August 31, 2010

Moshun and similar 'animated fonts'

Via the plural blog is Moshun, an "animated font" by Calango. Creator Jeroen Krielaars says:

"Every animated character is on it's own shapelayer in Adobe After Effects. Therefore every character has to be positioned by hand. But since this font is suited for short stuff, instead of bodytext, it's still fairly quick to set up."

Moshun from Jeroen Krielaars on Vimeo.

Bran Dougherty-Johnson noted similar efforts -- Colin Sebestyen's Futura livefont and a 2008 Digital Kitchen thing for the Webbies:

3D animated wings with Trapcode 3D Stroke

Iaenic shows how he made 3D animated wings in After Effects with Trapcode 3D Stroke in a new tutorial video (via Lester Banks). He also takes you through several techniques for working with After Effects' faux 3D space.

Robert Rodriguez 'film school' videos

Filmmaker IQ has collected a bunch of  "10-minute film school" videos by Robert Rodriguez from YouTube which are normally found on DVD. Here's a sample:

August 29, 2010

After Effects FAQ List

The Adobe Forum has an After Effects FAQ List, which has about 20 FAQs by Todd Kopriva and Adolfo Rozenfeld. These cover many basic common problems from CS4, as well as adding some recent general guidance.

Update: some of these are also in video form as of October.

August 27, 2010

TV Distortion Bundle: déjà vu all over again

AE Scripts is offering 40%-off a trio of After Effects filters in the new TV Distortion Bundle. Satya Meka's 3 TV distortion plug-ins include: Data Glitch, Bad TV, and Separate RGB. These filters may not create a disturbance in the force or a glitch in the matrix, but they'll help you to create analog TV distortion with control over vertical, horizontal syncs and scanline distortion; VCR, DV Tape and audio reactive image glitch effects; and compression artifacts.

There's much more in the product pages that you might check out, even if you already have the Boris, Digieffects, or Sapphire bundles. Of course you can do this stuff already in After Effects, but with far less ease, for example leveraging the built-in Bad TV Animation Presets. Other approaches for similar results were discussed in previous posts like Bad TV: new Pixel Bender + others and Chromatic aberrations, seperating RGB.

August 26, 2010

Depth, a newish filter from Digieffects

[Update: Depth was launched August 31. According to Mark Christiansen, "Depth does just what the name implies, easily extracting 3D depth data for use with Digieffects plug-ins such as Camera Mapper, Atmosphere and Falloff Lighting ... I especially like it for lens effects that can use depth information to create beautiful cinematic bokeh blurs."]

Digieffects seems to be breaking off another plug-in from its legacy products with the launch of Depth, a filter found in the old Buena Depth Cue package. There's no official pricing yet, just Vimeo video partly via Lester Banks:

Digieffects Depth Spot from digieffects on Vimeo.

Digieffects Depth Intro Tutorial from digieffects on Vimeo.

Fxguide review of Colorista II

Fxguide posted an informative review of Colorista II by John Montgomery. Six recent tutorials and more can be found in recent AEP posts.

Update: Prep Shoot Post shows how a little Colorista II makes for GOOD LOOKING CINEMA - THE NEW DIY AESTHETIC.

August 25, 2010

Create3DShapes adds Platonic solids & compatibilty

AE Scripts has a great collection of scripts to make working in AE 3D easier. There's a new version of Create3DShapes that allows you to distribute layers as a box, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, or ellipsoid (e.g. rugby ball, with controllable x,y,z-radius) -- as well as a 3D Platonic solids (see video), a MengerSponge (pictured), and 3DFallingDominoes. This version has a gain in speed using precomputed arrangements and can create a giant sphere with up to 1000 layers in seconds.

