Doodle videos, heck yeah!

My latest project is figuring out how to make a doodle video. Or a speed drawing animation. I don’t actually know what they’re called, but you’ll get the idea if you check out the videos below. I started off attempting to use my iphone. Setting the iphone up to record was… awkward:

completely professional.

I did my video this way, posted it to youtube, and got a bunch of feedback from my awesome Facebook and Twitter friends. I tried to take that feedback into account as best I could and eventually moved on to my Nikon D5100 (dSLR).ย  I even set it up on an actual tripod (Thanks, Andrew Shao!).


Recording on my SLR was pretty easy too, once I got it adjusted. I did have some issues with focusing – not that it was hard, I just kept forgetting to check. oops. Editing for the SLR video was done in iMovie, and the audio was recorded in Hindenburg Journalist. Here’s a 30-second sample from this experiment. I hope that you agree that it has improved, at least marginally, from my first attempt!

Next, I decided to try doing the video using Camtasia. Luckily they have a free trial, so I gave that a whirl. Camtasia is for screen recording and video editing, and was really easy to jump into and start using right away. I did the drawings in Adobe Photoshop using my Wacom Intuos4 tablet/stylus. Here’s the 30-second sample using the “all-digital” method:

Dear reader, if you have been patient and kind enough to actually read all this, and more importantly, watch the two videos, please feel free to give me feedback in the comments (below) or in email or on Twitter or Facebook!

3 thoughts on “Doodle videos, heck yeah!

  1. You can totally cheat when animating sketches, especially if you work digitally. =) Here are some ways to make sketched animation easier. My current favourite is to use green-screen techniques – I pre-draw it, lighten it, then draw over it again. In post-processing, I can drop out the previous drawing and replace it with white.

    I haven’t recorded any video of my hand actually drawing. I have lots of excuses. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t want to dedicate the space to set up good lighting and a tripod, my cats like getting in the way of my drawing, I draw weirdly (my writing callus is on my ring finger, and it’s huge), digital is so much neater, I don’t like the pressure… <laugh> Maybe someday I’ll get around to it.

    Have fun!

    1. Wow, Thanks Sacha! This is SO helpful! I should have known to check if you’d done a blog post on this ๐Ÿ™‚ I am totally going to try the green screen method. I love the idea of being able to plan it ahead. I may also check out ArtRage because it would be neat to be able to just remove an entire layer. I was wondering how I might do this kind of animation for things that are really difficult to draw by hand, like the outline of a map, for example.

  2. On paper, a light pencil outline probably won’t be visible to the camera (or you can tinker with your brightness/contrast settings until it disappears). Also, lighting-wise, having two or more light sources will help you with getting rid of shadows.

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