Post Production

Animating the Hand of God

When your hand-drawn animation is literally hand drawn

In the film & TV industry, voice-over narration is sometimes referred to as “the voice of god”.  So when I was stuck thinking of a way to describe images that are drawn on by an invisible animator, it seemed fitting to refer to the style as “the hand of god”.

Having motion graphics revealed, manipulated, and basically being “hand drawn” in the very literal sense is a popular technique that can easily be done in After Effects.

This video tutorial takes you through the steps to produce these sorts of animations quickly and easily.

There are only a few basic techniques involved, mostly to do with copying & pasting masks and using roving keyframes.  Half the work is in taking photos of hands and setting them up for animation.  Once you’ve done that, you can re-use the same images again and again so it’s worth taking the time to set up a comprehensive shoot and create a library for the future.


Click the ‘full screen’ button for best results.

For more After Effects videos and tutorials, check out my PVC home page.

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Chris was born a geek, and was lucky enough to own a Commodore 64 at a time when the number of students at his primary school who owned a computer could be counted on one…

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