August 24, 2010

Targeted Curve Adjustments from a new series on Photoshop

@Colortrails has a new tutorial series on Photoshop called QuickHits. Below is #2 on Targeted Curve Adjustments; the first was on Perspective cropping. Here's Dan Moughamian's summary of #2 from his website:

"I think possibly my favorite feature / concept in all of Photoshop (and Lightroom / ACR) is the Targeted Adjustment concept, because it is both very accurate and FAST. Much faster than prior methods of working with contrast and color. The ability, whether working with HSL, Curves or Hue & Saturation (and hopefully more features in the future like Shadow and Highlight!) to directly target the tones and colors you want to work on, without any guesswork or re-dos, is extremely useful."

Colortrails QuickHit #2: Targeted Curves Adjustment from Colortrails on Vimeo.

A wireframe sphere in After Effects

Lester Banks noted a basic effective tutorial by coyote37 that roughly points to more in discussing how to create a wireframe sphere in After Effects with the Grid, CC Sphere, and Light Burst filters:

Should Adobe Improve Expressions?

Andrew Kramer has opened up a discussion with thoughts on Should Adobe Improve Expressions?

A more visual UI and new ways to encapsulate properties, like you see in node-based applications, would be useful too. Of course, Todd Kopriva already posted suggestions on how to give feedback to Adobe.

Intro to scripting in AE, pt 1 expressions

AEtuts has started a series of After Effects tutorial videos by Frederik Steinmetz. The first one is Introduction To Writing Scripts For AE – Expressions Day 1.

See also AE CS5 Help on Scripts and Expressions, as well as the piled-on post Expressions & Scripting Resources for After Effects and posts tagged expressions and scripting. By the way, Dan Ebberts contributes a Scripting Overview chapter to Creating Motion Graphics With After Effects by Trish & Chris Meyer, and Lloyd Alvarez has had an ongoing course teaching an Introduction to After Effects Scripting at fxphd.

August 23, 2010

Create water with displacement and particles

Dave Scotland has another After Effects Quick Tip on, How to Create Realistic Water with Displacement Maps and Particles:

After Effects Quick Tip - Creating Realistic Water with Displacement Maps and Particles from Premiumbeat on Vimeo.

Voodoo Camera Tracker: free matchmove alternative with AE

In Free 3D Matchmoving Alternative For After Effects at, Hugo Tromp shows how to use the free Voodoo Camera Tracker (Windows/Linux) in conjunction with After Effects:

"Matchmoving has been discussed a lot these days and it has become accessible for more and more people. With the introduction of programs like Syntheyes, PFTrack, and The Foundry’s CameraTracker plug-in the reconstructing of a 3D camera move has been made easier. A lot of people however are not aware of other solutions that are available, like free software. Voodoo Camera Tracker is one of those pieces of software and today I´ll be showing you how to solve your shot and then create some awesome 3D stuff..."

If you're on the Mac (or Windows), PFhoe is inexpensive ($100) and effective. For a variety of other resources, click the tag tracking; especially useful in this context is Tracking titles in perspective with mocha V2 and roundups by Topher Welsh, 28 Tracking and Matchmoving Tutorials and 26 Tracking and 3D Matchmoving plus After Effects Tutorials.

Mad Men: saturation, psych, and beyond

@StudioDaily noted an insightful BBC blog post by filmmaker Adam Curtis, director of documentaries on desire and fear Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear, on the real-life advertisers who inspired the TV series Mad Men. See also Meme tracking and the News Cycle; here's an excerpt from Madison Avenue: Experiments in the laboratory of consumerism:

"The widespread fascination with the Mad Men series is far more than just simple nostalgia. It is about how we feel about ourselves and our society today.

In Mad Men we watch a group of people who live in a prosperous society that offers happiness and order like never before in history and yet are full of anxiety and unease. They feel there is something more, something beyond. And they feel stuck.

I think we are fascinated because we have a lurking feeling that we are living in a very similar time. A time that, despite all the great forces of history whirling around in the world outside, somehow feels stuck. And above all has no real vision of the future.

And as we watch the group of characters from 50 years ago, we get reassurance because we know that they are on the edge of a vast change that will transform their world and lead them out of their stifling technocratic order and back into the giant onrush of history.

The question is whether we might be at a similar point, waiting for something to happen. But we have no idea what it is going to be."

Update: some may enjoy The Mad Men Era at The Museum of Advertising.

August 22, 2010

Apple's Design Inspiration + iTV

Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, notes Apple's design inspiration Dieter Rams and iTV. For more on iTV, see the TechMeme cluster centered on his comments [and a Yahoo article]; here's the video he posted on Apple design:

Anamorphic Lens Flare with the Glow filter

Grant Swanson shows you one way to think outside the box in his new After Effects tutorial video, Anamorphic Lens Flare (via @lesterbanks). He uses the Glow filter with Glow Dimensions set to “Horizontal” only and several refinements.

His tutorial is based on his older one, but now custom lens flares are far more accessible with the release of the inexpensive yet deep VC plug-in. For background see Video Copilot Optical Flares in review.

August 19, 2010

Lights, shadows, 3D in After Effects

Steve Holmes of Energi Design has a new After Effects tutorial video at Artbeats, Lights, shadows, action!:

"Break the boundaries of 3D work in After Effects. Learn from award-winning designer Steve Holmes how to take your textured Photoshop images and layer them with Ribbit Films footage from the Artbeats FootageHub, along with Magic Bullet Looks plug-in from Red Giant Software to create the impression of true 3D space."

After Effects error: "strange situation"

@jcburns is reporting his favorite Adobe After Effects error:

This one can't be found at Mylenium's Error Code Database, though a similar one was reported by Alan Shisko. There's a few more screenshots of error messages at the Mograph Wiki. For fun see Crash report love letters.

Todd Kopriva has a tip if you want to dig deeper: "Search for the word ‘error’ plus the error code surrounded by double quotation marks, like this search for the error code 7 :: 66. Implicit in this tip is that you should be using the After Effects Community Help search to do your search." If you're really into Jedi mind tricks you can add a Console Log to AE.

More generally and in the past at least, Troubleshooting After Effects (all versions) at General Specialist was handy. See also the previous entry What do to when AE crashes, which was really relaying a request for using the Crash Reporter, which you wouldn't see with error dialogs but only if AE crashes.

August 18, 2010

Knoll Unmult: free AE filter

Knoll Unmult is the original free After Effects plug-in for removing black backgrounds and generating mattes, and is now available for CS3, CS4, and CS5.

A similar filter shipped with AE CS5, but doesn't get installed by default; see Unmult for CS5: Pixel Bender 'Alpha from Max Color' for background on that Pixel Bender and how to do-it-yourself with channel filters. Here's a 3-minute excerpt from a recent tutorial that explains what Knoll Unmult does and how it works:

How to use the FREE plug-in Knoll Unmult, from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

Stabilization and object removal with AE CS5 +tracking

Vfx Haiku explores Stabilization and Object Removal with After Effects CS5 in a new tutorial, stabilizing a piece of footage, “painting” out two unwanted objects, and ending with some quick color correction.

Update: Premiumbeat has something similar, taking "a look at the process of stabilizing footage using Adobe After Effects built in Stabilization feature. We will also look at how to apply a graphical element to the stabilized footage and then how to reverse the stabilization, to give a motion tracked effect to the graphics."

Underwater explosion scene with AE & 3D

In Depth Charge!, a new After Effects tutorial video which creates an underwater explosion scene with AE & 3D, Video Copilot aims to help you learn to solve problems and combine techniques to:

  • Composite multiple explosions to create a underwater charge
  • Build volumetric lighting AND shadows in AE
  • Basic concept of a 3D animation pipeline for After Effects
  • Combine multiple render passes in AE
  • Add glows and camera shake
  • Tips for adding realistic bubbles with the Foam plug-in

For some background info see Anatomy of an Underwater Explosion at How Stuff Works.

