Another 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}

Evan Abrams posted a 6-part series of shorts on Twitch Expressions for any After Effects skill level. Here's the intro:

Mattrunks posted a new tutorial, Wiggle – Generate a fixed random calculation even after adding layers.

For more see The Wiggler in AE Help, wiggle expression with slider control by John B. Hartley, Deeper Modes of Expression, Part 9: Wiggly World by Chris and Trish Meyer, the Automatic Animation tutorial from Motionworks, the pt_AutoExpress by Paul Tuersley and so forth. Check out also the recently released wihihihiggle script for AECS4+, free from Fabian “fabiantheblind” Morón Zirfas (author of the AEMap script), and the older useful overview on the Wiggle Expression in Adobe After Effects by Colin Whitehurst:

Lester Banks noted Super.Scrub, a free AE template from VFX Bro, which uses a null layer and slider controls along with Motion Sketch to control Time Remapping. Author Aaron Benitez calls it the dubstep editor's best friend.

Andrew Kramer released Another Free 3D Model! Galaxy S3, which follows his free iPhone 5 model. White and black versions of the phone are available in the Element 3D format. The previous tutorial, Animating an iPhone 5 Screen, works for Android phones too:

malty: Cuber from Maltaannon is “yet another script to create 3D boxes in After Effects… or is it? This cleverly designed script is very intelligent, has no user interface so it's very quick and convenient to use and it has many more advantages to any other '3d-box' script out there. Find out why I believe the After Effects world needs another 'make-a-box' script in the videos tab.” The shorter intro isn't so convincing but the longer intro below makes a better case with a faux 3D laptop, and Maltaannon promises more in-depth treatments on Motionworks.

Filmmaker IQ collected 15 Tutorials on Color Correction / Grading.

To summarize some other resources, Todd Kopriva presented a breakdown and resources on an e-seminar by Robbie Carman on color grading and correction in Creative Suite Production Premium. Todd did a big roundup of resources in Color correction and color grading tutorials, and of course in AE Help. There's even more in 77 free color grades for AE, and in the AE Portal roundups Some Color Correction Resources and Bleach bypass, cross-process, and other looks for After Effects.

For an in-depth intro to controlling color in AE with the standard Adobe tools, see Adobe After Effects CS6 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques by Mark Christiansen. See also the free infographics Levels Quick Reference Guide and Curves Quick Reference Guide by John Dickinson, Color correction and color grading tutorials (for Premiere) by Todd Kopriva, and Colorista Free from Red Giant (pictured). Here's a short take on the standard tools by Pretty People Pictures:

Adam Everett Miller offers Aetuts+ Quiz #10 – After Effects Scripts , based on questions by Lloyd Alvarez, creator of For more, see Using and creating After Effects scripts: Some learning and script resources. Lloyd introduced concepts in AENY presents Lloyd Alvarez's After Effects Scripting Presentation:

James Whiffin shows How To Set Up and Create Videos For A Stereo Pair 3D Workstation in After Effects (source files available). For related 3D stereo-related tidbits, see “A Liar's Autobiography” Filmmakers Switch to All Adobe Workflow for Tribute to Monty Python Member, which used a 3D glasses script by Paul Tuersley (see also Stereo 3D Toolkit on AE Scripts). Here's part 1 from James Whiffin:

Emilie Nicolas introduced basics about tracking, Dynamic Link, and expressions in How To Give Life To An Object With Basic 2D Tracking.

John Dickinson shared After Effects: Hulk walkthrough on using BorisFX, and there's a project file on Motionworks.

Better Keying from Production to Post was a free class on green screen. Sponsored by Tiffen, the webinar features Marco Paolini and Richard Harrington.

In Premiere you can choose Show Audio Time Units from the wing menu of the Audio Mixer, Program Monitor, Source Monitor, or Timeline panel. This feature has always offered more precision than Final Cut Pro scrubbing in the audio Viewer with the Shift key down. Additionally, source clip markers can help snap sources when matching audio.

You can scrub audio in AE, but you don't have the fine control as in Premiere or other NLEs. Nick Campbell explained aspects of The Correct Way To Use Audio in After Effects, and Andrew Devis recently explained Premiere's precision audio feature:

There are several updates for Production Premium apps. Todd Kopriva detailed the After Effects CS6 (11.0.2) update: bug fixes and added GPUs for ray-traced 3D renderer, adding:
“Note that one of the changes is adding the GT 650M to the official list of GPUs that can be used for GPU acceleration of the ray-traced 3D renderer. Also added (for Windows) is the GTX 670 and 690. The GTX 680 was added with the last update.”

Premiere Pro & beyond

Oddy enough, all the gymnastics to find the proper name of your CUDA card don't matter. To enable a non-supported card just delete the preference list (“cuda_supported_cards.txt”) from the Premiere folder. According to Jeff Bellune, “with no list to check against, all CUDA-capable cards are enabled.”

Beth Marchant reports on deadlines, switching, and the rush of 'post-production improv' in A New Season for the SNL Film Unit with Adobe CS6.

In Combining Transition Effects from Video2brain's new course, Premiere Pro CS6 FX Workshop, Maxim Jago shows how you can combine transition effects by layering your clips:

Many are chomping at the bit waiting on the fate of the Mac Pro. Jonas Hummelstrand noted that a “6-core IvyBridge Hackintosh will give you 23k+ in GeekBench for almost nothing. I think that's almost > top MacPro!” There are nice guides on building a Hackintosh at Lifehacker and Nofilmschool, but obtaining The Right Graphics Card For Your Hackintosh requires extra scrutiny; for example see Building a CustoMac: Buyer's Guide 2012 by tonymacx86. The worst case scenario is that you have a nice Windows machine that runs the same apps. It's too bad Apple doesn't just license Mac OS!

For those willing to live with Windows, Eric Escobar offers an assessment in NVidia Maximus on a Budget. In GPU Acceleration & Custom Builds, VinhSon Nguyen says he's decided to switch, primarily for stability and power for After Effects 3D plug-ins from Mettle, Trapcode, and Video Copilot.

Here's Building an Ivy Bridge Hackintosh From Start to Finish by Bob Roche.

Karl Soule clarifies some aspects On CS6 and CinemaDNG, pointing out “There was never 'official' support for CinemaDNG in past versions of Premiere Pro”, which is still awkward considering  the resurgence of the CinemaDNG format with the new Blackmagic Camera.

Kevin Monahan spoke with Premiere Pro engineer Wil Renczes about Smart Rendering in Premiere Pro CS6 (6.0.1, and later). It's a feature not described in Premiere Help (PDF or web); old-time Premiere and FCP users will know the feature by other names:
“Smart rendering in Premiere Pro has been available for DV and DVCPro formats for years. In Premiere Pro CS6 (6.0.1, and later), smart rendering capability has been added for Long GOP MPEG2 OP1a exports, where the original material is a matching long GOP MPEG2 OP1a or XDCAM EX file. The intention is that smart rendering creates better quality output by avoiding recompression when possible.”

Adobe has some new intro videos on CS6 from Europe, including New Features in Adobe Premiere CS6 and Ray-Traced 3D in After Effects.

Camcorder Settings Tips from B&H helps you learn how to use some basic settings on your camcorder to make sure you get great video every time you shoot. Even if you bought expensive cameras, at the least, please white balance your shoots!

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.

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