Ways to Glitch Your Videos

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Glitching your videos these days seems to be all the rage. You’ve seen it promos, trailers, tv shows, and web videos. The artistic application of malfunctioning video has become a trend in motion graphics, and it seems there are many options to achieve these effects. I’m going to highlight a few options that give you the ability to glitch your videos without much effort. There are ways to glitch and distort your videos using native filters and more. However, these options I plan to highlight don’t require much from the user.

Rampant Design Tools Distortion Toolkit


A new toolkit from the talented creators at Rampant Design Tools, you get over 2500 elements to play with, which include the following: 8-bit effects, Heavy Damage, Analog Effects, Glitch Effects, and more. The best part is you can purchase these elements in different resolutions ranging from 2K-4K which gives you more pixel freedom than 1080p. All you have to do with these elements is drag and drop and you are good to go. You can definitely add more creativity to using these elements by doing your own transform and distort effects, and apply clips from the kit to help enhance an effect. The opportunities are endless with this toolkit. Don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the impressive promo below to get a taste of how awesome this kit is.

VideoCopilot Twitch


A plugin created by After Effects guru Andrew Kramer, Twitch gives the user the ability to control the chaos they insert into their videos. Although this plugin only works in After Effects, the options users have available to them are quite astounding. Twitch users can utilize the plugin to create stylistic video effects for motion graphics and visual effects. You can easily create RGB Split effects, transitions, frame distortion, and more. This plugin has been a go to for AE users when they need to introduce chaos into their videos. Watching the promo below will give you a better idea of how awesome Twitch is.

Digieffects Damage


The folks at Digieffects created this bundle of plugins a few years ago, but people still go to them when they want to non-destructively destroy their perfect footage. The Damage bundle includes:

  • Aged Film
  • Artifact
  • Blockade
  • Destabilize
  • Interference
  • Overexpose
  • Skew

Each plugin has its purpose in messing up your video. With Aged Film, you can make your video look like they were shot years ago. Artifact gives your video a posterized look with analog blocks popping all over the screen. Interference will give your video that static interference your TV gives you when the cable is disconnected. Overall, this plugin bundle offers a great deal of glitch and distortion effects that can act alone or be combined for a great effect.

Red Giant Universe Glitch

A soon to be released plugin from Red Giant under their Universe package, these plugins give users the ability add Glitch to their videos in the form of a transition or an effect. Since it hasn’t been released yet, there isn’t much I can say. However, this video by After Effects guru Aharon Rabinowitz showcases how great Glitch will be when it is released.

These are a great collection of options to glitch your videos. You can go the drag and drop route with Rampant Design Tools or use plugins from Videocopilot, Digieffects, or Red Giant. Overall, you don’t have to try to manually glitch your videos if you are on a deadline. Check out these options for yourself and figure out what works best for your workflow.

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4 Features Wanted in Next Premiere Pro CC Updates

Premiere Pro CS6

I’ve been a professional editor for over seven years now and I have had the chance to do both linear and non linear editing. I remember the days of getting footage off tape, dealing with decks on livecast shoots, and more. However, I used the NLEs of the A-Team players (Avid, Adobe, Apple) and they have all come a long way. These days, I lean more towards being a Premiere Pro editor with a good understanding of Final Cut Pro X. I’m extremely impressed with the progress Premiere has made over the last five years, and I can’t wait to see more. I do, however, have some features I would like to see in future releases of Premiere Pro.

Title Tool Revamp

I have used the title tool in Avid Media Composer as well as the one in Final Cut Pro legacy. Both title tools provide less than optimal conditions for simple edits. Final Cut Pro X has the title tool advantage these days because everything is now a Motion Template. Premiere Pro’s title tool is slightly better than Media Composer and FCP Legacy, in my opinion. When you use the title tool in Premiere Pro, it opens up in a separate window. It allows you to create a title from scratch, utilizing the tools available, along with layer styles and a variety of templates.

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My problem with the Premiere title tool is that it is not as intuitive as I would like it to be. You have limited options for creating titles, which are relegated to static looks or roll/crawling text. For some users, it can be difficult to create more complex titles because of the lack of a layer system. This is why some people resort to using Photoshop and/or After Effects to take care of their title needs, such as lower thirds, bugs, or end credits. I’m all for using the accompanying programs in the Creative Cloud, but I believe an NLE should have strong title tools. Users should only reach for Photoshop or After Effects when your title needs exceed the capabilities of the program. Here is how I would like title tool to function in future releases of Premiere. I would take a few cues from NewBlueFX Titler Pro 3. The video below showcases the ability to create a title or lower third graphic template and quickly modify it across your video. Ideally, I would like it to have a layer based system similar to Photoshop. This way, I would know when I am modifying an element, as well as have it appear as a multi-layered item in the project panel. It would be nice if they could find a way to have text animation presets similar to After Effects. I could minimize my need to go to After Effects for something that mundane. Overall, a Title Tool revamp would definitely help alleviate some of the frustrations users have when using title tool.

Dynamic Link Proxy/Live Text Evolution

I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with Dynamic Link in Premiere. It could have been my computer specs or something else, but I’ve always found that it slowed me down as opposed to just rendering what I needed from After Effects, and making updates through re-rendering. One thing I would like to see that would help users who may not have high end computers, would be a dynamic link proxy to final render option. This would work by bringing an AE composition into Premiere, changing the option to be in full resolution or proxy format, and when the changes are locked in, give the user the option to render via Media Encoder into a format of their choice. Now, I understand that would take quite a bit of code to pull off, but under the new cloud format, it definitely gives both Premiere and AE teams something to work towards. The new Live Text Templates introduced in Premiere CC 2014 definitely show the level of innovation and cohesion users can expect with After Effects and Premiere Pro. I hope the next few versions of this feature will get to the level where it can compete with Motion templates. Knowing how much professionals rely on AE templates to complete projects, Premiere will be a force to be reckoned with if it gets to this level.

Effects Panel Additions

One of the things I love about Premiere over FCP legacy is that I don’t have to double click a clip to adjust things like scale, position, rotation, or blend mode. Click it once and it shows up. I especially like what they did for the 2014 addition of Premiere Pro with Master Clip Effects. However, there are some items I would like to be added. I can only assume the Premiere Pro team is working towards the ability to move between keyframes with a keyboard shortcut. I would like the ability to have either Track Matte Key, Set Matte, or Image Matte Key as a part of the Effect Controls panel so I can easily do compositing from track to track. The benefit of this would be not solely relying on those filters, and I could more easily manage my compositing efforts when I move clips with those filters enabled.  If anything, I would place it in the same category as the opacity parameter. Another thing I would like is for the motion parameter to have similar abilities to Media Composer’s 3D Warp filter, with a hybrid allowing you to turn layers 3D in After Effects, as seen in the video below.

This would eliminate the need for the Basic 3D and flip filters, as well as allow users to do simple perspective rotation in a “3D” space. Right now, the Basic 3D filter isn’t as strong as its third party counterparts available from BorisFX, FxFactory, or GenArts. Along with the added Matte Key functionality, giving the motion parameter a hybrid of the abilities from After Effects and Media Composer would take Premiere’s animating and compositing capabilities up a notch.

More Tools in the Toolbar

I like the current tools that Premiere Pro CC 2014 has now. I can select items forward and backward with two track selection tools. I can add keyframes with the Pen Tool. I can zoom in on my timeline with the Zoom Tool. I wouldn’t mind some tools for manipulating images. A pan behind tool would allow users to move the anchor point of their image without having to use slider values. A crop tool would eliminate the crop filter altogether, and would give users the crop abilities similar to FCP 7. Overall, an addition of a few more tools would greatly help the editing process and would reduce the need for editors to make painstaking adjustments.

These are just a few features I hope to see, and with the way the various Adobe teams have been responding to their customers, it isn’t too far of stretch that this may happen in the near future. Right now, I rely on Premiere to make a living, and I have high hopes for what’s to come.

