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Updated: 300+ Free After Effects Tutorials Mega List

Even More Professional After Effects Training Clips, Tutorials and Quick Tips

Since this article has been so useful, we've updated with a dozen or so more After Effects Tutorials!

Here at Digital Media Online, After Effects has always been a popular topic for our writers and editors. We thought it would be helpful to list - with direct links to them on our After Effects Channel - the more than 300 different After Effects tutorials we have so far.

In this list you will find After Effects training videos, After Effects hands on tutorials and techniques, and lots of After Effects Quick Tips.  All professional quality, and all free! Enjoy!


Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Colorizing black and white objects

Author: Chad Perkins

In this clip, host Chad Perkins discusses how to colorize black and white objects, footage, and effects. He covers hue, saturation, and lightness. He applies tint to the footage to remap white to a color and black to another color. He also works with tri-tone, which enables you to map the midtones; color balance to colorize an object that has a lot of gray in an image.

Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: The color balance effect
Author: Chad Perkins

 In this clip, host Chad Perkins looks at how to change the actual color in footage, also known as color grading in the film industry. Chad uses the color balance effect in the effects and presets panel in After Effects to change the feel of a clip by adjusting its colors. He discusses a bit about color theory, discussing the color values of video, red, green, and blue.


Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Luminance Correction
Author: Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins looks at how to correct luminance, or brightness problems in your footage. He shows you the color corrections panel and discusses the auto levels and other auto effects, but also works in the levels effect, detailing the histogram which shows what is going on in your image, shadow areas, mid tones and highlights of the histogram.

Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Applying video transitions
Author: Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins shows how to apply video transitions in After Effects, which is a bit more complicated than applying video transitions in a video editing application. He shows the transitions category in After EFfects, and details how most transitions work in After Effects, detailing the parameters and transition completion, wide angle, feathering the edge, and so on.

Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Replace footage already in the Timeline
Author: Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins details how to replace footage that you've already edited. He shows how to replace a clip with another clip, and the problem is he's already color corrected the footage and removed the green screen footage, and edited and trimmed the clip in the timeline. He then shows how to delete and replace a layer, and selects the footage that will be used to replace what is in the timeline.

Adobe Afterhttp://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=938018 Effects CS4 Essential Training: Trimming video
Author: Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins covers trimming video before you add it to your composition. He shows how to trim video in the footage window, shows how to preview and trim the video in time. He shows how to set an in point and an out point. He also shows how to use the ripple insert edit button and the overlay edit button.


Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Trimming Layers
Author: Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins takes a look at the Trimming project and talks about video editing in After Effects. He shows how to start footage, trim footage, and how to trim the in point of a clip. He also shows how to move a video clip on the After Effects timeline, how to set a video to a layer marker, and how to bring two layers to the beginning of a project.

Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Video Concepts
Author: Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins shows how to create a brand new composition from scratch, and in so doing, will teach some of the essential concepts for working with video. He details the presets, how they are divided into categories, the difference between NTSC and PAL, and to ensure that you create your projects based on the broadcast standard where you will show your video. He also discusses how video must behave based on the settings.

Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training: Reading Timecode
By Chad Perkins
 In this clip, host Chad Perkins details how to read and understand timecode. He shows the display of timecode and shows how to read the timecode, from left to right, hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. He shows how to advance in time as well, how to scrub the time display right or left, and how to go to a specific frame.

Class on Demand: Basic Training for After Effects 7: Creating the composition
By Chris Vadnais
 In this video, host Chris Vadnais takes a look at Adobe After Effects 7, start putting together the elements to start creating the composition. He shows how to import the files for the project, putting together the composition complete with music, Photoshop files, and more.

By Ko Maruyama
 If you're familiar with CINEMA 4D's ability to export to Adobe After Effects, you know that all of the camera and light data can be saved in a single file - for use within a 3D composition in AE. However, sometimes unnecessary light animation and 3D data makes that AEC file heavy. Here's how to clean up your export file.

Three Great Overlooked Features of After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=660496     Date:    2009-02-16
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
I use Adobe's After Effects alot and I always find myself showing other editors great little hidden features (and sometimes not so hidden) that really help me speed up my workflow. Here are three great ones I use all the time.

Cycore Path Tools For Type at the Edge
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=630658     Date:    2009-01-15
Author: Jean Hauptman    
Before we get to the "How To," I want to briefly discuss both new Path Tools. The two filters are simple for beginners, but include multiple levels for advanced users--so the options for custom effects seem limitless.

Tips to Slim Down (your project) in 2009 #2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=630122     Date:    2009-01-14
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It's time for those New Years resolutions to start piling up. You know the ones: I'm going to eat healthy food. I won't slouch at my desk. I'll spend less time on Facebook, Twitter and (insert your own). . .

I'M GOING TO SLIM DOWN. Well how about some slimming tips you might actually stick to? Here are some ways to slim down your animation projects in 2009. Or even just your TIMELINE!

Tips to Slim Down (your project) in 2009 #1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=626230     Date:    2009-01-10
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It's time for those New Years resolutions to start piling up. You know the ones: I'm going to eat healthy food. I won't slouch at my desk. I'll spend less time on Facebook, Twitter and (insert your own). . .

I'M GOING TO SLIM DOWN. Well how about some slimming tips you might actually stick to? Here are some ways to slim down your After Effects projects in 2009....

After Effects CS3 Level 1: Adding a movie with a mask
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=609474     Date:    2008-12-31
Author: Jerry Leer    
In this training video, host Jerry Leer how to add a movie to a composition and adding a mask in After Effects CS3. He shows how to drop the movie onto the timeline in full screen and then goes about showing how to add a mask with the mask tool. 

Motion 3 Level 1: Working with movies and masks
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=611046     Date:    2008-12-27
Author: Jerry Leer    
In this training video, host Jerry Leer covers working with movies and masks. He shows how to set the project standard from the preset. He shows how to deal with multiple objects in a project, how to make a composite of several movies, and how to bring in multiple files as well into your Motion project. 

After Effects CS3 Level 2: Shy layers and introducing duplicating keyframes across time
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=560084     Date:    2008-12-07
Author: Jerry Leer    
In this training video, host Jerry Leer discusses Shy layers and introducing duplicating keyframes across time. When you start building your projects out, you soon find out that your timeline is full of layers, which causes a lot of scrolling. A fix for this is to make the layers shy, which is sort of the opposite of turning the layers on and off. He details some of the solutions for the clutter, and shows the shy layer button, and how to turn it on. 

Answer to Gears
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=590486     Date:    2008-11-26
Author: Ko Maruyama    
I got a few questions about how the shape layers work, why the boolean operation does what it does in the shape layer, and specifically how to make the hole in the middle of the gear. Well, I got enough email questions about it that I figured it was worth a tutorial explanation. So here it is.

After Effects War of Gears: Expressions
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=582514     Date:    2008-11-14
Author: Ko Maruyama    
We covered the ability to make gears in the earlier tutorial, but using the shape layer repeater allows for it to rotate in one direction. In this tutorial, we'll set up a secondary gear to rotate in the opposite direction so that the gears' teeth will mesh together.

After Effects CS3 Level 2: Motion blur and reducing flicker
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=581327     Date:    2008-11-13
Author: Jerry Leer    
In this training video, host Jerry Leer covers motion blur and reducing flicker. He discusses how text might act upon the screen and how to reduce flicker of text by adding a blur to the text. He says that anything that moves should have a little bit of blur on it. He discusses several options to soften the text, including applying blur to all the layers in the project or turning on motion blur which is built into After Effects. 

After Effects plugin: BORIS UPREZ
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=578591     Date:    2008-11-12
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As we look at the archived footage in our data vaults, most of it is in standard definition size (or smaller). Now that most of our animation deliveries are rendered in 1920x1080, it's important for Adobe After Effects users to find easy ways to scale the old footage cleanly. Boris FX's Uprez is a new plugin to help you do it in a few steps.

After Effects: War of Gears
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=575279     Date:    2008-11-10
Author: Ko Maruyama    
When you're creating gears, or when you're creating any vector shape, you can create the shape in illustrator or another vector illustration software, then bring it into Adobe's After Effects, but by creating those shapes in the application, you get the more options to edit that shape later.



Adjust to TransferModes in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=569614     Date:    2008-11-02
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Joel Holland has offered up some free footage in both High Def and Standard Def formats. It's pretty easy to jam them into an After Effects comp, then start to build a background graphic, but you can take advantage of adjustment layers to get an overall transfermode on top of your comp too.

After Effects Iris Shutter thing
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=560589     Date:    2008-10-29
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Often there are some simple graphic elements that you can make by using multiple layers in After Effects. Sometimes, you can recreate those graphics within a single shape layer. The shutter effect or iris effect is one of those effects you can achieve with a single shape layer. To control the aperture, you can set up a simple expression to open and close the elements.

After Effects Lens Shutter thing
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=560588     Date:    2008-10-27
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Often there are some simple graphic elements that you can make by using multiple layers in After Effects. Sometimes, you can recreate those graphics within a single shape layer. The shutter effect or iris effect is one of those effects you can achieve with a single shape layer.

Automatic Duck Pro Export 4.0 for Final Cut Pro
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=561832     Date:    2008-10-27
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
As I have said in previous articles, there is no better tool on the market for FCP and Avid editors to invest in, then the Automatic Duck family of plug-ins. What they give editors on both platforms is not only a way to move between their editing program of choice and Adobe's After Effects (Pro Import AE), but the capability to move back and forth between editing applications (Pro Export FCP, Pro Import FCP) and post audio workstations alike. 

Type Tricks in After Effects with Boris BCC Filters
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=537022     Date:    2008-10-02
Author: Jean Hauptman    
I was pretty happy when a national TV show I freelance with gave us Boris BCC filters. On the surface, BCC filters are simple for fast turnaround, but each filter has tons of options for custom effects that will have the anti-filter snob in the next cubicle eating his/her heart out. The four text effects we will cover were all made with BCC Glitter. Normally, BCC Glitter is used for twinkling stars, ala ET. Like Trapcode Starglow, it follows the alpha, which makes Glitter good for type effects.

BORIS FX Glitter
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=518143     Date:    2008-09-18
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you've been using Avid, Final Cut, or After Effects for any amount of time, you probably know the Boris FX filters, but in the event that you've missed them, Boris wants you to check out their glittery offering from the Continuum Complete set. In other news, Boris now offers sparks for Autodesk products. The glittery plugin is great, but you might notice a couple of gotchas. This might help.

Your Name In Lights
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=473824     Date:    2008-08-04
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There are a lot of ways that you can create volumetric lights in an animation. My personal favorite would be to open a 3D application that supports true volume, in order to have your lights obey properly. Sometimes, you don't need that much. 

Getting acquainted with Nuke - Part 1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=452931     Date:    2008-07-16
Author: David Basulto    
At this past NAB I had the pleasure of meeting the fine folks from The Foundry. I have been a fan of their Tinderbox plug-ins for After Effects for quite some time. During our meeting they showed me their ultra cool compositing tool, Nuke. 

Photoshop CS3 : Precomps
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=458178     Date:    2008-07-16
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you're an After Effects user, you know all about "precomps" or "nested comps". It's basically a set of layers that creates a single image that you can use in your animation. In Photoshop CS3, you can also make precomps. They're called Smart Object layers, and you're gonna love 'em.

Color correcting the Rebel way in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=451734     Date:    2008-07-13
Author: David Basulto    
I recently received an email from a very smart high school student (smart because he is learning After Effects in high school). He was in a bit of a dilemma. He pleaded with his parents to buy him Red Giant Software's Colorista plug in for his birthday to no avail. He asked me in his email what was out there that was like it. Enter Rebel CC.

Creating A Cool Credit Crawl With Digital Anarchy's Toonit! And After Effects' Levels Effect
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=441170     Date:    2008-07-01
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
About a week ago, I heard another one of my favorite lines from a producer. "Can you create a cool look for our show's credits?" Since I'm always up for a good challenge, I came up with a very interesting look for the end credits for a piece I was working on, and I thought that for this article, I would show a quick and easy way to create a great credit look for any show you are working on. For this tutorial, I am going to use Digital Anarchy's Toonit! and Adobe After Effects' Levels effect.

How Trapcode LUX Rocks (your lighting setup)!!!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=417263     Date:    2008-06-10
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
Lighting in After Effects has become almost an essential part of any composition, and with the ability to now add volumetric lighting to our lights using Trapcode's LUX, we can essentially create almost completely realistic lighting setups. For this article I will take a look at how to create a complex lighting setup that can be controlled using one parameter. 

Keying options for Motion 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=396885     Date:    2008-05-19
Author: David Basulto    
Recently I had a project that had a ton of green screen shots in it. I edited in Final Cut Pro and really wanted to see if doing all the work in Final Cut Studio was doable for me because I am so used to exporting to After Effects to do all my keying. This time I would bring the footage into Motion. 

Cleaning Up Those After Effects Projects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=397568     Date:    2008-05-19
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
As I'm sure everyone knows by now, I am big on cleanliness and organization. For me, that is one of the keys to being efficient with not only your work, but the work of the editors you work with. I thought that for this article, I would look at two ways to tidy up your After Effects projects. 

Creating Animated Backgrounds 
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=375349     Date:    2008-05-01
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
I always say that these days, we live in an instant gratification society, and what I mean by this is that we want everything and we want it now. Beginners and advanced After Effects users alike are quick to buy animated backgrounds to use in their compositions, because it is quick and easy to do. The big problem with it is that it costs money that alot of us don't have. 

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Keying part 3 and 4
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=348790     Date:    2008-04-11
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In part 3 of keying, host Ko Maruyama discusses screen mattes as well as inside and outside masks. He also covers foreground colour correction and edge colour correction. He shows how to enable the colour corrector and shows how to change the saturation, contrast, and brightness if you need to. He also details the tools in the Colour Suppression tool, and how to suppress a certain color based on the color values. 

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Keying
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=348427     Date:    2008-04-09
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, host Ko Maruyama covers keying and starts out with an intro to simple keys. He discusses how to prepare shots, such as with live footage and extracting foreground information and leaving the transparent background information as is so you can composite the background information later in After Effects. He also shows how to bring up the different color channels as well as the alpha channel. 

