"There comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and "Have It Your Way" Week is no exception. But we aren't just gonna kick you to the curb, I got a roundup all the Custom Effects I could find from around the web for you to download, test out and dink around with yourself."In some cases, Topher gives you a direct link to the custom effect but skips the tutorial and background; see for example 'Custom Effect' to distribute layers in 3D instead of his Distributor entry.
November 29, 2009
Diana Weland's Top Ten Features in Final Cut Pro 7, The Top-Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Final Cut Pro…Ten Years Ago by Jeff Carrion, and Final Cut FAQs from Shane Ross.
There's more links to good editing tips from Peters, Hullfish, Meyers and others in previous AEP posts Better editing + shooting & music, Lessons & advice from editors, Wikipedia on Editing, and Hitchcock explains editing & the Kuleshov Effect.
Update: FCP guy Larry Jordan has some basics in this video, 10 Tips for Faster Editing.
November 27, 2009
Update: Topher Welsh has a tutorial on Echo below, inspired by a recent music video.
Maltaannon also recommends another built-in AE filter, CC Time Blend. For background on that filter check out Blend and Bend Time by Eran Stern and the old-timey classic CC Time Blend FX with Brian Maffitt posted recently by Motionworks.
November 26, 2009
November 25, 2009
Again, check out the details in the Q&A, but you won't find the phrase "After Effects"!
If you want After Effects to be a better finishing tool, then make a feature request at the Adobe website.
Update: Karl Soule has a coupla posts too, Three words you'll be hearing a lot of: Adobe Mercury Engine and More on the Mercury Engine...,
"we do have external people testing it out now, including some people posting over in the RED forum here. As soon as we have any information about availability, I will be the first one to post it here."
On the RED forum, Adobe's Simon Hayhurst says,
"On topics like TC, Grading Integration, RED Rocket™ --- all important stuff .... and we're continuing to knock these kinds of items down one by one. Prioritization of which order to do them in is the hard question ..... Mike Kanfer is our most active Red forum participant and your first port of call for prioritization opinions.
On the topic of AE and Mercury --- the engine in AE is very different to an NLE engine --- there is inevitably some tech cross-sharing that can be done, but the apps work in very different ways at their core, so much of the core rendering engine needs to be different"
Update: note that the RAM base of the approved graphics card will effect performance (how many clips at what sizes and number of filters applied), so if you're doing RED files you'll want the more expensive cards.
For more on working with scaling, alignment, and auto-blending, check out Photoshop Works for You. In her latest tutorial, Julieanne Kost shows you how to open 3 images at once in Photoshop and then easily arrange them into a triptych. This sort of thing is much easier now:
The Russell Brown Show has other interesting tutorial, including Text on 3D, in which you "earn how to place live editable text on the surface of a 3D object and have that text distort to the contours of said object..."
This preset effect is similar to part of RGS Plane Space (was 3D Assistants) and Create3DShapes and 3D Layer Distributor from AE Scripts. While coming with some extraneous info, the Effect Preset & expressions appear powerful, easy to install & animate, and free!
Also, there's a TV noise preset via another AE Tuts post today, Countdown In Style with Clockworks – Custom Effect.
November 24, 2009
For extra credit, see Trish and Chris Meyer's recent survey of methods, Vignettes.
Update: Chris & Trish have more in Blending Ideas: Extending standard vignette techniques to introduce new treatments to your footage.
Chris & Trish Meyer have a similar series on Lynda.com, except it is running though filters by Effect category (as in the Effect Menu). Chad Perkins had a similar treatment in his Lynda.com 2008 series After Effects CS3 Effects.
November 23, 2009
The Expression Toolbox, by Chris Roe, "was created to help take the pain out of using and locating expressions. At some point you’ve probably come across an expression that you find yourself using on every other project you work on. The question is where do you store this expression? I noticed that a lot of people were storing their expressions in text files, without documentation of how they were used or where it could be found. Without knowing who created the expression or how to use it, you’re left waiting on an answer from a mailing list or web forum on how to properly apply it.
The next step for the Expression Toolbox will be an online entry system that will allow you to enter your expressions to a global web driven database that anybody can access. You will then be able to download the most recent version of this database directly from the script."