Nulls vs. lights as emitters in Trapcode Particular

Harry Franks has advice on Nulls vs. Lights as Emitters in Particular in Red Giant Quicktip #18:

"Some people like to use Nulls or Solids as emitters in Particular, and some like to use Lights. But when is it best to use one or the other? Both have strength and weaknesses. Here you'll learn where an when to use them. Hey - it's not glamorous stuff, but this is some good Trapcode Particular info that will help you out when you need better control of your emitters."

Red Giant QuickTip #18 : Nulls vs Lights as Emitters in Particular from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

August 17, 2010

XML Gibson: script expands XML export

XML Gibson from Sebastian Perier at AE is a script that allows you to export your composition to XML files, with more parameters than After Effects' saves of it’s projects. XML Gibson lets you export your composition to "XML with almost all information from your composition: layers, keyframes, effects, all in editable form. Some information can’t be exported to XML due to scripting restriction, such has curves, histograms, and some text properties."

August 15, 2010

The making of 'Something Left, Something Taken'

For those procrastinating looking at the making of “Something Left, Something Taken” via Red Giant Software, Todd Kopriva says "This 31-minute video is a masterpiece of education and inspiration." Read his other comments at After Effects region of interest.

RGTV Episode 47: Tiny Inventions from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

August 11, 2010

Camera shake from hand held track provides royalty free music and, apparently, After Effects tutorials. They just posted a tutorial and source files by what sounds like Dave Scotland from CG Swot, After Effects Quicktip: How to Create Realistic Camera Shake.

Other tutorials and options on the subject were discussed recently in Realistic Camera Movement using hand held track. Here's the Premiumbeat tutorial:

Creating a Realistic Camera Shake with After Effects from Premiumbeat on Vimeo.

Old film looks with Particular and Color Finesse

Two recent video tutorials showed how to use Trapcode Particular for film looks:
  • GC Swot posted 39. Aged Film Using Particles on "how to create film scratches, dirt and dust using Trapcode Particular, which can be saved as an importable element for future projects. Learn how to color correct the footage for an aged, vintage film look..."

  • Now, with light leaks, is Red Giant Quicktip #17: Old Film Look, "Aharon Rabinowitz shows you how to create an old film look with light leaks. He'll be using Trapcode Particular to create the light leaks, and the tools in Magic Bullet Looks to create the look of old damaged footage."

Red Giant Quicktip #17: Old Film Look from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

Update: For an approach using Color Finesse and 8mm stock, see 01-After Effects | Vintage 8-mm Film Effect Tutorial from James Zanoni on Vimeo.

Using the toComp expression

via @EdenExposito, Harry Frank has a new tutorial (in QT), Using the toComp Expression, which demonstrates easy-to-use methods on how to use the “toComp” expression with lens flares, light rays, and the Beam filter.

Harry previously mentioned the expression in Harry Frank's 5 Favorite Expressions and in a video tip for making a 3D volumetric light with Trapcode Shine (and probably in his training products).

This layer space transform expression was also popularized by Dan Ebberts in his 3D lens flare case study, by Andrew Kramer in a few tutorials (see Lens Flare on 3D Lights?), and by Chris & Trish Meyer in their series on expressions.

Update: there's also a Vimeo version,

Using the toComp Expression from graymachine on Vimeo.

August 10, 2010

Carbon fibre+ brushed metal in After Effects

In AE Tutorial – Super-quick carbon fibre effect, Shortformvideo shows you "how you can create a realistic carbon fibre texture in After Effects using Ramp and CC RepeTile. It takes a few seconds to create, and works really well in high-tech or motoring videos. You can also download the project file..."

Shortformvideo also posted a video of a classic technique that combines blur, noise and time control settings to create a brushed metal effect.

Update: also check out Deke’s Techniques #4: Creating a hammered metal background,

Infographic and Data Interface Videos

Information Aesthetics has collected 19 Infographic and Data Interface Videos: the Latest of the Greatest. Here's one:

// nothing_is_true from aconite on Vimeo.

