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by Rich Young

Rich Young is a long-time After Effects user from the San Francisco Bay Area. His After Effects and Premiere Pro round-ups provide viewers with an easy-to-digest summary of developments. He also supplies info and links for tutorials that allow users to do things in After Effects they never thought were possible....

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after effects anti-alias expressions. math.round number counter

Fixing soft edges & number counters with automatic rounding

Using the Math.round expression in After Effects

By Rich Young | June 09, 2014

A few years ago, Stu Maschwitz noted the utility of the Math.round method, which rounds a number to the nearest integer. If you're repositioning or animating an object in AE, you'll often run into AE's subpixel positioning in Best Quality, which as noted long before expressions were a feature by Trish Meyer as the source of bad renders with lossy formats. But you can use an expression to force rounding on scale/position to whole numbers, in order to avoid softening on anti-aliased text or other layers. It's much easier to use that than to adjust entries by hand, and its utility goes further.

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MovieType For Element 3D: new for After Effects

Animation & camera presets, materials, bevels, and more

By Rich Young | June 03, 2014

Motionworks has released MovieType For Element 3D. The package includes over 200 time-saving type animation presets, 60 camera animation presets, 450 materials, 150 bevel presets, 3D backgrounds, a camera and light rig, 6 tutorials, and associated AE project files. Also included is MoBacks, an After Effects backgrounds kit with over 55 AEPs and HD renders of grunge, starbursts, lighting effects, techno, smoke, ink, cellular, metal, paper, stone, plastic, leather, liquid, etc.

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White balance in After Effects and Premiere

plus blending modes

By Rich Young | May 31, 2014

There are a number of ways to white balance footage in After Effects and Premiere Pro, and Chris and Trish Meyer recently added another method, sampling with the Tint effect on a Solid layer set to Divide mode above the source layer. Eran Stern also recently added a method, using CC Color Neutralizer in Premiere.

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HitFilm plug-ins for NLEs and After Effects

By Rich Young | May 27, 2014

In April, FxHome spun off most of the plug-ins from HitFilm, their affordable After Effect "clone" app, into a new product, HitFilm Plugins. With over 130 plug-ins for visual effects, compositing, and color grading, the package supports After Effects, Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, and Apple Motion on two computers for all hosts on Mac and Windows.

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Nebula construction in After Effects

By Rich Young | May 17, 2014

Nebulas can be created several ways in After Effects: with "cards in space" of real images, or generated by Fractal Noise or 3D particle systems, commonly fractal-displaced particle arrays like Trapcode Mir, Form, Hitfilm Atomic Particle, and other particle systems.

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After Effects for print: Making GAEA

+ ETLAT (edit this, look at that)

By Rich Young | May 09, 2014

A couple of years ago, Jesse Michael Newman released a layer-by-layer video deconstruction of an After Effects project, DECONSTRUCTING GAEA I - Flowing Meditation though the end result was a printed piece as part of a Kickstarter campaign. He has a new piece, DECONSTRUCTING GAEA II, to support a short sale on art prints.

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Tidbit: YouTube buffering mysteries

By Rich Young | April 30, 2014

Last November we did a quick exploration of 'How YouTube Works', which even with an update (on the "secret" algorithm) still left questions about caching unanswered. But explanations become apparent with a simple search word change to "buffering".

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Easter eggs in After Effects: a new hunt

Find a plabt egg

By Rich Young | April 17, 2014

People are sometimes surprised to discover Easter eggs in After Effects -- apparent oddities in the interface. Some of these have been around for a very long time, maybe even since the inception of After Effects. MographWiki collected a list of these a few years ago, but not all of them.

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The Making of ‘Adobe and the Frog’

By Rich Young | April 03, 2014

Film Riot and Adobe have a slick little web ad for the new Creative Cloud NAB 2014 reveal. It was edited in Premiere CC, with the CG character rendered in After Effects CC using Element 3D, and color graded using Magic Bullet Looks.