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Color Range in 3D text
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=348390     Date:    2008-04-07
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, host Ko Maruyama covers the color range in 3D text. He works in the camera orbit tool as well as the camera control properties in the timeline. He then shows how to increase the range of color that After Effects can see. He also shows how to change the color channels and explains what each change will do to the project.

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Keyframes
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=347260     Date:    2008-04-03
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, host Ko Maruyama works with Character offset and Character value offsets. He deetails what will happen when you select character offset or character value. He shows how changing the character values will change the character. He also shows how to offset the values as well by changing the character offset.

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Motion Tracker part 4
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=347101     Date:    2008-04-02
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, host Ko Maruyama discusses stabilizing data, and uses the tracker controls to stabilize motion. He moves track points on the subject, in this case a moving helicopter to track the data. He also works in the Motion Stabilizer Options window to change the Confidence levels. He also uses the attach point to move the object in order to have a reference. 

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Motion Tracker part 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=344622     Date:    2008-03-31
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, Ko continues with the Motion Tracker in After Effects. He works with Pre-Comps in this video and shows how to drag them into the composition. He lenghtens the Pre-Comps using Time Remapping and shows how it is done, dragging the end of the layer out and the keyframe to match. He also shows how to edit the target.

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Motion Tracker Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=344490     Date:    2008-03-28
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, host Ko Maruyama continues with the Motion Tracker in After Effects. He covers the Track Point and shows how to create a bigger area around the Track Point. He shows how to click and drag the range, which magnifies the layer. He shows how to use a reference in the clip to line back up the tracking if it goes astray, and how to ensure that you get accurate tracking data. 

Total Training for Adobe After Effects CS3: Advanced Keying
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=344211     Date:    2008-03-27
Author: Ko Maruyama, Total Training    
In this clip, we learn about the Motion Tracker in After Effects and see it in action. With the New York City Library as a backdrop, host Ko Maruyama explains how Motion Tracking will allow you select a group of pixels and analyze them. He shows several ways to open up the Motion Tracker in After Effects CS3. 

Share your After Effects looks quick and easy
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=342270     Date:    2008-03-26
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
As we all know, Adobe's After Effects is the premier tool for motion graphic artists and editors in television and film today. When you have a large company with many editors/motion graphics artists, you find yourself creating and sharing effects and "looks" on an almost daily basis. 

Start in Final Cut and end with Adobe Premiere Pro via Automatic Duck
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=328356     Date:    2008-03-11
Author: David Basulto    
A film school grad contacted me recently and told me how he was really getting into compositing and color correction. He really enjoyed Adobe After Effects and edited with Premiere Pro. His dilemma was as a recent grad he really wanted to start making money but all his opportunities were from people who cut their projects in Final Cut Pro. How was he to do his work, including some audio tweaks if he was not an Apple guy?

Digital Film Tools Power Matte P2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=329592     Date:    2008-03-08
Author: Jim Geduldick    
What might take you several passes and layers of video to key with different methods will only take you a few minutes in After Effects by using Digital Film Tools' Power Matte. In a previous look at the After Effects plugin, you saw how simple the plugin's interface appeared and how well it keyed their sample footage. In this part, heres a step by step example of the effect on a complex image.

Bring your 3D from Cinema 4D into Motion 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=320993     Date:    2008-03-01
Author: David Basulto    
As I sat designing a 3D logo for a friend in Cinema 4D, a thought crossed my mind. . . Could I bring this into Motion? I knew I could bring Cinema 4D work into After Effects but what if I just wanted to add some simple camera moves in Motion. Yes I know I can do the camera moves in Cinema 4D but I wanted to see if they played well together.

Using Behaviors in Motion 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=317437     Date:    2008-02-26
Author: David Basulto    
One of the great things about Apple`s Motion 3, (part of Final Cut Studio 2), is its ease of use. You can create some great animations simply by adding Motion`s Behaviors, the program`s equivalent to Adobe After Effects` Expressions.

Using Trapcode Form 101
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=310266     Date:    2008-02-19
Author: David Basulto    
I`m sure most Adobe After Effects users will agree that Trapcode makes some amazing plug-ins. Its most recent addition is Form. Form enables you to create amazing, organic, fluid "forms" in a 3D-based grid system. It is a particle-like system not too different from Trapcode Particular but the particles in Form have no birth or death. 

Using shape layers in After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=302091     Date:    2008-02-08
Author: David Basulto    
If you are new to Adobe After Effects or to the CS3 version, this tutorial is just for you. Adobe was gracious enough to add Shape Layers for the first time to After Effects. Shape Layers enable you to create vector shapes in After Effect that can be animated and transformed. 

Creating a Moving Filmstrip Look "on the Cheap"
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=282334     Date:    2008-01-18
Author: Bonnie Blake    
Some of you might remember, or have used, the Adobe Filmstrip format, especially if you`re a veteran Adobe Premiere or After Effects user. Both older and current versions of Adobe Premiere Pro (version 2.0 and over) and After Effects offer the option to export your project as a Filmstrip format (.flm) and then open it in Adobe Photoshop to manipulate the individual frames of a movie. 

Complex Logo Design in Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator Classic
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=266569     Date:    2007-12-31
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
I have always been fascinated by 3D animation, but I unfortunately don't have the time to sit down and learn a 3D program to really produce great looking animations. A few years back, Zaxwerks released a set of plug-ins called Invigorator (Pro and Classic) that brought the world of extrusion to the "3D" in After Effects. I love the plug-in, but I always found it cumbersome to create complex animations, as time was always an issue.

Make Your Projects "DANCE" With Motion 3's Audio Behaviors
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=256793     Date:    2007-12-13
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
I've been an editor/motion graphics artist/compositor for a long time, and when I started out, I performed just one job, that of editor. I jumped into After Effects at version 3.1 (yes, that long ago!), and I primarily started using it because there were things that After Effects could do that the Media Composer could not do (obviously). 

Motion Tracking in After Effects CS 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=244763     Date:    2007-11-30
Author: David Basulto    
Ok its that time of year. The holidays are upon us and we are all shooting video like crazy. But what happens when Uncle Bob smacks us in the back as we are filming? Are we to be stuck with shaky and wobbly footage? Not if Adobe After Effects CS 3 has anything to do with it. 
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=224276     Date:    2007-11-05
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Not just a revision of existing plugins that are now ready for After Effects CS3, the latest offering from Cycore FX has a slew of new features that you will definitely use.

Control your speed with RE:Vision?s Twixtor 4.5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=220951     Date:    2007-11-01
Author: David Basulto    
We all loved the movie 300 right? The killer slow motion battles. Swords swinging at full speed then slowing down for a brief second and then going blazing fast again. Another movie favorite of mine The Matrix also used the technique with Neo fighting the evil Agent Smith. I love that stuff.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=191500     Date:    2007-10-07
Author: Ko Maruyama and Paul O. Zelinsky    
Paul O. Zelinsky is not only an award winning illustrator, but is an avid Photoshop and After Effects user, and an active Adobe community member. When a question about creating a cross stitch appearance for photos came up, Paul quickly came up with a solution. There are many different methods to employ this effect, but they all include a small stitch pattern.

Video Time Stretching In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=177779     Date:    2007-09-21
Author: Chad Perkins    
In our ninth and last segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad demonstrates how video sequences can be shortened or lengthened using Time Stretching in Adobe After Effects CS3.   

Performing A Video Slip Edit In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=177770     Date:    2007-09-19
Author: Chad Perkins    
In the eighth segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad demonstrates how a video slip edit can be easily be performed in Adobe After Effects CS3. 

Trimming and Video Editing In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=177768     Date:    2007-09-17
Author: Chad Perkins    
In the seventh segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad shows you how you can actually use After Effects for basic video editing, starting off with how to trim video using just Adobe After Effects CS3. 

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=183491     Date:    2007-09-16
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Here are 6 very basic steps to making your own Photoshop GIF animation. Want to learn more? Be sure to check out the channels at DMN for more.

Using Text Presets In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=177394     Date:    2007-09-14
Author: Chad Perkins    
In the sixth segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad introduces you to the extensive selection and amazing animation power of the built-in Text Presets in Adobe After Effects CS3. 

Animating Text In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=177392     Date:    2007-09-12
Author: Chad Perkins    
In the fifth segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad begins to delve into the elegant power for animating text in Adobe After Effects CS3. Chad finds these tools to be pretty exciting, and so will you when you see what can be done.

Formatting Text In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=177373     Date:    2007-09-10
Author: Chad Perkins    
In our fourth segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad starts off with a look at the raw power and ease of use Adobe After Effects CS3 offers when formatting text.

Free Tools for CINEMA 4D
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=183469     Date:    2007-09-09
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Chris Smith has provided several tools to use within MAXON's CINEMA 4D. There are two different types of object libraries available, but the current version is not only version compatible, there are several new tools for use in your projects. Chris generously offers these tools free of charge (for now).

Using Layer & Composition Markers In After Effects CS3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=176931     Date:    2007-09-07
Author: Chad Perkins    
In the third segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad demonstrates the use of Layer Markers and Composition Markers in Adobe's After Effects CS3.

Using The After Effects CS3 Composition Panel
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=176894     Date:    2007-09-05
Author: Chad Perkins    
In the second segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad demonstrates the how to get started using Adobe's After Effects CS3 Composition Panel.

All About After Effects CS3 Compositions & Assets
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=175772     Date:    2007-09-03
Author: Chad Perkins    
In this first segment from the After Effects CS3 Essential Training series Chad explains what an After Effects Composition is, how to set one up, how to add assets to compositions, and throws in some useful user shortcuts along the way.

Look Ma, No Object Buffers
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=181404     Date:    2007-09-01
Author: Ko Maruyama    
In this second part of a quick tip for J, here's the method to use the Materials and Selections to create some quick buffers - a trick which is especially useful when creating some alpha channels from animated MoGraph Text
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=180785     Date:    2007-08-30
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Here's another Quick Tip. This time for my buddy J - who I know is not alone on this one. When you're using CINEMA 4D, you can setup channels for export to compositing applications, but sometimes a material change is more efficient and easier to set up.

Taking a snapshot inside Sony Vegas
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=175792     Date:    2007-08-29
Author: Jeffrey P. Fisher    
One of my Vegas trainees recently asked me how to create a still frame from video and make it look as if a snapshot had been taken, complete with a flash going off. After writing instructions in an e-mail, I realized the workflow would make a handy tutorial. With special thanks to P.M. for the idea, here goes.
ParticleIllusion Changing Duration
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=180675     Date:    2007-08-28
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There are several tutorials on the wondertouch website, but sometimes seeing a question answered in a Quick Tip is handy way to figure out what needs to get done. In this Quick Tip: Changing the duration of a particleillusion composition doesn't necessarily mean that your particles will abruptly stop. It's all about how your emitter is set up.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=173930     Date:    2007-08-20
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Here is a simple way to make an extruded shape emit from Trapcode Particular. The tutorial is the result of a question asked in the DMN Forum.

This is your modo on TV
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=172321     Date:    2007-08-13
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Luxology has announced the launch of free online video information for modo. More than training - Luxology.tv offers users and the entire Luxology community an opportunity to share their experiences through video presentations. With the expanding number of features in modo, Luxology.tv will offer users a single venue to share their best tips and tricks.

Fall in Love with particleIllusion 3.0
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=170921     Date:    2007-08-03
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There are new sets of Pro Emitters on sale now at the wondertouch website. For use with their flagship software: particleIllusion, these emitter libraries will help you create all kinds of animations quickly. While there are several different uses for the first part of the new library, the Hearts package looks like a match made in heaven for wedding videographers.

CINEMA 4D: Simpson Torus
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=167546     Date:    2007-07-31
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It's time to make the doughnuts. Sure - you could make a better one - I dare you to! But if you want to get started, there really is no easier way than to pop open up a 3D application and click on a primitive object that already looks like a doughnut: The Torus Object. Oh, the torus object - is there anything it *can't* do? Try it out - push it around, and see what happens. In the first part, I'll show you how easy it is to make a plain doughnut - cartoon style.

Getting your sequence from Premiere Pro into After Effects and back
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=166553     Date:    2007-07-29
Author: David Basulto    
?Just cut and paste?. That?s all I keep reading or hearing from folks when I wanted to bring my film ?Fiesta Grand? from Premiere Pro 2 into After Effects 7 Pro for color correcting. And I about killed myself and my old Dell computer trying to. Sure I was able to bring a few clips in but never the whole feature. 

Diagonal Lines in Adobe After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=166535     Date:    2007-07-26
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There were so many different ways to make diagonal lines in all kinds of illustration and bitmap applications, but when you want to animate them - you want to head over to After Effects to get it done. Right? Well, now in Adobe After Effects CS3, you have more options for how to accomplish it.

Artbeats Timelapse Bumper
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=165170     Date:    2007-07-25
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As you know, Artbeats has archived hours of beautiful nature footage. The new Grow! collection can help you with composites - or just use the footage by itself. You could also time remap, and time stretch the footage into new, and even faster growth rates.
Artbeats Timelapse
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=165169     Date:    2007-07-24
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As you know, Artbeats has archived hours of beautiful nature footage. What you might not know is that in addition to the footage showing real time playback of things that happen quickly (like lightning, fire and explosions), they also have some wonderful timelapse photography of things that happen very slowly. The new Grow! collection can help you with composites - or just use the footage by itself.
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=164502     Date:    2007-07-22
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Dean Velez, aka THE ANVEL, has released CD#10 - a disc with lessons for how to build your own news open in After Effects 7. These lessons which you can print out and leave on your desk for quick reference can help you produce many different animations in addition to those similar to the target projects.
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=158631     Date:    2007-07-03
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It seemed pretty obvious that the 3D transformation possibilities for Adobe After Effects CS3 would be useful for many more things than merely moving type around on a 3D axis (as Total Training's Brian Maffitt demonstrated during this year's NAB), but there are very simple things that you can do with the tool that you ALREADY know how to do.

Creative F/X at lightning speed!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=157523     Date:    2007-06-28
Author: Marco Salsiccia    
Creative F/X at lightning speed! Digital Anarchy?s new PlasmaFX filter suite are powerful, fast effects for Mac users on Final Cut Pro, Motion, and After Effects. The 26 filters use new Apple technology like FxPlug architecture and OS X?s Core Image system. This base system provides a big boost in speed, making the effects real time in some cases. 

How to wash footage with a metallic sheen and glow with Digital Anarchy's PlasmaFX
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=153026     Date:    2007-06-18
Author: Marco Salsiccia    
Digital Anarchy?s new PlasmaFX filter suite are powerful, fast effects for Mac users on Final Cut Pro, Motion, and After Effects. The 26 filters use new Apple technology like FxPlug architecture and OS X?s Core Image system. This base system provides a big boost in speed, making the effects real time in some cases. Creative F/X at Lightning Speed! This is the final tutorial in a series about PlasmaFX.LE, or Lite.

A Few Shape Presets for Adobe After Effects 8.0
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=140809     Date:    2007-05-16
Author: Jean Hauptman    
Parametric shapes are new to Adobe After Effects 8.0, and the jury is still out whether they will become integral to the motion graphics process, or are specialty du jour. Either way, it is good to have stars, and rounded rectangles within After Effects. And most delightful, are the effects exclusive to Shape Layers, like Zigzag, Pucker and Bloat, Stroke and animating dashes.

Faster Work Flow in LiveType, Motion and After Effects for Final Cut Editors
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=125747     Date:    2007-04-09
Author: Kevin McAuliffe    
A few years ago, program integration was for the most part, non-existent. I've worked with Adobe After Effects for about 11 years now, and I remember that whenever I would have to leave the Avid world to delve into the After Effects world, I would cringe, as it was always a real pain, as the programs never really talked to each other. Thankfully, Automatic Duck has more or less solved that problem for all the Avid users out there working in After Effects. 

NucleoPro: Saves Time
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=116203     Date:    2007-04-03
Author: Ko Maruyama    
When you're going to NAB, the best thing to do is get a list of companies you want to visit. Without it, you could easily get stuck in an island of pods for hours. Of course there are a few big booths I'll be heading to right away. Apple - of course. Adobe - you should have guessed it. But there are others you may want to check out too. Why? Well, in this series of tutorials that I'm putting together, maybe you'll find your own answer: This week's reason: GridIron's Nucleo Pro.
AEnhancers #04
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=109005     Date:    2007-02-27
Author: Ko Maruyama    
AE Enhancers (or AENHANCERS.com), is a collection of over 850 different animators and compositors from all over the world who use Adobe After Effects to write special scripts, expressions, and presets for the AE community. A great new script is here! RADIUS, COSINE AND LAYERS! OH MY! Not only do they answer questions and provide demonstrations how they've found new uses for features, but many times, the authors will provide the scripts and code for all. Many people ask about how to start - well, here's where.

Creative F/X at lightning speed using Digital Anarchy?s new PlasmaFX filter suite
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=107442     Date:    2007-02-20
Author: Marco Salsiccia    
Digital Anarchy's new PlasmaFX filter suite are powerful, fast effects for Mac users on Final Cut Pro, Motion, and After Effects. The 26 filters use new Apple technology like FxPlug architecture and OS X's Core Image system. This base system provides a big boost in speed, making the effects real time in some cases. This is the first of three tutorials in a series about PlasmaFX.LE, or Lite.

Linking Audio in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=102533     Date:    2007-02-05
Author: Paul van der Spek    
Using the audio levels from a specific layer, you can link and control various parameters from effects within After Effects. Using expressions to help link the effect parameter to the audio keyframes will make the project run quickly and easily.
AEnhancers #03
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=103598     Date:    2007-02-05
Author: Ko Maruyama    
AE Enhancers (or AENHANCERS.com), is a collection of over 850 different animators and compositors from all over the world who use Adobe After Effects to write special scripts, expressions, and presets for the AE community. A great new script is here! Not only do they answer questions and provide demonstrations how they've found new uses for features, but many times, the authors will provide the scripts and code for all. Many people ask about how to start - well, here's where.

How to create complex fabrics with Curtains
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=100197     Date:    2007-01-25
Author: none   
In this tutorial you can read how to decorate your video with beautiful complex velvet drape with golden pattern. This lesson says basic techniques which help to study how to adjust materials parameters of fabrics. Go through all steps described in this lesson and you'll learn how to do it! Having learned the basics and having understood the technique you'll be able to create more sophisticated pieces. The AlphaPlugins Curtains plugin for After Effects is necessary.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=99393     Date:    2007-01-23
Author: Ko Maruyama    
While a regular 4-sided tetrahedron could be considered a pyramid, a 5-sided square pyramid is more common and relatively simple if you have a basic working knowledge of 3D layers in Adobe After Effects. Unfortunately, After Effects 7 doesn't have as much control or success with solid geometry as a true 3D application, but for some rigid bodies, you can create a model that passes. Here's how to set up a pyramid in After Effects.
AEnhancers #02
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=99318     Date:    2007-01-22
Author: Ko Maruyama    
AE Enhancers (or AENHANCERS.com), is a collection of over 850 different animators and compositors from all over the world who use Adobe After Effects to write special scripts, expressions, and presets for the AE community. Not only do they answer questions and provide demonstrations how they've found new uses for features, but many times, the authors will provide the scripts and code for all. Many people ask about how to start - well, here's where.

C4D for AE #12
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=98839     Date:    2007-01-21
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions and location of menus are a little different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: In After Effects, you probably know about 3D Light manipulation. In a 3D application, there are several light variations and controls, here is one

C4D for AE #11
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=96578     Date:    2007-01-12
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions and location of menus are a little different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. With the new releases of CINEMA 4D, it is even easier for Adobe After Effects users to create their own 3D animations and incorporate them into their composites and animations. 

C4D FOR AE #10
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=92104     Date:    2006-12-30
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: Using Preview Range. It's just about the same as a work area for several different reasons.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=92103     Date:    2006-12-28
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: Chaning the layout and saving your workspace - and finding layout presets.
Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #61
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=92061     Date:    2006-12-27
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The joy of multiclip editing in Final Cut Pro can quickly leave a sour taste in your mouth when it comes to color correcting one particular angle after you have performed a basic edit. On the one hand, you could drag and drop the color corrector effect over and over (and over) again until your mind is completely numb, or you can paste the filter across all of the clips in the timeline in mere moments.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=92102     Date:    2006-12-23
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: Taking advantage of the FULLSCREEN mode, and changing the hotkey to tilde (~) just like After Effects 7.
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=92101     Date:    2006-12-22
Author: Ko Maruyama    
AE Enhancers is a collection of over 850 different animators and compositors from all over the world who use Adobe After Effects to write special scripts, expressions, and presets for the AE community. Not only do they answer questions and provide demonstrations how they've found new uses for features, but many times, the authors will provide the scripts and code for all. Many people ask about how to start scripting - well, here's where.

Flame On
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=87320     Date:    2006-12-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I love playing World of Warcraft, and am constantly amazed at the particle animations used for magic actions. One of the best particle systems I've come across is Trapcode?s Particular. In this After Effects tutorial, we'll use the plug-in to create our own magical effects.
CC Mr. Mercury
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=84985     Date:    2006-11-29
Author: Masan Yi    
I ran into this plug-in trying to do some liquid stuff for a project that contained a lot of organic motion. I noticed that Mr. Mercury was just the right tool for a nice organic at the same time liquidy transition. Therefore I used this plug-in to make a cool transition from one scene to the next. I achieved this by starting off with just the default settings in Mr Mercury.
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=81621     Date:    2006-11-15
Author: Steve Toyama    
A lot of cool effects can be achieved by finding a way to combine two effects that seem to have little or nothing to do with each other. In this tutorial, we'll be joining together two plug-ins that are already amazing all by themselves. The two plug-ins are Red Giant Software's Knoll Light Factory and Trapcode's Particular. Using Particular's custom particle feature, we'll create custom particles based on lens flares.
"Color over Life" in Trapcode Particular
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=81600     Date:    2006-11-14
Author: Miwa Hirano    
When animators, compositors or visual effects artists are using After Effects, some plugins will help modify things with values other than just numbers. Sometimes, you can use colors to change the way a plugin behaves. When you use Trapcode Particular, one of the values that you can use to modify the individual particles is called "Color Over Life" and it allows you to change the way the particles are colored after they are spawned from the emitter.

Focus on Blur
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=74485     Date:    2006-10-17
Author: Miwa Hirano    
In a few steps, a very straightfoward graphic created in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator can be transformed into a fluid moving background for use in motion graphic designs. When the client provides specific artwork, and requests it to be used, here's one way of blurring the boundaries of the "use" definition.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=74484     Date:    2006-10-16
Author: Steve Toyama    
Ame, ame, fure, fure..." Rain, rain, fall, fall. It's the season for rain in Los Angeles. While we do have falling leaves here, and other seasonal icons, most Angelenos think of "rain" as a winter season icon. In this tutorial, Steve Toyama takes you through a procedure to make wet pavement. 
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=71935     Date:    2006-10-09
Author: Ko Maruyama    
I have been using Automatic Duck for 4 years now. Automatic Duck is an excellent way to get your edit list from Avid or Final Cut Pro into your After Effects project. It does many more file/project conversion types, but this is the only one I'm interested in... Getting it into After Effects. Here's a simple method to debug one of the application's stumbling blocks.

Time Warps, Freeze Frames & Animation Blending in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=68084     Date:    2006-09-25
Author: none    
In these three three video tutorials, Lee Brimelow will demonstrate how you can add a variety of visual effects to your video productions including freeze frame effects, frame blending effects and time warp effects using Adobe After Effects.

From After Effects to Flash and Back, Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=68704     Date:    2006-09-21
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
If you were with me for the last installment, you're already hip to the palpable excitement in the air that has already worked its way into a fever pitch. Today we're going to--wait for it--take the content we made last time in After Effects and put it all together in Flash. I, for one, can't wait, so let's get this party started.

After Effects 101
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=66092     Date:    2006-09-17
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Time to get back to basics with After Effects. More and more beginners are jumping on board and are learning the ins and outs of After Effects. The one question I get a lot is ?How to I make ______ longer or shorter?? Fear not dear reader, this quick tutorial has the answer.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=64197     Date:    2006-09-12
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It's been over a year since I wrote anything about fake fire in After Effects. Since then, there have been many questions about alternate uses of the procedure, whether or not different elements have to be in the composition, and more. I'll try to clear up some of the more common questions about the project's use and what happens in the effect. (And give up some Halloween setups as well)

After Effects 7 Animation Techniques
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=63215     Date:    2006-09-08
Author: none    
In After Effects 7 Animation Techniques, Jeff Foster shares methods and best practices for creating fantastic animation. From setting up a camera and getting the right angles, to imitating the movement of the human skeleton and animating text layers, Foster explains everything you need to know to create and edit animations for the most realistic effects. In this segment Jeff demonstrates animating text layers in After Effects using Photoshop text layers with displacement.

After Effects 7 Animation Techniques
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=63368     Date:    2006-09-08
Author: none    
In After Effects 7 Animation Techniques, Jeff Foster shares methods and best practices for creating fantastic animation. From setting up a camera and getting the right angles, to imitating the movement of the human skeleton and animating text layers, Foster explains everything you need to know to create and edit animations for the most realistic effects. In this segment Jeff demonstrates animating text layers in After Effects using Photoshop text layers with displacement.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=66089     Date:    2006-09-04
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Recently I reviewed the new book from Angie Taylor, Creative After Effects. Artbeats has supplied readers with some excellent pieces of stock footage (found on the book's accompanying disc). Artbeats also offers a sample of the book as a PDF on their site. Not only do they offer a chapter of Angie's book, but several other tutorials from other professional leaders.

From After Effects to Flash and Back, Part 1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=58444     Date:    2006-08-17
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
Only in a time of incredible blurriness between formerly separate disciplines like motion graphics and interactive design could programs such as After Effects and Flash be considered complimentary, but in this age of the proverbial blending of chocolate with peanut butter, the two aforementioned Adobe stalwarts have enormous crossover potential. And while citizens of the world (or, at least, users of Flash and After Effects) wait for both programs to emerge from the midst of their respective product cycles, we're going to examine a few ways that you can apply skills and techniques acquired in one program to the other.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=49237     Date:    2006-07-16
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: Saving a series of backups, rather than merely saving over the same file will help you maintain a safety net of versions, without having to manually rename them. Remember to clean up when you're done.

Adobe After Effects Presets #21
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=47502     Date:    2006-07-11
Author: Ko Maruyama    
A bunch of DMN readers have started to put together some nice presets. We're still in a Particular frenzy - but it's a popular cause. These are actually project files, and not just Animation Presets. Some of the elements that we will feature here are simple, but others may rely on complex animations. Download the ones you want to, and see what we've done. Emerson has gone CRAZY - creating almost 40 presets in one session, here is part five of the series.

Adobe Audition 2.0 Workspaces
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=48661     Date:    2006-07-05
Author: Frank Moldstad    
Adobe Audition 2.0 is built around an extremely flexible interface, a design it shares with Adobe's Premiere Pro 2.0, Encore 2.0, and After Effects. Although each of these applications has different menus and tools, they are all designed with groups of movable panels that can be resized, docked nearly anywhere, or floated freely. Here's a look at how Audition 2.0 can be configured.

HDRI With Adobe Photoshop CS2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=47398     Date:    2006-06-23
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
For anyone doing 3D work or compositing for film, using 32-bit images for light probes and exact light interactions is vital. The ability to create HDR images has been somewhat difficult to achieve with some other software out there, but with Adobe Photoshop CS2 it's as simple as 1, 2, 3. 

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=46496     Date:    2006-06-20
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: Gathering up all of your data. In AE: Collect Files. You can do the same in CINEMA 4D.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=46453     Date:    2006-06-19
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. THIS LESSON: Looping techniques in both After Effects and CINEMA 4D.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=46276     Date:    2006-06-15
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. This week: THE RENDER QUEUE vs. RENDER SETUP & BATCH

Automating Plugins in Logic Pro 7
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=45514     Date:    2006-06-09
Author: Frank Moldstad    
One of the best things about mixing audio tracks in a computer is the ease with which parameters such as volume and panning can be automated. But one of the most dramatic uses for automation is to vary the intensity of effects such as reverb or chorus. In this tutorial, we use Apple's Logic Pro 7 to automate the intensity of a chorus plugin on a guitar track. Before and after audio clips are included to show the results. 

Going Out with a Bang
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=43545     Date:    2006-05-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
We?re going to wrap up our force field effects shot exercise by adding a violent camera shake and a fireball explosion. It's not that hard with Trapcode Particular 1.5 and a quick expression.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=43190     Date:    2006-05-17
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. 

Adobe After Effects Presets #12
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=43018     Date:    2006-05-12
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Emerson and I have started to create some presets for After Effects. These are actually project files, and not just Animation Presets. Some of the elements that we will feature here are simple, but others may rely on complex animations. Download the ones you want to see what we've done. 

Shields Up
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=42846     Date:    2006-05-11
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In Part 2 we added an energy field that utilized a displacement map to create a visual distortion of the image whenever something strikes the protective shell. In this lesson, we'll continue to build the energy field, this time creating a glowing ripple that spreads across the force field.

May the Force (Field) Be With You
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=42628     Date:    2006-05-10
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In our last installment I walked you through one possible method of creating a growing grass effect for our house in the burbs. In this installment we'll begin to build a force field generator that will deflect attacks from those neighbors who are jealous of our new found gardening skills.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=42792     Date:    2006-05-10
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. 

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=42348     Date:    2006-05-08
Author: Ko Maruyama    
As an After Effects user and CINEMA 4D user, I note that there are many similarities between the programs. Unfortunately their naming conventions are different. In this short series of tips, I'll try to make a connection to C4D from AE. 

After Effects to CINEMA 4D
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=42002     Date:    2006-05-02
Author: Jamal "Nimpsy" Qutub    
It's a snap to translate position, scale and rotation data from MAXON's CINEMA 4D to Adobe After Effects, but what happens when you want to export After Effects 3D data to C4D? Jamal explains a method here on DMN! (ko)

Slot Machine Reels
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=39443     Date:    2006-04-19
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Colin Lea, a regular in the DMN After Effects Forum has come up with a tutorial for creating animation that simulates slot machine reels. Colin has an eye for After Effects, not only because he creates effects, but he produces a whole television show...

Grass is Always Greener
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=39548     Date:    2006-04-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Oh the joys of lawn care. No matter how you cut, fertilize, aerate, and more, your neighbor?s grass is always greener. Extract revenge with After Effects and some color correction.
After Effects Backgrounds
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=38129     Date:    2006-03-14
Author: Ko Maruyama    
In After Effects, there are several effects that will help you to edit simple shapes into more complex images. Here is a procedure to create a spline that looks like a frosty or "icey" shape. 

Using Depth Effects in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=38108     Date:    2006-03-10
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Even though render speeds in 3D applications have gotten faster, adding depth of field during the first pass really adds to the render time. And even if you do render a shallow depth of field, what happens if you need to tweak it? With the 3D Channel effects in Adobe After Effects 7.0, you can render a single pass and then add enhancements in post. In this tutorial, I'll walk you through creating your own rack focus in post.

Applying 3D Channel Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=38046     Date:    2006-03-09
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The Professional version of Adobe After Effects provides tools to integrate 3D scenes into 2D composites and to make changes to those 3D scenes. In this tutorial, we'll look at how you add Fog to your 3D render.
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37803     Date:    2006-02-27
Author: Ko Maruyama    
For more than a decade, Brian Maffitt has offered specific, yet easy to follow instruction for beginner, intermediate and advanced users of motion graphics software. In their latest adventure, the experts have created GURU LOUNGE, a video podcast of arguably 'must-know' tips. 
Photoshop Path Use
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37766     Date:    2006-02-25
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Although there are some things that you can't do without Adobe Illustrator, you can still use Zaxwerks' Invigorator for After Effects with Photoshop alone.

Dazzling Fractal Noise
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37565     Date:    2006-02-16
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The good thing about the Fractal Noise effect in Adobe After Effects is it has a million and one uses in creating background animations for your projects. The bad thing about the Fractal Noise effect in Adobe After Effects is once I start playing and experimenting I can't stop. In this After Effects tutorial, you?ll create a dazzling display of light and lines.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37370     Date:    2006-02-09
Author: Ko Maruyama    
This is not for beginners. While it may be simple to use, it is also fairly easy to break parts of existing FFX data by using this tool. For that reason, I warn, apply with caution. This isn't an Adobe supported feature - but it works! And works well! One caveat is that there are two scripts (ONE=Mac, ONE=PC).

Yet Another Fractal Noise Background
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37328     Date:    2006-02-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
This marks the 108th After Effects tutorial I have written, and by far, the most covered topic has been the Fractal Noise effect. This is such a versatile effect that is perfect when creating animated backdrops for your projects. In this exercise, you?ll learn yet another formula in creating a Fractal Noise background.

Edit in Adobe Audition
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37177     Date:    2006-02-01
Author: Frank Moldstad    
If your workflow involves audio and video production, there are some important interoperability functions between Audition 2.0 and Premiere Pro 2 or After Effects 7 Professional in Adobe's Production Studio Premium edition that will make your life easier. Here's a look at one of the brand new functions, called Edit in Adobe Audition.
Capturing Video with After Effects 7.0
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37126     Date:    2006-01-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
For those who bought first day, Adobe After Effects 7.0 should now be in your hands. One of the new features that has been added to the Adobe Production Suite Premium Bundle is the ability to psuedo-capture footage from After Effects with the help of the new Dynamic Link, and Premiere Pro. This quick tip will show you how it is done.
After Effects 7's Create Photoshop
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37086     Date:    2006-01-28
Author: Ko Maruyama    
After Effects 7 has a new feature that allows you to create brand new Photoshop documents from within the After Effects application. While you may have previously used Photoshop and After Effects together before, this can be a "click-saving" routine, allowing for quick and easy creation of Photoshop elements.

Maximize Screen in AE 7
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=37015     Date:    2006-01-24
Author: Ko Maruyama    
In After Effects 7, there is a new feature that allows you to maximize the current panel into the whole application frame, using only one key. Unfortunately, for many seasoned After Effects users, that "one key" was an important part of their daily finger placement. My friend Warren asked, where did it go? Well, here it is.
Activate-Deactivate CYCORE HD installation
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=36950     Date:    2006-01-20
Author: Ko Maruyama    
When you upgrade to After Effects 7.0, you may find that you're going to want to upgrade certain plugins. CYCORE HD is one of them. Cycore HD has a unique installer, which I'll show you in a quick movie. Additionally, I'll show you how to avoid that dreaded "DUPLICATE PLUGIN" warning, requiring multiple clicks.

The Timewarp
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=36918     Date:    2006-01-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The Timewarp effect is one of the new additions to Adobe After Effects 7.0. With this effect you can speed up or slow down footage for dramatic results. In this exercise, I'll show you how to use Timewarp to create a slo-mo effect.

Saving Layouts in After Effects 7
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=36860     Date:    2006-01-17
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Adobe's After Effects 7 is finally unveiled, and there are many small parts of the application which might be overlooked for some of the larger features. One of those nice little additions is the ability to easily change workspaces. Surely previous version had it, but AE7 allows more control.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=36854     Date:    2006-01-12
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you've moved footage or changed the directory path for source material used in Adobe's After Effects, and the application can't automatically update the footage's location, you may get the color bars icon, a placeholder for missing footage. Sometimes you don't have the footage, but don't want the color bars. Here's one easy way to temporarily replace the SMPT bars. 

Your Own HotKeys
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=36302     Date:    2005-12-15
Author: Ko Maruyama    
I usually discourage people from editing the description file for After Effects' shortcut key definitions, but so many people have asked me how to do it, I figure I would make a quick primer. 

Channel Lighting with Steven Walker
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=35739     Date:    2005-11-16
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There are several keys to creating 3D still images and animations for use within a separate compositor. This week, Steven Walker, author of plugins called WALKER EFFECTS explains the process of preparing files in CINEMA 4D for use with his After Effects plugins.

Modifying Paint in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=35683     Date:    2005-11-15
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There are many things that you can do with the new paint tools in After Effects 6.5. Unfortunately, some of the parameters do not lend themselves to easy manipulation. Whether through expressions or curve handles, the paint paths can't be edited with the brush tool itself. However, alternate methods will allow you to edit your stroke. 

Importing Position Data into ParticleIllusion 3, Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=35678     Date:    2005-11-14
Author: Dave Nagel    
In our last tutorial on ParticleIllusion 3 for Mac OS X, we took a look at copying position data from After Effects and using it to generate motion for particle emitters or layer offset. But there are times when using the clipboard to copy and paste keyframes just isn't feasible.

Freeze Frame
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=35394     Date:    2005-10-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
A reader asked how he could create a freeze frame effect one might see in a movie where the actor is highlighted from the surrounding elements. There are several ways to do this, and in this Adobe After Effects lesson, I'll show you one method.

Using Custom Particles in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=35290     Date:    2005-10-17
Author: none    
There are many new ways to create particle-based animations, from Trapcode Particular to Apple Motion's Replicator. One of the most powerful is an old favorite: Adobe After Effects Particle Playground. Just posted to our tutorial section is step-by-step tutorial that includes the original AE 6.5 project, source files, and screen shots to get you started. More information and free downloads can be found at: http://www.motionstream.com 

Heat Wave
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34773     Date:    2005-09-23
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Late summer is always weird. One day it is 101 degrees, the next is 75. If you live in the hotlands you have probably seen heat shimmer coming off the road, your car, anything that absorbs and reflects heat. But what do you do if you need to recreate that effect? After Effects and particles are the answer.

Make Notes for Others
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34619     Date:    2005-09-14
Author: Ko Maruyama    
With the ever-expanding user base who trades Adobe After Effects project files, it is important to include notes in your files in order to allow other artists to quickly understand your work. Sometimes, notes made to particular files need to be included not only when transferring the file, but also embedded in the file, through various parts of the application, so there is no confusion regarding which steps are to be followed, and which parts may or may not be changed. 

After Effects' Other 'Paint'
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34486     Date:    2005-09-06
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There are a bunch of features in After Effects, some of which you may have never used before. This week, I'm going to take a look at an oldie, but goodie. This is an effect that you'll find in versions prior to the current version, but you might not have used before. So many people are looking for new features, without realizing the cool stuff that already exists in the application. 

Pseudo Cell Division in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34276     Date:    2005-08-24
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There have been several commercials and motion graphics that depict imagery breaking apart into separate objects. While this isn't a real representation of true biology, there are tricks in After Effects that will help you to split shapes to create new graphics. The easiest is the first tutorial here: 

Curtain of Fractal Noise
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34024     Date:    2005-08-10
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The Fractal Noise effect is by far my most favorite and most used effect in Adobe After Effects 6.5 Professional. It is so versatile and can be used in everything from a smoke filled background, to fire, to an anime fight scene. In this exercise, you will manipulate the settings of effect to create a curtain of light.

Write FIRE with FIRE
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=33947     Date:    2005-08-07
Author: Ko Maruyama    
While images of realistic fire require a robust particle system to accomplish a believable animation. It is quite simple to create a graphic representation of fire with the tools in After Effects Pro 6.5 alone. This week, in an attempt to explain a popular request, we'll explore the options for writing "4-FIRE" with fire.

HyperVoxels Meteors
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=33943     Date:    2005-08-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Ever since writing the Fire in the Eyes on how to do a heat vision effect ala Smallville, I have been flooded with requests for more Smallville-esque tutorials. In this LightWave 3D tutorial, we'll create a meteor falling from the sky.

Building a Random Number Background
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=33427     Date:    2005-07-11
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
If you haven?t visited the DMN After Effects forums you are missing out on great discussions, informative announcements, and quick and easy tutorials. A recent posting asked about creating a background of random numbers and letters. This is a snap with the Text Tool of Adobe After Effects.

Simple Track Mattes
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=33209     Date:    2005-06-18
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Often I've seen a question that can be easily solved with the implementation of a track matte. Often it isn't the creative limitations of the user, it's just that people don't know it exists. Although it's been featured in several tutorials in the AE Channels here on DMN, a simple review might clarify its use.

Stars and strokes in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=33207     Date:    2005-06-17
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you haven't checked out the DMN Forums, you haven't just missed the regular Q&A and other chatter that occurs there, but you may have missed tutorials that answer questions too complex to be solved with a couple of keystrokes. Here is Part 2 of a forum answer. Check the forums for other "Forum Tutorials" and "Forum News" that might not make it to the main stage.

Copy Mask to Position
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31558     Date:    2005-03-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
One of the most oft areas of clarification I am asked is the proper way to copy a mask in After Effects to the position property of another layer. Since many of you learn visual, I have created another video tutorial for you to learn from.

That Little Gleam
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31490     Date:    2005-03-25
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
After Effects 6.5 shipped with many Cycore Effects one being the Light Sweep effect for fast and effective light gleams. In this video tutorial, DMN?s Stephen Schleicher walks you through the process of using the effect for your project.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31381     Date:    2005-03-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
With the success of Apple's iPod commercials, everyone wants to duplicate the look and feel of the piece. The latest includes arrows that bend and cross to form the iPod Shuffle logo. In this exercise I'll show you how to do it quickly and easily.

Shuffle It Quick Tip
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31382     Date:    2005-03-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Last time we created the iPod Shuffle commercial arrows. In this installment, we'll expand upon the 2D effect and have these arrows move in 3D space. It isn't that hard and makes this exercise an After Effects Quick Tip.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31296     Date:    2005-03-15
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When you are doing special effects in a production, safety should be the number one concern. This is especially true when working with electricity. With Adobe After Effects, you can simulate the 30,000 volts zapper. In this exercise, I'll show you how to create the effect.

Falling Pieces of Particular
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31201     Date:    2005-03-08
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Trapcode is the one-man company run by Peder Norrby, who developed the popular 3D Stroke, oft-used Shine and now the increasingly popular Particular. Particular is a 2D plugin that introduces special formulae that allow After Effects to calculate imagery in 3D environments, and based on camera data. Unfortunately, it does not calculate 3D rotation of planar elements used as particles. In this week's tutorial, I'll demonstrate a work-around solution.

Casting Shadows in After Effects 6.5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=31121     Date:    2005-03-06
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
To make a truly believable 3D space in Adobe After Effects, you should make use of shadows in your composition. In this exercise, we'll look at the three options for casting shadows (and light) in After Effects.

