May 30, 2010
May 29, 2010
"More than a tutorial, this is the explanation of a technique that I can be of use when creating these slideshows easy in After Effects without creating not a single keyframe.The technique involves creating a series of zero, each with a basic motion: zoom in, zoom out, panning left, panning right ... all with a constant speed then we will provide a basis to encourage the photos." ...via Lester Banks.
For other options on slideshows, click the tag slideshow, which includes an After Effects tutorial by Lloyd Alvarez at AEtuts, Create A Rockin’ Automated Slideshow and the Video Copilot tutorial 12. Elegant Slideshows. See also a Simple gallery in 3D not using the cylinder effect-- Tutorial After Effects by "The Great Zimm."
Several tutorials, tips, scripts, and news items were mentioned around the web not discussed here at AEP. Here's some websites and resources with a different mix of news this week:
- "Say no to presets and tutorials! All works end up looking the same. Realize that your weakness *is* your strength." -- a Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind type tweet from Peder Norrby of Trapcode (@rymden). [Later, a discussion ensued at Trapcode Facebook, and Peder explains Your weakness is your strength at the Trapcode blog.]
- Todd Kopriva notes several character animation tutorials (and more) from Robert Powers and looks at both the forest and trees in Tutorials for After Effects and 3D by Dave Scotland.
- Stereo 3D tutorials are coming to Video Copilot
- VFX Haiku video Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D: Stereo Workflow
- Nonlinear Disparity Mapping for Stereoscopic 3D tech on stereo framing & perception
- After Effects CS5 - 3D Stereoscopic by David Smith of Academy Class
- AFTER EFFECTS 3D stereoscopic camera tutorial by "The Great Zimm" aka "Adam Meyers."
- Several 2010 Christoph Keller tutorials are favored by many, for example, Stereo-3D Scripts for After Effects
- 3D Thursday is a new series of round-ups of inspirational pieces based on 3D (not stereo 3D) on Motion Design Love.
- After Effects filters for CS5 continue to be released, including Genarts Sapphire and sets from RE:Vision Effects, Video Copilot, and others. AE product manager Michael Coleman recommends keeping track of 64-bit plug-ins for After Effects CS5 with the recent list at the After Effects plug-in page on Adobe.com.
- Other updated CS5-compatible lists include Mylenium's list at his After Effects Plug-in Guide and Toolfarm's list of 64-Bit Plug-ins.
May 28, 2010
Todd has similar looks at the Video Copilot Basic Training series, Steve Holmes Artbeats podcast, and Pete O'Connell on Rotoscoping in After Effects.
Since Mattrunks very creative tutorials are only in French and under a Creative Commons license, someone might post these to Youtube to get transcribed captions in English -- though any alteration or transformation requires a license identical to the one used by Mattrunks.
There's more via the tag AE camera, including alternatives to Maltaannon's script like Sure Target (Videocopilot's free AE plug-in) and a script by Hypoly that works with Sure Target. Here's the Netvibes Showcase:
For AEP resources on tracking, including CS5 resources and intros from Fxguide and Vfx Masters, click on the tag tracking.
May 27, 2010
"It can convert to ProRes, add timecode, and even create low-res with window burn proxies for offline editing. You can also use it to conform (not convert, i.e. no frame blending or motion interpolation) a bunch of clips to one frame rate, so your 30p and 60p shots can become slow-mo clips at 23.976fps."
Update: Stu Maschwitz responds to comments on his blog,
"Why did we make something to compete with all the free options [Mpeg Streamclip, EOS 5d FCP log and transfer plug-in, etc.] out there?
Grinder's strength is its singularity of purpose and its simplicity. Yes, there are many free ways to convert media files. Some are easier to configure than others. Grinder is a zero-config, drag-and-drop app with a few carefully-chosen options custom-tailored for the needs of HDSLR shooters.
It doesn't do much that's unique, but one feature it has that I like a lot is the parallel proxy rendering. I like to work with low-res offline clips with TC window burn and then master back to my camera originals. Grinder makes that a breeze.
Frame-rate conform is another biggie. I love that I can go shoot 24, 30, 50 and 60p and conform it all back to 23.976 without any effort. Makes slow-mo a simple thing.