Slider Control for pop-up list in AE

In Red Giant QuickTip #16: Creating a Preset Slider for Knoll Light Factory EZ, Harry Frank shows you how to pickwhip a pop-up list in After Effects filters to a Slider Control to make flipping through options easier. Harry also selects the pop-up parameter and the Slider Control and clicks on the Brainstorm button to preview variations en masse.

Red Giant Quick Tip#16: Creating a Preset Slider for Knoll Light Factory EZ from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

Kronos & Camera Tracker filters +training +pricing

Last March at NAB, The Foundry made a splash with news of new plug-ins for After Effects, Kronos and 3D CameraTracker, which are being released today.

Kronos is for "hard core retiming" -- leveraging GPU and built on a newer foundation than the previously-licensed Timewarp filter bundled in After Effects.

Camera Tracker is a new After Effects plug-in for matchmoving by The Foundry. It analyzes "source sequences to extract the original camera's lens and motion parameters, allowing you to composite 2D or 3D elements correctly with reference to the camera used to film the shot. You can now match camera moves within Adobe® After Effects®' 2.5D environment, opening up new, robust options for the placement of composite elements, such as the creation of Fringe / Heroes style 'in scene' titles, the virtual extension of sets", etc...

Marc R Leonard has already started a tutorial series on AEtuts: Overview Of The Foundry’s New “CameraTracker” Plug-in.

Update: The Foundry has added 10 tutorials and docs for Camera Tracker (example below), and 3 tutorials and footage for Kronos in the manual.

Update 2: The Foundry has added details on buying, renting, and evaluation at the store pages for the filters.

Highlight recovery in Colorista II with Stu Maschwitz

In a new tutorial, 06 - Highlight Recovery With Magic Bullet Colorista, Stu Maschwitz shows you how to recover highlights from blown out images using the tools in Magic Bullet Colorista II.

06 - Highlight Recovery With Magic Bullet Colorista from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

Use JPEG files in Camera RAW

Terry White answers the question, "How do I open up a JPG file in Camera RAW?" and shows how to take advantage of Adobe Camera RAW's ease of use and non-destructive workflow.

In a 2009 Creative Cow video, AE Quicktips #8: Camera Raw Sequences, Carl Larsen showed a similar way to import a .jpeg or .tiff sequence into After Effects with Camera Raw development settings applied. There's more on using RAW files in After Effects Help; things will work smoother if app versions are in sync.

Update: on the AE-List November 2011, Chris Prosser (software engineering manager for After Effects) said "Alas, RAW is just slow. The engine highly optimizes quality over speed due to its heritage. I often will convert them to a better intermediate format (some kind of 16 bit format)."

August 8, 2010

Intro to After Effects plug-in development

Satya Meka distills his own recent experience in the area in his brief Intro to After Effects plugin development for beginners, which includes info on the AE SDK. He also posted Intro to Pixel Bender for Non-Programmers not long ago. For a general overview of filters in AE, see the Plug-ins page in AE Help.

Mac users have access to a variety of other tools that leverage Apple's Core Image OS framework: Apple Quartz Composer, FxFactory, and Pixlock Effect Builder AE. The latter two make plug-ins supported in After Effects. Apparently QC Integration FX no longer offers compatibility with After Effects.

Outside of the AE SDK, Windows users have only disjointed features available in Adobe's Pixel Bender (the new hope after an aborted Python Plug-in demo from Adobe and the sale of Useful Things to SONY). There was more hope for the now-in-limbo Conduit for Flash Pixel Bender and other sundry image processing geekery end user tools, but support for the AE plug-in format has not been extended. Even so, the profusion of free , , and should keep most users busy.

—>> Script panel UI really changed the game. For more on AE scripts, see Using and creating After Effects scripts: Some learning and script resources.

Creating After Effects plug-ins using the SDK is "surprisingly easy" -- if you believe the aging MacTech article (from Volume15, Number 9): “How to Write Plug-Ins for Adobe After Effects” by Kas Thomas (web archive). What they mean is that it's easy if you're a C or C++ programmer, or have ingrained faculties like Satya. But the SDK itself does include its own introduction, which is intelligible to everyone who wants to know what AEGP or PiPL means.