Illustrator Objects to After Effects Layers
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30923     Date:    2005-02-23
Author: Dave Nagel    
You've created several dozen objects in Adobe Illustrator, and now you want to animate them in After Effects. Problem: No matter what you try, the objects don't come into After Effects as individual layers, but as one single layer. The preventative solution would have been to create each of your objects on its own separate layer in Illustrator. But, since it's too late for that now, what can you do short of manually moving each of your objects into a new layer? I'll tell you.

Falling Pieces of Particular
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30889     Date:    2005-02-19
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Trapcode is the one-man company run by Peder Norrby, who developed the popular 3D Stroke, oft-used Shine and now the increasingly popular Particular. Particular is a 2D plugin that introduces special formulae that allow After Effects to calculate imagery in 3D environments, and based on camera data. Unfortunately, it does not calculate 3D rotation of planar elements used as particles. In this weeks' tutorial, I'll demonstrate a work-around solution.

...Open The Door
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30832     Date:    2005-02-14
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Doors and other boxy shapes are now easier than ever in After Effects. In version 6.5, Digital Anarchy provided users with Box Creator Lite. In addition to creating simple cubic shapes, Box Creator Lite opens doors to other After Effects potential. In this tutorial, I'll demonstrate how to use Box Creator to make a 3D door, and set it on its hinges.

...Open the Door
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30734     Date:    2005-02-11
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Doors and other boxy shapes are now easier than ever in After Effects. In version 6, Digital Anarchy provided users with Box Creator Lite. In addition to creating simple cubic shapes, Box Creator Lite opens doors to other After Effects potential. In this tutorial, I'll demonstrate how to use Box Creator to make a 3D door, and set it on its hinges. 

Combustion Eye for the AE Guy
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30583     Date:    2005-02-03
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The AE user should already know a fair amount about keying in After Effects. As you make the migration to discreet'?s combustion, you will find several new ways of pulling a key from a blue or green screen shot. In this installment we'll examine how keying in combustion works, and how to use combustion?s Discreet Keyer for your next project.

Spread the Love
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30539     Date:    2005-02-02
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you're a designer, Valentine's Day isn't just flowers, candy and a romantic dinner with your significant other. It's also the time when, once again, you need to come up with new ways to represent graphically that old symbol of love, the heart. There are always a few more tricks left to help you get the job done, hopefully with enough time left over to pick up a little something nice for your loved one.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=30194     Date:    2005-01-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I have received a couple of e-mails, and have seen at least one post in the DMN forums asking how to do a countdown in After Effects. It can be done, and is as easy as 1, 2, 3 - or should I say 3,2,1?

Let It Snow
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29762     Date:    2004-12-21
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Lately I have received many requests on how to create custom particles using the Cycore FX Particle World plug-in for Adobe After Effects 6.5. To coincide with the holiday, this tutorial will show you how to create your own field of falling snow.

Ultimate Home Safety
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29571     Date:    2004-12-08
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
There are a number of ways to use the Fractal Noise effect in Adobe After Effects Pro. One simple yet effective way to employ the effect is to create dust particles floating through the air. In this After Effects 6.5 Pro tutorial, we'll use Fractal Noise to create a laser fence around our property to protect us from the ne?er-do-wells of the world.

How to Create Title Invasion FX in Map|TIME
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29240     Date:    2004-11-18
Author: none    
MaP|Time is a brand new plug-in for Adobe After Effects and Discreet Combustion. It is a fully-editable heterogeneous video filter designer that allows artists to easily create and manipulate highly complex animated patterns, effects and transitions. In this tutorial, we'll show how to create title invasion FX in Map|TIME

How To: Create a dancing flame with Map|Time
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29145     Date:    2004-11-15
Author: none    
MaP|Time is a brand new plug-in for Adobe After Effects and Discreet Combustion. It is a fully-editable heterogeneous video filter designer that allows artists to easily create and manipulate highly complex animated patterns, effects and transitions. In this tutorial, we'll show how to create a dancing flame in a few clicks with Map Time.

After Effects Ball Action
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29087     Date:    2004-11-11
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When you installed the Cycore FX effects with After Effects 6.5 you probably tried the Ball Action effect. While it is a great way to quickly create a ball park video screen, this effect can also work in a 3D environment. In this After Effects 6.5 Pro tutorial, we'll use Ball Action to create an animated molecule for a science show.

The 'Pan Behind' Tool in Adobe After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=29026     Date:    2004-11-09
Author: Dave Nagel    
This is a somewhat obscure technique for Adobe After Effects, not because it's particularly difficult, but because it rarely comes up. Nevertheless, it's a handy one to know should the need arise. You have a mask on a layer, and you need to animate the layer's content while leaving the mask fixed in place. How do you do it? We'll walk through a simple project to see how it works.

Basic 3D In After Effects: Part Three
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34797     Date:    2004-09-06
Author: none    
The 3rd part in a tutorial series about how to use 3D in Adobe After Effects.

Basic 3D In After Effects: Part Two
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34795     Date:    2004-08-28
Author: none    
The 2nd tutorial in a series about how to manipulate layers in 3D in Adobe After Effects.

Text Tool Tip
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27666     Date:    2004-08-27
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
If you didn't read last weeks Star Wars Intro tutorial, you may have missed a really neat tip on how to use the Text Tool to enter large amounts of copied text. For those of you who missed it, here's the highlight reel.

Pete's Kaleidoscope
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27638     Date:    2004-08-25
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
There is a pretty good Kaleidoscope effect that comes as part of After Effects 6.5, but it is somewhat limiting for my taste. As great as many of the After Effects are, there are hundreds of other effects out there to use. Put on your favorite Ravi Shankar album because in this exercise, I'll demonstrate how the Kaleidoscope effect from Pete Warden can be used to create your own dreamy background. 

Lights and Lux for After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27569     Date:    2004-08-20
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you've seen Trapcode Plugins for After Effects 6.x, chances are, you're familiar with LUX, a tool to create true volumetric light within After Effects. I've produced a few setups that will help you play with the plugin.With a few clicks you can get light rigs into your scene. 

Star Wars Intro
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27433     Date:    2004-08-13
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The last time I wrote about creating the Star Wars intro complete with text scrolling to infinity (and beyond), I had After Effects 5.0 in mind. Since then I receive about one request a week from fan boys wanting the tutorial updated for the latest version of After Effects. In this exercise, we'll use parenting, 3D layers, and a bunch of text to build that intro for your latest Star Wars fan film.

X Marks the Spot
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27363     Date:    2004-08-11
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Arrgggh Maties! It be treasure we seek, and with the help of After Effects' Stroke effect we can recreate our own path to pirate gold. In previous exercises I spelled out how After Effects? Stroke effect works to create our own travel lines, but there are variations that can be done for a totally different look. This time around, we'll deal with Stroke Spacing.

L[8] to AE6.5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27213     Date:    2004-08-04
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In addition to the slew of new features and tools in NewTek?s LightWave 8, improvements to the type of information exported with a file also received a boost. With L[8] you have the ability to export camera data with your RPF file and have that information interpreted by Adobe After Effects 6.5.

Blue Moon
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27093     Date:    2004-07-29
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
July is a Blue Moon month! Not the blue moon of the song, and not an actual blue moon, but a moon that is full twice in one month. With After Effects, you can create your own blue moon anytime you want, and this exercise will show you how.

Scan lines
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27074     Date:    2004-07-28
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
With the recent announcement of the title for the next Star Wars installment, chances are fan films will start popping up recreating the famous Star Wars hologram. One of the hallmarks of this effect is adding TV-esque scan lines to the footage. With After Effects, you don't have to knock yourself out, just use a standard cheesy wipe effect. 

Premiere Pro 1.5 Tutorial, Part 4
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27038     Date:    2004-07-27
Author: Charlie White    
In part 4 of our series of Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 tutorials, we'll take a look at the copy and paste functionality between Premiere Pro 1.5 and After Effects 6.5. Of all the new features in Premiere Pro 1.5, Adobe tells us that this function was the one that caused the most jaws to drop when it was first demonstrated in April of this year (2004). Also in this episode, you'll see two great new shadow filters added to Premiere Pro in version 1.5. 

Lights in After Effects and Cinema 4D
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27106     Date:    2004-07-27
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Now that After Effects' 3D lights are being used for all sorts of information, from particle emission to tracking data, it's time to revisit some design elements that lights can offer. One of the easiest ways to turn the lights on in your After Effects composition is by using the third party plugin Trapcode Lux. I'll take a look at using different tools to introduce lights into AE.

QuickTip: EZ Altimeter
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=27026     Date:    2004-07-24
Author: Ko Maruyama    
A few months ago, I was asked about creating an altimeter, using specific transformation values from one layer to effect the numeric values of the displayed altimeter. This is a very basic expression method that does just that. I am hopeful that this searchable tutorial will answer the continuing questions.

Premiere Pro 1.5 Tutorial, Part 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26660     Date:    2004-07-08
Author: Charlie White    
Next in our series of Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 tutorials, we'll work with picture-in-picture effects, learn some basic keyframing techniques and explore a few more helpful hints. With this newest version of Premiere, we'll take a look at pre-sets which simplify the effects-building process, and then we'll modify them while we learn how to create motion paths, exploring many capabilities that were previously only available in Adobe After Effects.

That Old Film Magic
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26372     Date:    2004-06-25
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Over the last couple of months I've gone over some film look treatments that you can do yourself in Adobe After Effects without the need of an expensive plug-in. In this AE6.5 exercise, I'll demonstrate how you can use Fractal Noise to really age a video clip complete with vignette, scratches and crud marks.

After Effects Tip: Retinal Scan
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26374     Date:    2004-06-25
Author: Dave Nagel    
I've presented several tutorials on using displacement to achieve depth effects on 2D images. This time around, we take a look at the Displacement Map filter in Adobe After Effects (any version) to create the illusion of a beam of light scanning the contours of a subject's face for a retinal scan. Of course, this process can be used for any sort of light effect, and not just for retinal scans. 

Beam Me Up
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26250     Date:    2004-06-18
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In this After Effects exercise, we will quickly create our own Star Trek type beam effect using the Cycore effects that come with After Effects 6.5.

Mixing and Mastering Tips
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26201     Date:    2004-06-16
Author: Jeffrey P. Fisher    
Vocals record flat with no effects and instead find the right microphone for the singer. In the mix, roll off everything below 100 Hz and above 15,000 Hz. Add 2-4dB at 160Hz for male vocals or 320Hz for female voice for warmth. Notch out the mid-range, 500-800Hz, by a few dB. Sometimes a little sparkle in the 7-8kHz area is good, if there's no sibilance there. Finally, a little compression after the EQ can smooth the vocals out nicely. 

The Whole Earth
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26215     Date:    2004-06-16
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
At least once a week in one of the many news groups and discussion forums out there, someone will ask, 'How do I create a sphere in After Effects? like, um, I want to make the planet Earth, and like, um, I want it to rotate and stuff ya know.' Have no fear dear reader, with After Effects 6.5 you will no longer have to ask this question again and again and again and again... 

Cleaning Up with the Clone Tool in After Effects 6.5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=26142     Date:    2004-06-14
Author: Dave Nagel    
Of all of the new features in Adobe After Effects 6.5, I'm focusing on one of the more minor ones. In fact, this particular enhancement is completely undocumented, but it is, nevertheless, a great little addition for those of us who need occasionally to clean up footage--fill holes, eliminate dirt and scratches and reduce artifacts. The enhancement? Recursive cloning.

Trapcode Particular, Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25944     Date:    2004-06-02
Author: Ko Maruyama    
In our last article covering Trapcode's Particular--a new 3D particle system for Adobe After Effects--we explored some ways to use 3D lights for particle emission. This week we go deeper into the process with a look at more of the parameters available in Particular used to fine-tune the appearance of your animation.

Combustion Eye for the AE Guy
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25903     Date:    2004-05-31
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Got a shaky shot that is driving you (and your producer) nuts? Wish the videographer would have heeded your advice and used a tripod? Don?t throw the shot out, stabilize it. In our latest installment of Combustion Eye for the AE Guy, we explore Motion Stabilization. 

Trapcode Particular, Part 1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25825     Date:    2004-05-25
Author: Ko Maruyama    
This tutorial is part of a series outlining several features of Trapcode's new plugin, Particular. If you have been entrenched in too much After Effects work, or are living under a rock, you may not have heard about Trapcode's newest plugin addition, announced at April's NAB. Many people preordered he plugin at the show, and more tapped into it when it released on May 10. If you don't already have it, you'll need the plugin, or at least the demo to complete this tutorial. You will also need After Effects 6.0 or greater.

Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #33
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25824     Date:    2004-05-25
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Moving your Final Cut Pro HD Timeline out to Adobe After Effects 6.5 doesn't have to be a headache. Plug-ins like Automatic Duck's Pro Import AE/Red do this, but can cost quite a bit to make it happen. But what if there was a free plug-in that allows you to do this (with a bit of tweaking)? And what if this free plug-in was available right now from Apple and Automatic Duck? In this Final Cut Pro Quick Tip, I'll show you where it is, and how to use it with pretty good results.

Gate Weave Creation
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25770     Date:    2004-05-20
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When film is run through the projector time and time again, the sprocket holes can grow in size and the film can warp leading to a shimmy when the film is projected on the screen. This effect, known as gate weave is popping up in many 3rd party plug-ins. In this After Effects tutorial, I'll show how to create one of your own.

Bleach Bypass
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=25010     Date:    2004-04-15
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Made most famous in the film Saving Private Ryan, the bleach bypass method of treating film gives a very unique look to a project. Since most videographers don't have the luxury of spending money on film to achieve this look, they usually turn to mimicking the look in post. In this exercise, I'll show how to do the effect in Adobe After Effects, Avid Xpress DV, discreet's Combustion, and Apple's Final Cut Pro 4.

Combustion Eye for the AE Guy
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=24693     Date:    2004-04-01
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Everyone wants it faster; the producer needs to deliver the product to the distributor, the director needs the product from the editor, the editor needs the motion graphics from you. You need to render faster with discreet's combustion 3. Have you considered network rendering?