Grinder is not expensive. It's for people who want something that works right every time with no fuss."
Plus, there's already a review on PVC.
Update 2: of course if you're using CS5, AE CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5 both natively support DSLR footage. Video backgrounders can be found in AEP posts Native DSLR Editing in Premiere Pro CS5 and Keying, Time Remapping, & Stills in Premiere CS5.
Update 3: there's a public beta of 5DtoRGB, which converts Canon EOS series video files to high-quality DPX sequences or ProRes QuickTime files.
May 26, 2010
"Noise Industries offers a range of [Mac-only] GPU-accelerated plug-ins for After Effects and Final Cut. In this episode Niclas Bahn demystifies the FX-Factory platform and introduces three of the key plug-in packs available from Noise Industries, including FX Factory Pro, MoType and Nodes."
Note: Noise Industries offers several Free Plug-Ins, including CoverFlux for an iTunes Cover Flow (or CoverFlow) look and Pan and Zoom for the Ken Burns effect. There's more free FxPlug filters listed by @juanmiguelsalas, Pure & Applied, and Scott Simmons and The DV Show -- and others are available through the same links if that list is limited. [Update: there's also the new Freebie Pack 1 from idustrialrevolution.]
If you're on Windows an easy way to do the Cover Flow effect is with an After Effect script by Paul Tuersley. You just have to animate some sliders.
May 25, 2010
Details are provided by Todd Kopriva in his post new RED color science, and how to make it all work with After Effects CS5 and Premiere Pro CS5.
You can download the project file along with an MP4 version of the tutorial. Here's an example:
May 24, 2010
Video Copilot has released CS5 compatible versions of their After Effects filters -- free upgrades (OF, others, + update) from the previous versions. The standout among these is Optical Flares, a newer plug-in that leapfrogs longtime industry leader Knoll Lens Flare Pro in interface and features for about 1/3 the price. Here's a demo:
Andrew Kramer and company have taken a page from the Magic Bullet Looks approach to create a powerful and easy-to-use interface. The custom interface offers drawers full of visual presets and detailed control over individual flare elements, as well as a large adjustable preview of the composite or the flare alone. The advanced UI along with GPU acceleration allows users to build, edit, and manage unique and complex lens flares with speed and simplicity.
All of these features and more are built into this one plug-in:
- 3D lens flares with AE Lights
- 2D + 3D occlusion or obscuration
- edge flare-ups
- matte box
Knoll Lens Flare Pro (which is not available for CS5 until summer 2010) has offered most of the same features with the addition of public beta releases, but without the integrated visual interface. Perhaps KLF's sole remaining advantage is that in addition to the main filters, 19 lens elements are also included for minute control over parameters, though you should be able to get similar control in Optical Flares using presets. For now, Optical Flares is an After Effects-only filter, but it is said that versions for NLEs, Photoshop, Fusion, and Nuke are under consideration.
If you don't have a dedicated lens flare filter, and there are only two in this league, you're in for a treat. Overuse of lens flares is common though -- but with a filter like Optical Flares, you can rise above the common cliche of the Photoshop default (at left). Individual flare elements can be used as the base, as seen almost everywhere, or as elements of design.
Use in more realistic shots may take some extra observation and self-control. Tony Reale recently introduced ideas on using lens flares in edits in his After Effects tutorial Add Anamorphic Lens Flares to Video. There's a lot going on beyond the basics with lighting, camera filters and lenses, etc. and lens flares can become obsessions to avoid, create, or recreate. One good resource for study is a cache of QuickTime movies of real world lens flares by Claudio Miranda.
Another obvious resource is J.J. Abrams' "ridiculous" use of kinetic halos in the latest Star Trek movie (Andrew Kramer did the titles). See various discussions of these mostly in-camera effects done by cinematographer Dan Mindel in Where No DP Has Gone Before at ICG Magazine, and more about ILM custom matching "SunSpot" CG in Back on Trek (Flare Madness) at Millimeter & Star Trek Returns at Post Magazine.
