Chris and Trish Meyer

CMG Keyframes | Chris and Trish Meyer rss

Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, HBO, PBS, and TLC; in opening titles for several movies including Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley; at trade shows and press events for corporate clients ranging from Apple to Xerox; and in special venues encompassing IMAX, CircleVision, the NBC AstroVision sign in Times Square, and the four-block-long Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. They were among the original users of CoSA (now Adobe) After Effects, and have written the numerous books including "Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects" and "After Effects Apprentice" both published by Focal Press. Both Chris and Trish have backgrounds as musicians, and are currently fascinated with exploring fine art and mixed media in addition to their normal commercial design work. They have recently relocated from Los Angeles to the mountains near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly: Effect Point Path

To edit an Effect Point Path in Adobe After Effects, you need to use the Layer panel - not the normal Composition panel.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 27, 2015

Whereas some effects process every pixel in a layer more or less evenly (think blurs or color correction), others generate new pixels based around a specific point on a layer (for example, particle systems and lens flares). You can define where that Effect Point is on a layer, and even animate it - but unlike a normal Position path, the path between the keyframed positions for Effect Points are not visible in the Composition panel. This has led more than one After Effects user to assume they have no control over the shape of that path.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Adjustment Lights

Isolate which 3D layers receive select lights.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 20, 2015

The built-in 3D implementation in After Effects is nowhere near as deep as a dedicated 3D program. However, it does have a few good tricks up its sleeve. On is Adjustment Lights, where you can determine which layers receive a specific light. This is akin the lighting sets in more sophisticated 3D programs.

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Measuring Rotation in After Effects

Simple expressions to determine the angle between two points.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 13, 2015

Last week, we posted a short tutorial on using expressions to measure the distance between two points. This was triggered by playing around with the new Face Tracker in After Effects CC 2015, which in Detailed Features mode generated a number of point controls that track different facial features including the eyes, corners of the mouth, and so on. A reader asked, “so what if you want to know the angle instead of distance?”

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Illuminating Dark 3D Layers

The secret to better lighting is in the layer’s Material Options.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 13, 2015

You could be forgiven for thinking that to illuminate 3D layers in After Effects, you just add one or more 3D lights and edit their parameters to taste. But that just controls how a light is cast - if you want to also control how a layer receives that light, it’s worth a dive into the layer’s Material Options.

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Putting Detailed Face Tracking to Work in AE CC 2015

A quick example of using expressions to measure changes in a person’s face
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 8, 2015

One of the major new features in After Effects CC 2015 is a Face Tracker. With this, you draw a loose mask around the target’s face, and the Face Tracker will automatically snap it to enclose the chin, cheeks, and forehead, plus track changes in it from frame to frame. In addition to this “Outline Only” mode, the Face Tracker also has a “Detailed Features” mode which exposes 25 individual points on the face After Effects has auto-located and is tracking. Once you have this information, you can do a few creative things with it, such as using this data to measure aspects of the face such as eye position or width of the smile for a display graphic - which we demonstrate in this article.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Cleaning Up Projects

Using the Dependencies menu to remove unused items from and archive a project.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 6, 2015

An After Effects project can fill up quickly with unused items as we try out different sources an ideas. This leaves it in less than ideal condition when it comes time to hand it off to another user, or to archive it for later retrieval. Fortunately, there’s a submenu in After Effects which helps automate cleaning up and archiving a project: File > Dependencies.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Sequence Layers

Learn to quickly edit a selection of layers end to end - with or without crossfades
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  June 29, 2015

After Effects is not a video editing program - but it does have a few good editing tricks up its sleeve. One is Sequence Layers, which can take a group of layers - in the order you select them - and quickly arrange them end to end, with or without crossfades:


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After Effects Hidden Gems: Replace Source

Try out different sources without losing your edits, effects, or keyframes.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  June 22, 2015

It’s not uncommon to working on a layer in a composition - including editing its duration, adding effects, or even keyframing an animation - and then decide you might like to see a different source in its place. This may happen for several reasons: The temp footage got color corrected; you’ve been working with a test 3D animation and later the animator delivered the final; you wanted to try alternate takes of the shot (especially common when you have several stock footage sources based on the same theme), or the client simply changed their mind (never!). 

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After Effects CC 2015

Important things to know before you start working with the new version
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  June 15, 2015

Back in April, we gave a preview of the major new features planned for what is now known as After Effects CC 2015 (also known as 13.5). Now that this version is available for download to Creative Cloud subscribers, we thought we’d flesh out those thoughts a bit based on more time using this new version, including important installation advice as well as other user gems and gotchas with the major new features.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Grow Bounds

This obscure Utility effect can fix some rendering problems.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  June 15, 2015

Some effects - usually those in the Distortion category - will try to create new pixels in After Effects that should appear beyond the layer’s original boundaries. Sometimes, it’ll be okay - but sometimes, they’ll get clipped off by the layer’s boundaries:

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Color Working Space


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  June 8, 2015

Not all pixels are created equal. Different devices often use different internal representations for the same color we see. HDTV video is one color space, which is fortunately related to sRGB (the default for many computer-connected devices). But still images from a professional photographer are probably in Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB color spaces, which is rather different. And anybody creating graphics without color management - from Illustrator logos to 3D renders - may be unwittingly creating imagery in the color space of their specific monitor, which might not be related to any of your other sources.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Conform Frame Rate

Fix skipped or repeated frames by using Interpret Footage’s Conform Frame Rate setting.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  June 1, 2015

Have you ever had a mysterious problem in After Effects where frames are repeated, skipped, or even missing? Chances are they can be traced back to a problem with source footage’s frame rate, and mismatches between it and that of your composition. Even footage that displays the same number for frame rate may have a rounding error under the hood that causes problems when dragged into an After Effects comp.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Cropping in the Output Module

Chop up a multi-screen projection into multiple files using the Output Module’s Crop dialog.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 26, 2015

One of the most fun and challenging jobs you can work on is a multi-screen projection. The common way to tackle this in After Effects is to create one large composition that represents all of the screens put together, create your animation in that, and then break it into its individual projections when it comes time to render. However, many tackle the rendering phase wrong.

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Set First Vertex

Control which point strokes start drawing from.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 18, 2015

A common trick is to use the Stroke effect to wipe on a line along a mask path. You can do the same using the Trim Paths operator for a shape layer. But, how can you control where that path starts and ends? The secret is understanding the First Vertex Point. If you drew a mask or shape path by hand, this is where you first clicked with the Pen tool. But if the path was created automatically - say, by converting a text layer into outlines - this first point is determined by the software, not you.

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After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly: Guide Layers

Make scratch tracks or guide overlays automatically disappear in your renders
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 11, 2015

Using After Effects is often the art of combining multiple layers and elements to create a pleasing final composite or animation. However, you don’t always want every element to appear in that final render. If you didn’t remember to switch them off before the final render, they could ruin the result, requiring a re-render. Fortunately, there’s the Guide Layer switch, which tells After Effects to only use that layer when previewing the composition it appears in, but otherwise not to use it in compositions downstream or in the final render. Here’s a couple of examples where that comes in handy:

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After Effects Hidden Gems: Temporary Tools

Wasted motion = wasted time.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 4, 2015

If you’re an After Effects user, you’re familiar with the Tools panel along top of the user interface. However, if you’ve been mousing up to that panel to change tools, you’re wasting time; you can change tools by pressing its corresponding shortcut key, revealed by hovering the cursor over it to reveal its Tool Tip and committing it to memory. But even better, you can temporarily change to that tool only when you need it, and automatically return to the Selection tool (the one you use most often) when done.

