Last week in After Effects

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Here’s another summary of the last week or so of news on After Effects-assorted tutorials, new and old plug-ins, scripts, expressions, and more.

Jeff Foster posted Simulated Rack Focus for Believable Composites on Matching Foreground Green Screen and Background Plates with Rack Focus Effect in After Effects. See also After Effects Rack Focus: tutorial and preset, Nice Rack Focus Experiment, and other posts at AE Portal archive. Here’s a different excerpt from his Video2brain tutorial set:

Separate RGB, an After Effects plug-in by Satya Meka on AE Scripts, was updated with Premiere Pro compatibility, new Lens Distortion per channel, and more, but Pixel Bender is history.

EFX AB Compare is an AE Scripts plug-in that “lets you compare the current layer (or composition if applied to an Adjustment Layer) to a reference layer. You can compare them using a split screen approach or visualize the differences between them.”

AE3DTools released DarkCorner, a GPU-based Ambient Occlusion plug-in for After Effects. This Windows-only plug-in requires depth channel input, and includes JaggyBuster, a GPU-based anti-aliasing plug-in. Here’s a demo rom the silent era:

Peder Norrby, aka @rymden and creator of Trapcode Particular, notes that “About 50% of the Particular animations I see would look 50% better by just adding some Life randomness. Guess I should make that default”. For fun, here’s some smoke tests in Particular (project here):

Seth Worley shows you how to create a Sandstorm effect, inspired by Mission Impossible 4, in Episode #71: Dubai Hard – Creating a Sandstorm Effect.

Wiggle on Position for the Puppet Tool by Ryan Boyle follows the earlier Wiggle on Position (and a growing library) with a lesson on how to apply expressions to the x and y positions separately in the Puppet Tool. 

David Torno helps you get swinging around with a little extra character. Expression Shorts – Swinging Motion – Math.sin() part 1 and Expression Shorts – Swinging Motion – Math.sin() part 2.

Sebastien Lavoie shows ways for Easily Switching Languages With Simple After Effect Expressions:

Mattrunks has a new tutorial, Bubble Candy Typography – Exp©rimentation ludique avec Form, if you want to follow along in French. It seems like you could try a variation using the built-in CC Ball Action and some distortion if you don’t have Form handy. Here’s the preview:

In How to Create Running Raindrops in AE Jake and Dan return to reuse their After Effects preset for the raindrop look to create a Trapcode Particular rig for a matte to create impressionistic raindrops on a windshield.

AERender, the render droplet for OS X that runs multiple instances of After Effects on Mac OS X, was updated. The application automates the initializing of After Effects from the command line, an old trick that worked on Mac and Windows. There are other ways to run multiple instances of After Effects for AE background rendering:

Autodesk posted another Sneak Peek on MediaSync: best interop with Adobe After Effects gets better,

“Nancy” of Mettle shared Create The Amazing Spider-Man Title Sequence Entirely In After Effects:

Retooled.net posted AE ? PR – Using AE to Move Multiple Layers in the PR Program Monitor:

Jonathan Berkey shares a Berkshop: Quick Tip Tutorial on Shape Layers in After Effects:

Here’s an interesting layer-by-layer deconstruction of an AE project, “Flowing Meditation,” part of REBIRTH of GAEA (a print project). If you like it, visit the Kickstarter Campaign. If you’re into the other end of the duality mindset, check out Selleck Waterfall Sandwich!

Corner Cutters is a collection of utility scripts intended to make your life easier in After Effects. It includes a toolbar to use individual scripts in your own workflow and script icons if you choose to use them with other toolbars such as ft-Toolbar.

 
 

Miscellaneous

For those delaying until the last day (March 1 is too late), EFF posted How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect and How to Remove Your YouTube Viewing and Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Takes Effect. See also How to Opt Out of Google’s New Privacy Policy (Sort Of) at PC Magazine. Here’s some background:

Especially if you’re under a deadline, don’t interrupt “indexing rendered” in Premiere (bottom right of app with yellow progress bars). You might cause Premiere to lose track of what was rendered in the Timeline, which is quite a disappointment if half a 16-hour render is lost and you’re red-lined on formats like the flavor of AVCHD used by a Canon XA10. For some ideas on this occasional annoyance, see this thread on the Adobe Forums, Conforming and Indexing Errors, Media Pending, Audio won’t play in timeline.

Sneak Peek #5 is another look at Photoshop “CS Next” on automatic preset migration and more:

fxguidetv #136: features a talk with John Knoll on Stereoscopic 3D and includes “his approach to the stereo budget, floating windows, parallel vs. converged, shooting stereo vs. post-converting”, and views on how studios are solving complex stereo problems. Here’s an older clip on the subject:

Michelle Gallina of Adobe noted the Act of Valor world premiere with Navy SEALs. Adobe seems to have played godfather on aspects of the effort, along with recruitment of HP, Vnidia, and others. Interesting aspects of the production were described by Shane Hurlbut in Act of Valor: Reinventing the Action Genre and by Vincent Laforet. While the cinematography and X-Game stuntmen are interesting, the movie won’t approach the influence of something like Apocalypse Now, except perhaps in raising gas prices or propagating the meme of the Dark Passenger from Dexter. You can find some tasteful commentary on AdobeTV; here’s a review from MovieBob (or Ebert):

A Simple Explanation of ISO for Digital Photography and Video by Dylan Bennett might not hold the attention of those in deficit, but may be worth a try, especially if you don’t Know your Base (or Native) ISO.

 
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.

 


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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