Sunday, August 29, 2004

Cool Roto Zoom Tip for OS X Users

This was posted to the AE Mail-List, which I don't really read much anymore, but it's a great resource. This one caught my eye, because the West Michigan After Effects User Group is going to present a little roto at the next meeting. I can't wait to show everyone this tip.

From Alex ( "I'm on a pretty huge roto job for the moment, and as I was on my 356'th frame of my 5th sequence, I was starting to have very achy eyes. It kind of sucks that you can't make your mask vertices bigger in AE, and zooming into the comp doesen't make the mask look any fatter. So I contantly had to move very close to the screen to see what I was doing, mostly when the mask was on top of a color similar to its own.

So I remembered the mac os X built in "Zoom" function. Go to the system prefs>universal access. There you can switch on a "zoom" function that lets you zoom into your screen. It is a pretty cool tool for all sorts of purposes, but in my case, using a combination of zooming in the comp in AE and zooming in the screen in the OS, I got a big looking image, with a fat mask I could still see while sitting back in my chair, instead of nose against the screen. More precision / more comfort. (Command+Option+8 should get you there).

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Lights and Lux for After Effects

Ko Maruyama has a tutorial up at the new After Effects DMN channel - Lights and Lux for After Effects.

You'll need a demo or full version of Lux from Trapcode to play along.

If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times (probably closer to 100)... Trapcode's plug-ins rock!If I was stranded on a desert island all I'd really need to survive is a Swiss Army knife, some Pez and Trapcode's 3D Stroke. ;-)

Four new plug-ins from Panopticum

Panopticum has released four new plug-ins in the past 30 days and they look pretty swell.

Panopticum Custom Speed allows you to adjust the speed and direction of video playback.

With Panopticum Water 1.0, you can make breath-taking realistic and otherworldly water effects.

Panopticum Rulers is a useful looking plug-in that helps you create various types of scales, clock-type dials, rulers and more.

Panopticum Area FX 1.0, which we announced a few week ago consists of three filters: Area Transformer, Area Wipe and Area Filler.

There's some cool movies of each and of course demos for you to try out.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

. : t h e A N V E L : .

An open letter from Dean Valez:

Hey After Effects Community,

I'm writing this post in regards to a few Adobe presentations that I've been involved with this year. Specifically NAB, BDA, Adobe Roadshow Atlanta, and Siggraph. I promised that I would post some free tutorials and AEPs from the After Effects master classes and demos that I did. Well I've finally got them posted... since I didnt collect emails I'm hoping that some of the attendees frequent this site and will go to my site to collect them.

The site is The ANVEL and its located under "free tutorials" on the navigation page. There will be 2 folders labeled lessons and movie examples. In the lessons folder you will have a choice to download zipped files or stuffed files. Some lessons will include pdf instructions and 6.5 AEPs and some will only have 6.5 AEPs. In the movie examples folder there will be low res Quicktime examples of each lesson.  If you didnt attend any of these shows you're still invited to download the files. Please if you have any questions regarding any of  the lessons don't hesitate to email me at just put in the subject line AE FREE TUTORIALS

Dean Velez

Cool Beans. The man on the page is nice and ripped too .

Sunday, August 15, 2004

X Marks the Spot

X Marks the Spot is a tutorial by the prolithic Mr. Schleicher. There is a similar tutorial in the great Total Training Total AE series (version 6.0), where they show a bike race map across Europe. This is a really cool trick to know!

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Stephen Schleicher has a new tutorial up at Digital Producer, an updated version of the Star Wars Intro for AE 6.5.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Siggraph News

Roving AE FreeMart reporter Matt Schirado has updated us with the following juicy tidbits from Siggraph.

wondertouch Demos particleIllusion for After Effects

Verbatim from the press release: "Cited for the speed and interactivity of its interface which allows artists to quickly and efficiently deliver effects in real- or near-real time, the particleIllusion plug-in will provide motion graphics and visual effects professionals with easy access to the powerful particleIllusion 3.0 software engine from directly within the After Effects environment." Particle Emitter of particle illusion

Previews of the particleIllusion plug-in for Adobe After Effects will take place in the wondertouch booth (#912) each day of the Siggraph convention. The particleIllusion plug-in for Adobe After Effects (Windows and Mac OS X) is expected to ship early in the fourth quarter 2004; pricing to be determined. All versions of particleIllusion can be purchased directly from Wonder Touch.

