New tutorial on Youtube - handwritten or "write-on" text created with Shotcut and GIMP

Back in November 2018 I made a video tutorial showing how to create “write -on” or “revealing handwritten” text using Shotcut in conjunction with GIMP.
After making this tutorial I kind of got distracted with a few other things, so I never got round to posting it on Youtube.

However, #samth’s discussion about making animated text with SVGs:
has rekindled my interest in it, so yesterday I popped it onto Youtube.
It’s here:

There is a slight inaccuracy in the video: at 7:29 I tell viewers to save the Luma file as a .PGM, but in fact you CAN save the black and white gradient file as a .png (or a .pgm file as I explain). At the time of making the video I didn’t know Luma files work as EITHER PNGs or PGMs in Shotcut. Pretty sure JPGs work as well.

Actually, I got the original idea of this method from this Kdenlive tutorial:
I found however that the steps shown by Arkengheist 2.0 were paced way too quickly in this tutorial, so I adapted her/his method for Shotcut, at a much slower, easy to follow pace (hopefully…)…

~~~ SPOILER ALERT ~~~ : There is NO MENTION of “HTML” whatsoever in this video (!!) (@samth will get this joke … ) :grinning::grinning:


Well explained with detailed instructions and it does not leave me with open questions :+1:. Using gradients can be helpful for other animation like effects instead of relying exclusively on HTML overlays - when even you are considering other methods, that seems legitimate :wink:.

I saw this video while searching for instructions concerning the SVG animation and found it interesting. But it lacked some clearer instructions and I did not bother trying it out. Now it is clear that this is easier then using a SVG animation since there are several additional steps involved and the effort does not lead to a superior effect, at least in my opinion.

What :astonished:?! No HTML overlay? I am shocked :joy:.

Fantastic tutorial! :+1: Are you planning on making more?
By the way, jonray, did you get my message? :slight_smile:

Thank you!

Yes, there is life outside HTML!! Indeed many things can be done quicker/easier/more intuitively with transitions, SP and RS filters, masks etc, than HTML coding, I realise that. (Just look at some of the amazing stuff by @sauron for example (and others).
Where HTML wins over all this is when you have a complex HTML animation which would require many tracks in SC, therefore slowing down the playback. Plus, I like tinkering with HTML code and trying not to let it beat me when things don’t work…:smile:

Yes indeed. But I am still very interested in learning more about SVG and will definitely get into it at some point Thanks again for getting me into it!


Thank you @DRM . Trying to work on one now about making cool text effects easily - watch this space…

No. Looked in my emails, nothing there. Where can I find it?


It’s a PM so it would be in your inbox on your account here. Click the on your icon and go to “Message”. :slight_smile:

Nope, nothing there…

Strange. It’s there on my end. I just tried again.

Got it! Sorry, my stupidity, I was clicking my icon at the top of my POST, not the top of the forum page! Both messages are there. Reply on the way…

No problem. You will probably find another use case which is only possible with this type of animation.

@jonray, I sent you another reply to your inbox some days ago. :slight_smile: Maybe you have the settings off that let you know when you receive PMs?

Sorry @DRM, my fault, PM reply sent.

@jonray, your tutorial has opened up a world of creative options for me. Brilliant work! I recently saw a home remodeling show on HGTV where the lines of an architect’s blueprint were drawn on the screen stroke at a time. I had no idea how I could conveniently do that with Shotcut, and resigned myself to feeling like some effects were just out of reach. Your gradient brush trick in GIMP could accomplish this blueprint effect as well. Plus, I’ve always wanted to do the handwriting trick. So this tutorial made my day.

@austin, thank you so much for your nice comments. I am chuffed that you found the tutorial useful - makes it all worthwhile.

I thought of a interesting application for this technique for users with young children - you could scan a piece of your child’s writing (say them writing their own name), scan it as a png or jpg, import into GIMP, apply this technique, and end up with your kid’s writing appearing, as if handwritten, on a family video. Your kids will love it! I haven’t tried this yet but it’s just an idea I had.

You do a fantastic job of teaching Gimp. Very in depth and clear instructions. I’ve been using the basic Photoshop now ( with my XP-Pen Star 06 painting Tablet ), for several years but what puts me off of Adobe is a monthly subscription.
I wont subscribe to any pay monthly software, I like to own and have the choice if I need to upgrade.
Gimp seems to be a fantastic alternative to Adobe Photoshop and I will be using this program from now on.
Look really forward to watching further tutorials from you. Keep up the great teachings of this fantastic open source software. Thank you.

Very, very good!

HGTV have some really good effects and I quite like “Christina on the coast”,
nothing wrong with a bit of eye candy. :grin: but I digress…

I too have made use of your Gimp idea but in a slightly different way.
We sometimes use it on promos to introduce sports personalities by doing the hand writing trick.

@xiaoyu Thank you ! I appreciate your comments and I’m glad the tutorial was of use to you.

Thank you, @DvS!!!

@paul2 - also pleased you are making use of the technique. I’m intrigued as to how you have adapted the technique…


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Thanks, @bentacular! Hope you found it useful!

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