Another Two Weeks in After Effects
Here’s the latest roundup on After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, scripts and other news. You never know when you'll need examples, so don't forget to (re)scan the varied AEtuts+ tutorials too.
Fxguide had 4 reports this week from SIGGRAPH 2011, and there were also a few Adobe and After Effects-related news items:
- NVIDIA and Adobe gave a technology presentation on ray-traced extruded text and shapes inside a “motion graphics environment” (see video below)
- Autodesk announced Bidirectional interoperability between After Effects and 3DSMax, which includes transfers of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage layering, blend modes, opacity, and effects.
- There was paper showing New image enhancement research at Adobe, with applications in color matching, procedural masking, and deblurring.
Aharon Rabinowitz explores the basics of 3D Stereoscopic Workflow with Trapcode 3D plug-ins. This tutorial is a good intro to stereoscopic 3D in AE. On AdobeTV, Karl Soule demonstrates a couple different ways to work with and create stereo 3D content inside of AE CS5.5.
To go deeper into stereo 3D, see stereoscopic 3D in After Effects CS5.5 by Todd Kopriva, free in-depth videos from Chris Meyer, and resources for earlier versions of AE at the AE Portal archive. See also the new article from Scott squires on 2D to 3D conversions, as well as Parellel vs Converged from Steve Wright.
Harry Frank explains a gotcha in QuickTip #49: Trapcode Particular and Obscuration Layers, and recommends the Sebastien Perrier script sParticular to make your Particular particles intersect with 3D layers:
Laurie Knapp continues her series with AE Tutorial 9: Simulate Mouse Click - Button Depress Effect on Screenshot.
Project Sync helps you share After Effects with other users: import multiple projects and have them all update, right inside your project window without a re-import and without duplicating footage or comps. Sign up for beta testing information; it's coming soon. Here's the video:
Chris and Trish Meyer have more guidance at PVC:
- a gentle introduction to Expressions from the After Effects Apprentice video series.
- The Wiggle Expression, a very simple expression can be used to add randomness to virtually any parameter, is also new in the video series.
- CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 35 – The Puppet Tools
- Upgrading to After Effects CS5.5? A quick review of what’s changed in recent versions.
Richard Harrington releases a steady stream of tutorials. A recent one explores layer comps in Adobe Photoshop and then shows how easy it is to spit out multiple versions of your file to bring into Adobe After Effects.
Harrington also posted Photoshop and AE: Using Gradients to Create Custom Backdrops to demonstrate how to use gradients to create custom backdrops. For a survey of resources, see Some Backgrounds in After Effects at AEtut+.
Maltaanon returned with 2 new gifts: the free Webcam Panel that puts a live camera feed into an After Effects panel window, and The Matrix Raining Code, a tutorial using Trapcode Particular and the Mosaic effect. More resources can be found in the mini-roundup The Matrix effect: some resources for After Effects.
In Head Shot, Film Riot shows how to use After Effects to shoot your friends in the head, from a distance with a sniper scope reticle. Check out also How To Blow The Face Off A Zombie Pirate by James Whiffin at AE tuts+.
Calango teamed with Maria Jose Torrero Heredia to create an addition to their animated typeface collection (for related efforts, see Moshun, an 'animated font'). This one, Binary 2.0, includes 105 glyphs and comes in two flavors, a bi-colored filled version and an outlined version. Both are available as an animated or static version:
- The static version comes as an open type family compatible with Mac and PC. Combine Binary Top and Binary Bottom to create the full Binary 2.0 typeface, or choose one of the five outlined weights.
- The animated version is available as an After Effects file packed with pre-animated characters, numbers and punctuation. All the glyphs are fully customizable from one central point. Change the colors, duration, easing and line thickness to create your own personal look. For more info on how to use Binary 2.0 animated, check out the tutorial at the bottom of this page. Binary 2.0 is compatible with Adobe After Effects CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5.
Symmetrion from Mylenium is a toolbox of projects that allows you to create mesh and grid structures easily, deal with large amounts of points, as well as providing an easier way of creating deformations in FreeForm Pro (including symmetrical "modelling"). Lutz also released a free project, Pillars in Decay, a "tech demo illustrating various techniques how you can manipulate displacement maps and use advanced features like shadow casting and the depth buffer output in FreeForm Pro to create detailed scenes, in this case an eroding Acropolis with a couple of crumbling pillars."
In Red Giant TV Episode 58: Creating a Motion Graphics Billboard Animation, Harry Frank walks you through creating a motion Graphics billboard project. You’ll learn about 2 kinds of particle systems, color correction, lighting, reflections, etc. More more of this stuff, see Casino style text effect.
Simon Walker talks about moving from Apple Color to Magic Bullet Colorista II for Red Giant.
Jeff Sengstack looks at Streamlining Color Correction in Premiere Pro, which has about 40 tonality and color correction video effects and four vector and waveform scopes. As a massive reminder, Todd Kopriva reposted his Color correction and color grading tutorials onto PVC. There's even more on color correction at the AE Portal archive, and in the AEtuts+ roundup Some Color Correction Resources.
There's now a product trial for Autodesk Smoke For Mac OS X.
fxphd fastforward: Resolve Fundamentals is the first standalone video training offered by that group, so check out the DaVinci preview video.
DaVinci Resolve Lite, the new free Mac app for color correction, is optimized to work with a resolution of 1920×1080. Francois Tarlier has an easy workaround if you need to work at a lower res.
In CA Trip Behind The Scenes Part 3 – Data Management and Workflow, Vincent Laforet has some overviews of his workflow and gear, along with a 53-minute look into the Adobe CS5.5 workflow that applies to both Canon / HDSLRS and RED footage. Richard Harrington helps with the in-depth introduction to Adobe interfaces and features, showing importing footage into Premiere and sending it roundtrip to After Effects and back. Here's the video: