Here's part of the last few weeks or so of assorted After Effects tutorials, tips, and scripts & plug-ins new and old.
Heller Studios posted a free project and AE Tutorial - 3D Earth HUD, with expressions to make it CC Sphere camera aware (still too obvious for CS Next feature requests). This was covered in previous years in 41b. The Blue Planet in 3D by Andrew Kramer and Advanced 3D Planets by Maltaannon, and by Chris and Trish Meyer in Making 3D Effects Behave Like 3D: Making older 3D plug-ins follow 3D cameras in After Effects. Another recent tutorial on the subject is Create Trapcode Planet from scratch step-by-step from Philipp Pavlov.
Stefan Surmabojov has a few more HUD tutorials: How To Create The Look From The Iron Man Widget Promos from the series Iron Man Widgets and 3 from his series "Screen Fillers" Graphic User Interface Elements.
The Sunburst Creator Kit, from Sebastien Lhomme of Thinkmojo, is a free After Effects project (CS4+) that makes it easy to create sunbursts or radial rays with 14 variables. Here's a tutorial, which includes the use of their kit:
Voronoi Shatter is a new AE script that can generate voronoi diagrams masks on selected layers and create voronoi diagrams shape layers.
MoChat 18 Transcript & Summary is on getting started with Expressions in After Effects, noting Adobe Help pages on basics, language reference, and examples.
In addition to that discussion, see 5 Easy After Effects Expressions and David Torno's video series on PVC, Expression Shorts. Also, Chris and Trish Meyer posted an index to their 12 installment series on expressions in After Effects at Deeper Modes of Expression: The Index. Here's an example from the 3-hour series by Harry Frank, After Effects Expressions:
Zhiqiang Li posted Voronoi Shatter, a script which "can generate voronoi diagram [think Cell Pattern] masks on selected layers and create voronoi diagram shape layers." See also YY_Voronoi, a procedural texture generator not yet compatible with CS6.
Corner Cutters 2 is out from Allan Eddie. It's a bundle of 23 utility scripts with a toolbar to save time in After Effects.
Mike Gentilini, Jr. is offering his VidMuze HD stock footage for free. Check out also his tutorials and templates, like the recent Camera HUD Template and the new 4K Visual Effect Library with Explosions, Muzzle Flashes and More!:
BakersTuts posted After Effects Tutorial: Sky Replacement. See other tutorials on the subject in the roundup Sky Replacement with After Effects.
You can generate a mask from a motion path, although using a mask as a motion path seems more popular; see AE Help, Create a mask or shape from a motion path. Andrew Devis covered most other aspects of masks in 3 parts; here's a sample, AE Basics 15: Motion Paths Part 3 - Masks & Paths:
Film Riot continued it gore spree with Take an Axe to a Head! ...Safely and The Lawn Mower Decapitation Effect for Halloween!
ft-Vignetting Pro is François Tarlier's AE highly customizable now-native plug-in. For more, see Vignettes in After Effects by Rich Young. Note also Bartlomiej Walczak's free AE/Premiere plug-in at Creative Imperative, Vignette, and Jon Barrie's PProCS6 - Making Vignettes using Adjustment Layers at Editing Whiz.
John Nack noted New Adobe tech to help video editors:
It's far from the flashiest task, but placing cuts & transitions in interview footage can be crucial to telling a story. Adobe's Wil Li plus UC Berkeley-based collaborators Maneesh Agrawala and Floraine Berthouzoz have unveiled "a one-click method for seamlessly removing 'ums' and repeated words, as well as inserting natural-looking pauses to emphasize semantic content."
Other research shown at SIGGRAPH 2012 that may influence CS releases include Video Deblurring for Hand-held CamerasUsing Patch-based Synthesis and Image Melding: Combining Inconsistent Images using Patch-based Synthesis. Also below is SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 : Technical Papers Trailer:
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.