Last week in After Effects




Here's the latest week or so of assorted After Effects tutorials, tips, and scripts & plug-ins new and old.{C}

Beat Assistant from Mamoworld is a new tool from AE Scripts that detects “the bpm (beats per minute) of wav, mp3 and aif files and use it to generate markers or keyframes and to stagger layers.” There are several more tutorials to get you running beyond these:

Francois Tarlier noted several of his free plug-ins that have been converted to the native After Effects format by Tobias Fleischer. Here's a demo of one, ft-Filmic Contrast Lite:

Create A Theatrical Logo Sting Using Plexus 2 by Lloyd Alvarez shows some Plexus leverages native AE text, and includes source files.

There's a new term for October at fxphd — check out the listing of courses. An example is AFX223: After Effects Expressions Bootcamp with Harry Frank, “a new course focused on After Effects expressions programming. If you are new to the topic, or if you have some experience in the course topic, Harry will guide you from the basics into the heavy-duty code.”

The Annual Toolfarm Top Ten Plug-in Awards is Back! Enter to Win Prizes Through Nov. 15th 2012. Last year's Top Ten Results of After Effects Plug-ins:

  1. Trapcode Particular
  2. Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks
  3. Boris Continuum Complete
  4. Video Copilot Optical Flares
  5. GenArts Sapphire
  6. Red Giant Magic Bullet Colorista
  7. The Foundry Keylight (Included in AE)
  8. Trapcode Shine
  9. Imagineer Systems mocha
  10. Noise Industries FxFactory Pro

In Episode 88: The Making of Form 17, Seth Worley walks you through processes from his latest movie.

Harry Frank released some After Effects Presets: Element 3D NullTracker and LightCulling. Here's the demo:

It's the time of year for fairies and elves. Film Riot wants to help you to Turn Your Friends into Fairies!, while lures with Fantasy Elf Shot from Start to Finish using mocha Pro and After Effects. Here's Mary Poplin with an advanced tutorial:

Then in 3D Camera Solve with Element 3D & After Effects – Part1, “product manager Martin Brennand shows you how to use the mocha v3.1 camera solver to solve a scenes camera and moving object to attach a 3D object to a man's head. 3D Object created in Element 3D from Video Copilot.”

Fabian Moron Zirfas shows How To Isolate And Style Motion Blur In Your Animation in Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 “includes the use of Ease and Wizz script and the wihihihiggle script. We will edit the wiggle expression to fit our needs and take a peek into the graph editor for creating smooth keyframes. Finally we set this up to render so we can isolate the motion blur in Part 2.” Part 2 also includes a peek into the Separate RGB and Starglow plug-ins.

, by Raul Silva/Jack of All Trades, presents some steps to get started with volumetric spheres in After Effects.

Motion Control 3D: Bringing Your Photos to Life in Three Dimensions with Richard Harrington is a new workshop at See also pt_Multiplane, a script from Paul Tuersley, and AE Portal archive posts tagged multiplane animationcamera mapping, and the AE camera. Here's the intro and an explanation of multiplane techniques by Walt Disney from 1957:





In Morphing 3D Shapes, Jerzy Drozda Jr makes the case for using ShapeShifter by Mettle. Shapeshifter can quickly create 3D text and logos with After Effects lights and cameras, editable inside After Effects with GPU acceleration for fast rendering. There's a project file on the Maltaannon website and a Superman project gallery at Mettle.

Eran Stern explores the differences in looks using 8, 16 and 32-bpc effects, and how to locate and apply them for more natural results. Bit Depth is an excerpt from Broadcast Graphics Templates for Boris FX.

Rotoscoping can confused people unfamiliar with visual effects, but there are many resources available to clear things up, including an old instructional video from ILM folks who were behind Commotion from Puffin Designs (who also released Knoll Lens Flare Pro). See also Rotoscoping tips and Roto Brush explained on AE Portal archive (look for FxGuide and Scott Squires, the creator of Commotion). Here's Scott Stewart (director Priest, Legion) on roto:

Scott Squires noted Photograph Otherworldly Environments Using a Fish Tank, Salt Water, and Dyes by Michael Zhang at PetaPixel on the work of , which explores the Cloud Tank effect that Squires developed for the movie Close Encounters. Here's Joey Shanks from series he recently began for PBS:

How to Optimize Projects in Adobe After Effects CS6 is Peachpit's excerpt from the new edition of Mark Christiansen's book. You may enjoy the PDF version more, which you can find under the Sample Content tab at Adobe After Effects CS6 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques.

Stu Maschwitz ?noted the utility of the Math.round method, which rounds a number to the nearest integer, if you're animating a mouse cursor or UI in AE. The same method was used in After Effects Text As A Number Variable, a free project by Brian Charles. Previously, Harry Frank noted the Math.round expression [update: preset from Motionworks], which is explained by Chris Silich in After Effects Expression: Snapping objects to whole pixels, to force rounding to scale/position as integers to avoid softening on text.

The ever helpful Film Riot stopped playing with fire long enough to explain How to Fall to Your Death and Not Die! and Learn How to Run Through a Wall! Yeah, no sour grapes here.

Video2brain posted Matching Color Between Images from a new course, Mastering Color Correction in Photoshop by Tim Grey.

Adobe's Karl Soule has a take On CS6 and CinemaDNG, which follows Todd Kopriva's CinemaDNG in After Effects CS6 (and elsewhere). Apparently the new Blackmagic camera's CinemaDNG support took Adobe by surprise, perhaps because Blackmagic Resolve competes with Adobe Speedgrade, which is said to handle RAW files (including ones from Ikonoshop) faster than Resolve. Adobe's Jon Barrie posted a short test using SpeedGrade CS6, which has a recent update fixing CinemaDNG issues, with native CinemaDNG sample footage from the new Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera. Also below is SpeedGrade tutorial: Stereoscopic workflow, from new training by Robbie Carman.

ProMAX Systems has been posting videos on Premiere Pro in their ProMAX Web Series CS6, which has some giveaways too.

Kevin Monahan explains Support for growing files in Premiere Pro CS6. “Growing files” are video files that continuously grow in duration, and generated in live events, sports, broadcast, and so forth. Codecs now supported in this Media preference include OP1A MXF files, AVCI50/100, IMX30/40/50, RDD9-compliant XDCAM HD 50/35/25/18; QuickTime wrapped files in these formats are supported in Premiere Pro CS6 (6.0.2) and later.

Adobe has extended the Creative Cloud CS6 offer, including 40% off for switchers and existing customers of Creative Suite, and 60% off for students.

A good commercial for switchers is “A Liar's Autobiography” Filmmakers Switch to All Adobe Workflow for Tribute to Monty Python Member (see also Adobe and Monty Python Team Up for the “Animate Chapman” Contest and the webinar Ask A Video Pro: The Making of “A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman”):

The L.A. Final Cut Pro User Group recently changed its name to the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group, or LACPUG. Here's Michael Horton on the change, which will not cover NLEs dedicated to Windows (as long as there's a Mac Pro it would seem):

Please note that these roundups are for quick review and comparison. There is almost always vital information from the originating authors at the links provided-and often free presets, projects, or stock footage too.



Rich Young

Rich Young is a long-time After Effects user from the San Francisco Bay Area. His After Effects and Premiere Pro round-ups provide viewers with an easy-to-digest summary of developments. He also supplies info and links for tutorials that allow users to do things in After Effects they thought were possible but weren’t sure.