Here’s another week or so of some news on After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, and scripts — with new tools, tutorials on Mocha tracking, radar animations, lens flares, wood patterns, and more.
Radar – Dradis – Light Grid, by Mylenium (Lutz Albrecht), released (with bandwidth limitations) a free set of project that generates “radar” animations. The set is a “collection of 3 separate projects allows you to create any variation you can think of when it comes to radars, sonars and other scanning device screens. Because everything is determined with expressions, you need not worry about all that blinking and labeling. You just animate your targets and adapt the design, and the code does the rest. The package contains the reference designs illustrated in the clip below. The setup with the light grid can be produced by cloning a prototype light with the expressions and then adjusting the parameters of the grid. Similarly, the other setups can be modified by replacing the layer in the timeline or modifying the pre-comps.” There are a few older and more familiar solutions too from AE Freemart, G. Chen, and Jerzy Drozda Jr. Here’s Mylenium:
Mylenium also freed (with bandwidth limitations) Symmetrion, a “toolbox of projects that allows you to create mesh and grid structures easily, deal with large amounts of points easily and, most importantly, provides an easier way of creating deformations in FreeForm Pro, including symmetrical ‘modelling’.” You’ll have to look for his PayPal button if you want to make a donation, because it’s easy to miss.
Mylenium made some lens flares for Genarts FX Central and the new Genarts Lens Flare filter. Flare Candy includes 16 lens flares: automobile headlights and taillights, sports arena lights, jet engine blasts, LED strobes, light in a waterfall, and more. And in a recent Boris TV episode, Kevin P. McAuliffe enhances a clip of the sun’s rays peeking through trees of a forest with the BCC Lens Flare 3D filter, which has now has some of the advanced features found in other products like Knoll Light Factory and Video Copilot Optical Flares (both have their own preset forums). For more on flares, see Lens Flares in After Effects: A mini-roundup. Here are the videos:
Hand Drawn Half-Pipe – iExpression Script Workflow by Mathias Mohl is a 3-part tutorial series on using real physics simulations with iExpressions without writing a single line of code. In part 1 you create a hand-drawn look using the brush tool, in part 2 you do the physics simulation, and in part 3 you teach the skateboarder some half-pipe using KeyTweak. Here’s the preview:
Mamoworld posted Ultra-smooth pans with Mocha and After Effects, which shows how to stabilize a pan using Mocha, After Effects, MochaImport and iExpressions (project/German link). See also Mamoworld’s Stabilize motion without the need to zoom, which shows the same technique, with a hand-held shot instead of a pan, and using normal expressions instead of iExpression.
Digital Removal Tutorial – After Effects and Mocha by Silent City, a web series project on Kickstarter, replaces some graffiti. You often don’t need an external tracker — see also Todd Kopriva demoing AE’s point tracker in Removing a Logo from a Moving Image:
Peder Norrby of Trapcode started #2012WorkHard, a group for sharing and comments on Vimeo. He christened the group with Inside the Nebulae, which has a tutorial and AE project file on Trapcode Sharelog:
Creative Workflow Hacks noted Boethos, an online GUI editor to generate JSX code for After Effects, a code generator that generates JSX code for Adobe apps in conduction with the jsLinb UI Builder. Author Christopher Green also has free scripts, like Connect_Vertex_to_Point and Connect_Point_to_Mask_Vertex.
Chris and Trish Meyer explain the Puppet Starch Tool in an After Effects Apprentice Free Video. If you’re not happy with how the Puppet tool kinks and bends your image, the little-known Puppet Starch Tool can help straighten it out:
In Colors, Aharon Rabinowitz demoed primary color (RYB) interaction in AE, followed by how RGB is used to make a rainbow, and how a rainbow is white light broken up into colors. The Twitter discussion brought out a book recommendation by Stu Maschwitz for Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green by Michael Wilco. Also, Sterling Glass shared some thoughts and explanations about how to make this color combination in his Primary Color Mixing in After Effects. Here’s Colors:
EFX HDRI Comp is a new AE Script that “allows you to combine two separate clips shot with different exposures into a new clip that will contain detail from both”:
pt_OpenSesame is a new AE Script that brings compatibility to versions of After Effects older than CS5 — “exporting projects that can be opened in any version from CS3 or later. Projects are exported as human readable text files that can also be edited in a text editor or spreadsheet in various ways, such as changing text layers, colors, footage and file paths”:
Another delayed report is Flip Clock Stater Project Tutorial by ngambles, who has more info and a project file on his Vimeo page. For similar projects, see Create a Split-Flap Type Display at AE Portal archive. Here’s ngambles:
You Ask… I Answer: Masking vs Track Matting Part 2: Adobe After Effects by Kevin P. McAuliffe is new:
Shortform video’s AE Tutorial – Woodcut Logo Reveal creates a woodgrain effect in After Effects. You can also generate the wood text with the Materials Filters from Boris Continuum Complete (look out for future promotions that offer this unit for free). There are also a number of tutorials including Fractal Noise – A New Look at an Old Friend by Chris Zwar, Deke’s Techniques: Creating a simulated wood grain from Lynda.com, 15 Best Wood Photoshop Tutorials and Icons Sets, 200+ Ultimate Free High Quality Wood Textures, free textures from ImageAfter, and a nice series of 5 dealing with Faux Wood Grain in Photoshop by RobinWoodEnt. Another twist was offered in Coffee cup Wood Worker, which used Andrew Kramer’s procedural crumble. Here’s shortformvideo:
The fallout from Apple’s weak step to Final Cut Pro X continues. Among recent noteworthy discussions are Why the video pros are moving away from Apple by Jacqui Cheng on ArsTechnica, Real World Editing: From Avid to FCP and Back Again by Mark Raudonis, BCM to go with an Adobe / Avid combination for Post by Walter Biscardi, Opening My Mind Has Opened Doors by Richard Harrington, and CS5.5 Gripes/CS6 Wish List (from the perspective of an FCP switcher) on the Adobe forums.
There’s an upcoming webcast Thursday, January 26, 2012 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST: Moving to Adobe Premiere Pro and Using an HP Workstation with award-winning editor Christine Steele, who talks about switching from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere CS5.5.
The times they are a changin’ — YouTube added Magisto automatic video editing tool and by CES 2012 Magisto had made its way to the iPhone. This trend, along with crowdsourcing and outsourcing, was discussed on “The Terence and Philip Show” now available in Is There A Future For Editors: Will we be outsourced or automated out of existence? on PVC.
There was a ‘Mass suicide’ protest at Apple manufacturer Foxconn factory as noted by The Telegraph UK, and The Business Insider explained how Your iPhone Was Built, In Part, By 13 Year-Olds Working 16 Hours A Day For 70 Cents An Hour.
Emitters and Image Sequences features Mark Spencer sharing of playing with cards in Apple’s Motion 5 from MacBreak Studio #147:
‘Similaar Flaat’ Aims to Bring Improved Skin Tones to Canon DSLR Picture Profiles by NoFilmSchool notes a new picture profile for better skin tones on Canon DSLRs, in the manner of Technicolor CineStyle and Marvels Cine. Here are some tests: