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Production

Visual Rhythm, Part 2: Motion & Cinema Tricks

Visual Rhythm, Part 2: Motion & Cinema Tricks

In the previous column, we detailed a number of techniques for animating multiple layers in Adobe After Effects. In this column, we turn our attention to Apple’s Motion…

Visual Rhythm, Part 1: After Effects Tricks

Visual Rhythm, Part 1: After Effects Tricks

Rhythm – repetition, with variation – is the backbone of many pieces of fine art, as well as motion graphic designs. However, it can be tedious to create and animate…

Motion + MIDI

Motion + MIDI

An intriguing feature introduced in version 2 of Apple’s Motion Apple’s Motion is the ability to control it via MIDI: the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. This…

The Almost Perfect Font

The Almost Perfect Font

The LoveLetter Typewriter font had a few characters that were difficult to read (top line) until they were modified (lower line). When planning a new project, the font you choose…

A Different Light: Gamma-Corrected Compositing

A Different Light: Gamma-Corrected Compositing

The image on the left is a normal computer crossfade; the image on the right uses linear blending – note how the bright areas are emphasized. Footage courtesy Artbeats. Most…

Managing Moving Masks

Managing Moving Masks

In After Effects, each mask vertex (the yellow squares) interpolates in a straight line from old to new positions. The red lines illustrate some of these paths. The First Vertex…

A Track of the Clones

A Track of the Clones

One of the most significant but underused sections of After Effects has to be its vector-based painting engine, introduced back in version 6. One of the capabilities of this…

Between Dimensions: 3D Into AE

Between Dimensions: 3D Into AE

The logo was rendered in a 3D program; the walls were created in After Effects. Both use the same camera data, so their perspective shifts match as the camera moves…

More Motion, Less Control

More Motion, Less Control

Most of you are probably familiar with the concept of using a camera to pan and zoom around still images. Popularized by Ken Burns in his documentary on the Civil…

Pulse Rays

Pulse Rays

Light ray treatments, where streaks of color extend from type, a logo, or image, are popping up everywhere these days. But you've no doubt heard the saying &#8220…

Gobos and Gels

Gobos and Gels

Finishing our tour of 3D lighting in After Effects, we’ll discuss gobos and gels. For those new to lighting, a gobo is an opaque object that blocks off…

Lurking in the Shadows

Lurking in the Shadows

The second stop in our overview of 3D lighting in After Effects is the subject of shadows. In the Dark Ages (before version 5, when After Effects got 3D), in…

Blinded by the Light

Blinded by the Light

The 3D implementation in After Effects is very flexible. You can selectively place some layers in 3D space, and leave others in normal 2D. If you don’t create…

Making 3D Effects Behave Like 3D

Making 3D Effects Behave Like 3D

Expressions can make “fake” 3D plug-ins such as CC Sphere track After Effects’ 3D cameras. After Effects is, at heart, a 2D program: All layers have…

Urban Legends of Video

Urban Legends of Video

Like urban legends, there are a few pieces of “conventional wisdom” that float around the motion graphics and 3D communities about how to handle video. They are oft…