Chris was born a geek, and was lucky enough to own a Commodore 64 at a time when the number of students at his primary school who owned a computer could be counted on one hand. Upgrading to an Amiga with the onset of the desktop video revolution, Chris began experimenting with digital graphics and animation in his bedroom, and incorporating them into his high-school video productions.

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 4

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 4

  The point of using a chromakey plugin is to generate a matte / alpha channel based on the colour of a background. In Part 4 of this series on advanced…

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 3

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 3

Keylight is, in general, the best chromakey plugin that comes with After Effects. Although there are other 3rdparty plugins available for sale, Keylight can produce exceptional results and has won…

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 2

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 2

In Part 1 I did a quick overview of the most commonly used keying plugins for After Effects.  Regardless of which keying plugin you’re using, and no matter…

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 1

Advanced keying with After Effects: Part 1

Nothing says visual fx like a greenscreen.  The image of a film set covered with blue or green fabric has become synonymous with visual effects.  Keying has become such an…

Restrain your undisciplined pixels with NaNny

Restrain your undisciplined pixels with NaNny

Most pixels are pretty well behaved, but if you work in 32 bit mode then every so often you come across one that’s a born troublemaker.  If parts of…

Automatic grid layouts in After Effects

Automatic grid layouts in After Effects

This article will explain how to automatically layout images in a grid, using expression sliders in After Effects. In the last After Effects project diary, I demonstrated how a simple…

AE Project Diary: 8) 3D City

AE Project Diary: 8) 3D City

This city flythrough was created entirely using After Effects, with the final composition involving over 18,000 layers.  I made this almost 7 years ago, at the start of 2012…

After Effects & EXRs- Compositing with big boy toys

After Effects & EXRs- Compositing with big boy toys

The OpenEXR file format is the industry standard amongst high-end visual fx companies, but unfortunately After Effects has always had a poor reputation for EXR support.  Today, fnord software…

Globe animations in After Effects: The next chapter

Globe animations in After Effects: The next chapter

Just two weeks ago I looked at how globe animations had evolved between 1997 and 2010 – and now Andrew Kramer and the team at Video CoPilot have written the next…

AE Project Diary: 7) Globe animation

AE Project Diary: 7) Globe animation

It might not be obvious, but this simple globe animation was influenced by a Hollywood blockbuster.  I’m happy to admit that there’s nothing spectacular about it, and that…