Sunday, October 31, 2004

Simulating 35mm Motion Picture Clarity in After Effects by Daniel Broadway

This is an older tutorial but I haven't come across it before. It explains how to simulate 35mm Motion Picture Clarity in After Effects.

After Effects and Lightwave

Halfway down the page are some tutorials that address working between After Effects and Lightwave. Learn about tracking motion into Lightwave, exporting Lightwave camera zoom to After Effeects, exchanging keyframes between the programs and using Lightwave envelopes in AE.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Profound Effects - CameraPOV gets Tied Up!

Profound Effects has posted an article and Quicktime movies about the use of CameraPOV in a new indie teen film called Tied Up!

Profound Effects CameraPOV is a suite of 8 video effects for simulating looking through the lenses of various 35mm, digital, or video cameras. Give your crime, reality, documentary, suspense, drama, and other types of footage an interesting look with a minimum of effort.

Cinema 4D support for After Effects 6.5

Download the Free plug-in for After Effects 6.5 here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

An Interview with Director Kerry Conran

Kerry Conran, director of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, talks about his career, spending four years creating six minutes of a feature film by himself on a Mac IIsi, and using After Effects and Final Cut Pro to make the incredible special effects of Sky Captain.

Primatte Keyer Now Supports Avid and Discreet combustion

Red Giant Software today announced that Primatte Keyer now supports Avid non-linear editing systems and Discreet combustion 3 desktop compositing software. Previously only available as an After Effects plug-in, Primatte Keyer's enhanced versatility adds increased functionality to the production pipeline of independent filmmakers and visual effects artists.
The software overcomes matte extraction challenges including uneven lighting, subtle shadows, and edge light contamination (spill) prior to compositing.

Photoshop & Curious gFX Tutorials

You've officially hit the tutorial jackpot. We've added nine, count 'em, nine, Photoshop tutorials from Total Training, as well as 3 video tutorials from Curious gFX.

There are currently 81 After Effects tutorials on the site, many which are exclusive to Toolfarm. Have fun and learn a lot!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

8 New Video Tutorials from Total Training!

Check out these fine samples from Total Training's Total AE and AE know-it-all, Brian Maffitt (and I mean that in a good way, Brian).

The tutorials are all for AE 6.5 and are in Quicktime and Windows Media formats. Learn about the new motion tracker, some new filters such as ball action, color finesse and vector blur, the new animation presets and the new paint.

If you didn't see the great review of Total AE, written by Matt Schirado of the West Michigan After Effects User Group, view it here. Matt is a witty guy and quite a wordsmith.

Press Release: Toolfarm acquires AE FreeMart

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Oct. 15, 2004 - Toolfarm Inc. announced today the acquisition of AE FreeMart, an online resource for users of Adobe After Effects and motion graphics tools. will integrate all of the content from within

Read the full press release AE FreeMart, known for their leading source of After Effects news, tips and tutorials, will allow Toolfarm customers the ability to locate products, read reviews and purchase all within "Toolfarm, as the leader in After Effects Plug-ins, and AE FreeMart, as the leading source of After Effects news, tips and tutorials, makes it a perfect match", says Toolfarm VP of Sales and Marketing, Colin Sharp. Sharp continues, "Users can now find a product, check reviews and make educated purchase decisions without leaving"

Michele Yamazaki of AE FreeMart adds, "I'm really excited to be able to offer my users the products and online support available from Toolfarm. Many artists are on tight deadlines, so the marriage of Toolfarm and AE FreeMart allows customers to get information and products quickly and efficiently."

About Toolfarm Inc., based in San Francisco since 1999, is the leading third-party reseller of After Effects Plug-ins and visual effects tools. Known also for distribution, publishing, service and training, it has become the de facto standard as the one-stop shop for Adobe After Effects Plug-ins as well as motion graphics tools. It is also the home of Support Farm, an online community of professional digital artists who help users achieve desired effects for a small fee.

