draw a line across the screen from left to right. Don't make the line too perfect.

    You will be able to see the stroke as your draw but it will disappear when you stop. To see the stroke again, play the animation.

  7. If you need to resize the brush stroke, put the Playhead on the last frame of the Timeline, to display the entire stroke, and select the Write On layer in the Layers panel. Use the Select/Transform tool to resize the stroke as needed (see screenshot).

  8. With the stroke still active, reduce the Brush Opacity to 70% in the Inspector - Shape tab. This will add some dimension to the paint stroke (see screenshot).

  9. Save the animation in the .motn file format.

    Apple Motion to Photoshop - Image Sequence
    Now we can export the animation as an image sequence. In my workflow, this gives me the option to remove or duplicate any individual frames in the sequence.

  10. From the top menu, click Share - Export Image Sequence.

  11. To maintain the transparent background, set the Export option to PNG Image and click Next (see screenshot).

  12. Set the destination folder and click Save.

    Motion will create a folder, name the images sequentially and place the PNG images inside the folder.

    Photoshop Video Layer
    Now we can open the image sequence into Photoshop. Photoshop will automatically convert the image sequence to a video layer.

  13. In Photoshop, click File - Open (see screenshot).

  14. In the image sequence folder, select only the first image and check the box for Image Sequence. Click Open.

    In the Frame Rate window, set the Frame Rate to 30 fps (see screenshot). This is the recommended fps for a Facebook Video Cover. You may wish to use a different fps for your project.

    You will see the default empty Layer 1 converted to a video layer and placed inside a Video Group 1 layer (see screenshot). This contains our animation.

  15. Rename the Video Group layer to Paint Stroke and the layer inside to Animation.

  16. Save the document as a .psd file format.

    If you only plan to use the animation for this one project, we can continue to work in this .psd file to build our animation template for your client. Just remember to give it a different name when you save the project file. However, if you want to use the animation in other projects, we can render the file from Photoshop in the Quicktime video format with the transparent background.

    Export as .MOV
  17. From the top menu, click File - Export - Render Video and set the following options (see screenshot).

    Format: Quicktime
    Preset: Animation High Quality
    Render Options - Alpha Channel: Straight - Unmatted

    .MOV into Photoshop
    To place the .mov file in to a new Photoshop document as a Smart Object, do the following (see screenshot).

  18. In the project document, click File - Place Embedded or Place Linked.

  19. Select the .mov file and click Place.

    The animation will be placed as a Smart Object with an active transform box. Use the box handles to resize as needed.

  20. Click the Commit Transform button to finalize.

Note: If you don't need the flexibility that an image sequence will give, you can also export the animation from Motion as a .mov file (see screenshot).

Copyright 2018 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated. Adobe, Photoshop is/are either [a] registered trademark[s] or a trademark[s] of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Apple, Motion, iBooks Author, GarageBand, TextEdit, Pages, iMovie and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. BellaOnline is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. Screenshots used by permission.

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Content copyright © 2019 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.