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Creative Cloud 2014 video app reveal at NAB [updated]

Creative Cloud 2014 video app reveal at NAB [updated]

After Effects, Premiere, & more

By Rich Young | April 01, 2014

Adobe revealed new features in the video apps in Creative Cloud 2014 and showcased these next versions at the April NAB 2014 show in Las Vegas (schedule). In addition to blogs and product page info, there's a nice PDF summarizing updates to Adobe's video ecosystem. [CC 2014 June video app updates integrated below]

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Halftone techniques for After Effects

By Rich Young | March 30, 2014

A halftone is an image or printing technique that "simulates continuous tone through the use of dots, varying either in size, in shape or in spacing." In the Illustrator and Photoshop worlds, there's a long list of halftone filters, swatches, and compositing techniques used for printing and newsprint, comic, retro, and other effects. But the fun of After Effects is animation, and some techniques may not be immediately apparent without the built-in filters found in the other apps.

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Chromatic aberration: creation and fixes with After Effects

Chromatic aberrations, seperating RGB

By Rich Young | March 21, 2014

A few years ago there was a spate of interest in chromatic aberration -- fixing footage containing the color fringing, but mostly creating it for motion graphics and VFX realism. At some point, questions on creating this effect must have reached a critical mass, and tools and tutorials popped up to help.

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Long shadows: adding body to flat design in After Effects

By Rich Young | March 18, 2014

The trend toward flat design hit big in 2013 with newer user interfaces of Windows 8 ("Metro") and iOS7, and website and logo redesigns by Google and others. As part of a general move away from skeuomorphism, Adobe application design elements “flattened out” after CS5. Flat and thin may be in, partly due to hi-res screens, but a missing dimension of "long shadows" added to flat elements became popular too.

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Kinetic type in After Effects

Some resources

By Rich Young | March 01, 2014

Kinetic typography can be considered a storytelling technique that broadly engages the literal Illustration, rhythmic embellishment, personification, and disruption of language. In general, type-in-motion is increasing popular, and although kinetic type per se may have reached it peak a few years... Read More

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Fly around CC Sphere in After Effects

Or use Power Sphere

By Rich Young | February 28, 2014

As noted by Andrew Devis, "cameras are notoriously difficult to get to grips with in After Effects" (see video at bottom). Once example is trying to fly a camera around a CC Sphere layer, which isn't really 3D.

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Optimizing performance in Premiere & After Effects

Some resources

By Rich Young | February 25, 2014

Adobe offered a free webinar, Optimizing your system for peak performance with After Effects & Adobe Premiere Pro, on February 27, 2014. Presented by Todd Kopriva (After Effects QA) and Steve Hoeg (Premiere Pro engineering manager), the session covers how CPU, graphics cards, and RAM affect performance, as well as platform-specific considerations, including the new Mac Pro.

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WebM and HEVC: Ultra HD codecs in Premiere and After Effects

WebM export through Adobe Media Encoder

By Rich Young | February 04, 2014

Brendan Bolles of fnord software released beta versions of open source WebM and Theora plug-ins for Premiere that allow import and export of WebM movies through Adobe Media Encoder. And that common Mediacore plug-in bundle also lets you import WebM, with the new VP9 codec for Ultra HD, into After Effects and export through Adobe Media Encoder (AME).

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3D from 2D images: After Effects + beyond

Making faces 3D

By Rich Young | February 01, 2014

Faceripper4D is a newer "custom effect" for After Effects that helps you create 3D from 2D images. ...But wait, there's more.

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Driving Plates and Composites

in Premiere Pro and After Effects

By Rich Young | January 21, 2014

Driving Plates is a Premiere Pro tutorial by Eran Stern that uses Artbeats driving plates as backgrounds for composites of actors driving a car. Driving plates (also known as process plates, car plates, or vehicle plates) are POVs shot simultaneously from multiple angles, and sold as individual clips or as sets.

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3D printing in Photoshop CC

By Rich Young | January 16, 2014

There's a nice update to Photoshop CC now available as part of Creative Cloud for Designers (see resource summary), with new features also for Illustrator and InDesign. Photoshop users experienced several hiccups in 3D in the last several years (and loss of AE integration), but since this update includes revisions to 3D features, especially for 3D printing, it might be a time to look at these features again.

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