As a sort of an addendum, it's interesting to see how the idea grew for 3D lens flares in After Effects. From at least 2004, there were forum requests for help to go beyond parenting to a 3D layer. AE expression guru Dan Ebberts provided examples at MotionScript and explained a bit more about layer space transforms, which were also discussed by Chris Meyer not long ago at PVC. A few years later Mylenium's Building a Lensflare with Expressions (and Trent Armstrong's Making Light Disappear & Reappear Behind Objects Using Expressions) appeared at Creative Cow. Then in 2009, Andrew Kramer spread the idea further in Lens Flare on 3D Lights? and the race was on to incorporate 3D lens flares into an After Effects filter.
Update: Kevin McAuliffe wrote a substantive review of Optical Flares for ProVideo Coalition.
Update: Johan Romera shared Nuke2AE Optical Flares Gizmo, a Nuke script that corverts 3d data to 2d position to create AE keyframe data for Optical Flares.
May 21, 2010
Optical Flares for CS5 is expected any day now.
May 20, 2010
- VideoHelp has a list of mostly Windows utilities, Codec/Video Identifiers
A few month ago AEP noted some background on Data Baby, a generative graphics spot from IBM. More of the background is fleshed out by Ian Failes of Vfxblog in his Fxguide interview with visual effects supervisor John Fragomeni and art director Angela Zhu.
Coincidentally, Mitchell Whitelaw considers the same series of commercials at his blog This Teeming Void in This is Data? Arguing with Data Baby.
"Data does not just happen; it is created in specific and deliberate ways. It is generated by sensors, not babies; and those sensors are designed to measure specific parameters for specific reasons, at certain rates, with certain resolutions. Or more correctly: it is gathered by people, for specific reasons, with a certain view of the world in mind, a certain concept of what the problem or the subject is. The people use the sensors, to gather the data, to measure a certain chosen aspect of the world.
Collapsing the real, complex, human / social / technological processes around data into a cloud of wafting particles is a brilliant piece of visual rhetoric; it's a powerful and beautiful story, but it's full of holes. If IBM is right - and I think they probably are - about the dawning age of data everywhere, then we need more than a sort of corporate-sponsored data mythology. We need real, broad-based, practical and critical data skills and literacies, an understanding of how to make data and do things with it."
This view mirrors earlier arguments in public policy circles on energy and economic modeling and forecasting. See also AEP's How to Lie with Video Data and Smashing Magazine's Imagine A Pie Chart Stomping On An Infographic Forever.
"Film is truth 24 times a second, and every cut is a lie..."
"The camera lies all the time. It lies 24 times a second."
-- Brian De Palma
Update: here's a slight return for The Kuleshov Effect, a montage effect demonstrated by Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, which is explained near the end of the interview with Hitchcock (he explains three types of editing).
commonsExplorer is a Java executable, so Windows and Linux users will need to have Java installed. The application requires a network connection, and may not work from behind a firewall or proxy.
Creative Commons has had its own search function for awhile according to a post at Google Operating System, which has a nice cache of articles on new features in Google Image search, which can filter for usage rights under advanced search.
For video, see Free Online Stock Video Footage | 9 Of The Best Public Domain Video Resources from WebTV Wire (one dropped out); for audio see Videomaker's compilation of royalty free sound FX and Legal Music For Videos from Creative Commons.
Update: via @juanmiguelsalas comes 15 Best Places for Designers to Get Free Stock Photos Online by Six Revisions.
Update 2: see Royalty Free Music For YouTube Videos at Who Is Matt, and Openfootage.net.
May 19, 2010
Those pages are detailed and thorough, so it might be good to start with a recent AETtuts quick tip by Won Novalis, Understanding Memory and Multiprocessing, which was 'blessed' by a link from Todd Kopriva.
Update: see also Faster by Michael Coleman.
Note: the Time Warp effect from CS3 and CS4 was removed from Premiere CS5, but there's always Pixel Motion and Time Warp in After Effects if you need better results.
DSLR Workflow in Premiere Pro CS5 - Keying, Time Remapping & Stills from Jason Levine on Vimeo.
