I came across a video that teaches kids how to draw. I recognize some kind of masking is involved, but I can't quite figure out how to do this in photoshop to create animated drawing. I know for sure the letters are pre-drawn in Photoshop (or some software), but I can't figure out the animation.

Here is the video I was referring to: https://youtu.be/ayzVNkIJsk8?t=31 (warning, there's kid music).

Thoughts? If this is the wrong place to ask let me know, thanks.

  • 1
    Pretty sure that kinda thing is done with After Effects
    – Welz
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 16:13
  • For what it's worth... I wouldn't be surprised if this was a screen recording where they erased each letter using like some form of Eraser tool and then reversed the video. It doesn't look incredibly professional, but I thought I'd mention it since it's a method that could be done using almost any application and should be doable even if you've never used the application before. Many screen recorders allow hiding the cursor...
    – Joonas
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 17:04
  • Right after I commented, I had a flashback to the video and realized the text stroke cap curved outwards, so it probably wasn't done that way... I'm actually not sure how it was done.. because unmasking with a brush would be difficult when you can't see the letters... oh well...it doesn't really matter...
    – Joonas
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


To me it is a screen recording, the clue is the irregular window scrolling using the space bar at minute 0.34.

Screen recording

From an outlined text, use Color Range to get the outline selection

outlined text

  • Hide the text layer and create a new empty layer.
  • Make an Action with Allow Tool Recording checked from the Action's Menu
  • Start recording painting with the brush inside the selection, following the text border

Letter A

Stop the action, delete this layer, make a new one, hide the selection and play the action:


Make a new layer to play the action while recording the screen or the document window

  • HOLY COW. Thank you so much for demonstrating this... what did you use? after effect? (edit: oh never mind it's photoshop).
    – CppLearner
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 18:22
  • I tried this and it looks awesome, except after I did color range, did the select, hid the text layer, created a new layer, my brush is filling "underneath" the selection. Please see imgur.com/a/7NbSCha. Am I missing a step? Thanks.
    – CppLearner
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 19:18
  • You must invert the selection to paint inside the letter
    – user120647
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 19:20
  • 1
    That works! You are amazing. Thank you, Daniel.
    – CppLearner
    Commented Jan 6, 2019 at 22:28

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