Last week in After Effects


Here’s another week or so of some news on After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, scripts and more. Thanksgiving was last week but there was substance from Video Copilot, a start on some broadcast-style graphics, LED light walls & casino-style text lights, green screen tips, 3D cubes and other shapes, linking objects with lines, results of a user’s choice survey on plug-ins, and more.

Andrew Kramer posted 2 new tutorials on Video Copilot. In Dynamic Machine Gun he creates “a particle system for emitting specific particles based on a surface type. For example, when the emitter is on the ground we see dirt chunks and when it touches the water we see water splashes. This technique is easy to setup and can be used for motion graphics situations that require dynamic particles types that would be difficult to hand-animate.” In Epic Shatter! Kramer covers a complete workflow from 3Ds Max to After Effects for a shot from the Demon Cam iPhone promo, from fracturing geometry with Rayfire and creating the shatter simulation, to compositing a Z-pass in After Effects with DOF and Optical Flares.

Stefan Surmabojov started a series on Building Broadcast News-Style Graphics. See also Free Lower Thirds plus Additional Resources on leveraging Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. Here’s the preview for the latest from Stefan:

BatchProcessor might be the answer to a need to apply the same effect to multiple comps:

Daniel Moreno shows you how to Create A Glittering Cabaret Light Display with Las Vegas bulb lights and make them shine in different patterns with help from Trapcode Starglow and Particular. For similar treatments, see LED and Casino text effects in After Effects.

Talk Making Money as an Artists + FAST Motion Graphics is the topic of Red Giant TV Live – Episode 7: Nick Campbell & Andrew Little:

See a creepier than usual Film Riot episode, and hear their top 10 tips for better green screening:

The results are in from Toolfarm’s Annual Top 10 Plug-in Awards Survey (see the results of the 2010 users’ choice Plug-in Awards too). The top 10 After Effects plug-ins of the 2011survey are:

  • 1st: Trapcode Particular
  • 2nd: Red Giant Magic Bullet Looks
  • 3rd: Boris Continuum Complete
  • 4th: Video Copilot Optical Flares
  • 5th: GenArts Sapphire
  • 6th: Red Giant Magic Bullet Colorista
  • 7th: The Foundry Keylight (Included in AE)
  • 8th: Trapcode Shine
  • 9th: Imagineer Systems mocha
  • 10th: Noise Industries FxFactory Pro

Lines Creator is a new script for After Effects that lets use links object with lines; it’s inexpensive and has a 7-day trial (see the demo video below). David Alex Wanganju explained how to do this manually with the Beam filter and expressions (as recommended on forums) in After Effects – Join Points with a Line with Expressions. You can also do this with iExpressions, as shown partially in Tutorial: iExpressions 2 – Linking & Beat Detection.

Motion Graphics Exchange shared the 3D Cube Creator script used to create a 3d cube. See also the free Cube Intro project from Eran Stern and Create3DShapes at AE Scripts. Create3DShapes allows you to distribute layers as a box, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, or ellipsoid (e.g. rugby ball, with controllable x,y,z-radius) — as well as a 3D Platonic solids (see video), a Menger Sponge, and 3DFallingDominoes:

Chris and Trish Meyer some tips on what to look for when setting up a track in After Effects in After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Performing a Motion Track. CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 30 – Motion Tracking previously covered some of the same ground.

A silent Newton chains and ropes tutorial by Tercel demonstrates continuing experimentation:

Shortformvideo retuned with a faster approximation for Lens Blur with creative use of adjustment layers and the Fast Blur effect. For other approaches see Camera Lens Blur effect and camera depth of field properties in After Effects CS5.5 by Todd Kopriva. Here’s Laurence and Richard Harrington, who recently posted a tutorial too:

Angie Taylor posted After Effects Light Wipe Tutorial:

adintermedia posted Create high realistic 3D Text in After Effects in 2 parts. See also, 3D Text in After Effects (updated), a kitchen sink list of approaches on creating 3D text in AE. Here’s adintermedia:



Even Scott Kelby doesn’t like Adobe’s new upgrade policy.

Todd_Kopriva collected Resources for Choosing a Graphics Card for Adobe Premiere Pro.

FastCo Design notes Dieter Rams’s 10 Principles Of Good Design, Revealed In 10 Clever Posters.

At Mindshare Los Angeles in October, 2011, Ron Brinkmann looked at the way camera technology is evolving and the ramifications of this for both photographers and society in general:

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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