MAXON Computer presents the 9th generation of CINEMA4D

Verbatim: "As part of a continual focus on improving ease-of-use, Release 9 development has focused on refining many areas of the program as well as adding impressive new features such as cloth simulation, sub-polygon displacement, N-Gons and much more."

download a demo of Cinema4DMaxon Computer is one of our sponsors, too, so please check out their site. CINEMA4D Release 9 is slated to ship worldwide in early September, 2004. It can be ordered through authorized MAXON distributors, like Toolfarm.

Apple Releases Motion and Production Suite

Verbatim from MacCentral: "Apple on Tuesday released Motion, its long-awaited real-time motion graphics design software application aimed at video professionals and others. The software integrates with Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro, and costs US$299." It looks pretty swell and I can't wait to see how it performs against After Effects - very cheap software but the hardware is hardcore!

Production Suite is a new package that combines Final Cut Pro HD, Motion and DVD Studio Pro 3 for $1,299. FCP owners get a break, making the total $699.

Silhouette FX Releases silhouette+roto

Please see the post from a few days ago for more info. I've been hearing great reviews! Their website has been updated with more information too.

Algolith Announces New Bundles and Lower Prices

Algolith, a leading provider of digital image processing plug-ins for the film, post-production and video industry, announces a substantial price lowering and simplification of all available Plug Ins for Adobe After Effects and other visual effects software packages. Algolith's plug-ins will now be offered in four main categories; Noise Reduction, Frame Rate Conversio, Time Warp, Rendering. The new pricing begins in September.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

New Tracking Tool - The Foundry Furnace AE

The Foundry Furnace AE are some really great tracking tools that was used on such Hollywood hits as The Matrix, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.

Now I really really need to update the plug-ins section. There has been quite a few new releases in the past week.

Free Plug-in for HDR Compositing eLin

eLin, developed by The Orphanage, is a Free plugin that was used in Hellboy, Jeepers Creepers 2 and The Day After Tomorrow. There is also a Commercial version.

L[8] to AE6.5

Stephen Schleicher shares his technique for Moving camera data to AE6.5 via RPF. My students use Lightwave, so this is an excellent resource for me to send them.

Digital Media Net Launches Six Application Channels

DMN Channels is offering channels for AE, Photoshop, Sony Vegas, Final Cut Pro, Premiere and Illustrator.

The After Effects Channel will offer techniques, tutorials, reviews and profiles and projects. Yay!

silhouette+roto: The Shape of Things To Come

First product from Silhouette FX, LLC is silhouette+roto, a complete rotoscoping solution created by artists for artists leveraging Academy Award(R) winning experience. silhouette+roto is a robust rotoscoping solution created by artists for artists.

The press release was quite long, and there's not much at their website yet, so here's a quick breakdown.
  • Advanced, fully animatable shape tools including support for Bezier and continuously adjustable Rational B-Spline based shapes for precise control and ease-of-use. Points, whole shapes, and even groups of shapes can be moved, scaled, rotated and warped.
  • OpenGL(R) accelerated real-time shape preview directly over the image.
  • OpenGL accelerated rendering.
  • Editing of shapes and groups of shapes that can be automatically applied across a range of keyframes.
  • Integrated motion trackers that can apply motion to individual points or whole shapes.
  • Variable edge softness that can be defined anywhere along a shape.
  • Motion blur that is computed automatically.
  • Import of shapes from Elastic Reality(R) and Commotion(TM).
  • Availability as a plug-in to Adobe(R) After Effects(R), Apple(R) Final Cut Pro(R) and other host applications (check web site for compatibility).
  • Availability as a stand-alone application for Windows(R), Mac OS(R) and Linux platforms.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Blue Moon

Blue Moon - Stephen Schleicher has a tutorial at Digital Producer that looks like lots of fun!

And pondering the eternal question, What the hell is blue moon ice cream?. Seems to be a Michigan thing. I always thought it was world wide. Who knew!