About AE FreeMart

AE FreeMart is an online resource and portal for users of Adobe After Effects and Motion Graphics Tools. Based around non-biased reviews, user stories and tutorials, AE FreeMart also provides downloadable projects and user group listings.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Redesign of ABC's 20/20 Graphics

Big Machine Design created After Effects toolkits specifically for ABC so that editors and designers all have access to the show's graphic look. They have a Quicktime sample featuring the other Miss Jackson. LaToya, that is.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Tips on Optimizing After Effects 6.5

The Adobe web site has a document in their support knowledgebase explaining how to optimize the system, your workflow and After Effects settings.

The Hacks are Back!

By an overwhelming response, we've added the hacks section from the AE FreeMart to Toolfarm. Check out our tutorials. They've been added to the bottom of the list.

Automatic Duck releases free update

Today Automatic Duck released a free update to their OMF import plug-in Pro Import FCP, bringing it to 1.02. In addition to many fixes and improvements, this new version adds support for Video Strobe and Dip to Color effects from Avid editing systems.

You can download the latest installer from our web site.

Automatic Duck continues to seek help testing the changes they have made to try to support import of 24fps sequences into FCP. If you're interested in helping, please email them.

The Top Ten DVD Authoring Nightmares

Making DVDs keeps getting easier... but there are still many ways to make mistakes. CustomFlix helps independent filmmakers and content producers worldwide publish their own DVDs, so we see an amazing range of authoring errors. Some are minor annoyances, others are complete show-stoppers. All could have been avoided with the right information.

Visit The Top 10 DVD Authoring Nightmares... And How to Avoid Them.

Review: Total Training: After Effects

Toolfarm Rating: (5/5)

For years I've heard of this fabled educational resource for Adobe After Effects Users, and a revered name whispered in hushes during casual conversation: Brian Maffitt. Who is this scheming, underground Yoda of AE, and why haven't I beheld his infinite wisdom? My days of secluded ignorance were to quickly end....

Read the rest of the reviewTotal Training for After Effects, Set 1, is now formally digested in my bowels - a comprehensive introduction to AE's interface, general workflow, setup, animation, and particularly specific hick-ups that motion graphic artists would meet in a typical day. I've seen some other DVD-based training for software, but Total Training contains significantly more "meat" than anything.... other than Chris & Trish Meyer's line of AE books. I attempted to jog my brain for any possible topic or technical "gotcha" that might have been overlooked in DVD Set 1, but couldn't come up with one to articulate.

Brian Maffitt, AE Guru

Mr. Maffitt (can I call you Brian?) takes you through AE in such a way as to keep you relaxed and engaged (with some rather poor puns along the way), moving from topic to topic as smoothly as I've ever seen anyone present an application program. Does Brian ever have to do another take? Does he fumble his words? Forget what day it is? The viewer would never know it. The presentations are polished, fluid, and comprehensive enough to explain the "why's" behind every recommendation, and workflows to avoid. I feel the question "why" is the most important question to answer if true understanding of AE is the goal.

The example projects Brian and viewers work through are relatively simple, absolutely necessary to new users, and targeted to exemplifying the concepts of the lesson, be they velocity curves, keyframe manipulation, import options or even working with film transfers and video interlacing. I can see how some newbies might be overwhelmed if they have never seen any Adobe software products before; it really does help to have a mild familiarity with Photoshop and Illustrator (which is pretty much where I am) before you dive into Total Training. Something many viewers might not consider is to just re-view the DVD's, especially if things go by more quickly than you can absorb. I reviewed a couple of sections, which really did make the difference.

Assisting Brian is Steve Holmes (British, I assume), who goes into most of AE's preferences and technical issues that some people might consider tedious, but are actually quite important. This is probably the fastest way to learn about technical issues you can find. The most popular technical tip is the keyboard shortcut, which Steve and Brian offer over and over, for Mac and Windows, with hearty convincing to learn them. Being more mouse oriented, I reluctantly admit some of their shortcuts are indispensable.

I should note that most of the material presented works with Version 5.5 as well as 6.0, and users who didn't get the Pro version won't miss much. I assume later DVD sets will jump into Pro version features, but Set 1 just covers basics. You'll want to make sure you feel comfortable with most of the content, because later lessons will take off using those concepts in spades.

By Matt Schirado, West Michigan After Effects User Group
Matt Schirado works as an editor at a television station, is currently training to be a master of all software with Pixel Corps and writes in his spare time.

Thursday, October 14, 2004