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by Chris and Trish Meyer

Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, HBO, PBS, and TLC; in opening titles for several movies including Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley; at trade shows and press events for corporate clients ranging from Apple to Xerox; and in special venues encompassing IMAX, CircleVision, the NBC AstroVision sign in Times Square, and the four-block-long Fremont...

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Made with After Effects

Made with After Effects

Enter this competition; win prizes and be part of our live webcast.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 18, 2012

We are happy to announce that for the third year in a row, we will be working with the folks from motion for their annual Made with After Effects show. Upload a piece up to 3 minutes long that heavily involved After Effects in creation, and you will have a chance to win prizes and get... Read More

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Spotting Dialog

After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Spotting Dialog

...including creating layer markers with duration indicators.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 14, 2012

As we mentioned recently, we've been updating our After Effects Apprentice video courses to reflect changes in the third edition of the book. One shortcoming of previous editions of the book that we corrected with this version is to give audio better coverage, including a new exercise on mixing music and dialog together. In this movie, we demonstrate spotting individual phrases in dialog that we might want to highlight or base our animation around, and mark them including noting their duration (in contrast to spotting music, where we tend to mark just percussive instances in time). 

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Introduction to Variable Mask Feathering

After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Introduction to Variable Mask Feathering

Getting up to speed with this long-requested feature, added in CS6.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 06, 2012

As we mentioned recently, we've been updating our After Effects Apprentice video courses to reflect changes in the third edition of the book, and in particular new and enhanced features introduced in recent versions such as After Effects CS6. In this movie, we give a quick start on using the new Mask Feather tool added in CS6. We start by showing the old way of feathering a mask, discuss changes in the Pen tools between CS5.5 and CS6, and then show you how to add Mask Feather points to an existing mask path.

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Updates to the After Effects Apprentice Video Courses

Updates to the After Effects Apprentice Video Courses

We’ve been bringing everything up to date for AE CS6.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 04, 2012

I apologize for the commercial nature of this post, but I’ll try to make it up to you at the end. First, the back story:

As many of you know, roughly two years ago we set about creating video courses that went along with our After Effects Apprentice book. At the time,... Read More

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Let’s Be Safe Out There

Let’s Be Safe Out There

Some are playing with fire - and getting burned - when it comes to dealing with safe areas.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 03, 2012

If you create content for television, it’s useful to get out of the house and see how others are actually viewing it. For example, we have all 16:9 HDTV sets and signals here, but on a recent road trip I saw far more 4:3 TV than I was expecting - as well as a lot of improperly-prepared content being chopped off as a result. Let’s walk through some of these very real-world issues.

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What’s new in After Effects Apprentice, 3rd Edition

We have a new book aimed at those just learning After Effects, or who need a refresher course on the latest versions.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | September 14, 2012

The 3rd edition of our book After Effects Apprentice ("AEA3" for short) is now available, and we're really happy with how it turned out. We've included PDF excerpts from several of the lessons on our web site. Many of the exercises will be familiar to teachers and owners of... Read More

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Adobe Hardware Performance White Paper

Tips to configure or upgrade a workstation for their main video software.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | July 18, 2012

One of the early advantages of desktop video production software over dedicated hardware was that it could run on "any" computer. As tasks became more demanding (multiple streams of 4k video, anyone?), and computers become more capable (4 gigabyte drive modules used to be considered huge; now that's a minimum RAM configuration), configuring desktop computers to get the most out of this software became more of a black art. Recent advances in using graphics processing units (GPUs) on video cards for tasks beyond faster interactive gaming have only upped the ante.

Against this backdrop, Adobe has made available a "white paper" with background information and suggestions on configuring workstations to get the most out of the CS6 and CC versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, SpeedGrade, and Photoshop Extended. This document is not aimed at those already proficient at customizing their computers to wring the most out of them; instead, it is aimed at artists who are more likely to buy an already-built system, and needs advice on what options to order or what upgrades to plug in to either a new or already-existing system. The emphasis is placed on workstations, as they have the most expansion options, although laptops and all-in-ones are also discussed. Windows and Mac OS are covered equally.

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Rendering a 4:3 Center Cut Movie from a 16:9 Composition

After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Rendering a 4:3 Center Cut Movie from a 16:9 Composition

...plus an update on what's next for the Apprentice series.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | May 21, 2012

As we mentioned what now seems like ages ago, we spent a year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. The introduction plus one or more additional videos from each course are available for free preview; we re-posted here on PVC the videos that contain tips and instruction you might find useful. Well, the series is done, and we're off writing the next edition of the book. But before we go, we had one last video to share with you, which may be of interest to any After Effects user who still has to create both 16:9 and 4:3 versions of their compositions.

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Using Parenting to Animate Layers as a Unit

After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Using Parenting to Animate Layers as a Unit

Taking advantage of parenting, multiple 3D views, and AE's built-in calculator to coordinate a multi-layer animation.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | May 15, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Buried in the shuffle of the release of After Effects CS6 is that we concluded this series with a 3+ hour course dedicated to that book's Final Project. Several movies from this course are available for free preview from lynda.com; we'd like to share those with you here - including this movie that demonstrates using parenting to group together a set of 3D layers.

