Sometimes I forget that I have a “blog”. Occasionally someone will mention my “blog” to me and I’ll have to think for a second. Oh yeah.. graymachine. Yeah, I have a blog!
But, obviously I don’t post much to it any more. That’s kind of a shame. I could make excuses about life, kids, work, owning a home, moving, etc… but really, it’s just a priority that I’ve pushed to the bottom. Why?
You can look around the community and see folks that have similar sites, but stuck with them and went a lot further, friends of mine like Andrew Kramer or Nick Campbell. I could have stuck with graymachine through thick and thin, made more products and tutorials and pushed myself further. But I didn’t. So, it’s time to come to grips with that.
And to be honest, there’s been a lot of difficult things I’ve been dealing with lately, so it would be great to get it all off my chest. Maybe some of you have dealt with similar things or similar challenges, and we can tackle it together. I know this has always been a site about motion graphics, visual effects, software, etc.. but it’s also about being a successful person that does all this stuff. We can’t be successful if we are dragging baggage around.
So, if you come back on occasion, you can read about challenges, self defeat and achieving success in spite of the crappy cards you may have been given in the poker game of life.
OK! It’s been fun everyone. Rather than supporting this feature, it’s officially become obsolete as it is now built into Element 1.6. So rather than use this preset, please just get yourself updated and it will work more seamlessly with your workflow.
Like many people, I am really digging Element 3D from VideoCopilot. I really believe that this new wave of OpenCL development is the future of After Effects. Element 3D and Trapcode MIR have ushered in a new phase of “instant feedback” which for ages, has been something just out of reach for us animators.
Anyway, the point is… there’s one feature of Element 3D that bugs me. Or, I should say, a lacking feature. I prefer to animate in the comp window with handles, like with a Null object. This is actually a feature on another product, 3D Invigorator. Each object group has a pop-up menu where you can select a 3D layer, and have the 3D object track that layer exactly. So, I made it do just with that expressions and saved the preset out. And then saved it back to version CS5 and made it universal for all languages.
Plus, I’ve included another preset that I made for Lux/Knoll Light Factory/Optical Flares that controls light intensity based on its angle to the camera.
A quick experimental study using Trapcode Form 2 exploring some of the new features. All of the OBJs you see here are included with Form 2.
Music: Song of Mourning by Celestial Aeon Project
The folks at Motion Boutique were kind enough to send me a copy of I’ve been experimenting with mixing the Newton physics engine for After Effects with Trapcode Particular. Although it’s still not a substitute for something like Krakatoa or Fume, there’s some cool possibilities here.
Newton is incredibly easy to use. So far, I’ve not needed any additional reference or tutorials on it. Just pop it open, experiment and you shouldn’t have any problems. The short story is this: create your 2D layers in a comp, access Newton from the composition menu, and solve. Just like any dynamics system, you’ll have to define what objects are dynamic, static, etc.
In this example, I used about 20 null objects, and parented a light to each (this is begging for a script to speed along the process, and I hear Motion Boutique is working on it.) From here, I used these lights as emitter objects and created some basic Particular settings that mimic basic fire.
The biggest shortcoming I’ve found in the process is that Particular forces the user to choose between Bounce and Air Physics. The impact of this is that I can either have my particles affected by turbulence and wind, or I can have particles bounce off surfaces. You’d think the bounce would sell this more, but I opted for the Air physics and some turbulence.
This is just an early test. I plan to fine tune this and develop for a future tutorial.
You can get a demo of Newton at www.motionboutique.com
Once it again, here is one of those “I know it’s been quiet around Graymachine” blog posts. But, again.. as these usually go, it’s been for good reason. A lot has been happening.
First, if you poke around the newly re-designed redgiant.com, you’ll see a LOT of new promo videos for Red Giant products, like this one for Magic Bullet Suite, or this one for Trapcode Suite, or this one for the Effects Suite, or this one for Magic Bullet Cosmo, or this one for Magic Bullet Looks 2. That’s me pumping that stuff out, trying to make the products look good.
There’s also a new preset pack I designed for wedding videographers, which contains 50 different compositional wedding themed elements.
Plus, I’ve been producing numerous QuickTip tutorials, some I still need to post here. AND, I am planning a regularly scheduled live broadcast to be launched soon. You can also find me on the Twitterz, answering questions, spreading industry news and offering my rapier wit and dapper charm.
Oh, and I had another baby, too. Jaxon Lewis Frank was born April 6 and is an awesome little bundle of baby.
And last but not least, I did a massive space galaxy logo animation that is the new opening for RGTV and a new short film co-produced by Red Giant called Plot Device. It’s awesome. Please take a moment to check it out.
That is all. More to come now that I have a chance to breath.
As many times as I’ve created a vignette with a mask, it only dawn on me today that the circle effect can also be used to create a circular vignette (and saved as a nifty preset.) Simply invert the circle, twirl open feather and soften the edges. This works well directly on a layer or on an adjustment layer.
Download a CS4 FFX file for the vignette here. Or look at the settings below.
Mamoworld has launched from effects wizard Mathias Möhl. There’s a fantastic and fun set of tutorials covering a wide range of content, but with a heavy focus on all things Mocha and After Effects. You know Mathias from great AE scripts like Tracker2Mask, MochaImport, and Chameleon over at aescripts.com.
The class will be focusing on creating a broadcast design package for an awards ceremony. Over the course of 10 weeks, I’ll be showing the ins and outs of about 14 plug-ins packages: Trapcode 3D Stroke, Shine, Starglow, Particular, Form. Magic Bullet Mojo, Looks, Colorista II. Knoll Light Factory, Planespace, Text Anarchy, Warp, Radium Glow, and Image Lounge.
With 10 weeks to fill, we can cover a LOT of stuff. It will be a great learning experience! I hope to see you there!
Hopefully, I can edit this down to about 45 minutes. But this is the full overview of the UFO tutorial.
Resistance is futile.
In the year I’ve had to look at what I produced last year for this holiday presets package (when I was freelancing), it has felt very incomplete to me. The more I’ve looked at it, the more I started to cringe when I looked at what I delivered. It, literally, has my name stamped on it. I take pride in what I do, and when I feel that something falls short or my best work, I do my best to make good on it.
So, over the last month or so, in between other jobs, I’ve been updating this package. Or, more specifically, I’ve created a whole new package that is what I should have produced, a more complete set of backgrounds, titles and lower thirds. All together, with the different designs and color variations, I added 135 new comps.