Grow Bounds
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=24446     Date:    2004-03-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Let?s face it, not all of the elements you bring into After Effects are going to conform to your comp size ? some will be larger and some will be smaller. In the case of the element that is smaller than your composition size, you often will run into problems with certain effects that, in order to work correctly, need to go beyond the edge of the layer. How do you fix this? Read on...

The Streak
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=24383     Date:    2004-03-17
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
There are so many ways you can create motion backgrounds in After Effects. One of my favorite ways is with Fractal Noise. This Production Bundle effect is so versatile you can create everything from a murky fog all the way up to a fast paced streaky background. In this exercise, we'll create such a background and show several ways it can be used.

Custom Brushes in Painter 8
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=24297     Date:    2004-03-11
Author: Dave Nagel    
We kick off a new series of articles on Corel Painter this week--actually our first Painter series--with a comprehensive look at methods for creating custom brushes. Brushes are, after all, at the core of this painting application, and few of you are likely to be satisfied working with just the limited number of brushes included with the program. We'll start things off this time around with brushes that don't apply paint at all, but rather ones that scatter, blend or otherwise distort the paint that's already on your canvas, either for helping you blend elements in your composition or for creating painterly effects on an existing image.

Combustion Eye for the AE Guy
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=24201     Date:    2004-03-09
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
After writing my look at discreet?s combustion 3 from the Adobe After Effects user perspective I had a great number of e-mail from people (probably AE users) who were interested in finding out more about combustion 3. I even received several messages asking for tutorials. You asked for it, you got it. In this, the first part of a new on going series, we'll exam the differences in the combustion 3 workflow, and what you need to know if you are migrating from After Effects, or simply adding combustion to your application expertise. 

Up Next 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23978     Date:    2004-02-27
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Here's the second part of of our two-part exercise on station interstitials, those bumper pieces you see between shows that tie everything together. In this installment about creating an 'Up Next' bit for our make-believe station, we'll add animated text to our interstitial using the Adobe After Effects 6.0 Text Tool.

Up Next
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23949     Date:    2004-02-26
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
A great number of you like the project based After Effects exercises I have done over the years. One area that continues to be a favorite is the station interstitial. Interstitials are those bumper pieces you see between shows that tie everything together. In this After Effects 6.0 Pro exercise, we'll create an ?Up Next? bit for our make believe station. To help us out, we'll also show you an effect from Profound Effects' Useful Things.  

In the Cards
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23838     Date:    2004-02-20
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
You are probably familiar with the X,Y, Z pixel coordinate placement of layers in After Effects. But what if you need to nudge something less than a full pixel? You can certainly do it, but why is it helpful? In this beginner Adobe After Effects exercise, we'll examine how nudging along the Z space can create a two sided object.

Animating a Signature in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23719     Date:    2004-02-17
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Several years ago, my PaintBox initiation began with rotoscoping signatures for a game show that featured celebrities' names in the promo. For the show's promotional campaign, I was charged with the task of replicating the light-pen animation that was used on the set to animate each signature for the 15 celebrities that would appear that week. These sorts of effects are much more accessible these days, and programs like Adobe After Effects offer a variety of solutions for creating animated signatures or other writing effects. This week, we'll take a look at a few of the options you can use to create the illusion of writing in your compositions.

After Effects Spline Tricks, Part 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23495     Date:    2004-02-09
Author: Ko Maruyama    
In Spline Tricks Parts 1 and 2, we looked at an overview of Auto-trace (an easy way to create splines for masks) and how to use some of those splines as positional data. While there are some advantages to using Auto-trace in some instances, other uses may not be so 'press and play.' So, in this latest installment in our Spline Tricks series, we'll examine some of the obvious and not so obvious issues and explain some fixes that may help you to work around the problems.

Absolute Luv
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23385     Date:    2004-02-04
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I might as well jump on the Valentine?s Day bandwagon and offer up my exercise for the holiday. In this exercise, we'll use the free Foam plug-in that you get when registering After Effects 6.0 and look at how we can use custom bubbles and flow maps to control the direction of our love.

Fire in the Eyes
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23307     Date:    2004-02-02
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I'll be the first to admit I?m a comic book geek, and while I tend to favor Batman as the greatest hero, Superman comes in a close second. Many of the effects in the WB Smallville series are pretty keen, and one that I particularly like is the heat vision effect. In this After Effects exercise, we'll create a fire in the eye effect that you can use for your next heat vision shot.

Basic 3D In After Effects: Part One
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=34754     Date:    2004-01-29
Author: none    
Part one of an introduction to 3D in Adobe After Effects. You'll learn how to make a layer 3D and rotate and position it in 3D space.

After Effects Quick Tip: Mask Colors
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23162     Date:    2004-01-27
Author: Ko Maruyama    
We've looked at a number of ways to customize applications beyond what the user interface allows. This usually involves going into an application's package contents and modifying data files and property list files to achieve some of the software's hidden functions--a process that can often be described as complex at best. This time around though we'll try a fairly simple technique, one that allows you to make a quick modification to change the default mask color in Adobe After Effects.

Text Depth
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=23094     Date:    2004-01-26
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the first two portions of our project exercise, we created a rain of 3D pills in NewTek?s LightWave 3D, saved that animation out as a series of RPF files that we then brought into After Effects to add some post Depth of Field and fog work using AE?s 3D effects. Toward the end of the exercise, we added the company text using the Text Tool. To add even more depth to the logo, we don't have to go back to LightWave, but can create text with depth using Invigorator.

Manipulating RPF files in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22939     Date:    2004-01-20
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the last installment, I demonstrated how to export an RPF file from LightWave so the files contained Z-depth information that we can use in Adobe After Effects. In this installment, we'll continue on our final project.  

After Effects Spline Tricks, Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22920     Date:    2004-01-19
Author: Ko Maruyama    
There's more to splines than simple image extraction. Sure they're great for cutting mattes, but mask data in After Effects is based on Bezier paths that contain specific values which can be used for more than alpha channels. In this tutorial, we take a quick look at "lifting" the shape data for use in less obvious tasks, including position keyframing.

LightWave to After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22923     Date:    2004-01-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
It is no surprise when I say 3D animation is everywhere. Nearly every show, commercial, and movie you see has some type of 3D work in it. While processor speeds have increased our productivity, those speeds also cause us to want to do more, which just so happens to increase render times. 

Planar Fog in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22800     Date:    2004-01-14
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Great strides have occurred over the last couple of years by bringing many 3D concepts and tools into this once 2D compositing program. While the current version of After Effects supports 3D 'fog' (z-depth information) from third party programs (LightWave, 3dsmax, Mays, etc.), there isn't a built in fog-filter. 

After Effects 6 Auto-Trace, Part 1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22778     Date:    2004-01-13
Author: Ko Maruyama    
One of the cool new features in AfterEffects 6 is the Auto-trace feature. While it may appear to be as low-tech as its Photoshop cousin, the Magnet Lasso tool, it provides much more interesting data for the animator, the most basic of which is the automation of animated garbage masks. As part of a quick series of tutorials using AE's Auto-trace feature, this overview provides some basics.

Let It Shine
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22580     Date:    2004-01-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
You've all seen the Universal logo with the glowing halo around the planet. If you are a Trapcode Shine owner, this is easy to recreate. But what if you are one of the minority that doesn't own Shine yet? How can you create your own halo effect using effects from the Production Bundle of After Effects?

AE Favorites
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22607     Date:    2004-01-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
If you were amazed by the halo effect created in my last exercise, you were probably equally disappointed when you tried to apply the effect over a colored backdrop. Quickly the effect went in the toilet for one simple reason - the black portions of the effect do not key - or at least not yet. In this After Effects exercise, we'll create our own Unmult effect and save it as a favorite.

After Effects Tips
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22427     Date:    2003-12-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Everyone loves to read tidbits and tips to help in their workflow. However, not all of the quick tips and hints are long enough to deserve their own article. So, we present here some of those in one collection.

Follow the Leader
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22286     Date:    2003-12-18
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I?m not an expert on expressions in After Effects, but I have found over the last couple of years some very handy expressions to help create a more complex looking animation. In this After Effects exercise, we'll look at an expression that adds a time delay or offset to multiple layers.

Let's Put Some Lipstick on This Pig, Part 1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22274     Date:    2003-12-17
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
Every once in a while, some of us are called upon to perform a task so heinous, so unmentionable, so undeniably hideous that the very thought of it is generally enough to send even the atheists amongst us fleeing to the nearest place of worship to pray for our very souls. The task, of course, is to somehow make the average, ordinary screen capture somehow look like the most exciting bit of animation that has ever existed. But never fear. Here's one way to dress it all up, with Photoshop and After Effects as our instruments of salvation.

After Effects 3D: Part 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22229     Date:    2003-12-16
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In this, the last part of our three part tutorial for Adobe After Effects 6.0, we'll combine the lessons learned from the previous exercises to create our pseudo 3D flying particles.

Cubic Distribution Light
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22161     Date:    2003-12-12
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
What do you do if you need to take hundreds of layers in your After Effects composition and distribute them randomly in 3D space? If you are still using After Effects 5.5, the answer is manually for each and every layer. If you are using After Effects 6.0, then an included freebie - Cubic Distribution Light from Digital Anarchy, is your key to moving your layers around.

Auto Orient
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22145     Date:    2003-12-11
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Having a swarm of particles flying around in your After Effects composition is one way to add a great deal of depth to a complex animation. However great Particle Playground may be, it is still a 2D generator. You can't fly a camera around or through the emitter without the flatness becoming apparent. One alternative might be to create hundreds and hundreds of layers and position and animate them in 3D space. The drawback is that this is going to take a great deal of time. In the first of this three part exercise, we'll lay the groundwork for creating a rotating cloud of particles that can either orbit another layer, or rotate around an AE camera creating an interesting swarm of particles.

Processing Animations in Photoshop
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=22101     Date:    2003-12-09
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It used to be easy to copy your Photoshop filters into your After Effects plugins folder in order to use them on your animations. But with the new versions of Photoshop filters and After Effects 6, it's not an effective solution. Fortunately, After Effects 6 maintains an old trick that works just fine: the ability to export your animations so that you can work on them in Photoshop.

On Fire
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21991     Date:    2003-12-04
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
particleIllusion 3.0 is a great particle system for generating effects such as fire, laser blasts, smoke and more. With the emitters in PI3 you can create source shapes that are points, lines, circles, and squares. But what if you want to have the emitter be a custom shape? What do you do if you want to create and set something on fire and have the fire emit from the shape?

After Effects Project: Squiddies
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21916     Date:    2003-12-02
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In this After Effects Production Bundle exercise, we'll be making some microphones 'swim' through our shot. To pull this off, we'll use an older effect from the Production Bundle - Wave Warp. 

Super Zoom
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21756     Date:    2003-11-21
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
It is always cool to see an effect you like, and even neater to break the effect down and figure out how to recreate it yourself. This week, we'll use Adobe After Effects (4.1 or later) and some clever editing to create what I like to call The Super Zoom.

Line Wrap
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21618     Date:    2003-11-14
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The WB Network has a very cool corner bug where a glowing line sweeps across the screen and around their logo. While it may seem like you have to do this in a true 3D program, with Trapcode's 3D Stroke 2.0 you can get the same results in a few simple steps.

Go Green
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21452     Date:    2003-11-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
At least once a week in one of the many user groups out there, someone inevitably asks, 'What is the best background for my chroma key shoot - blue or green?' If you are shooting on DV, then I say go green, you?ll have better luck.

Juggling Fire
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21302     Date:    2003-10-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Earlier in the week I reviewed Particleillusion 3.0, and marveled at how easy it is to use. In this exercise, I'll walk you through the process of using Particleillusion with Adobe After Effects 6.0.

Autumn Leaves
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21123     Date:    2003-10-22
Author: Ko Maruyama    
By using Adobe After Effects, you can make all types of creative wipes for use in your favorite NLE. 

Light Sweep
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=21062     Date:    2003-10-20
Author: Ko Maruyama    
While After Effects allows for layers and even a camera to move in 3D space, there is no provision for moving or rotating spline depth without the 3D Stroke plugin from Trapcode. 

Driving Opacity with Sound Keys
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20859     Date:    2003-10-10
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
If you are like me, you hate creating bazillion keyframes in your After Effects projects. In the last of our four part series on recreating the Alias intro, we'll use Trapcode?s Sound Keys plug-in to drive the opacity of our blinking cursor.

Express Your Flare
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20766     Date:    2003-10-07
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you've ever introduced a lens flare into your After Effects or Photoshop composition, chances are that you've used Knoll's Light Factory. By no means a new filter, Knoll Light Factory has remained the most widely used option for lens flares. 

Spiraling Out of Control
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20729     Date:    2003-10-06
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In our on going mini-series on recreating the Alias intro, we take a quick look at how to get your title to spiral out of control using Adobe After Effects 6.0 and expressions. In the last two installments we used Hold Keyframes to get letters to appear to type on the screen, and followed that by using Track Mattes to place video inside the resulting title. One of the final elements we need to recreate is the multiple titles spiraling in the background behind our main logo. To do this we'll use a Null Object to control rotation, and expressions to manipulate the rate of rotation for each of the layers.

Track Matte Video Inside Text
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20707     Date:    2003-10-02
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the last installment, we used Adobe After Effects 6.0?s Text Tool to create a typed on effect similar to what you see in the television series Alias. In addition to the typed on effect, video clips show up inside the individual letters. In this exercise, we'll use Track Matting to achieve this effect. 

Hold that Type On Effect
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20637     Date:    2003-10-01
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Over the last couple of weeks, I have gotten a few requests asking how to recreate the opening credits of the television series Alias as well as how to do the cool ?fly through letters? effect that reveals the new location. Instead of repeating myself in many an email, here is your recipe using the Adobe After Effects 6.0.

A Glimpse at Glints
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20625     Date:    2003-09-30
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Glint passes can add a simple bit of motion to a static image, or provide the additional highlight the client is looking for. It's a handy, yet simple trick to have in your skill set. This week we'll take a look at one technique for creating this effect using Maxon's flagship 3D program, Cinema 4D, along with Adobe After Effects to develop easy glint passes that add dimension in an instant. If you're a veteran user, you may think it a basic technique, but take a look at an alternative method that's easy enough for a beginner but may hold a new approach for even a seasoned After Effects user.