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After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly: Tracking with Nulls

How to make a group of layers swarm around a tracked point on underlying footage
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 27, 2015

Motion tracking in Adobe After Effects is usually about making a new layer follow the movement of a target in a piece of video. But what if you want to have multiple layers follow that target? 

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After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly: Effects Instancing

Edit one layer, and have it ripple throughout a project
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 20, 2015

It’s common to re-use the same effects and settings throughout an Adobe After Effects project to create a consistent look - for example, when treating text or a logo. But all too often, clients change their minds during a project, forcing you to go back and change every instance of that identical text or logo treatment. Wouldn’t it be nice to edit only one example, and have those changes ripple through every identical usage of that treatment throughout your After Effects project?

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After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly: Alpha Add Mode

Fix unsightly seems between edges
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 13, 2015

If you haven’t run into this yet, you will: Two edges that should like up perfect in After Effects exhibit a partially transparent seam. No, it’s not a bug or a mistake in your math; it has to do with the way anti-aliased edges and alpha channels are calculated. 

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After Effects NAB 2015 Preview

A big overhaul under the hood promises a more responsive program.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 8, 2015

The Adobe After Effects team makes a point of regularly polling its users to hear what they might want next. What came back was not just a desire for shiny new features, but also increased performance. In response, the After Effects team embarked on a long-term project to rewire how this 20+ year old program works internally, which is the cornerstone of the just-announced (but not yet released) next version of After Effects. But performance isn’t the whole story; a couple of very intriguing shiny new features are also slated for this release. We’ve had the opportunity to work with a pre-release version; here’s a preview of what you can expect later this spring.

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After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly

Get more out of After Effects without having to wait for the next release.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 7, 2015

Next week, all the new gadgets announced at the NAB show will be grabbing our attention and asking for a look inside our wallets. However, it's easy to miss many of the useful features we may already have in our current tools, which we either forgot about or may not be aware of to begin with. Therefore, next week we'll be launching a new course on lynda.com: After Effects Hidden Gems Weekly.

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AE + C4D: Some Minor Assembly Required

Properly setting up your AE and C4D Lite projects to best work together
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 29, 2015
We’re fans of the Live 3D Pipeline workflow between After Effects CC and CINEMA 4D Lite. And Adobe has automated a large portion of the process to get the two to work together: In After Effects, create a New > Layer > MAXON CINEMA 4D File, and not only is a layer created in AE with the CINEWARE plug-in applied (where all the magic...
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Easy Flying Logos with AE + C4D Lite (+ Illustrator)

Your Creative Cloud subscription has all the tools needed for this common motion graphics task
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 22, 2015
One of the most common, bread-and-butter motion graphics jobs you’re going to get is to take your client’s flat, two-dimensional print logo, turn it into a 3D object, and animate it onto the screen for an endless variety of video destinations (trade shows, press events, training videos, web & social media, etc.). This used to mean...
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The Public Domain Project

Pond5 just saved you countless hours. And probably some money, too.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 22, 2015
We all need footage - but there’s not always the budget to license or shoot it. We can try to hide behind the illusion of “Fair Use” - but in reality it’s hard to qualify for the exemption. In theory, if we know where to look (such as the Archive.org, or anything funded by the US government - as long as...
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Quick Tour of mocha AE CC 2014

free video from the After Effects CC Updates course
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 9, 2014

We recently added several movies to our After Effects CC Updates course on lynda.com, covering the new user interface design, CINEWARE v2 and CINEMA 4D Lite R16, mocha AE CC 2014, Dynamic Link color management changes, and the embedded Adobe Color Themes panel (formerly known as Adobe Kuler). We selected the movie on mocha to be the freebie for this round, as not only does it cover the user interface and feature updates for this new version, it also gives a very quick tutorial of performing a simple track or stabilization inside mocha AE:

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Preparing for Cinema 4D Lite v2.0

