March 31, 2014

Halftone techniques for After Effects at PVC

There's something new and some things old in Halftone techniques for After Effects at Pro Video Coalition.


A halftone is an image or printing technique that "simulates continuous tone through the use of dots varying either in size, in shape or in spacing." In the Illustrator and Photoshop worlds, there's long lists of halftone filters, swatches, and compositing techniques used for printing and newsprint, comic, retro, and other effects. But the fun of After Effects is animation, and some techniques may not be immediately apparent without built-in filters.

If you've never used the Color Halftone effect in Photoshop, check out how a gradient is effected by the filter in Creating Synthetic Backgrounds in Photoshop:

March 21, 2014

Chromatic aberration roundup at PVC

[fix for PVC]
A few years ago there was a spate of interest in chromatic aberration -- fixing footage containing the color fringing, but mostly creating it for motion graphics and VFX realism. Now, Quba Michalski has a new tutorial & preset (and donate button) in Chromatic Aberration Rig

Read the rest in Chromatic aberration: creation and fixes with After Effects at Pro Video Coalition.

March 18, 2014

Long shadows: adding dimension to flat design

The trend toward flat design hit big in 2013 with Windows 8 ("Metro"), iOS7, and website and logo redesigns by Google and others. As part of a general move away from skeuomorphism, Adobe application design elements “flattened out” after CS5. Flat and thin may be in, partly due to hi-res screens, but a missing dimension of "long shadows" added to flat elements became popular too.
Read the rest at Pro Video Coalition in Long shadows: adding body to flat design in After Effects.

March 7, 2014

The Outer Limits - Original O.B.I.T.

Vaguely reminiscent  of E.M. Forster's The Machine Stops of 1909, but with an alien-NSA angle, here's "Original O.B.I.T.", a 50-year old episode of The Outer Limits. Conrad Hall was the DP.

"...A crucial turning point comes when one is able to acknowledge that modern technics, much more than politics as conventionally understood, now legislates the conditions of human existence. New technologies are institutionalized structures within an existing constitution that gives shape to a new polity, the technopolis in which we do increasingly live. 

For the most part, this constitution still evolves with little public scrutiny or debate. Shielded by the conviction that technology is neutral and tool-like, a whole new order is built — piecemeal, step by step, with the parts and pieces linked together in novel ways, without the slightest public awareness or opportunity to dispute the character of the changes underway. It is somnambulism (rather than determinism) that characterizes technological politics — on the left, right, and center equally."

from Autonomous Technology by Langdon Winner


Update: Check out also "The Special One," from the original Outer Limits series. That story reminds The Secret Sun of a famous story from the childhood of Jack Sarfatti (a physicist whose wild ideas now seem mainstream).

March 1, 2014

Kinetic type in After Effects @ PVC

Kinetic type may have reached it peak a few years ago, but there are many handy resources for After Effects users if the need arises.

Read the rest in Kinetic type in After Effects at Pro Video Coalition.

Fly around CC Sphere in After Effects

As noted by Andrew Devis, "cameras are notoriously difficult to get to grips with in After Effects." Once example is trying to fly a camera around a CC Sphere layer, which isn't really 3D.

An updated post on the topic was posted on PVC, Fly around CC Sphere in After Effect.