—>> To ask questions about writing native effect plug-ins for After Effects, try the After Effects SDK user-to-user forum.

There's little commentary from actual developers apart from Satya's article. Here's a few older AE-list comments on porting PS filters. Brendan Bolles:  
"I think the After Effects SDK is way easier. For example, your standard UI can be built with just a few lines of code and will be totally cross-platform. And don't worry about putting a preview in your interface - it already happens in the comp window. AE works a bit differently from Photoshop so there's a learning curve, but porting should be pretty easy once you figure it out."  
Darrin Cardani added:  
"The thing I found most confusing is the calling sequence. When Photoshop calls your filter plugin, it follows a pretty standard sequence telling you what to do next. AE is a little more fluid in that sometimes you might not get called to do certain things, while other times you will. But once you look through the example code and write one, it starts to make sense. Be sure to join Adobe's mailing list so you can ask questions about the process when you get stuck."

Update: in June 2001, Audrey Doyle published Mix & Match in Computerworld, a brief history of AE plug-ins.

August 6, 2010

Working with After Effects & Illustrator CS5

Motionworks has another Adobe E-seminar, After Effects: Working with Illustrator CS5. This one's a 50-minute look at the recent changes in the range of techniques in using Illustrator CS5 with After Effects CS5.

Eran Stern posted the quick intro CS5 Vector Workflow earlier,

August 5, 2010

Skin Retouching in Colorista II with Stu Maschwitz

Red Giant posted the 5th tutorial in a series by Stu Maschwitz, Cosmetics: Skin Retouching with Magic Bullet Colorista II,

which "shows you how you can quickly and easily use Magic Bullet Colorista II for cosmetic skin retouching. You'll learn simple and effective techniques for subtly downplaying signs of age (such as wrinkles or skin blemishes), and giving pale skin a healthy color, without effecting other elements in your shot."

05 - Cosmetics: Skin Retouching with Magic Bullet Colorista II from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

For more, see an earlier post "Correct" skin tones and others tagged skin.

Update: See also Quick Skin Tone tutorial in FCP:

Monsters GT for AE Mac

GenArts just announced Monsters GT for the Mac, with over 50 effects including a variety of stylize, distort effects, fluid, trail, and particle effects. A Windows version is also available for CS5 & CS4.

PVC has a nice review of this filter set by Kevin P McAuliffe. [update: see also his Review - Genarts Sapphire v5 for Adobe’s After Effects]

Monsters GT has floating point support, and the fluid simulation filters especially will benefit from GPU optimization, supported at the maximum in NVidia GeForce 200 or 400 series or Quadro 5800. Many of these are unique filters from the Flame and Smoke world, though some are similar to other AE filters. Monsters GT was acquired in the purchase of SpeedSix, adding to GenArts stable of AE filter sets that include Sapphire, Tinder, and particleIllusion. Monsters GT features these tools:
  • Stylize effects such as CCTV, NightVision and Brush
  • Warps and distort effects such as HeatHaze, Puddle and Ripple
  • Particle effects such as Rain, Smoke and Snow
  • Fluidz, a set of plug-ins that use the power of 2d fluid dynamics to create Fire and fluid flow simulations (was in Raptors)
  • Trailz, a set of plug-ins that create a variety of smooth, particulate and stop-motion trails (was in Raptors).
Here's an overview, plus a demo of the Aurora (Autodesk version), which generates images similar to Trapcode Form:

August 4, 2010

Motion blur added to VC Optical Flares

Video Copilot has added native motion blur, along with bug fixes, in a free update to Optical Flares:

"The feature is simple to use, just turn on motion blur for the layer and comp switch, then adjust the samples in the plug-in Motion Blur roll-out. The light streaks in the sample video are made with Particular and the light is moving with a wiggle expression. Remember, too many motion blur samples can be slower so adjust the value as needed for your project."

