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.

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…

Automatic animation with expressions

Automatic animation with expressions

Have you ever wished you could just press a button and have After Effects do all of the work for you?  While we’re not quite at that stage…

AE Project Diary: 6) Xian part 2: With Video!

AE Project Diary: 6) Xian part 2: With Video!

As part of the After Effects Project Diary series, my last article looked at colour grading on the Xian project.  However at over 5,000 words it’s a…

AE Project Diary: 6) Xian part 2.  Color Grading

AE Project Diary: 6) Xian part 2. Color Grading

This is part 2 of my After Effects diary on the Xian project, and in it I’ll be looking at colour grading.  If you missed part 1, I mentioned…

Managing complex expressions in After Effects

Managing complex expressions in After Effects

Expressions in After Effects are a powerful tool for animation, but while they can be as simple as the ‘wiggle’ function, working with more complex expressions can begin to get…

AE Project Diary: 6) Xian part 1.  Compositing.

AE Project Diary: 6) Xian part 1. Compositing.

When I started on the Xian project in 2011, it was the largest and most complex compositing project I had worked on.  Even though about seven years have passed since…

AE Project Diary: 5) Burning Embers

AE Project Diary: 5) Burning Embers

In this project diary we look at the process I went through to create an animation of burning embers in After Effects, using Trapcode Form.  Because the animation was a…

Alpha Channels: The good, the bad & the ugly

Alpha Channels: The good, the bad & the ugly

Alpha channels are the basis of digital compositing, but there are two different types – straight and premultiplied.  Understanding the difference can make or break your composites – if the…