Another week in After Effects


Here’s another summary of the last week or so of some news on After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, and scripts. The return to the regular news cycle caught idle hands by surprise with a promise of a big CS6 release, snakes in AE, tracking offscreen, plug-ins, and more.

Za Enchu (Cylinder Plus) is a multi-functional plug-in for drawing 3D cylindrical objects that was released recently on AE Scripts.  This plug-in “includes not only the functions of CC Cylinder, but also works with composition lights, arranging textures along the axis of the cylinder, opening/closing transformations, elliptic deformations, cylinder repeating/tiling and more. The unique function ‘Over Ride’ makes it possible to manipulate the cylinder by another 3D Layer in your composition.”

Fxphd is back with new courses, including several for After Effects:

How to Light Wrap on PVC rounds up methods for blending composite edges with and without 3rd party filters, including the recent quick tutorial video by Andrew Devis:

David van Brink shared AE: Omino Snake, a quick note about one of the plug-ins in the free omino suite. A related resource is Building and animating a CGSnake by Maltaannon, which shows you how to build a chain-based rig in After Effects. There’s also Lava Snake from Mylenium, a simple project that produces a skin reveal effect using ShapeShifter AE. Here’s the related movies:

With Creating a 3D Pixelstorm with ShapeShifter AE – Part 3 Nancy covers the deformation features in ShapeShifter AE. She’ll shows Mettle’s take on deformations, then wraps it up with some finishing touches:

Angie Taylor teases with this sample from her latest training series Essential Typography:

In Better Retiming using a Matte, Lori Freitag showed how to get better tracking using a matte to separate your footage into multiple layers available in Twixtor Pro for AE and other apps. Masks or Mattes can assist with AE’s built-in Timewarp effect too:

A few weeks ago, Kert Gartner discussed How to track an object that goes off screen with Adobe After Effects. The AE motion tracker has improved in accuracy over the years, but many people find it easier to just use Mocha AE than to deal with the obscurities of the internal tracker. An alternative to Kert’s method is to hold down Alt/Option and drag in the “Search region” but not the “Feature region.” Still, you’ll have to keep in mind if the keyframes are for the Feature region or Attach point; these terms are explained in Help’s Adjust the track point and in a “Hidden Gems” installment from Chris Meyer. See also the survey of Motion tracking overview and resources in Help. Here’s Kert to explain his complete method:

Trapcode Form is famous for audio visualizations, and in RAZOR Audio Reaction Soundwaves Using Trapcode Form, VinhSon Nguyen covers “some of the parameters in the Audio React tab within Form and tweak them to create an organic soundwave transition throughout the strings of particles.” See also Effects A-Z: Audio Spectrum with Maltaannon and Sound Reacting 3D Waveform without 3rd Party Plugins at AE Portal archive. Here’s VinhSon Nguyen:

Chris and Trish Meyer returned with After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Eraser Tool Modes, on how to target precisely what you’re erasing, from the source image to just your most recent paint stroke.

In Digieffects v2.5 – Damage & Delirium Explored, Jeff Foster reviews Digieffects latest plug-in effect releases.

AE Scripts released AE Global Renamer by Lloyd Alvarez, which helps you rename items project wide in After Effects with as much ease or power as you want.

Filmriot shows how to Get The Grindhouse Effect with and without 3rd party filters (check out the Top 11 Film Riot Moments of 2011 later):

In Red Giant Quicktip #57: Animating a Look, Aharon Rabinowitz shows you how to animate the tools in Magic Bullet Looks, and in Episode #68: First Issue Credits – Comic Book Title Sequence, Seth Worley shows you how to create a 2.5D comic book-style title/credit sequence:

Yanobox announced Moods, an FxFactory Mac OS X filter akin to Magic Bullet Looks. Here’s an intro:

TimotsproductionBTS put together 40 Film Burns and Light Leaks. For more on light leaks, see “Lens Wacking” to Create Video Flares by Chris Meyer, Lester Banks on some from VFX Footage, and Matthew Jeppsen on some leaks from Jesse Rosten. There’s also Light Leaks from Luca Visual Fx, a Mac Fx Plug that generates them (it works in apps like After Effects through FxFactory 3.0, which was just released). [update: FreshDV notes light leaks from 5Dleaks and by Artbeats, as well as how to composite them, in 5 Simple Steps to Make your Own Light Leaks. Philip Bloom later discussed the effect in The art of “lens whacking”, real lights leaks and ones done in post.] Here are the light leaks from TimotsproductionBTS:

Speaking of Jesse Rostem, see Fotoshop by Adob©, which recalls Dove’s older confessional:


Premiere and miscellaneous

HDVideoPro chose its The Top Ten Products Of 2011, and Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.5 Takes The Top Product Of The Year! What Does Adobe Have In Store For 2012? The answer from Adobe’s Bill Roberts, Director of Video Product Management, was “It will be one of the biggest and most exciting video releases ever on the video front. In my career, you get times where certain forces manage to line up and you get big releases and multiple products at the same time.”

Lightroom 4 is in public beta, and among the enhancements is extended support and some new UI for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips. There’s no direct access to the Develop Module, but we might look forward to synergistic developments with a future Adobe Speedgrade. Here’s Julieanne Kost on some of the new features:

NoFilmSchool’s Top 10 Posts of 2011 leads with How to Build a Hackintosh That’s Faster than a Mac Pro for Half the Price.

The Verge notes a New Yorker feature that takes an in-depth look “at the history of YouTube and its plans to launch a hundred-channel ‘YouTV’ of sorts in the next six months, complete with its own producers, publishers, and programmers.”

Richard Harrington says Shooting Video? Better Under than Overexposed, and earlier showed Low Light Shooting Strategies, Adjusting for Underexposure, and DSLR Exposure Part 2: Adjusting for Overexposure. Here’s Equalizing Color & Exposure for Premiere for one technique:

The Fundamental Elements of Design by Erica Gorochow is pleasantly succinct:


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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.

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