Throughout the week we'll see more on the use of these and other effects capsules. Here's what on order next at AE Tuts:
- 'We then have another tutorial from Momcilo using what you've just learned to Create A Custom Vignette Effect. This will just be practical example of how you can use CE's to save you time on stuff you find yourself doing over and over again...
- Next, there will be a 3D Layer Distributor tutorial. This awesome little CE from Rob Schofield will allow you to spread out your layers in 3d space with ease.
- Make Jack Bauer proud with this "24" Title Opener Tutorial by Jorrit Schulte where you can download his CE and he'll show you step by step how to use it "Your Way"!
- Also from Jorrit, you can download his free Deinterlacerator CE to redeem your old DV footage stricken with scan-line syndrome.
- We've collecting together a "Microwave-Ready" Roundup where you can browse through a number of Free Presets and CE's packaged up and ready for you to use.
November 22, 2009
#Colorista tip 1: You can think of the three trackballs as a GUI for PS Levels. Lift is like in/out black, Gain is i/o white, gamma = gamma.
#Colorista tip 2: The stuff in The DV Rebel's Guide about push/pull grading with Rebel CC holds even more true with Colorista.
#Colorista tip 3: Watch this! ...
Sessions are 4:00 -05:30 pm and 6:30 -08:00 pm at The Landmark at One Market Street (a building with Autodesk offices).
Update: (11-27) The Official Autodesk Technology Preview of Smoke on Mac has 4 movies from the presentations in Japan.
November 20, 2009
"Please take one or both of the following surveys about tasks that you might do in After Effects. Pretty please? Your doing so will help us to learn what people are having trouble with and how we can make it better."While you're at, if you're interested in Autodesk Smoke or Avid DS, and want to make After Effects into a better DV Rebel-style finishing tool, then make a feature request at the Adobe website.
What's needed for this is an NLE-like realtime playback architecture and more editing features; for more see What Should Adobe Do With Premiere Pro? by Stu Maschwitz. Of course, in the short term Premiere has to be more stable, which is the point of the 64-bit OS rewrite.
Update: Here's an update from Andrew Kramer on Optical Flares,
"Our next-generation 3D lens flare studio Optical Flares is nearly completed, however I see an opportunity to make it even better with a little more time.Optical Flares is capable of building amazing 3D lens flare presets with precise and realistic qualities.
Now imagine the power of a free network where customers could upload and share these amazing presets online?The Video Copilot Preset Network is a perfect solution to continue the spirit of the website of sharing and contributing knowledge and presets, as well as enhancing the value of the product. This will also allow the style of lens flares to evolve beyond the built-in presets as artists develop them.
With this in mind, we have decided to wait about a month to give us time to incorporate this preset network and improve the built-in preset browser to allow multiple collections to be loaded at once. This is an exciting new endeavor and we know customers will benefit even more from this amazing software plug-in."
November 19, 2009
To ease the burden of learning yet another networking tool, Harry Frank has put together a video guide to get you started.
This site already has some powerful potential with so many bright contributors, but social networking sites have difficulty organizing information with so much going on.
"Have you ever set up a wiggle expression, gotten a result you liked, and then added another layer into your comp - only to find it changed the wiggle animation? Or maybe you changed the layer order and your wiggle animation changed? In this tutorial, Aharon Rabinowitz, tells you why it happens and how to stop it dead in it's tracks!"
If you want more on blurs, Chris and Trish Meyer have 17 movies on feature pro & cons of the Blur filter category in their Lynda.com series After Effects: Insight into Effects.
Update: There's more on blurs in Blur 100: Introduction to Blurs a video by Vfx Hauiku. He doesn't talk about Frischluft Lenscare, an AE filter used by many power users.
Also, Maltaannon did something similar on his recent extended live presentation, which has been stored for your convenience at Zaxwerks Plugins vs. 3D applications.
November 18, 2009
"At the Inter BEE 2009 conference in Tokyo Autodesk showed a technology demo and announced Smoke on the Macintosh platform with a price of $14,995 (U.S. suggested retail price). We take an exclusive first look at Smoke on the Mac and talk with the product managers and developers to answer all the questions you may have."
Besides lacking some higher end features, $2000 of yearly license is mandated, compared to $1000 for Final Cut Studio outright. Still, the price is below comparable systems like Avid DS.
Also, check out a new blog by Scott Malkie, Smoke on OS X; intro and features movies are on the about Autodesk Smoke site.
Update: there's more on Youtube,
November 17, 2009
Update: see VC Plug-in Updates for AE CS5 x64
"If you ever struggled with your After Effects 3D camera than this tutorial is for you. Learn to rig your camera in seconds."
See also previous AEP posts AE Camera Basics (a brief roundup) and Pixel-Perfect Camera Moves.
Update: see also a Hypoly script via The Motion Exchange, AE Script: Simple Camera Rig - Updated.
November 16, 2009
Also, Alicia VanHeulen of Toolfarm walks you through how to make a ghost effect without the need for additional filters:
Update: check out the "super crazy cheesy" 2-year anniversary episode of the Cow AE Podcast Creating a Hologram Look in After Effects by Aharon Rabinowitz. It's now on Adobe TV:
- Hold down CMD/CTRL as you draw your path, then select the anchor point, this will let you move the last point after you set it in place.
- If the selection tool (v) is highlighted, you can hold down ALT/Option and press on one of the anchor points and all the points in your mask will be selected.
- Clicking on an anchor point while holding down ALT/Option as long as the pen tool is highlighted, will convert it from Corner to Curve point. Another Click using the same modifier will change it back. If you want to do the same while the Selection tool is highlighted, just add the CMD/CTRL modifier as well.
- If you want to break the connection between the handles, hold down ALT/Option and then pull one of the handles out, make sure the pen tool is selected.
- Context-clicking on the mask shape with the Pen tool, enables the context menu of options for that mask, including all of its settings on the Timeline. One of the important things here is the Motion Blur settings for the mask, changing this value can unlocked the Motion Blur mask from the layer itself.
- Double-click on one of the anchor points to get the free transform for the entire mask – then it’s necessary to switch to the Selection tool to perform the transformation itself.
November 15, 2009
"Generator is a simple and free plug-in for Adobe After Effects which can be used to create normal maps from alpha mattes, such as text and shape layers. It's based on some of the same algorithms as my more versatile Celulight plug-ins, but is comparatively simple and offers none of the advanced customizations its more feature-rich brother offers.
Generator is designed to run in cooperation with the free Normality re-lighting solution to create shading and lighting effects for text and arbitrary shapes without the need for pre-rendered 3D normal passes."
November 14, 2009
Drifting Title Sequence from graymachine on Vimeo.
"In this font themed roundup I grab 50 fonts from the far reaches of the interwebz and bring you a huge list of movie themed fonty goodness. Maybe you are making some spoofs, maybe you are into the fan film type of genre…"
November 13, 2009
ClipWrap rewraps m2t, mts, and m2ts files into QuickTime movies, faster than transcoding and wothout generation loss. ClipWrap works with most HDV, AVCHD, and AVCLite camera files; Final Cut doesn't need to be installed (they now leverage Perian).
You also can use ClipWrap to transcode files to Apple ProRes (decoder) or Avid DNxHD -- both have Windows playback codecs that can be downloaded and installed for free. To playback HDV rewrapped QuickTime files, you'll need to purchase an HDV codec from Calibrated Software.
Calibrated Codecs were discussed by Adam Wilt on PVC; they let you use use MXF media natively in FCP and on Windows, and use FCP media on Windows and non-FCP Macs:
"Need to use MXF media (P2 DVCPRO/50/HD and AVC-I, IMX, XDCAM) natively in Final Cut Pro, or in Windows NLEs? Need to play FCP-captured or FCP-generated Quicktimes with HDV, DVCPRO50/HD, or XDCAM/HD/EX content on Windows machines, or on Macs without Final Cut Studio? Check out http://www.calibratedsoftware.com/welcome.html.
Importers and codecs available singly or in bundles, from $60 - $110 (with free, watermarked demo versions so you can see if they solve your problems before you spend your hard-earned). I haven’t tried ‘em myself but thought I’d pass on the info, because if this is the sort of thing you need, you really need it."