For more on Optical Flares, see Video Copilot Optical Flares in review or click the tag Lens Flare.

Bizarre robot stock traders

"Mysterious and possibly nefarious trading algorithms are operating every minute of every day in the nation's stock exchanges.

What they do doesn't show up in Google Finance, let alone in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. No one really knows how they operate or why. But over the past few weeks, Nanex, a data services firm has dragged some of the odder algorithm specimens into the light.

The trading bots visualized in the stock charts in this story aren't doing anything that could be construed to help the market. Unknown entities for unknown reasons are sending thousands of orders a second through the electronic stock exchanges with no intent to actually trade. Often, the buy or sell prices that they are offering are so far from the market price that there's no way they'd ever be part of a trade. The bots sketch out odd patterns with their orders, leaving patterns in the data that are largely invisible to market participants.

In fact, it's hard to figure out exactly what they're up to or gauge their impact. Are they doing something illicit? If so, what? Or do the patterns emerge spontaneously, a kind of mechanical accident? If so, why? No matter what the answers to these questions turn out to be, we're witnessing a market phenomenon that is not easily explained. And it's really bizarre."

August 3, 2010

Create a Light Wall: tutorial & preset

Quba Michalski shows you how to create a Light Wall – an array of lights driven by an animated image map that can be used for either cool light/flare looks or for precise control over the particles. There's a free tutorial, project, and preset on his website; the preview is below.

Similar treatments can be found in Quba's previous tutorials and in Creating an LED sign in After Effects, Creating Automated Flashing Light Patterns by Chris Zwar, 3D Ball Dispersion with CC Ball Action, and Jumbotron in After Effects.

Light Wall Tutorial Preview from Quba Michalski on Vimeo.


UPDATE: Kevin P McAuliffe created a video wall in 3D space in Complex, Real-World Effects with BCC Wild Cards.

'Matrix' AE script makes cards dance

AE Scripts has a new After Effects script, Matrix, which breaks your layer into pieces and animates it for you with a bunch of options.

It's an inexpensive script, but it's not clear what advantages it has over built-in effects like the Card Dance filter [see comments for some good reasons]. For more on Card Dance and similar effects, see Animate a Photo Mosaic in After EffectsCard Dance transition, Camera Rig script & Particular 3D Ribbon, and Serial 3D flip effect in AE.

See also a Total Training video from Brian Maffitt (he created the effect) on Using gradients to control the Card Dance plugin's behavior, and Ayato's Card Dance Flag.

Align and Orient in AE CS5

In an excerpt from a recent Adobe E-seminar, Motionworks looks at animation possibilities made easy by the new Align and Distribute to Composition and Orient Characters Independently features in After Effects CS5.

'Select Equal Keyframes' in After Effects

There are many ways to do things in AE and some usage patterns can lead to us ignore existing features. For example, if you want to select all keyframes with the same value for one property, just right-click on one of the keyframes and choose "Select Equal Keyframes."

There's much more on keyframes in Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects by Chris & Trish Meyer.

Power Masks in Colorista II with Stu Maschwitz

Working with Power Masks in Colorista II with Stu Maschwitz shows "Colorista II's Power Masks, with a focus on interaction between the masks as well as using motion tracking (in AE) to get convincing and consistent color correction."

04 - Working with Power Masks in Colorista II from Red Giant Software on Vimeo.

August 1, 2010

Looping with expressions in After Effects

Chris and Trish Meyer posted the 8th of the 12-part series Deeper Modes of Expression, based on an extra in their book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, which was recently updated for CS5. The 8th installment is Deeper Modes of Expression, Part 8: Going for a Loop on "causing animations or footage to loop by repeating already-placed keyframes or segments of time. The previous installment was about decision-making loops (if/then and while/do statements). This installment is about a different kind of loop: repeating an animation without having to loop footage or places copies of an animation end-to-end"