Update: Karl Soule added another on DSLR,
May 18, 2010
Also: at TipSquirrel Justin Seeley has a video overview of the new CR, and a Photoshop Quicktip showing why Camera RAW is well-suited for creating black & white photos.
"Want to talk to the After Effects team? Fireside chat Thurs 9-10am PST. Call 877-220-5439, use ID 882164 and password 1223334444. You can ask questions or just listen. Chat link below, where you can also ask questions. Topics you want us to yak about between calls? Add a comment! [at] Connect Pro Meeting Log."
Update: Michael Coleman says, "we'll be recording the session and making it available later in the week in case you have to be at your job or something."
May 17, 2010
Dave van Brink has also released free Pixel Bender filters Omino Glass and Omino Staragon recently; they work in CS4 or CS5 in 32-bits per channel.
Update: Satya Meka notes that "Omino also has a Cool UV Mapping Pixel Bender Filter for AE with explanation."
May 16, 2010
I forgot how Brian Maffitt created his, so here's a tutorial from Big Mike Design, Paper Rip Effect in After Effects, which uses Photoshop and After Effects, alpha channels, track mattes, precomposing, and CC Page Turn or a similar.
Note: Additional resources on camera mapping and the AE camera can be found by clicking on those tags.
May 14, 2010
"Some people have a difficult time transitioning from a layer based editor like Aftereffects to a node based piece of software like Nuke. This video shows you some of the common problems some people experience when trying to learn a new application.For those of you ambitious enough, the Foundry actually has the whole 1000+ page Nuke manual on their site for free. The file is a PDF and is a must in my opinion if you want to further explore Nuke."
Note: For more on Nuke, see Nuke intro for AE users and more via the tag Nuke. Similar enticements were noted recently in Node-based compositing for After Effects users.
The event is planned for Tokyo on 27, May, 2010 (Thu) 18:00- 20:30 JST at Station 5 (OW Building 4-21-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo). Station 5 is an Adobe's official gallery and event space at Omote-sando, Tokyo (pictured).
The agenda includes seven talks, a short movie competition, & an after party. The talk and competition should be broadcast using Ustream, and there are many join-prizes: CS5 Production Premium, CINEMA 4D Broadcast Edition, FxFactory Pro 2, five Red Giant products, and more.
By the way Google Chrome 4 will automatically ask if you want a translation of a web page; very handy.
May 13, 2010
There's many more examples and tutorials on 3D displacement on the Digieffects and Mettle websites. The only other plug-in in memory that could do this was Cognicon TILT, built to use the defunct Quickdraw 3D from Apple (Red Giant's Sean Safreed was the Apple product manager). Here's an intro to Freeform displacement:
Freeform 3D Displacer - Overview from digieffects on Vimeo.
By the way, special pricing ends tomorrow Friday the 14th 12:00 pm E.S.T. on the FreeForm Enhancement Packs - Mylenium Edition. That's 10 HD Project Files for $79 ; regular price is $179.
Update: Chris Bobitis added a free flag project using Freeform -- just add some texture or pre-displacement to the flag if you think it has too much starch.
For more: see Native DSLR Editing in Premiere Pro CS5, which also notes that the Premiere Tryout does not include all codecs in the actual software.
May 12, 2010
Noted previously: Steve Wright, author of Digital Compositing for Film and Video, introduced the ideas and methods behind node-based compositing in another video tutorial at Creative Cow. dvGarage has something similar and more in the movie 'Introduction to Nodal Compositing, a part of their free Conduit training.
In some cases this could be quite the timesaver.
May 11, 2010
Firestarter by Steve Holmes is a new written tutorial, demonstrating After Effects keying and animated masking techniques to turn a simple fire clip into a looping, swirling, boiling mass of fire that can be composited over any background.
Cleft, an After Effects tutorial video by Eran Stern, uses AE and Boris Continuum Complete to create a 3D logo, incorporate stock footage and sound, and add shatter effects for idiosyncratic opener.
Maybe better features can be added to existing features in CS Next, with continued refinement of Roto Brush and some massive initiative on the neglected 3D feature set. The inclusion of Freeform was a very nice band-aid though. For several years new 3D features in AE have relied on Photoshop 3D -- which is trumpeted by Photoshop some fans but questioned by AE users familiar with actual 3D applications. It would make more sense if 3D was designed for the higher-end application and flowed down to the more general population; Photoshop users would benefit tremendously too.