On the Road to Delhi
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20360     Date:    2003-09-18
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Classic B-movies used all sorts of low budget conventions to get the hero from one exotic location to the next. Raiders of the Lost Ark paid homage to these classic movies and techniques by using the now classic animated line moving from country to country tracking the flight path of the plane the hero was traveling in. In this After Effects exercise, we'll recreate that classic B-movie shot using modern day technology.

Cinema 4D Techniques: XPresso Lite, Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=20348     Date:    2003-09-17
Author: Ko Maruyama    
In a followup to last week's simple guide to using XPresso in Maxon's C4D, this week we'll look at the practical advantages to XPresso in 3D animation production. While C4D has made the ability to script attributes very easy to understand, it remains an overlooked treasure in the current standard package. The use of drag and drop techniques is all one needs to start accessing the advanced controls. Similar to Adobe After Effects' Expression pickwhip executions, Maxon has provided "click this" operations that will help you to add XPresso formulas to your project. If you're new to XPresso, this will definitely help you ... and change the way you think about animation.

Useful Things
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19896     Date:    2003-09-01
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Profound Effects Useful Things is a wonderful addition to Adobe After Effects. With it you have the ability to create over 300 effects ? many come with the app, while others are created by a huge user base. For some users, the way you create an effect can be a bit daunting. In this overview, I'll walk you through the process of creating one of my favorite Useful Things effects.  

AE 6.0 Text Exercise
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19717     Date:    2003-08-22
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Without a doubt one of the biggest and best new features in After Effects 6.0 is the new Text Tool. With it you can animate your text all over the place. You can even animate text changing over time. In this After Effects 6.0 exercise, we'll take a quick look at how to do this. Not only is it an easy process, but it will save you a great deal of potential headache and hassle.

AE6 Overview: Convert Audio to Keyframes
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19687     Date:    2003-08-21
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
One of the new changes/features in Adobe After Effects 6.0 is Convert Audio to Keyframes. This Keyframe Assistant does as the name implies and is a great replacement for Motion Math. And let?s face it, after the introduction of Expressions, the only reason to use Motion Math was to create keyframes from audio. In this overview exercise, I'll walk you through the use of this new assistant to get an animated

character to talk.

Moving to Combustion 2 from After Effects, Part 5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19615     Date:    2003-08-18
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
Shockingly enough, it didn't take me three months between installments this time, so we can pretty much pick up right where we left off without me apologizing or otherwise stammering through some sort of excuse. We're going to take one more peek at where some of the main interface elements you're used to from After Effects can be found in Combustion, finishing up with a extended look at the centerpiece of the Combustion workflow: the Operator Controls. 

Swimming with the Fishes
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19555     Date:    2003-08-14
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In a previous article, we created the shape of an object out of its name. In this After Effects exercise, we'll take a 2D fish and make its tail thrash in a 3D environment.

After Effects 6.0 Paint Tools
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19530     Date:    2003-08-13
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Adobe After Effects 6.0 has some great new paint features. If you're familiar with its old Vector Paint plugin, you'll definitely love the new options that the After Effects team incorporated with the Photoshop paint engine. And if you weren't a fan of the old paint and its interface oddities, you'll have good reason to take a look at paint again under the new version. With this in mind, this week we kick off a new series exploring the painting features in After Effects 6.0.

Moving to Combustion 2 from After Effects, Part 4
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19486     Date:    2003-08-11
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
We had sort of an abrupt ending to the last installment, for which I apologize, but there was a good reason. After all, I could have just kept writing and writing and writing about where things are in Combustion, resulting in an article that very well could have rivaled War and Peace in the length department (and, as some might argue, boringness department as well). So I decided to pull a Miramax/Kill Bill thing and split this particular aspect of our series into a couple of separate installments. As "they" say, onward and upward.

AE6 Overview Part 4: Multipoint Tracking
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19392     Date:    2003-08-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Not only can After Effects 6.0 track a single point in a motion clip, it can also track multiple points. These multi-points are tracked and the resulting data can be used to distort a layer you are applying the data to. In this segment, we'll look at multipoint tracking and how you can use it to create a believable effect.

AE6.0 Overview Part 3: Motion Tracking
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19360     Date:    2003-08-06
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Even better than being able to stabilize a shot is the ability for After Effects 6.0 to track regions or points in a layer and apply that tracking information to another layer in your composition. With the tracking feature, it becomes a simple matter of making computer-generated graphics, effects, or even complex compositions follow a point in your video. 

AE6 Overview Part 2: Stabilization
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19349     Date:    2003-08-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the last installment, I gave a tour of the improvements and features found in the Tracking and Stabilize Motion features of After Effects 6.0 Pro. In this installment we'll work through an exercise putting the Stabilize Motion feature to work.

My God! It's full of stars!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19219     Date:    2003-07-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
One of the trippiest effects of all time has to be the Star Gate sequence at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Originally, Kubrick and the rest of the crew didn?t have the benefit of computer technology to assist in the creation of the movie. Instead they relied on a 'Slit Scan' machine created by innovator Douglas Trumbull. This created the illusion of two planes of infinite proportions. Some of the shots that went into the final effect included aerial landscape footage and chemical interactions.

Boxes, Boxes!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19153     Date:    2003-07-28
Author: Ko Maruyama    
If you're making your own 3D boxes in AE 5, you know it can be done, but what a hassle. Perhaps you saw Digital Anarchy's 3D Assistants, but thought, "I only need a cube." Well, Adobe heard you. Packaged inside the new After Effects 6.0 Pro is 3D Assistants Lite from Digital Anarchy.

Holy Displacement Map!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19083     Date:    2003-07-24
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Doing your own superhero movie? How the heck do we 'Normals' summon our heroes in the time of need? Batman used the Bat Signal. In this Adobe After Effects Pro exercise, we'll create our own Bat Signal reflecting off the clouds.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19021     Date:    2003-07-22
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
While playing with After Effects, I rediscovered a way to reshape text to look like something else. The reason I say rediscovered is because even the best AE user will occasionally forget an effect that is not used too often. In this After Effects exercise (which will work in AE5.5 or the new AE6.0), we'll use the Reshape effect to mold our effect.

Cinema 4D XL Quick Tip 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=19029     Date:    2003-07-21
Author: Ko Maruyama    
With some effects, achieving a "3D look" is sometimes better left to an actual 3D application. Let's say, for example, that you want to create the effect of a flag waving and dancing across the canvas like a snake. Well, some of you might be tempted to try this inside your motion graphics package. But here's a quick and effective way to do it in Maxon's Cinema 4D XL, which you can then render and bring into Discreet Combustion, Adobe After Effects or any other compositing application.

Just Can't Wait
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18940     Date:    2003-07-17
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
A lot of people stopped to check out the After Effects 6.0 review I wrote the other day? A LOT OF PEOPLE! Most have been blown away with the Text Tool and some of the amazing things you can do with it. To whet your appetite, here is a quick tutorial to show you how to create your own DMN logo in After Effects 6.0. You?ll want to bookmark this tutorial, because on delivery day, you?ll want to rip right into using the new Text Tool.

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18848     Date:    2003-07-14
Author: Ko Maruyama    
Making smoke is something a Smoke Plugin does. Well, not necessarily. If you have the "old" After Effects 5.5 Prod Bundle, you can roll your own smokes. And fire? Yeah, we got that too, thanks to Colorama. Here are some basics.

Independent Movie Groups
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18292     Date:    2003-06-13
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I just spent a week showing instructors how to use the Adobe Web Suite of applications in their classrooms. I was really surprised how few of them were using LiveMotion. Considering most of the interface is similar to After Effects I?m surprised more people aren?t using LiveMotion to create SWF files for the web. In this exercise we'll create a composition that allows the user to move an object in three different ways.

Marking the Spot
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18180     Date:    2003-06-09
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the last After Effects exercise (Sequence This!), I casually mentioned adding markers to your After Effects Timeline. Markers allow you to mark important points in a composition or in a specific layer. Let?s take a look at markers and what they can do for you.

Making A Green Screen With Local Materials
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18166     Date:    2003-06-06
Author: Mike Gunter    
Chroma keys are also frequently referred to as blue screen (or bluescreen) and green screen (or greenscreen), simply because those are the two best-known colors for keying, although you can key any color. A few years ago, we had a project here in Kalispell, Montana, that required a color key, so I searched the Internet for some paint. A gallon of the good stuff was over $80 then, and to get it to me quickly pushed the cost to nearly a hundred bucks. It struck me that there might be a way that was as good and much cheaper.

Sequence This!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=18170     Date:    2003-06-06
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I get requests every so often on what is the easiest way to edit many layers in the After Effects Timeline to create a sequence. The easiest answer is to use the Sequence Layer assistant. Here is what it is all about.

Moving to Combustion from After Effects, Part 3:
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=17990     Date:    2003-05-29
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
When last we visited switching to Combustion 2 from After Effects, I had just finished explaining how to bring all of your native Photoshop files into Combustion with almost as much flexibility as After Effects itself gives you. That's all fine and good and what-not, but you may be wondering just what the mass of charcoal and nonstandard (to Mac and Windows users, anyway) interface elements that make up the Combustion interface can even do now that you've managed to get footage into it. However, once you get past the obvious difference in appearances between the two programs, you'll find that learning the Combustion interface is more an extension of a language you already know rather than learning something new from scratch.

Fasten Your Seatbelts; It's Going To Be a Bumpy Night
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=17826     Date:    2003-05-21
Author: Ko Maruyama    
It was 1950 when Bette Davis first said it in "All About Eve," and people have been misquoting it ever since. Fortunately, After Effects knows bumps, and people have been using it famously since its introduction. If you're new to Displacement Mapping, this might help.

Up and Atom!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=17684     Date:    2003-05-14
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
After the last exercise, I got a few e-mails asking how I created the flying swirls around the Mindsprung emblem. It is fairly simple if you know how to manipulate 3D, and in this exercise, we'll create a 3D atom using nothing more than the out of the box After Effects Production Bundle.

Radio Waves
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=17572     Date:    2003-05-09
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Radio Waves is one of those After Effects plug-ins which at first seem to be kind of lame. However, when you start experimenting and going beyond the basics, interesting results are sure to follow. In this After Effects tutorial, we'll briefly explore how Radio Waves work and then create a unique background for a children?s television network.

Wiggle it, just a little bit
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=17505     Date:    2003-05-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
If you haven?t used wiggle, the expression that gives your layer a little shake, then you are missing out. Wiggle allows you add randomness to a property of a layer. For example, you can cause a jittery chaotic motion to a layer by applying the wiggle expression to the Position property of a layer. Here is how it works.

2 - D
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=17173     Date:    2003-04-22
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
A trend that is appearing more in more commercials and other video productions is taking a traditional photograph and giving it depth - creating a 3-D image. In this Adobe After Effects tutorial, I'll outline the process and show you how you can do it as well. 

How To Double Your After Effects Render Speeds
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=16880     Date:    2003-04-08
Author: Dave Nagel    
Would you like to squeeze some extra juice out of Adobe After Effects? You can, if you have the AE Production Bundle and a dual-processor Macintosh G4. In fact, you can squeeze quite a bit of it. In our tip this week, I'll show you how to double your render speeds on any dual-processor machine with a fairly simple workaround that shouldn't be too much trouble to fit into your workflow.

Combustion 2 for After Effects Users, Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=16835     Date:    2003-04-04
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
In the first installment of our series on migrating from After Effects to Combustion, we looked at converting Illustrator artwork into Combustion Paint objects, a process which, for some of our readers, may very well have fallen somewhere between paper cut and root canal on the pain scale. This time we're going to go a little easier on you, as we explore how well Combustion works with native Photoshop files. 

Animating Letters with Text Anarchy 2.0
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=16790     Date:    2003-04-03
Author: Jim Tierney    
This tutorial is designed to get you familiar with Digital Anarchy?s new After Effects plug-in package, Text Anarchy 2.0. We?ll also touch on a couple regular plugs that come with AE, but our focus will be on Text Anarchy. The filter set has eight filters for doing a variety of effects with text. We?ll be using one of them here called Cool Text, which allows you to animate characters on a letter-by-letter basis. You can animate Scale, Opacity, Rotation, Blur, and Color in this way. The gist of this tutorial is to create a simple open for the new, hit sitcom "The Squares." To do this, we'll create a background with a couple standard AE filters, then use Cool Text to create our nifty title animation.

Here Comes the Sun: Part 3
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=16269     Date:    2003-03-14
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Last time we used Adobe After Effects Production Bundle's Fractal Noise and Spherize effects to fake our own rotating Sun. We then used the Mask Tool to mask out the unwanted areas of the image. This of course left us with no corona or light rays streaming from our little star. One of the easiest ways to add these elements back into our composition is with Trapcode's Shine. I like these kinds of articles. Part review, part tutorial? It's a reviewatorial!

Here Comes the Sun
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=16124     Date:    2003-03-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the last installment, we looked at how image sequences can be generated when the images themselves won't import into After Effects so we could create a rotating sun. While the solution worked, there was still the problem of being able to composite the footage over other layers. In this After Effects Production Bundle tutorial, I'll show you how to take care of the corona issue as well as create your own Sun from scratch. 

Here Comes the Sun
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15968     Date:    2003-02-28
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I?m going to begin a multi-part tutorial/feature that looks at how you can create (or recreate) a rotating star for your next After Effects project. We?ll begin by looking at a sequence of images that will not import as a sequence and how you can use the Sequence Layer option to correct this problem. 

Time Remapping
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15638     Date:    2003-02-12
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
There have been a lot of commercials playing lately that feature the product spinning around in a circle and randomly speeding up and slowing down. This is not some fancy variable speed turn table, but rather something that can be done easily inside Adobe After Effects with the Time Remapping feature.

Square pixels for square objects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15556     Date:    2003-02-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Like creating After Effects projects using the DV/NSTC preset and a non-square pixel aspect? If you do, you might run into problems when creating 3D using AE solids.

Combustion 2 for After Effects Users
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15321     Date:    2003-01-24
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
Combustion 2 can be had for just under a thousand dollars now, down from five times that much not so long ago. That means there probably will be quite a few new Combustion users out there, and since it's probably not a stretch to assume that some of these users are coming to Combustion with some level of After Effects expertise, we thought it might be a nice gesture to offer a few tidbits to help out with the transition.

