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I want to trace over each frame in some footage, that is not drawing on the original layer of the footage. How can I achieve this in Adobe AE?

I am sure I can do this in Photoshop, but is there a way to do it in AE and if so, would the quality be much better – or will Photoshop be the best tool for it?

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What you're searching for is called Rotoscoping.

You can use After Effects to achieve what you ask for, similar to this clip.

You can then use the Paint tool to do your drawing in a new layer. There are plenty of options for the brushes, as you can see in the Adobe Help Center.

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