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Working with Nested 3D Compositions

How you can be two places at once inside After Effects

By Chris and Trish Meyer | May 07, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Buried in the shuffle of the release of After Effects CS6 is that we concluded this series with a 3+ hour course dedicated to that book's Final Project. Several movies from this course are available for free preview from lynda.com; we'd like to share those with you here - including this movie that includes a selection of small but useful tricks.

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Copying Paths from Illustrator to After Effects

Revealing Illustrator paths requires a few intermediate steps, involving After Effects masks and effects.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | May 01, 2012

Buried in the shuffle over the announcement of After Effects CS6 is that we concluded the video training series for our book After Effects Apprentice 2nd Edition with a nearly 3.5 hour course dedicated to that book's Final Project. Several movies from this course are available for free preview from lynda.com; we'd like to share those with you here - including this movie on how to reveal Illustrator artwork by copying its paths into After Effects masks.

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After Effects CS6 Tutorial: Exporting 3D Camera Tracker Data to Cinema 4D

You can export the results of the new 3D Camera Tracker to any application that has a way to accept AE keyframe data.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | April 27, 2012

One of the major new features in After Effect CS6 (which we previously previewed here) is a built-in 3D Camera Tracker. Rather than track a specific object or point, the 3DCT automatically tracks hundreds of points in a clip, and uses that information to reverse engineer where the camera was during the scene. This opens up all sorts of interesting workflows. Read More

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After Effects CS6 Tutorial: Targeting Properties in the new Ray-Traced 3D Engine

Although the new extrusion and beveling capabilities initially seem limited, you can actually edit the individual material options for each group of surfaces.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | April 25, 2012

In our preview of After Effects CS6, we spent a lot of time discussing the pros and cons of the new ray-traced 3D rendering engine, which includes the ability to extrude and bevel text and shape layers. When you start playing around with it, initially it may seem that you have only one color and set of Material Options for the entire layer. In truth, Adobe has provided a back door to go in and change the color and every material option - including amount of transparency and strength of reflections - for the front, sides, back, and bevels individually. Read More

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After Effects CS6 (P)Review

After Effects CS6 (P)Review

The latest version has several significant new features.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | April 12, 2012

Upon the release of After Effects CS5 in 2010, Adobe tried an interesting experiment: Part of the After Effects engineering team was split off to start work on major new features for CS6 with a 24-month time horizon, while the rest started work on AE CS5.5 before joining their compatriots in 2011 to also work on CS6. In addition, Adobe has a separate Dynamic Media Advanced Product Development Group, which has produced such major new features as Roto Brush (CS5), Warp Stabilizer (CS5.5), and the new 3D Camera Tracker (CS6). As a result, After Effects CS6 is an important new release that has something for nearly every AE user. We're going to explore a number of those features here, starting with the most visible new one - the Ray-traced 3D rendering engine - and then moving onto the 3D Camera Tracker, Rolling Shutter Repair, Variable Mask Feathering, the Global Performance Cache, and other interesting bits. We'll be sharing pros, cons, preferred workflows, gotchas, and a number of tips that we hope will get you up to speed with this new release. Read More

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After Effects Apprentice: The Final Project

The 3+ hour video course on the Final Project from After Effects Apprentice 2nd Edition has finally been released.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | April 10, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. We're happy to announce that the course based on the Final Project from that book has now been released to subscribers of lynda.com, and is also available for individual purchase from Class On Demand.{C} Read More

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Exploring Shape Effects

An overview of five of the simpler shape operators that can turn your basic outline into something quite twisted.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 31, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Each course has two or more movies that are free for all to view; we're re-posting those videos here on PVC to make sure you don't miss them. In this movie, shows how to alter your basic shapes using dedicated shape effects. Read More

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Drawing Parametric Shapes

The same tools you've used to create masks can also be used to create Shape Layers - with far more options than you might have imagined.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 27, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Each course has two or more movies that are free for all to view; we're re-posting those videos here on PVC to make sure you don't miss them. In this movie, Chris shares a number of tips and tricks for creating parametric shapes. Read More

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: The Puppet Starch Tool

Not happy with how Puppet kinks and bends your image? The little-known Starch tool helps you straighten it out.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 12, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Each course has two or more movies that are free for all to view; we're re-posting those videos here on PVC to make sure you don't miss them. In this movie, Chris demonstrates using the Starch tool to clean up problems that can appear when creating Puppet distortions in After Effects. Read More

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After Effects Apprentice Free Video: Eraser Tool Modes

How to target precisely what you're erasing, from the source image to just your most recent paint stroke.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | January 07, 2012

As we mentioned awhile back, we've been busy the past year and a half creating an extensive, multi-course video training series based on our popular beginner's book After Effects Apprentice. Each course has two or more movies that are free for all to view; we're re-posting those videos here on PVC to make sure you don't miss them. In this movie, Trish discusses the different Eraser tool modes - Layer Source & Paint, Paint Only, and Last Stroke Only - and demonstrates when to use each. Read More

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Made with After Effects

Join us for a live webcast Tuesday December 20 where we celebrate and critique some excellent work in our favorite application.

By Chris and Trish Meyer | December 17, 2011

In what is become an annual tradition, the good folks over at motion.tv run a Made with After Effects competition. We participate in critiquing the entries, including pointing out the strong points as well as sharing our years of experience in suggesting ways to improve the work even further. The resulting discussion - as well as viewing the winners - is something we think is educational for all users looking to raise their game. Read More

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