Recently in After Effects
Tracking, track mattes, organic lines, point clouds, HDR, expressions, and more.
By Rich Young | March 31, 2012
Here's another summary of the last few weeks or so of news on After Effects- this time with Mocha and tracking, track mattes, organic lines in Particular, point clouds, HDR, and assorted tutorials, expressions, and plug-ins new and old.
VFX Bro released Beginning and Advanced Rotoscoping Tutorial in 2 parts. Here's part 1:
Mary Poplin explained How Mocha Thinks, as we find out that coming soon in a New Version 3 of mocha Planar Tracking & VFX Tools:
AE Scripts released MochaImport Plus from Mamoworld, which simplifies the workflow between Mocha and After Effects by letting you easily send footage to Mocha (now directly from inside AE), then apply the Mocha tracking data back in AE. There are several tutorial resources available, including new ones for this upgrade, like Getting Started With MochaImport+ :
After Effects 2D tracking basics by Rob Garrott was posted by Lynda.com:
Clay Asbury shared Playing Video through text- Creating a Track Matte in After Effects. See also Create Intricate Wipes with Track Mattes by FilmmakerIQ, CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 10 - All About Masking, CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 11 - All About Track Mattes and CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 12 - Stencils and the "T" (the Transparency switch). For additional handy info and tutorials, see Track mattes and traveling mattes, Stencil modes, and Preserve underlying transparency in After Effects Help and The return of the Set Matte filter at AE Portal archive. Here's Clay Asbury and John Hess:
Enhanced Dimensions announced the $3 3D Repair Kit, "a new stereoscopic 3D tool for After Effects users that aims to resolve some of the basic problems often created when shooting stereoscopic 3D footage on a side by side or mirror rig."
Harry Frank shows you how to quickly create terminal style text with Text Anarchy in Red Giant QuickTip #63: Terminal-Style Text. By the way, AE's built-in preset Typewriter doesn't include a cursor but the preset Word Processor does. Previously, Jorrit Schulte posted Quick Tip - Type-On Text Preset With Blinking Cursor on AEtuts, Jordan Shipman expounded on Free Text Animation Preset for After Effects, along with a tutorial on this "Blinking Cursor Type On Effect." Ayato posted something similar a few years ago using Red Giant Image Lounge. Rhys-works has an expressions tutorial that creates a typewriter style effect with a blinking cursor too, while Voiduh did it by hand on YouTube.
In Red Giant QuickTip #62: Variations on the Organic Lines Preset (Trapcode Particular), "Harry Frank takes you on a Back-to-Basics study on the Organic Lines preset in Trapcode Particular: how it works and how to create some variations of it."
Point Position Pass in After Effects using Trapcode Form by Jeremy Cox (be sure to see his other work) presents a workflow that uses a specialized point position shader to create a perfect point cloud of your 3D scene in After Effects. You'll need Trapcode Form and a 3D app. See also BlurryPixel, ft-PPass2Matte by Francois Tarlier, and QuickTip: Trapcode Form City by Aharon Rabinowitz.
Check out How To Get The Best From Your DSLR While Using Twixtor by Rickard Bengtsson. Note also Indy News : Time Lapse How-to and Creating Motion Graphics Hidden Gems: Chapter 28 - Frame Rate Manipulation by Chris and Trish Meyer.
Create a Kick Drum Kinetic Type Animation by Brad Magnus "shows how to use iExpressions and 3D Extruder to make a sound syncronized kinetic type animation. Watch for the use of Zorro to help keep the timeline organized and improve the workflow."
ECAbrams shared Extrude 3d Letters: 'Make your words, letters, whatever 3d inside adobe after effects! No plugins or fancy expensive 3d programs needed! All boring vanilla after effects. All you need is a little expression [on the website] and a lot of duplicating. So we can't actually make something "really" 3d but we can make it "fake" or "imaginary" 3d using many layers like plywood or 3d printers. 3d printing is so hot right now right?' For more techniques see the roundup 3D Text in After Effects (updated).
Queue Work Area is a new "tool to queue your comp with the work area set as a custom duration. This way you can set several work areas to one queue and render them all at once. [It] Has the option to be run with or without an interface so that it can be used with ft-Toolbar." A cool aspect of this script is that it was made in order to solve a problem for someone on the AE-List.
David Torno continued his expression tutorials with Expression Shorts - Auto Center A Layer Between Two Moving Layers, Expression Shorts - sampleImage() part 1, and Expression Shorts - sampleImage() part 2. For more on sampleImage, see posts by Dan Ebberts, color sampler using sampleImage expression method by Todd Kopriva, sampleImage() is fun and More fun with sampleImage(): Ascii animation in After Effects from Creative Workflow Hacks, and info in Creating Motion Graphics (4th edition, Bonus Chapter 35B, page 48 under Sampling Colors; in CMG 5, it's in chapter 37B, page 49).
Shortformvideo posted After Effects Tutorial - Diablo III intro logo, which "relies entirely on the standard toolkit in After Effects (CS3 or later), so you won't need any expensive plug-ins." As usual there's a project file and other assets available.
AEtuts shared Create A Highly Detailed Digital Terrain Scan by Ran Ben Avraham. For more on HUDs, see the HUD collection in the AE Portal archive, ShortformVideo's Satellite Tracking Display, and a tutorial series by, Compositing an Advanced HUD - Complete Video Workshop.
"Range selectors in After Effects enable many text animation functions that would be quite complex to achieve through the normal 'stop-watch' approach to animation. Range selectors also give us the ability to animate the numerous functions within the character panel, which at first sight, appear not to be animate-able!" In AE Basics 38: Text Range Selectors Part ONE and AE Basics 39: Text Range Selectors Part TWO Andrew Devis introduces and explains the concept of range selectors showing how they work, how effects can be added to an existing range selector, and more.
Tudor 'Ted' Jelescu continued to explore Mettle's Freeform in his FreeForm Pro and Aqua Pack: Basic introductory series, which describes a water replacement technique. Here's part 1:
Ginger HDR is a new tonemapping plug-in for After Effects and Premiere available on Mac and Windows. By the way, Stefan Minning released Atlas for After Effects CS5 (Mac only), a port of the pfstmo tone mapping operators, and Artbeats posted HDR Toning by Eran Stern, while AE Help introduces the topic in Color depth and high dynamic range color. There are several new tutorials for Ginge HDR, including this introduction:
Chad Perkins returns to Lynda.com with a new series, After Effects: Rigging a Character Arm for Animation. See also the Dan Gies tutorial series on character animation in After Effects, the 17-part How To Create and Rig a Realistic Puppet. Here's an earlier effort from Chad, After Effects Rigging an Arm:
James Whiffin posted How To Use A Grain Card While Compositing Still Elements on AEtuts; it discusses how to use the Remove Grain effect built into After Effects. Be sure to catch Mark Christiansen on The Role of Grain (from Adobe After Effects CS5 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques) and David Torno's video on Grain Matching too.
The Naked Truth About 3D Rotations, a video by Bartek Skorupa, was posted on AEtuts. Previous coverage of this topic was done by The Guerrilla CG Project and by Chris and Trish Meyer (Euler XYZ vs. the quaternion Orientation) in Creating Motion Graphics (see After Effects Apprentice Video Tutorial #6 on the Axis Arrows in AE). There's more of course in AE Help.
In Panning Large Scenes Using Target Layers in 3D, Andrew Devis follows his short series on working in 3D (noted by Todd Kopriva) with a simple technique to quickly and accurately pan around large layers or comps to zoom in to an exact point using target layers to get the exact coordinates needed for accurate panning. See also Sure Target 2 by Andrew Kramer and VideoCopilot, Camera difficulties and rigs in After Effects and other AE camera info at AE Portal archive.
Workflow: Green Screen Tutorial, by Jon Carr for Vincent Laforet, discusses more than After Effects, where keying and compositing was done. There much more detail on Laforet's website.
ANODINE is a free animated typeface for Adobe After Effects CS5 & CS5.5 by Nicolas Lichtle. See also Moshun and similar 'animated fonts' at AE Portal archive and more recent ones for sale by Calango, noted by Benjamin Starr at Visual News. Here's ANODINE and Typogami:
Andrew Kramer has a New Tutorial: Mid-Air Emergency! on Video Copilot, which has sample footage and more info. Andrew is presenting some recent work at Adobe's NAB 2012 booth, where some interesting releases are promised.
Please note that these roundups are for quick review and comparison. There is almost always vital information from the originating authors at the links provided-and often free presets, projects, or stock footage too.
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