Animation- Hand Written Text

Landsy Posts: 3
edited January 2017 in Post-production techniques

Hey HF

How do I anmimate writting a text on a blackboard with Chalk?


Thx in advance ;) 


  • Palacono
    Palacono Posts: 3,414 Enthusiast
    edited November 2016

    You can find an animated font, where you construct the text with individual letter that draw themselves as mini movies. Or you could  record yourself with screen capture software writing it in a Paint program. Then load in the movie and mask and key out the bits you didn't want.

    Or you can find a paint package that allows you to save a movie of the font being drawn with a stroke effect.

  • BobDiMarzio
    BobDiMarzio Posts: 624 Just Starting Out

    Or you can get a green suit.  And film yourself or someone else writing on the chalk board and Chroma Key out the person....



  • karma
    karma Posts: 163 Enthusiast

    Sounds more like you need whiteboard animation software.  There are several out there that will automatically create the movie with various hands, pens, chalk, pencil, etc including custom graphics.

    I use Easy Sketch Pro and Video Maker FX.  While the company that sells this software is more like a MLM company, and hence I actually do not like giving out the names, the actual software DOES work as advertised and creates quite good videos.

    The other alternative is Videoscribe or Truescribe, which require a monthly plan.

    You could do this in Hitfilm, but it would be long, tedious work.  These softwares do it automagically and then you can bring it into Hitfilm for editing, effects and finishing.


  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,466 Enthusiast

    A variation on one of @Palacono's suggestions - Use a paint program with a brush stroke player to play back your strokes while you capture with screen capture software. Better still in my opinion, spring for PD Howler which can record your brush strokes straight to an animation which is how I did this:

    If you use this link  it's on sale through December 4 for $30.34 


  • MrStruggling
    MrStruggling Posts: 8 Enthusiast
    edited December 2016

    If you are only "writing" a small phrase or set of words, you can use masks to do this.( Which may be what Karma was referring to.)

    You could create the completed set of the text writing as an image file of text on transparent background. You can set up a plane beneath in Hitfilm to be the blackboard. 

    Start with the whole set of text masked then key frame the mask to reveal the text, in the direction that your chalk would be writing. You will need multiple masks to uncover letter components, such as the  cross on a "t".

    This can be quite labour-intensive but if this is a one-off requirement and your budget is like mine, then it is a handy compromise instead of buying software designed to do this.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,228 Expert

    @Aladdin4D  Oh, cool.  Thanks for that video and heads up.  I bought Howler a while back for it's landscape/terrain painting ability but have still not used it for a project yet or learned much about it, and I had no clue it could reproduce this effect like the stroke/ reveal mask effect I saw in AE.

  • Aladdin4d
    Aladdin4d Posts: 2,466 Enthusiast

    @tddavis The Stroke Player is under the Animation menu with a few different modes. I used the Hancock mode which was designed for handwriting and I'm not even going to get into the Brush Keyframer just remember that Howler brushes can be fully animated too. Here's quick demo of some Stroke Player stuff:

    While I'm at it I'm going to mention another way many people may already have access to - PowerPoint.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,228 Expert

    @Aladdin4D  Great!  I used to use Powerpoint in Office 97 back in the day, but I have switched to OpenOffice now and I checked and I'm pretty sure I can get the same result with some tweaking to the directions.  I got a similar one pretty quick, but it needs more of my attention to learn what everything does there in naming of stuff.  But the heads up are greatly appreciated.

  • Fantastic - thx all for your great support - now I dive into your answers and find the technic that suits me - have super HF day :)

  •  I have found an interesting technique that I want to share:

    I have tweaked it a bit as my handwriting (especially with a mouse) is terrible.

    Using one of the free websites out there, generate a handwriting animation with a white colour font on a green background and then just remove the background. This works better than using  demult as it won't affect the shades of white/black in the font or the hand.


    Here's the result of my first test. 




  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,228 Expert

    @buhaytza2005 Well, I did not know you could record with GIMP!  Very handy method.  I just got sucked into an Adobe membership to do this effect one time and then when I went to cancel there was a 2 month early cancellation fee so I need this!  Because I will never darken Adobe's door again. :)

  • @tddavis; My version was not recorded in Gimp. I took a different approach. If allowed I will post the link to the website that generated the animation but I generated the handwriting on a website - Surprise Surprise I needed to pay to be able to download the generated text - and I watched the sample. Whilst watching it I captured the screen with OBS and then keyed out the background. 

    I too need this for a project and don't really fancy paying exorbitant amounts for 1 effect. I just bought HitfilmPro so my budget is in shambles for the next few weeks.

    Hope this makes sense.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,303 Power User

    @tddavis not to downplay @buhyatza2005's contribution here, but he's done what karma suggested way back when... Used a whiteboard site to generate the text.

    Plus, don't you have PD Howler, which can do this? Or OpenOffice (free)? 

  • @triem23I just thought I would share because I looked for techniques to achieve this but never thought to use a green background and then key it out. Tried a combination of luminance key and demult to get rid of the white background but because of the moving hand, I always struggled. 


    BTW, thank you for your content on Youtube, it is a great resource for anyone looking to understand how things work in Hitfilm.

  • Hictor
    Hictor Posts: 380 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 Shot in the dark (and a kick in the nuts for some)

    But can't this literally be done in Action Pro? (I say this while I never used the software)

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,303 Power User

    @Hictor yes, but writing with a mouse or VR wand is hard. It really requires a tablet and stylus as input device. 

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,228 Expert

    @Triem23 Why, yes, I do have Howler but here too I never have scratched the surface of what it is able to do much like with GIMP.

    buhaytza2005  Thanks for letting me know I had missed a critical step.  I hunted all over GIMP for a record option earlier :)