Vegas Baby! Vegas!
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15207     Date:    2003-01-20
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
If you have played around with the Vegas plug-in in After Effects, you know that it is perfect for generating casino-style running lights around layers in a composition. Here is a alternate take on what might be done with this plug-in.

Jumbo Jillions Part 2
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15156     Date:    2003-01-16
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the last installment of this project, we used the Gradient Wipe effect in Adobe After Effects 5.5 to create a custom wipe to scratch away the prize area of a lottery ticket. In this exercise, we'll finish up the project by turning the 2D composition into a 3D promo. This exercise focuses on setting up and animating the 3D scene as well as nesting a composition in a composition.

Jumbo Jillions Part 1
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15038     Date:    2003-01-09
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
After Effects typically isn't used to edit transitions, yet the program has some simple transitions built in. While you may not use the After Effects transitions as a transition between video clips, you may discover other uses for these effects; especially the Gradient Wipe. 

Up in Smoke
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=15013     Date:    2003-01-08
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
As a motion graphic artist, a company looking to have their logo animated for video and film work has probably approached you. There are literally hundreds of ways to approach this task. In this After Effects Production Bundle exercise, we'll use fractal noise and ramp effects, along with a Track Matte to make the company's logo go up in smoke.

Bisecting Animation
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14956     Date:    2003-01-07
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When keying footage there will be times when you have a poorly lit set, imperfections in the background, etc. and you only really need to key that area immediately around the foreground subject. During these times you would use a garbage mask to isolate the foreground element and get rid of any background crud. But what happens if you need to animate the mask?

Inner Outer Key
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14898     Date:    2003-01-02
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
In the past I have proclaimed how the Color Difference Key in Adobe After Effects was the best all purpose keyer in the After Effects gallery of plug-ins. There are some limitations to the Color Difference Key effect; especially when it comes to keying whispy, smoky elements, or when you don't have a chromakey background to begin with. In many cases, the Inner Outer Key effect will be able to help you out.

Winter Wonderland
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14693     Date:    2002-12-22
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I showed you how you can use After Effects' Particle Playground to create a plethora of falling turkeys. With the next holiday already here, let?s create some snow particles and have them pile up on a layer.

Rusting Away
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14694     Date:    2002-12-22
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
As a compositing wizard, you may be asked to blend a CG element onto a real world surface. Transfer Modes and Opacity changes will only take you so far before you reach the end of their limit. In this After Effects Production Bundle Tutorial, we'll take an image and composite it believable on top of a rusted piece of metal.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14692     Date:    2002-12-17
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
There are going to be times when you need to repurpose an animation in an After Effects Timeline. Knowing how to do it quickly is not only a huge timesaver, but could be a lifesaver on a tight deadline.

Copy and Paste
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14691     Date:    2002-12-16
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Instead of creating complex paths or masks in After Effects, it can sometimes be easier to create those items in Adobe Illustrator and simply copy and paste them into After Effects. Here's how.

Final Cut Pro Quick Tip #12
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14513     Date:    2002-12-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Need to get a clip from your Final Cut Pro sequence into After Effects so you can perform some razzle-dazzle? Here's how.

Quick Change
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14544     Date:    2002-12-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Ever go on a shoot, only to come back and hear the client say, "Gosh I wish the (insert name here) would have worn a green shirt instead of a red one". Now you can satisfy the client by using one of the color changing effects in After Effects.

Free Turkey Give Away
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14323     Date:    2002-11-27
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
My fondest Thanksgiving memory is of Les Nessman and the rest of the WKRP crew throwing turkeys out of a helicopter as part of their big Turkey give away campaign. Too bad they didn?t know turkeys couldn't fly. Here's a fun (and safe) way of recreating that scene.

Adjustment Layers
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14322     Date:    2002-11-25
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Ever have a complex composition in After Effects and want to make an adjustment to multiple layers? Unless you know about Adjustment Layers, you will be spending a lot of time applying the same effect to multiple layers.

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=14162     Date:    2002-11-15
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When parents go to the store, a lot of them tether their child to their arm. As the parent moves around the child must move with the parent; wherever the parent goes, the child must follow. As is often the case, children who are tethered still want to run around. The child can spin, jump up and down, move freely in his or her own space, yet no matter how much the child wants to run down the next aisle, that motion is not transferred back to the parent. That behavior model also applies to After Effects. In this tutorial, we'll look at how to parent objects in After Effects and how the Parent-Child relationship works. 

http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=13929     Date:    2002-11-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
It's been a while since I've written an After Effects tutorial, so I thought I'd drop in a quick little number on how to create an impressionistic butterfly using After Effects 5.5's 3D, Expressions and Parenting features.

Building Your Own Graphics Workstation, Part One
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=13611     Date:    2002-10-17
Author: Dariush Derakhshani    
For a graphics professional, building a home workstation involves some careful planning. It has to be able to handle not only everyday home computer tasks such as word processing, email, and web surfing, but also offer solid performance with demanding applications such as Maya and After Effects. With these two competing functions in mind, Dariush Derakhshani set out to build a workstation for all seasons; here, in part one of his tale, he details the choices that went into selecting the components of his workstation.

Motion Stabilization
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12735     Date:    2002-09-11
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When I teach I often have to remind my students that shooting on a tripod is the best way to make sure the shot is going to be stable. Do students ever listen? Did you ever listen to your instructors? Most of the time, yes, but occasionally they get too excited about a shoot and forget everything they have been taught. In those instances where you have a shot where the videographer (or even cinematographer) has forgotten to use a tripod (or couldn't) and the camera shake is very noticeable, you can use After Effects from Adobe to correct the problem.

Final Cut Pro 3.0 Quick Tip #5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12671     Date:    2002-09-09
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When doing postproduction, it seems every producer/director wants to, or needs to, include a shot or two that was shot against a blue or green screen wall. Your job is to blend it in with the rest of shots. First thought might be to jump over to a great program like Adobe After Effects to pull off the composite, but Final Cut Pro 3, does a pretty good job if you stay right inside the application.

Layer-Based Animation in Adobe After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12647     Date:    2002-09-05
Author: Dave Nagel    
Earlier this week we explored a way to create a layer-based animation in Adobe ImageReady using a layered Photoshop file as our basis. Now we'll see how to do it in Adobe After Effects---not using a layer mask this time, but a vector mask.

Layer-Based Animation in Adobe ImageReady
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12563     Date:    2002-09-03
Author: Dave Nagel    
A couple weeks ago we explored one way to composite a shallow water effect over an existing photograph. As with a number of techniques we've covered this year, the shallow water effect was created with editability in mind, especially for those of you who might want to animate the composite in a program like Adobe ImageReady or After Effects. Today we'll take a look at just how to create this animation in ImageReady, and, later this week, we'll see how this process differs in After Effects.

After Effects and Photoshop: Resolution Independent Text
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12262     Date:    2002-08-19
Author: Dave Nagel    
For resolution independent text, it's hard to beat the precision, depth and functionality of vector-based graphics packages like Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand. But for a lot of you, these types of programs might be a bit of overkill. Here's a quick and easy way to create scalable graphics with transparency for After Effects using just Adobe Photoshop.

How To Set Up an After Effects Render Farm (Single-Page Version)
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12197     Date:    2002-08-14
Author: Dave Nagel    
If you're using Adobe After Effects on a Mac, no doubt you've taken note of the debate currently raging here at Digital Media Net. Do you favor the Mac's workflow and functionality, or do you favor the PC's render speeds? Well, with an After Effects render farm, you can take advantage of both, using the Mac on the front end and multiple PCs and/or Macs on the back end to help improve your render times significantly with very little additional processing power.

S is for Stabilization
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12136     Date:    2002-08-13
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Last time I discussed a way to capture time-lapse footage using a digital still camera for use in your digital masterpiece. This time I'll discuss how to fix a problem that can arise in time-lapse footage. 

Animating Adobe Illustrator Graphics
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=12150     Date:    2002-08-13
Author: Steve Holmes    
Great vector graphics can become motion graphics more easily than you might think. Logo images created in Adobe Illustrator, for example, can be rendered with dazzling visual effects in Adobe After Effects for video or Web purposes--in fact, these two software applications are the basis of many standard visual effects workflows. However, even professionals who use both applications extensively are often unaware of features in Adobe Illustrator that speed the process of creating motion graphics. 

Photoshop Compositing: Water Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=11935     Date:    2002-08-01
Author: Dave Nagel    
Continuing along in our series of photographic compositing techniques, this week we begin a new segment on water effects in Adobe Photoshop. We have, so far, discussed masking, depth of field and atmospheric volume. To these we now add a technique for compositing bodies of water onto images.

How To Set Up an After Effects Render Farm
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=11874     Date:    2002-07-30
Author: Dave Nagel    
If you're using Adobe After Effects on a Mac, no doubt you've taken note of the debate currently raging here at Digital Media Net. Do you favor the Mac's workflow and functionality, or do you favor the PC's render speeds? Well, with an After Effects render farm, you can take advantage of both, using the Mac on the front end and multiple PCs and/or Macs on the back end to help improve your render times significantly with very little additional processing power.

Creating Video Effects in Premiere
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=9979     Date:    2002-05-09
Author: Bonnie Blake    
If there?s one thing about Premiere everyone can agree on, it's that video effects are fun to experiment with. In Premiere 6, many new effects have been added, including some After Effects filters. You're probably familiar with the concept of filters from cameras. Camera filters are attachments that screw on to a camera lens and alter the appearance of your photos. Like filters on a camera lens, Effects in Premiere perform a similar function in that they alter the appearance of video clips.

An Explosion To Remember
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=9204     Date:    2002-04-08
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
The last time we left our heroes they had just discovered a bomb ticking away to destruction. As we join in this installment, we find them running full sprint, seeking shelter behind a car in the parking lot. Moments later, a large section of the building explodes in a fiery rain of debris. Whew! Safe...for now...

Motion Tracking in Adobe After Effects 5.5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=8771     Date:    2002-03-19
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
When Adobe first introduced motion tracking and stabilization in After Effects, many users were disappointed in some of the poor results they received. As AE improved over time, so did motion tracking and stabilization. By knowing which settings to tweak and how to manipulate the tracking data, After Effects generates results that may have those naysayers using this option a lot more.

Episode 6: Holograms
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=7356     Date:    2002-01-15
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
You are sitting in your living room enjoying a beautiful binary sunset, when suddenly your hologram goes off. It's a call from your brother-in-law wanting to say hello. What do you do? So set's up the next installment of our Star Wars fan film production series.

Video Tutorial: Card Dance Animation in After Effects 5
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=6754     Date:    2001-12-11
Author: Brian Maffitt    
Of the five free plugins you get when you register your copy of Adobe After Effects 5.0, perhaps the most bewildering is Card Dance. In this clip from Total Training for Adobe After Effects 5, instructor Brian Maffitt sheds some welcome light on this complex plugin. Brian focuses in particular on using a gradient layer for animation. After a demonstration with a simple black and white gradient, Brian then uses the Card Dance layer's own luminance to animate the cards. Watch this clip, and you'll be sure to save room on your dance card for Card Dance!

Episode 5: The Cheesy Scroll Strikes Back
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=6669     Date:    2001-12-05
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Since it first ran, I've had about a bazillion and one requests for this tutorial to return to the pages of Digital Media Net. With the upcoming release of After Effects 5.5, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, it might be good for some of you Star Wars Fan Film Producers to get back into practice with this tutorial that should work on any version of Adobe After Effects 5.0 or higher.

Dangling Dongle Blues
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=6509     Date:    2001-11-28
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Many people suffer from the Dangling Dongle Blues. Symptoms often include; computer that keeps moving further and further away from the wall with each new software purchased, sore fingers from constantly screwing and tightening dongles, and bent parallel ports from too much hanging weight. 

Cross-Platform After Effects Rendering
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=5894     Date:    2001-10-30
Author: Kevin Schmitt    
You all remember Mad Libs, that wacky, nutty book game where you filled in words to make the story as humorous as possible, right? I don't think I've even seen a book of Mad Libs since the fifth grade, and at that time it took all of about thirty seconds before my friends and I, for added fun, would forego all semblance of originality and creativity and head straight for the naughty words. Anyway, wouldn't it be nice if we played a quick game of Mad Libs before we moved on to the actual informative portion of this article? Feel free to print this out and actually write in the words.

Looping It
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=5167     Date:    2001-09-30
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
Your client needs graphics for their video or film production. While static graphics may satisfy your client, using moving graphics in your production can really punch up a presentation and make it look refined and polished. In the last installment I showed a quick and easy way to create a looping animated background. This time we'll add lots of layers to the composition and use the layer transfer modes to complete the project.

Final Cut Pro 2.0 and Cleaner
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=5059     Date:    2001-09-24
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I have recently become addicted to Final Cut Pro as my editing software of choice. I can't believe how simple yet powerful this $1,000 package is. From my recent post projects, I have discovered that this NLE does everything I need it to do and more. In some of the other NLE systems I have worked with, I was constantly sending stuff out to After Effects for graphic treatments.

Loop It
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=5029     Date:    2001-09-23
Author: Stephen Schleicher    
I got a knock on my office door the other day. Seems a client had a project they needed to complete, and of course they only had a few days to complete it. The client really wanted some graphics and animations to punch up their project, and being clients, didn't want to spend that much to get them. It is times like these when I pull together some of the basics of Adobe After Effects to quickly create some amazing animated backgrounds that make the clients say, "WOW!!"

Rectangular Pixels in After Effects
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=4865     Date:    2001-09-15
Author: Brian Maffitt    
In this clip from Total AE, instructor Brian Maffitt demonstrates the ins and outs of dealing with rectangular and square pixels using After Effects. This is a complex concept, but you are presented with a a thorough, easy to understand explanation of the inherent issues.

Creating Scalable Photoshop Text for After Effects Vectors
http://aftereffects.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=4864     Date:    2001-09-14
Author: Dave Nagel    
Compositors and editors faced with the prospect of creating text in their compositions often rely on applications like Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand, rather than creating the text directly in programs like Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe After Effects. Why? 

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