May 10, 2010
Update: Noise Industries added a tutorial,
The mod seems to have popped up at DVinfo.com in How to make Premiere CS5 work with GTX 295 and possibly all 200 GPUs by marvguitar/Martin Guitar, and spread elsewhere, including to the Adobe forum at Unsupported GPU for CS5.
On Windows, the "GPUSniffer.exe" looks at "cuda_supported_cards.txt" to match the named list of cards with your GPU, so it's just a matter of enabling your card and seeing what works. Adobe has made details on CUDA acceleration and supported cards pretty clear from the start in order to create a pipeline with higher performance, quality, and reliability guarantees. There are plans for more cards to be certified in future but it will take Adobe and Nvdia time and testing resources to deliver new certifications.
If people want to risk some incorrect renders and crashes -- including possible system instabilities on cards with less memory -- then they'll have to take responsibility themselves for testing and support. For jobs, using an untested uncertified card is not advisable, but you should be able to turn CUDA off and render in software. Having inexpensive hardware acceleration for a few layers with effects on DSLR footage has made some users pretty happy.
Some cards will work better than others, but to find out you may have to enter the confusing world of nVidia naming conventions and driver support for CUDA. Here's one list of cards (by no means exhaustive or accurate) that are reported to work:
GeForce GTX 260
GeForce GTX 275
GeForce GTX 285 ( "3 layer limit", Adobe, Mac)
GeForce GTX 280
GeForce GTX 295
GeForce GTX 470
GeForce GTX 480
Quadro CX (Adobe)
Quadro FX 3800 (Adobe)
Quadro FX 3700
Quadro FX 4800 (Adobe, Mac)
Quadro FX 5800 (Adobe)
Update: appearing in late June twitters were of an article by Studio 1 Productions, How to Unlock Adobe Premiere CS5 use almost any NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA acceleration.
Update 2: Premiere gets laptop support with the addition for the Quadro FX 3700M and the Quadro FX 3800M to the list.
Update 3: there are some instructions for the same on the Mac at Insanely Mac in How To Cuda / Mercury Engine on Premiere CS5 / Snow Leopard [ lower end graphic cards ].
May 8, 2010
"I demonstrate some techniques for removing footage from a background. We look at luma mattes, masking and the Roto Brush tool. If you’ve watched the Roto Brush tutorial, this time I demonstrate how to make better corrective strokes."
May 7, 2010
May 6, 2010
This meeting is not free; sign up for access. Here's the current agenda:
- Karl Soule: on Adobe CS5
- Tery Williams: on AJA and Adobe CS5
- Chris Fenwick: returns on how to Organize your FCP Project
- Mitchell Rose: comic filmmaker
- Raffle: In addition to the regular raffle - see vendor list - there are TWO separate drawings for Adobe CS5 Production Premium & for an AJA Ki Pro
By the way, @rymden notes a well-executed video of fire below made by Ramiro Fernandez using Trapcode Particular:
Note: more examples of fire can be found in Fire in After Effects round-up.
An exodus of Biblical proportions could be slow in coming -- after all A.C.E. editors aren't targeting Premiere -- but there already are numerous reports of people testing the boundaries of what's possible with Mercury engine CUDA playback. Here's Allan:
"NAB 2010 came and went without a word from Apple regarding the potential future of Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Studio. Apple’s complete silence on this topic seems to indicate that Apple is much more focused on the consumer market, especially their mobile devices, and no longer on professional applications and hardware. ... Based upon private e-mails and conversations with editors yesterday, the exodus from Apple’s Final Cut Pro to Adobe’s Premiere CS5 for many began yesterday.
In the next few days and weeks, you’ll find audio interviews, both with editors who have made the switch from Final Cut Pro to Premiere CS5, and with Adobe officials who will describe the product, and answer my unusual questions."
Like Allan, AE Portal News & AE Portal do not receive sponsorship from any of the manufacturers mentioned, although they are welcome to do so!