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How to Animate your Handwriting for a Video Overlay

If you’ve been watching videos where people have handwritten text and doodles overlaid on them and wondered how to do it, I’m going to show you the super EASY method right now!

I like the look of animated text on screen for my videos, but needed an easy way to do it that didn’t take a lot of time. I tried to use Keynote, Canva, etc. with a black or green screen and it kind of worked but I still had to take time with the export/import, etc.

My solution: Procreate, of course! I created a screen-size canvas in Procreate with a “green screen” color for a background, then I do a simple iPad screen recording with white text as I draw on the screen. I can then use the Keyer effect in FCPX and remove the background instantly!

You can follow along with the video tutorial HERE, or with the steps below.

There are a lot of ways to animate text for videos, but when you want to have handwritten text or drawings on top of it (with a transparent background) there are a couple options:

  • Black paper method

  • Green screen method

I’m going to link to a great video on the Black paper method (he explains it really well!), but I personally prefer the Green Screen method for a couple reasons. The black paper method:

  • Can darken the look of your video (sometimes you don’t want that look & feel for your video)

  • Inconsistent/Sometimes doesn’t work at all if the video background is too bright

I use and prefer the Greenscreen method:

  • I’m using Procreate, but anything that lets you draw on the screen will work

  • Set up your canvas at same resolution as your video (1920 x 1080)

  • Set the background color to bright Green (my Hex code is #04F404)

  • Start Screen Recording on iPad (swipe down from the top-R corner of screen)

    • If you don’t have the shortcut: Go to Settings > Control Center and tap the + icon next to the screen recorder

  • Write text or draw in Procreate

  • Stop Screen Recording (will be saved in Photos)

  • Airdrop/transfer to editing software (I use FCPX)

  • Add to timeline above A-roll

  • Effects > Keyer (drop onto clip to activate & remove the green background - like magic!)

  • You can clip, adjust, transform, etc. as needed if you didn’t write exactly where you needed to on the screen… or you can create a “virtual glassboard”

    • Partially transparent black overlay

    • Gaussian blur A-roll (optional)

BONUS: You can also do this trick with animated text in Canva (you get better results with thicker fonts)

  • Set up your design at the size of your video

  • Set the background color to Green screen

  • Add a text box and type your text (choose your font)

  • In the Animate menu, choose Keyboard and adjust settings

  • Export as MP4 & follow same steps for video editing software

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