Signature & Custom Brush Tip

Signature & Custom Brush Tip

Posted on 20. Apr, 2007 by in After Effects

Avoid common problems when creating a signature effect by customizing your brush tip, and learn how to create the effect itself.


If you ever tried to animate a signature than you probably know, that when it’s more complex shape than just a simple line, you can run into some troubles. This tutorial will show you, how you can avoid them by customizing the brush tip. The whole idea is to use Paint effect instead of Stroke.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just see the tutorial and learn how to create a signature effect. Enjoy.

Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects CS2)

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14 Responses to “Signature & Custom Brush Tip”

  1. Genevaldo-Brasil_MG

    31. Aug, 2007

    Very nice tank´s – Muito bom é fácil obrigado!!!!!

  2. Frederik

    01. Oct, 2007

    I’m new to AE, so thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge..! One question, if you have time to answer… Would it be possible to create an exact mask by selecting the shape of the signature, using Photoshop, and then import that mask..?

    Thanks again :)

  3. Maltaannon

    01. Oct, 2007

    Sure. If you’re going to do it in Photoshop the good thing would also be to paint the mask as a gradient and then do Gradient Wipe in After Effects.

  4. Tobias

    22. Oct, 2007

    Nice thing about this one is not the purpose it self but the basic technique which is explained here :)

  5. Pigeon

    23. Dec, 2007

    I think the it would be easier to just keyframe the brushsize while using the strokeeffect. If you set keyframes where det brushtip needs to get smaller and then another keyframe where it needs to get bigger again. Then just set them to roving keyframes to keep the same speed.

    But nice tutorial! I just started with after effects about 2 months ago and thanks to you, creative cow and videocopilot Ive been getting into it quickly! It was pretty easy though since I already know both PS and Premiere. But still, your tutorials are great!

  6. Bob

    29. Feb, 2008

    Well i did the same as Pigeon said, but this is also a good way to do it.

  7. Maltaannon

    29. Feb, 2008

    It’s just that I hate keyframes :) Besides, is the angle of the brush is constant i think that’s the way it should look. But hay… any of the ways that gets the job done is good.

  8. nitin

    12. Apr, 2008

    which is better MOTION 3 or AE..i think motion 3 has unique and versatile PAINT effects..

  9. poko

    17. Apr, 2008

    Motion 3 can be good in the future. Now use After Effects.

  10. andres_ros

    22. Jul, 2008

    Very nice! Though, using the resulting Paint effect as a mask I see as overkill – it looks just wonderfull as is. I would just use the orignal signature as a reference, that’s it.
    Thanks!

  11. Gerry

    27. Aug, 2008

    I would love to see a tutorial with a brush stroke effect creating a signature – It’s not that I don’t want to experiment by myself – It’s just I’m a 41 year old with young children and a total beginner to after effects

  12. Tim

    13. Oct, 2008

    This is a great tutorial but I’m having a few difficulties with it. When I set keyframes to adjust the diameter, roundness or angle for the brush, it changes the animation for the entire brush path. I don’t understand why it doesn’t just change between keyframes. When I keyframe the brush size to be smaller in that area, the entire path becomes smaller. Am I doing something wrong? It’s very frustrating because I frequently have areas that cross over like in your tutorial.

    Also, if I want to make changes to the bezier points on the brush path, do I need to change the mask and then paste it back into the brush path everytime? This is a very slow process…ooch!

    Thanks for all the great tutorials! I’m somewhat of a newbie to AE and I have learned a lot here!

  13. ali

    24. Jul, 2010

    thank you ,very nice

  14. Clay

    19. Mar, 2011

    This tutorial is great…I’m trying to animate a calligraphy letter similar to the one in this tutorial. However, it seems that the Paint option you’ve selected for this tutorial is no longer available in CS5. Any ideas?