Last week in After Effects


Here’s another summary of the last week or so of news on After Effects — with assorted tutorials, scripts, plug-ins, demos, and more. Please note that these roundups are for quick review and comparison, and that there is almost always vital information from the originating authors at the links provided-and often free presets, projects, or stock footage too.

Scott Simmons says that Adobe teases Prelude at the San Francisco Supermeet, FCPUG changes its name. Next stop, NAB.

Survey: Help Inform on Your VFX Needs… A friend of AE Portal wants your feedback, with chances to win a $50 gift card. In this survey, feedback is being collected to understand the needs of video software applications users. The survey (available HERE) should take about 15 minutes. Your comments are vital to the development of some products for your industry. As a thank you for your time and help, you will be included in a drawing to win: One of 3 cards from each worth $50 USD.
To begin the survey, please click HERE. Note: the survey closes Feb. 14, 2012. You must complete the survey and provide your email address to be entered in the drawing. Your e-mail will not be used for marketing purposes and is only for contact of prize winners.

David Torno posted another expression tutorial on PVC, Expression Shorts – Random Words Cycle, which helps you create a text layer that randomly cycles through words. You could preview the tutorial here, though it’s better to go straight away to the discussion for the whole story:

Chris and Trish Meyer posted After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Drawing Parametric Shapes, explaining how “the same tools you’ve used to create masks can also be used to create Shape Layers – with far more options than you might have imagined. … Chris covers creating so-called “parametric” shapes: rectangles, ellipses, polygons, and stars. There are a number of modifier keys you can use while dragging out a shape to control its position, symmetry, roundness, number of sides, and the such. After a shape path has been created, it is then highly editable. Chris shows how to dissect a shape layer’s construction: It’s actually a series of modules, and the order of those modules – such as Fill and Stroke – can have a big impact on how the final graphic renders.”

AE Tutorial – Aero Compass by Shortformvideo helps you create a boat/flight instrument with the standard toolkit in After Effects:

Martin Ainsworth posted Lite Bite for After Effects: The Tilt Shift Effect. For more on that effect, see Tilt-shift photography meme and others at AE Portal archive.

Smashing magazine rounded up New High-Quality Free Fonts, while Design Whoop added A Collection of 400+ Free Fonts.

Jorrit Schulte posted Quick Tip – Type-On Text Preset With Blinking Cursor on AEtuts; the preview is below. For more, see Jordan Shipman on Free Text Animation Preset for After Effects, along with a tutorial on this “Blinking Cursor Type On Effect.” Ayato posted something similar a few years ago using Red Giant Image Lounge. The built-in preset Typewriter doesn’t include a cursor but the preset Word Processor does. Rhys-works has an expressions tutorial that creates a typewriter style effect with a blinking cursor too; Voiduh did it by hand on YouTube.

Pencils, Pigment & Pixels… is part 2 of an interview of Dan Gies by “Nancy”. See also Bats, Mom, Rainbows, Dad & Nanotechnology – Dan Gies Interview Part 1. Dan is the author of what may be the definitive tutorial series on character animation in After Effects, the 17-part How To Create and Rig a Realistic Puppet.  Here’s part 2 of the interview, on Dan’s methodology and the importance of spontaneity to the creative process:

Trent Armstrong posted Slow Mo with Motion Estimation [TUTORIAL] on Echo Hub. For more on time remapping and in-between morphs, see Time-stretching and time-remapping and time-related resources at AE Portal archive.

Wren Weichman posted Make An Amazing Motion Reactant Flame – Tutsplus Premium. Related tutorials can be found in Fire in After Effects round-up. Here’s the preview from Wren:

Dale Bradshaw posted OSX Drawing with Quartz 2d for After Effects Plugins; A Quartz Composer Laces Sample Plugin; here’s a preview:

Ran Ben Avraham posted Quick Tip – Create An Organic Tunnel Using Freeform Pro. Other resources include 28. The Tunnel from MaxAfter, Chris ZwarZa Enchu (Cylinder Plus) from AE Scripts, and of course Image Lounge Fractal Tunnel.

In Episode #69: Cosmodius – Creating a Retro Sci-fi Logo Animation, “Aharon Rabinowitz walks you through the process of creating a Retro Sci-Fi logo. In addition to creating the logo, he’ll show you how to age the video to make it look like it came out of the early 80’s.” And in Red Giant TV Live – Episode 9: All Fractalled Up – Working with Trapcode Fractal Fields, Harry Frank demystifies some of the controls over fractal fields in Trapcode Form and Particular:

In Climbing The Billboard Charts Like A Rock Star, Blake ONeal recreates an effect similar to the effect used at the beginning of Get Him to the Greek:

Mamoworld shows you how to Create Ultra-Smooth Pans with Mocha and iExpressions:

EJ Hassenfratz shows Ways to Get Continuous Animation Without Keyframes in After Effects & Cinema 4D:

In Harry Potter Text Tutorial, Matt Corkum follows Aetuts+ Hollywood Movie Titles Series: Harry Potter:

Naldzgraphics collected 33 Free After Effects Templates. Here’s an example from

Julia Rising by Nuno Caroço is an inspiration for un-rebels limited to AE’s built-in tools and free Pixel Bender filters. This one uses the free 4D Quaternion Julia Set Ray Tracer by Tom Beddard:



Keep ’em guessing a little longer with 40 Advanced and Alternative Search Engines from KissMetrics.

Not long ago, Chris Marin posted A R3D Workflow (see also a rhedpixeltv intro):

Jeff Foster posted Basic Lighting Setups for Green Screen, text from the “Green Screen Workshop: The Setup” series, and Jan Ozer posted How to Create Perfect Green Screen Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro:

Producing for HTML5 is excerpted from Producing Great Video with the Adobe Media Encoder by Jan Ozer. It shows you how to produce an H.264 file for HTML5 Playback, with a quick overview of HTML5-specific playback requirements and AME encoding controls.

Fxphd posted Professor Profile: Charles Poynton. Poynton, famous for color, gamma, and video engineering, is teaching the Camera Tech and Colour Science course this term.  “Every month or so we will be profiling a professor from fxphd so you can learn a little more about where they started, how they learned their craft and what motivates them.” Here’s some related flavor, with info on Adobe RGB 1998 and more:

Yosemite HD by the Project Yosemite is another take on experiences described by Ansel Adams in last week’s roundup:


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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