How not to lose your current presets when you upgrade
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 1, 2014
Adobe pre-announced many of the new features for the next version of After Effects CC 2014 at the just-passed IBC show. One of the big additions will be upgrading Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite - the 3D modeling and animation program that comes bundled with...
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From Still Frames to Fine Art

Chris is hosting a free webinar dedicated to creativity
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  August 19, 2014
If you want to get Chris upset, come up to him and profess that you’re not creative. Despite his background as an engineer, we’ve had a very nice 20+ year career as graphic designers, and we’ve both started fine art careers. As a result, Chris agreed to create a webinar for Moviola -
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Free Video: Creating Your Own Background Loops

Have some fun with your camera and shoot out-of-focus video that you can later repurpose into video backdrops
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 30, 2014
A couple of months ago, we released a video training course titled Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects: Enhancing Production Value. Some of the tricks in that course relied on using blending modes to add lighting effects from second footage layers that had color, abstract patterns...
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Free Video: Quick & Easy White Balance Adjustment

Use blending modes in After Effects or Premiere Pro
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 27, 2014
A couple of months ago, we released a video training course titled Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects: Enhancing Production Value on spinning the straw clients often give us into visual gold. One of the movies in that course demonstrated a dead-easy white balancing trick...
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Free Video: After Effects CC Text Templates for Adobe Premiere Pro

Get up to speed on this important new feature in the next release of After Effects and Premiere Pro CC
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 24, 2014
Several weeks ago, we wrote about some of our favorite new features promised for the next update to After Effects CC (Creative Cloud). Since then we’ve produced a series of videos about these features; below is one about using After Effects...
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After Effects CC NAB Preview

A sneak peek at some of the new features planned for the next version of After Effects (plus Premiere Pro).
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 2, 2014
In preparation for the 2014 NAB Show, Adobe is previewing the features slated for the next versions of their video software. We’ve had a chance to work with the upcoming version of After Effects CC, and are in the process of creating a new set of training videos showing how to take advantage of these features that should be available in...
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Adobe Premiere Pro and Multiple GPUs

You can get a significant speed boost using a variety of hardware solutions
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  March 28, 2014
Apple’s inclusion of dual GPUs in every model of their new Mac Pro has caused a bit of a stir (and confusion) among video editors wondering if their NLE of choice can take advantage of them. Applications don’t automatically detect and use multiple GPUs; the drivers must support them, and the software must be written to exploit...
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Using Reversible Stabilization in Warp Stabilizer VFX for Screen Replacement

There’s more than one way to peel an onion...
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  February 12, 2014
Short version: Below is a video that shows how to use the Reversible Stabilization feature of Warp Stabilizer VFX in After Effects CC to track a new data screen over an existing one.  Long version: Chris recently
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Screen Replacement in After Effects

Using tools like mocha AE and Roto Brush to solve a common VFX challenge
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 29, 2014
Although we’re primarily motion graphics artists, After Effects has an ever-growing number of tools that makes what used to be considered visual effects (VFX) jobs easier for folks like us to perform. Adobe has been making great strides to automate large portions of these tasks, but the reality is that you still need to know how to use these...
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After Effects CC version 12.2

Our favorite features in the December Creative Cloud update
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 15, 2014
Last month, Adobe released another nice incremental update to their video software, including After Effects CC. As motion graphics artists, there were a couple of major improvements to existing features that caught our eye, as well as a lot of other tweaks and enhancements.
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Adding Handle to Sound Bites

using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 6, 2014
Whether you’re working on documentaries, reality television, corporate videos, or any of a number of situations where you have talent being interviewed on-camera, you’ve probably run into this scenario: The talent is giving a long speech, perhaps unrehearsed. In the middle of that speech is a really good sound bite you’d like to...
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Rumbling Under the Radar

Our audio chain has been compromised because we took a common switch for granted.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 5, 2014
Last year we revamped our voiceover recording chain, replacing a microphone and “voice channel” (a microphone preamp with additional signal processing) that were both dying. Both replacements - a KEL Song Sparrow large-diaphragm condenser microphone and Presonus VXP voice channel - are excellent tools in isolation. However, we...
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After Effects 12.2 Audio Bug...