November 12, 2009
As a base to launch your own ideas Chris Zwar clearly explains (without video even) how the filter works in Fractal Noise - A New Look at an Old Friend on Creative Cow.
An alternative to this filter is the Turbulent Noise filter, an updated version of Fractal Noise, which creates smoother animations but doesn't doesn’t have Cycle controls to create seamless loops. One advantage of Turbulent Noise is that it is one of 3 GPU-accelerated effects in CS4.
The AE Help docs have more info and links to more techniques for noise. Yet more info on noise can be found in the Physics section of Trapcode Form's help and in Perlin Noise. But wait, there's more... tutorials on Fractal Noise.
The use of Fractal Noise for fog is discussed by Mark Christiansen in Climate: Air, Water, Smoke, Clouds in After Effects 7.0 a free excerpt from the book After Effects Studio Techniques. To create a seamless loop of animation using Fractal Noise, see Christiansen or After Effects Help.
Chris and Trish Meyer have a tutorial on techniques for using the After Effects filter Fractal Noise to create seamless background textures. An earlier video by Aharon Rabinowitz of Creative Cow also showed how to create seamlessly looping fractal background animations by using AE's Fractal Noise. Further, Dean Velez also showed how to use Fractal Noise in the Total Training course Advanced Adobe After Effects 7 Pro, and Chad Perkins had a similar treatment in his 2008 Lynda.com series After Effects CS3 Effects.
There are plenty of reports on earlier presentations, with more to come from NewTeeVee and Beet.TV.
- Adobe eSeminar with Harry Frank on Particular (plus more)
- Trapcode Inspiration sources from VisualFXTuts
- After Effects tutorial, Running Man with Trapcode Form, from MaxAfter.
- Red Giant TV tutorial Death Eater Apparition Effect using Particular
- the recent Maltaannon LIVE discussed Form and Particular particles, & expressions and random numbers
Update: Peder Norrby started a Trapcode group on Vimeo, to share ideas, clips, and tutorials.
What Should Adobe Do With Premiere Pro? by Stu Maschwitz.
And sorry, but "Smack" was already trademarked; not sure about "McSmoke."
Update: check out Smoke on OSX for the latest news.
November 11, 2009
November 10, 2009
Check out several nerdy new scripts on AEscripts.com, like Batch Search-n-Replace Paths, CompsFromSpreadsheet, AudioToMarkers, and others.
Update: check out Todd Kopriva's comments on doing the drag from the RQ before rendering.
Later, the Merc continued: 'After announcing an earlier round of 600 layoffs last December, Adobe said in June that it had added back 264 jobs, mostly in what it called "lower-cost geographies." Adobe said its new round of layoffs will help the company align spending with its overall financial plan for 2010. While Adobe has remained profitable through the recession, analysts who follow the company said the cuts are aimed at boosting profit margins after a generally lackluster year.'
Also, check out Motionwork's post CoSA Lives:
Previously, NewBlue offered its Cartoonr filter for free, and it's still free.
Update: Part 2 of the interview was posted late Nov 13.
'The new Premiere Pro CS4 4.2 and Adobe Media Encoder CS4 4.2 offer new improvements and enhancements to CS4 video workflows. With the 4.2 update, Premiere Pro now offers users of Panasonic’s AVC-Intra line of P2 cameras the chance to edit in native AVC-Intra format. This has been a longtime coming for AVC-Intra users and they can now enjoy the advantages of Adobe CS4 tapeless workflows and native editing. Several other enhancements to Premiere Pro 4.2 were also updated, like the support for FinalCut 7 import. I have outlined several of the updates and fixes below. I have also listed the "known issues" in 4.2 as well. [AVC-I clips are redbar in native sequences]'
Update: Stephen Muratore informs us that "Premiere Pro online Help, in all supported languages, has been updated to document the new compatibilities."
November 8, 2009
The Lumia is in the class of devices called color organs. For some additional details see the AEP's Motion graphics 1961 and Visual music and motion graphics. Here's an excerpt from the latter:
In After Effects, since version 3.1 and the defunct Motion Math, you can synchronize any parameter with any other parameter, so a range of audio effects can be tied to graphic properties to create visual music.
Visual music has a long history in media like color organs, film and abstract animation, light shows, CGI, installation art, and even cave art. Abstract animation is not just eye candy, but often attempts to communicate or stimulate synesthesia or mystical states. While forecasts for an expanded or synaesthetic cinema (PDF) haven't quite come to fruition, motion graphics has. The term seems to have been coined or at least popularized by visual music artist John Whitney, who pioneered motion control cameras and the slit scan technique (showing it to Trumbull and Kubrick) -- and in 1960 named his company Motion Graphics, Inc. SIGGRAPH has a peek at some of his movies.
In addition to the Center for Visual Music, another specific resource for visual music is The iotaCenter. Also noteworthy is the work of William Moritz, who was tireless in documenting early work by abstract animation artists at CalArts and elsewhere and filmmakers like Oscar Fischinger. The Moritz article "Abstract Film and Color Music" in the book The Spiritual In Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985 (documenting an LA museum show) is quite good. Online, there's a good roundup of color organs and such in Colour and Sound: Visual Music by Maura McDonnell.
November 6, 2009
November 4, 2009
There's more in the press release at Genarts and in a Youtube audio post. Previously this year, Genarts has acquired filter developer SpeedSix and sold a site license to Lucasfilm.
Update: Beth Marchant at Studio Daily has some analysis, as does Fxguide.
November 3, 2009
Looks good -- they promise the world and all its effects, at least in the trip to AE -- but compare with established solutions by Automatic Duck.
This seems like another example of Digieffects revising and unbundling useful tools from earlier sets at a low price, like their recent Camera Mapper, which also stemmed from Buena Depth Cue. There's 2 tutorials available already too.
Click the tag Falloff for other options.
November 2, 2009
The first episode talks about Trapcode Particular, breaks down of an animation of Digital Kitchen’s Keybank Campaign, and answers the question: "Do I need to go to school to learn motion design and/or animation?"
While Stefan isn't a major developer he fills niches and is raising a question on many minds. The side effects on AE filters of Adobe's move to 64-bit is worrisome to users (see the Toolfarm survey results) since AE filter development across platforms and OS updates is often asymmetric.
One example of problems (elsewhere) has been with QuickTime on Windows. Since there's no 64-bit version of QuickTime, import/export of QT files haven't been available in the 64-bit Windows versions of Nuke, Eyeon Fusion, or Syntheyes. On the Mac, Apple does provide technology that passes 64-bit Quicktime requests to a 32-bit server process, but it's slow and codec-limited. There's likely little incentive for Apple to develop for authoring on other platforms and maybe even other applications. See Philip Hodgetts Why is QuickTime X like OS X? for a more optimistic view, and John Siracusa for more technical explanations of the delay in the Quicktime sections (page 6 and page 16) of his Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the Ars Technica review.
While Adobe does have a good history of development and support to leverage, for example with QT and other formats in Premiere timelines, we'll have to wait to see how they adapt to the problems of QT in 64-bit Windows -- and if they end up providing some slow, short-lived, and expensive-to-develop emulation for 32-bit AE filters.
Update: see Stefan's comments below on simple software bridges to inexpensive 64-bit audio apps. Another example is jBridge.
Atlas is Windows-only for now -- but the full source code is included, which means that anyone can compile a Mac version. Here's more from Stefan...
"So what’s tone mapping you ask? According to Wikipedia:
The technique is particularly useful if you have high dynamic range images, such as rendered CG-imagery in floating point color-depth (OpenEXR) or HDR photographs, and you want to bring their broad spectrum into a range more suitable for display on a computer monitor or television screen."
Tone mapping is a technique used in image processing and computer graphics to map a set of colours to another; often to approximate the appearance of high dynamic range images in media with a more limited dynamic range.
Note: Stefan released [umm sorry, teased instead] another filter recently, Edgar, "which is designed to work in combination with Normality and generates squeaky clean cartoon outlines. Edgar uses a novel, proprietary algorithm developed specifically for the purpose of converting normal passes into line art for use in cartoon and anime productions."