Automatic Whiteboard

  • imageAutomatic Whiteboard

    Automatic Whiteboard converts After Effects text layers and masks into write-on animations, automatically! Just type in some text, or draw some masks, and then click a button. Instant whiteboard-style animation, with or without a hand to draw it on.

    https://aescripts.com/automatic-whiteboard/


  • Looks fantastic. Unfortunately, after installing the trial I get a warning that the supplied AE project file "cannot be opened on this version." I have submitted a support ticket as well.

    After further testing, the project file opens fine in CC2019, but not in CC2018.

  • The download files include After Effects projects saved back as far as version CS 6. They are in a folder named "Earlier Versions."
  • Thanks Chris. I completely overlooked the "Earlier Versions" folder.
  • Thanks everyone for your interest in Automatic Whiteboard!  
    Right now this is a version 1 product, so keep an eye out for new tutorials and feel free to offer suggestions for future updates.
    Over the next week I'll be posting tutorials that cover the two bonus scripts included with the download, as well as some more advanced and in-depth tips on how to get the best results.
    Cheers!
  • Question: "Does this work with Right to Left text?"

    Answer: This is a great question, and unfortunately Automatic Whiteboard doesn't support right to left text in version 1.  This is very high on my list of features to add to the next update.

    The Automatic Whiteboard project is really only concerned with mask paths, and any text layers are automatically converted to masks using a built-in feature of After Effects.  However the process of converting text to masks does not seem to respect the left-to-right and right-to-left options in the paragraph panel.
  • Hi guys, lemming here, what folder should I keep these files in?
  • Looking at the sample video, it would be a good idea to include options of hands of people with darker skin tones. Is there a way to create your own? 
  • Looking at the sample video, it would be a good idea to include options of hands of people with darker skin tones. Is there a way to create your own? 
    Yes, there's a video tutorial on how to use your own hand images.  You can check the "Videos" tab above, or just watch it here:

  • Hi guys, lemming here, what folder should I keep these files in?
    Sorry but I'm not sure which files you're referring to?
  • Chris, there doesn't seem to be a Vimeo link for the "Beyond the Basics" video. Could you please make one available? Thanks
  • Is there a way to whiteboard a script font or single stroke font without outlines or fill? I'm looking for a stroke-only write-on effect.
  • Chris, there doesn't seem to be a Vimeo link for the "Beyond the Basics" video. Could you please make one available? Thanks
    Hi James,

    I'm still in the process of preparing and uploading tutorial videos, and it's possible that the "Beyond the Basics" video hadn't been processed by Vimeo before I shared the link.  It should be working now, let me know if you're still having issues.

    To date, here are the direct Vimeo links to the tutorials that have been uploaded so far:
    Overview:
    Quickstart: 
    Bonus Scripts: 
    Beyond the basics: 
    DIY Hand: 

  • Is there a way to whiteboard a script font or single stroke font without outlines or fill? I'm looking for a stroke-only write-on effect.
    Not exactly, sorry. Automatic Whiteboard lets you automate a lot of the process for producing a large quantity of animation very quickly, but it can't compare to hand masking and manual keyframing when it comes to quality.

    You could experiment with deleting the stroke layers after they've been created, and then using the scribble / fill layers as a track matte for your original fonts. If you make the scribble thickness large enough, the scribble layers will reveal your original text layers - but this still won't look the same as manually drawing reveal masks.

    Having said that, if you do want to manually draw reveal masks for your text, instead of using the outlines, then you can still use the Automatic Whiteboard script to sequence your masks together and synchronise a hand.  You would then use the stroke layer as a track matte for your original text layers.  I hope this makes sense, let me know if you need clarification.
    • "20 different hands to choose from!"
    But they're all white! No diversity whatsoever!
  • Hi, GREAT script but is it normal to not have hand gestures and background/textures/paper working in the trial version, unless I open and work from the provided project?
  • Hi, GREAT script but is it normal to not have hand gestures and background/textures/paper working in the trial version, unless I open and work from the provided project?
    Yes, that's the way the project works, regardless of the trial.
    The trial version is time limited to 2 weeks (I think) and 10 layers, but otherwise works in the same way.
    The included AEP should always be used as a starting point for new work.  I recommend copying a version for safe-keeping.  Just open it and then save-as to being working on a new project.

    BTW you can run the script without the default project loaded, but you'll get a message saying it can't find the texture layers in the project, and it will default to a plain stroke on a transparent background.
  • Chris Zwar said:

    Hi James,

    I'm still in the process of preparing and uploading tutorial videos, and it's possible that the "Beyond the Basics" video hadn't been processed by Vimeo before I shared the link.  It should be working now, let me know if you're still having issues.