...and a simple workaround (whew)
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 4, 2014
There’s been a bit of a panic among some After Effects users about a bug introduced in the December 2013 update to After Effects CC (also known as AE 12.2). Fortunately, there’s an easy workaround until Adobe gets a bug fix issued. The problem occurs if you have a composition with audio that you wish to...
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Spotting (and Solving) Sync Issues

Not all cameras that shoot video record the audio in sync. And no, your auto-sync software isn't going to fix it for you.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 4, 2013
Short Version: If you haven’t already heard, not all cameras that shoot video (for example, DSLRs like the Canon 5D mkII) record their own audio in sync with the video. This causes problems whether you’re using camera audio, dual system audio, or have a multi-camera shoot. Therefore, it’s essential to test your camera...
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After Effects Creative Cloud Updates

AE 12.1 is out; we have some movies to help you master the new features
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  November 7, 2013
Adobe has recently released a very nice update to After Effects for their Creative Cloud subscribers. Todd Kopriva of Adobe has provided an exhaustive list of what’s new and changed in his blog. We’ve updated my
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Pixel Motion Blur in After Effects CC

Adobe bundles a cure for too-fast shutter speeds
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 29, 2013
Not all of the updates coming in After Effects CC (Creative Cloud) are of the earth-shattering variety; some are simply better - or more convenient - mousetraps. After Effects guardian angel Todd Kopriva has posted an exhaustive list on...
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MAXON CINEMA 4D Integration in After Effects CC

Quick tutorials on importing and rendering C4D projects in the upcoming version of After Effects
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 27, 2013
As we mentioned last Thursday, we wanted to share with you more about some of the significant new features in the Creative Cloud version of After Effects. The goal is to make you better informed about your upgrade...
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Roto Brush Parameter Changes

After Effects CC brings some changes to previous Roto Brush parameters
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 24, 2013
As we mentioned yesterday, the Refine Edge tool is one of the most significant new tools added to After Effects CC (due to be released June 17). Refine Edge is built on top of the Roto Brush took, which was originally introduced...
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Using the new Refine Edge Tool in After Effects CC

Keying hair (and more) without a greenscreen
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 23, 2013
Every time After Effects or any other major tool you use is updated, you go through a decision process of whether or not to buy the upgrade. Adobe has upped the ante this cycle by announcing the end of permanent licenses for most of their software; from now on, their major apps are only available through their Creative Cloud...
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Combining Cartoon with Brainstorm

Using one tool to show you what another can do.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 1, 2013
Ever feel like you’re getting the same old looks out of Cartoon, no matter what you try? In this third and final installment of learning how to get better results with the Cartoon effect, we will show you how to combine Cartoon with the After Effects Brainstorm module to get unexpected looks out of Cartoon, including images...
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Enhancing the Cartoon Effect

Just as you shouldn’t use all effects at their defaults, don’t be shy about combining them with other effects.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 30, 2013
In this second installment of learning how to get better results with the Cartoon effect, we will go beyond altering Cartoon’s own parameters from their less-than-ideal defaults and explore pre- and post-processing the video clip getting the Cartoon treatment.
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Using Cartoon in After Effects

Go beyond the defaults to get more interesting looks.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 29, 2013
As we’ve mentioned before, we updated our After Effects Apprentice video courses last year. As part of adding and reorganizing material, some movies got cut. But we hate to see anything go to waste, so we’re reposting them here for free - including a three-movie set on using the Cartoon effect. Cartoon may be...
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Learning More About the Next Version of After Effects

Two hours of videos; six hours of sessions
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 4, 2013
Adobe has started to “reveal” information about its next generation of pro video tools, and yesterday we wrote an overview of some of the more significant new features being slated for a...
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After Effects CC Technology Preview

