Draw Dotted and Dashed Text Outlines using Sketch & Toon

Photo of Rick Barrett

Instructor Rick Barrett

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  • Duration: 04:41
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Use Sketch & Toon Resize Strokes and Pattern Options to Draw Dotted and Dashed outlines.

In this quick tip, you'll learn how to progressively draw Sketch & Toon lines using the Resize Strokes option (the Animate-Draw options can be used as well). You'll also see how to apply a dotted or dashed pattern to specific splines and eliminate the "marching ants" problem by switching the Pixel Units to World Space.



In this Cineversity quick tip we're going to look at how to trace the outlines of text using nothing but Sketch and Toon. Last week we covered how to do this with the Tracer object, and this week we're going to take a little bit of a different tactic. And I've got some text here, and the first thing that we need to do is add Sketch and Toon. Now a lot of times you'll go ahead and create Sketch and Toon down here from the materials or something like that, But I actually want different Sketch and Toon materials for each of these text objects and so I am going to actually sort of initialize Sketch and Toon by just adding Sketch style tags on to each of the objects. And you'll see that that gave me three unique materials, one for each object. I'm going to select the first style tag here and I'm going to make sure only spines is active, and down here I'm going to fold down the default visible, and I'm going to change this to dots because that is the object that this is related to. We're going to go down here to the ampersand and I'm going to go ahead and put ampersand there and again I'm just going to enable splines and nothing else. And them dashes we'll do the same thing. I'm going to name this "dashes," and we'll disable everything but splines. So now Sketch and Toon is going to render these splines. In fact, there we go. We have Sketch and Toon lines. Now I want to go ahead and draw these lines progressively through the animation. So I'm going to go ahead and open up the Material Editor for one of these sketch lines, and I'm going to go ahead and make sure that all three are selected so I can edit them all at the same time. On the Adjustment tab you have different ways that you can adjust the strokes that are generated by Sketch and Toon, whether it be in X and Y or having them overshoot, various options here and the one that you might have overlooked is the Resize Strokes option. So if we enable this, what we can do is actually resize the strokes themselves. So I'm going to go ahead and keyframe here at the end of my animation the End parameter, and this works just like the sweep. I'm going to go down to frame zero and keyframe the End parameter at zero. And now, if I go ahead and go into my Renderer, make sure I'm outputting all frames, and we'll go ahead and output this really quick. You can see that we're drawing on all of these lines. So that's a really cool technique that's pure Sketch and Toon. Now of course I have here Dots and Dashes, which is indicative of the next step in our quick tip. And that's simply to go into the dots line material, and I'm going to go into the Strokes tab, go down to the bottom, and here we have the option to enable a pattern. I'm going to go ahead an enable the dots pattern here, and you can adjust the scale of that if you'd like. We'll leave it at default. I'll select the dashes and enable the pattern there, and we'll leave it set to Dashed. You can even go in here and edit your pattern, which is kind of cool. I'm just going to cancel out of that. And now if we render this out, you'll see that we actually have dots and dashes. So there are some really cool things you can accomplish here by using Sketch and Toon to outline your text. Now one last thing I want to show you is that if we apply a camera here, I'll active this camera, and this just has a simple push in. But if we render this, what you're going to see is that the dots and dashes actually give a little bit of a marching ants effect. They don't stay stuck, more or less. Which might be a look that you're going for, you can see the shimmer there in the marching ants effect. It might be a look that you're going for, but the way that you get around that is select all of your Sketch and Toon materials, and go into the Render tab, and set the Pixel Units here to World Space instead of Absolute Pixels. When the Pixel Units is set to Absolute Pixels the Dots and Dashes are going to be relative to the size of the object in screen space. So as the object gets bigger in the screen space the Dots and Dashes will move. By switching the Pixel Units into World Space you're actually locking them in. So now we get consistent Dots and Dashes and we can animate these right along. Now I have done this purely as a 2D effect, but you can of course apply this in 3 dimensions as well on any spline in Cinema 4D. Thanks for watching, and if you enjoyed this quick tip, please like, share, and visit Cineversity.com for more great tutorials and resources.
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