As we optimistically welcome in a New Year, I can't help but look back at all the experiences from this past year. I'd love to highlight a handful of my personal best memories that I know I'm going to take away from 2011.
Working with Rich Young
We started the year super strong as I had been chatting with Rich Young from AePortal. We had discussed the option of bringing him on to create regular posts about different hot topics in the industry. I've learned so much over the years due to Rich's quality archival and organizational work that it was an absolute treat to have him come and keep Aetuts+ in the loop with the latest. Please take some time to look through all of the Book Reviews, Industry News, and Tutorial Roundups he's posted here on Aetuts+.
Hollywood Movie Title Series
I first met Antonio Cerri back the middle of 2010 as he created this tutorial for Aetuts+. I loved how he so naturally worked between Cinema 4d and After Effects, using both programs for their strengths. After a few more tutorials, the idea came to let the viewers choose a Movie Title from their favorite Hollywood flicks, and then we'd produce a tutorial recreating that text style. Throughout 2011, as new movies have were released, we've had a total of 3 Movie Title Polls, and over 20 Tutorials teaching how anybody can make these amazing openers themselves! We have an incredible line up for 2012 so grab some popcorn, it's gonna be good! :)
Integration of Social Media
Right at the end of 2010 we first announced that we had a Facebook Page and over the course of 2011, we've grown to over 18,000 fans. Every morning I log in with updates on the latest activity on Aetuts+ along with inspirational videos and fun topics of discussion. Even though we do have an area for you to leave comments after each tutorial on Aetuts+, I've found the Facebook Page to be an excellent platform to talk to the readers about the content we post on the site and get feedback about what you want to see more of.
If you're not already a fan, take a second to do it... Simply “Like” our Facebook Page and you’ll see “Fan Bonus” on the left where you can download a free exclusive tutorial that can't be found anywhere on the main Aetuts+ site! You can also follow us on Twitter or if you're more of a Google+ user, be sure to check out Aetuts+ Google+ Page!
Chris Bobotis and the Character Animation Series
Chris Bobotis started Mettle back in 1992 and has developed a number of powerful plug-ins including Freeform Pro and ShapeShifter AE. I was introduced to Chris when we posted a Sneak Peek to ShapeShifter AE, previewing some of the plug-in's functionality. After conversing back and forth, we decided to put together the Freeform Third Party…. Party! contest in September.
This contest was a really fun opportunity for our readers to collaborate and show what they were made of. :) Chris provided the opportunity to host what I believe to be the longest and most in-depth tutorial series on Character Rigging and Animation within After Effects that exists. This 17 part series by Daniel Gies uses Freeform Pro to give depth and add realism to the animation. I thoroughly enjoyed working through this series and it was definitely a highlight of the content we've posted this past year.
Added Value to Tuts+ Premium
As most of you know, we have a Premium membership. Becoming a member allows you access to the a massive archive of Project Files, ebooks, Courses, and in-depth Bonus Tutorials. We give you all this additional content as our way of saying Thank You! for your support of our goal to help people learn and earn online. I've been extremely impressed with the new site redesign and layout. Toward the end of this past year, we've really made it a goal to put out a new Premium Tutorial each week, a goal that you will continue to see into 2012. We have over 45 Premium After Effects tutorials already with plenty more in the works. I'm stoked to see the Premium program continue to grow and I believe 2011 has really helped refine our method through consistency and little additions like having short tutorial overview videos instead of just a preview of the end result.
If Aetuts+ has helped you grow and learn this past year, consider 2 things as you enter this new year:
- We are always looking for more talented individuals to contribute to the site by becoming authors. I don't think one month has gone by where we haven't posted a tutorial from a first time author. If you have any tutorial concepts, quick tips, or content ideas that you haven't seen online anywhere else, we'd love for you to pitch your content! Don't worry if you've never created a tutorial before, we'll help you along the way AND pay you for your work.
- Help support Aetuts+ by becoming a Tuts+ Premium Member. We rely on readers like you to help make this site possible, and Premium membership comes with a host of fantastic benefits — from regular bonus tutorials and resources, to a huge collection of eBooks and educational courses. There's never been a better time to join with full Unrestricted Access to Tuts+ Premium!
Here's to 2012!
My wife Katie, myself, and Colden