Adobe is giving us a peek at what is on tap for the next version of After Effects.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 4, 2013
On the heels of their Refine Edge sneak peek last week and just a few days before NAB, Adobe is releasing more information about some of the cool technology we may see in the next generation of their other pro...
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After Effects Brainstorm: Keyframe Variations

Part 3 of our exploration of the Brainstorm module in After Effects.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  March 29, 2013
In the third of our rescued movies on Brainstorm, I demonstrate a much less common use of Brainstorm: to randomize keyframes. Brainstorm can essentially randomize any property you can select in the Timeline or Effect Controls panels - including values that vary over time. In this movie, I create a swarming-style animation by...
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After Effects Brainstorm: Learning Effects

Part 2 of our exploration of this little-used creative-block-buster.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  March 25, 2013
In the second of our rescued movies on Brainstorm, I focus on using Brainstorm to help learn an effect you may be unfamiliar with. When presented with all the options in available in an open-ended effect such as Fractal Noise, it can be challenging to know just what all the effect is capable of without spending hours of...
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After Effects Brainstorm: Effect Variations

Taking advantage of a little-used feature to overcome creative blocks.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  March 20, 2013
Continuing our rescue operation on orphaned training movies, this is the first of a trio of movies on the little-used and oft-maligned Brainstorm module in After Effects. Brainstorm provides a way to randomize selected parameters or effects with the goal of helping generate new ideas. It’s easy to think that such results...
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After Effects Render Order Issues

Why the same treatments can look different on pixel or vector layers - and how to work around it.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  March 15, 2013
Last year, we updated our After Effects Apprentice video courses. As part of adding and reorganizing material, some movies got cut. But we hate to see anything go to waste, so we’re going to repost them here...
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More on Vignettes

A simple, often-overlooked technique to add sophistication to your graphics.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  February 27, 2013
Earlier this week, we posted a video on using 3D lights in After Effects to enhance a scene. One of the main reasons for doing so was to add a vignette, where the edges of the frame were darkened, and the center of the frame - where the main action occurred and the main title appeared - was brightened. It’s not as sexy as blowing...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Adding 3D Lighting to a Scene

Enhancing a simple scene through the addition of 3D lighting.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  February 25, 2013
As we mentioned earlier, we’re sharing the free movies from
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Free Webinar: Two Decades of After Effects

War stories from the start of the desktop motion graphics industry.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  February 20, 2013
We’ve been desktop video users since December 1991 when QuickTime 1.0 and the first version of Adobe Premiere shipped. At the time, the results were mostly heavily compressed, low frame rate, postage stamp sized video, but we had faith it would scale up. In late 1992, we started beta testing “Egg” (now know as After Effects)...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Creating Wiggly Lines

Exploiting a few tricks with Shape Layers to create and animate faux vital signs displays.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  February 18, 2013
As we mentioned last week, we’re sharing the free movies from
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Roughing Out a Camera Move

Starting with initial poses, then separating the camera’s dimensions to craft a smooth move inbetween.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  February 9, 2013
In each edition of our book After Effects Apprentice, the last chapter is a project that brings together skills learned throughout the book, applied to a real-world scenario such as creating a show opening title. For the
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Adjusting Roto Brush's Propagation Settings

With the After Effects Roto Brush, some assembly is required.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 13, 2013
Does it drive you crazy to see somebody use something the wrong way, then declare it doesn’t work? That’s how I feel about the Roto Brush tool introduced in After Effects CS5. This semi-automated tool helps you separate the foreground (i.e. an actor) from a complex background (i.e. not greenscreen) - “all”...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Converting a Comp to Ray Tracing

What do you gain; what do you give up?
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 10, 2013
One of the major additions to After Effects CS6 was the introduction of a new ray-traced 3D rendering engine. This allowed 3D text to have actual thickness (extrusions and beveling), and added transparency and reflectivity parameters to...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Bending Layers in AE CS6

You cannot extrude and bevel still and movie layers in CS6, but you can bend them.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 6, 2013
One of the Apprentice video lessons that received the largest overhaul was
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Depth of Field Blur

Reviewing this underused feature which got a major update in CS5.5.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 3, 2013
As we mentioned recently, we've been updating our After Effects Apprentice video courses to reflect changes in the third edition of the book, and in particular new and enhanced features introduced in recent...
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48 fps: A Bridge Too Near?