    - - -

    Thanks Chris, but "Beyond the Basics" still doesn't have a Vimeo link. The others show it in the lower right corner, but not that one. I'd like to be able to download and save it for reference, but I guess I'll have to wait longer.



  • Thanks Chris, but "Beyond the Basics" still doesn't have a Vimeo link.
    Oh I get it now, that's due to my settings in Vimeo.  I have checked all videos and made them downloadable, and also added the Vimeo icon so you can watch them there.
    Cheers!
  • Hi all,
    Thanks so much for your interest in Automatic Whiteboard.
    I've just uploaded a v 1.1, please let me know if you have any problems installing the update.

    The After Effects project and assets that come with the download have not changed, the v 1.1 update includes new versions of the three scripts.

    The main Automatic Whiteboard script now includes the option for right-to-left text directions, and the bonus mask sorting script has also been updated to include this option.

    The bonus mask separating script has been updated to maintain mask modes, and to maintain the position of new mask layers.

    There's also a new feature in the main script to link the fill colour to the stroke colour - I added this because I often found it tedious to change the colour of individual elements and I hope this helps.
  • Thanks Chris, but "Beyond the Basics" still doesn't have a Vimeo link.
    Oh I get it now, that's due to my settings in Vimeo.  I have checked all videos and made them downloadable, and also added the Vimeo icon so you can watch them there.
    Cheers!
    Thanks Chris.
  • Suggestion (and maybe a good "work around"):

    So I love how the hand/maker follows the open path (and even the closes path). But I deal with some complex whiteboard art assets and the result is not the best. HOWEVER I have found a quick and painless workaround that may warrant an enhancement down the line. 

    1. in illustrator I create 3 masks. 
    mask 1: outline I want the draw on.
    mask 2. zig zag path I want hand to follow after mask 1.
    mask 3. solid shape of what I want filled in. 
    2. After bringing in my mask into AE and running the plug in I move the fill start key frames to where mask 2's animation starts. This creates a matched scribble fill to the hand motion. 
    3. I then use the 2 resulting layers that the plug in crates as Alpha masks for my comps. 

    I do this because I can latter animate my comps after they have been drawn on by the plug in. 

    Not sure of there is a more elegant way to automate this, but it allows me to knockout what would be very complex (mask layer heavy) drawings with just 3 masks. 
  • Does this script writes in glassboard?
  • Not sure of there is a more elegant way to automate this, but it allows me to knockout what would be very complex (mask layer heavy) drawings with just 3 masks. 
    Thanks for outline your steps, it's something I'll look at in future upgrades.
  • Does this script writes in glassboard?
    Not yet, but I'll look to add something in future versions.  I hadn't heard of glassboards before!
  • I bought a script.
    I have a question. I want to make slow drawings but there is no way to control the speed of the mask separately. There are no keys to control. The hand twitches when it moves from one drawing to another. And I need a slow transition from one picture to another. How can I do that?
  • 20 hands. Please realize the world includes people who aren't white and light. I see the option for self-creation, but that negates the point of variety. My hand is one female. What about others? It would be great given the price to just double the options. For every light skin tones hand, match it with a brown to darker skin toned hand. 
  • Could you do a large whiteboard area with 20 -30 images and type all on the same page...having the page move left to right and then down...??
  • Could you do a large whiteboard area with 20 -30 images and type all on the same page...having the page move left to right and then down...??
    You could do this as a two-step process without a hand animation.  Just set up your whiteboard animation at a larger size than you need (eg 4K), then drop that into another smaller composition and scale / position as required.  However it would not be easy to do that with a hand animation - there would have to be an expression involved to convert between the different comp sizes.  It's not impossible, just something that would involve more than 1 mouse click to set up.  I'll have a think about it and if I get an example working I'll share it.
  • Could you do a large whiteboard area with 20 -30 images and type all on the same page...having the page move left to right and then down...??
    Ok so here's a new tutorial showing you how to do it.  It's not difficult, just need to copy a few layers over and add an expression.



    The expression text, as used in the tutorial, is: 

    largeKeyframes=comp("LargeSource").layer("Position keyframes sequenced").transform.position;
    largeComp=thisComp.layer("LargeSource");
    p=largeComp.toComp(largeKeyframes);
  • The hand is not following all of my masks, how do I get it to synch up?
  • The hand is not following all of my masks, how do I get it to synch up?
    Synchronisation is discussed in the help documents that come with the project, and are demonstrated in the "Beyond the Basics" video - see links above.  Basically, the more layers you have, the better the synchronisation.  The hand should always be in sync at the start and end of every layer.  The bonus scripts that come with the project are there to help split out masks to multiple layers to increase the number of points where everything is in synch.  If you're still having issues after watching the videos, let me know.
  • Thanks for your earlier response, now I am having an issue where it's not putting the hand in at all.