Is HFR too realistic to tell a story?
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 20, 2012
Filmmaker Peter Jackson has recently performed a very public experiment in releasing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 48 frames per second (also known as "HFR" for High Frame Rate). Some movie lovers, members of the press, and even other filmmakers have unfortunately deemed it a reluctantly qualified failure;
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Made with After Effects

Enter this competition; win prizes and be part of our live webcast.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 19, 2012
We are happy to announce that for the third year in a row, we will be working with the folks from motion for their annual Made with After...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Spotting Dialog

...including creating layer markers with duration indicators.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 15, 2012
As we mentioned recently, we've been updating our After Effects Apprentice video courses to reflect changes in the third edition of the book. One shortcoming of previous editions of the book that we corrected with this...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Introduction to Variable Mask Feathering

Getting up to speed with this long-requested feature, added in CS6.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 6, 2012
As we mentioned recently, we've been updating our After Effects Apprentice video courses to reflect changes in the third edition of the book, and in particular new and enhanced features introduced in recent versions such as...
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Updates to the After Effects Apprentice Video Courses

We’ve been bringing everything up to date for AE CS6.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 4, 2012
I apologize for the commercial nature of this post, but I’ll try to make it up to you at the end. First, the back story: As many of you know, roughly two years ago we set about creating video courses that went along...
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Let’s Be Safe Out There

Some are playing with fire - and getting burned - when it comes to dealing with safe areas.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 3, 2012
If you create content for television, it’s useful to get out of the house and see how others are actually viewing it. For example, we have all 16:9 HDTV sets and signals here, but on a recent road trip I saw far more 4:3 TV than I was expecting - as well as a lot of improperly-prepared content being chopped off as a result. Let’s...
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What's new in After Effects Apprentice, 3rd Edition

We have a new book aimed at those just learning After Effects, or who need a refresher course on the latest versions.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 15, 2012
The 3rd edition of our book After Effects Apprentice ("AEA3" for short) is now available, and we're really happy with how it turned out. We've included PDF excerpts from several of the lessons
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Adobe Hardware Performance White Paper

Tips to configure or upgrade a workstation for their main video software.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  July 19, 2012
One of the early advantages of desktop video production software over dedicated hardware was that it could run on "any" computer. As tasks became more demanding (multiple streams of 4k video, anyone?), and computers become more capable (4 gigabyte drive modules used to be...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Rendering a 4:3 Center Cut Movie from a 16:9 Composition

...plus an update on what's next for the Apprentice series.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 21, 2012
As we mentioned what now seems like ages ago, we spent a year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Using Parenting to Animate Layers as a Unit

Taking advantage of parenting, multiple 3D views, and AE's built-in calculator to coordinate a multi-layer animation.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 15, 2012
As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Working with Nested 3D Compositions

How you can be two places at once inside After Effects
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 8, 2012
As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Copying Paths from Illustrator to After Effects

Revealing Illustrator paths requires a few intermediate steps, involving After Effects masks and effects.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  May 1, 2012
Buried in the shuffle over the announcement of After Effects CS6 is that we concluded the video training series for our book After Effects Apprentice 2nd Edition...
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After Effects CS6 Tutorial: Exporting 3D Camera Tracker Data to Cinema 4D

You can export the results of the new 3D Camera Tracker to any application that has a way to accept AE keyframe data.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 27, 2012
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After Effects CS6 Tutorial: Targeting Properties in the new Ray-Traced 3D Engine

Although the new extrusion and beveling capabilities initially seem limited, you can actually edit the individual material options for each group of surfaces.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 26, 2012
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After Effects CS6 (P)Review

The latest version has several significant new features.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 12, 2012
Upon the release of After Effects CS5 in 2010, Adobe tried an interesting experiment: Part of the After Effects engineering team was split off to start work on major new features for CS6 with a 24-month time horizon, while the rest started work on AE CS5.5 before joining their compatriots in 2011 to also work on CS6. In addition,...
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After Effects Apprentice: The Final Project

The 3+ hour video course on the Final Project from After Effects Apprentice 2nd Edition has finally been released.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  April 11, 2012
As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Exploring Shape Effects

An overview of five of the simpler shape operators that can turn your basic outline into something quite twisted.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 31, 2012
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Drawing Parametric Shapes

The same tools you've used to create masks can also be used to create Shape Layers - with far more options than you might have imagined.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 27, 2012
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: The Puppet Starch Tool

Not happy with how Puppet kinks and bends your image? The little-known Starch tool helps you straighten it out.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 13, 2012
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Eraser Tool Modes

How to target precisely what you're erasing, from the source image to just your most recent paint stroke.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  January 8, 2012
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Tracking with mochaAE

A quick start on using this powerful alternative motion tracker bundled with After Effects.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  December 4, 2011
As we mentioned earlier, we've been busy this year creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Performing a Motion Track

Some tips on what to look for when setting up a track in After Effects.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  November 28, 2011
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Creating 3D Objects using Adobe Repoussé

If you don't have access to a dedicated 3D program or plug-in, here's a way to use Photoshop Extended to create extruded logos and text.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  November 21, 2011
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Using After Effects as an Advanced Titler for Premiere Pro

Tight integration allows you to use one to extend the feature set of the other.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  November 12, 2011
Footage from the Artbeats Portraits - Adults HD collection   Adobe Premiere Pro has a robust titler built in, including the ability to create title rolls and crawls. However, Adobe After Effects has even more advanced tools,...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Creating an Orbit Camera Rig

Techniques to make your camera move in a perfect arc.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  November 8, 2011
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 45 - What's Your Preference?


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  November 4, 2011
This is the final installment of us going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. (Is a celebration in order?)After Effects features a variety of...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 44 - Prerendering and Proxies


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 28, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 43 - Advanced Rendering


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 21, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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Adobe MAX 2011 Technology Sneak Peeks

What's cooking in the lab (and apparently close enough to tease us with).
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 17, 2011
Adobe's big annual MAX conference finished a couple of weeks ago, and as part of it they included a series of technology sneak peeks. I've gone through the videos posted on AdobeTV and pulled out the ones of most interest to us video...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 42 - Render Queue


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 16, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 41 - Video Issues


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 6, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 40B - 3D Channel Effects


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  October 2, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 40 - Integrating with 3D Applications


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 23, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 39 - Integration 101


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 19, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Multiple Playback Speeds

A simple speed-shift trick to reuse a single element multiple times, and make each instance appear different.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 13, 2011
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 38 - Import and Interpret


Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 12, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 37B and 37C - Expressions and Scripting Bonus Chapters

This time, a collection of resources on expressions and scripting - including a PDF of Bonus Chapter 37C on scripting.
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 2, 2011
We're going through our book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects 5th Edition (CMG5) and pulling out a few "hidden gems" from each chapter. These will include essential advice for new users, plus timesaving tips that experienced users may not be...
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Coke Classic: Final Cut Studio is Back

You can still buy seats of the pre-X version - but what does that get you?
Written by Chris and Trish Meyer  |  September 2, 2011
As has been reported and confirmed by multiple sources, you can once again buy Final Cut Studio. You won't find it (yet?) in the physical or online Apple stores; you have to call 1-800-MY-APPLE, ask for part number MB642Z/A, and pay $999 ($899...