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Tips for Making Post Production Tutorials


I’ve been watching video tutorials for almost six years now, and making them for three. In this amount of time, I’ve been able to assess what makes for a good video editing/post production tutorial. There are many services that offer video training; such as Lynda, PeachPit, Digital Tutors, and others. However, some of the best training has come from random contributors who decided to share the knowledge to the masses. In the last three years, I’ve learned that there are quite a few ways to make concise and strong video editing/post production tutorials. In this article, I will highlight some tips you can use when constructing your own content.

Know your audience

This is obvious and very important. When you decide to make video tutorials, you have to know who you are trying to reach. Making a video tutorial and hoping for the best won’t yield the strongest results without understanding your audience. For example, Videocopilot makes visual effects and motion graphics tutorials for After Effects. They show you techniques and skills that you would have to go to film schools to learn. They receive many views and a strong audience by understanding that there are people who want to create cool stuff in AE, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. They also show you ways to get a better understanding of the software. Understanding your audience will help establish a direction for your video tutorial.

Show the audience the demo of your technique

If you want someone to invest their time watching your video tutorial, you need to show them what they are in for. That will make the difference between whether they watch the video from start to finish, or tune out within a few seconds. There is nothing worse than a tutorial author not giving you a glimpse into the final product, and you feel you’ve wasted your time watching something not beneficial. This After Effects/Cinema 4D tutorial from After Effects guru Eran Stern shows what the final result so that the viewer has the choice whether or not to invest more of their time.

This is a technique that I’ve used many times on my tutorials and have had subscribers make note of how beneficial it was to them. Overall, give your audience a reason to keep watching.

Inject production value

If you want to stand out from the crowd, inject your own brand of production value into it. Have an intro and an outro for your tutorial, insert a logo bug at the bottom third of your screen, and any other items that may enhance production value. It also helps to record with a good microphone (like one from Blue Microphones) and screen recording software (like Screenflow). Tools are important to your quality. Invest time in adding production value, an aesthetically pleasing look, and good hardware.

Maintain good pacing and focused presentation

In this day and age, a short and concise video is vital to getting a lot of views. People don’t want to watch anything over five minutes long… unless it has a lot to offer. Tutorials can bypass this rule if they show something intricate, like creating a lightsaber effect or a complex motion graphic. If you followed the aforementioned rule of demoing your finished result, you can get away with having a tutorial that lasts 10 minutes or more. You can generate more content by breaking up a long video into multiple parts. You can also turn a long lesson that may consist of 20 minutes of content into four separate five minute videos. This generates at least a month’s worth of content from one lesson. This is a technique used a lot by the authors of Lynda.com when there is training on a particular subject. Instead of one long tutorial, they break things up into multiple sections and a playlist worth of videos. Overall, these are just a few of the tips you can use to create strong post production tutorials. You can learn other tips by observing what successful authors have created, but if you plan to create your own, you should be aware of the following: know your audience, demo your skill/technique, inject your own brand of production value, and have a focused and concise presentation. I’m the NLE Ninja asking you to stay creative.

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Animating Numbers in After Effects CC


Sometimes you need to create a motion graphic showing numbers increasing or decreasing for a percentage, calculation, statistic, or whatever the reason may be. There are many programs that can help you achieve this effect. However, in my opinion, I would argue After Effects is your best program to create this animation. As much as After Effects is known for its post production compositing abilities, it was originally created as a motion graphics program. Today, I will show you how to increase numbers in an animation using After Effects CC in three simple steps:

  • Create Placeholder Text
  • Add the Slider Effect
  • Add the Expression

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First, we need to create a placeholder text before we begin. It’s a placeholder because the Slider Effect we will be applying next will eliminate anything we type in. Select your TYPE TOOL from the tool bar. Choose your font and size from the text assets window, and then type in your placeholder text.

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To clarify, this text is broken down into three sections where only one of them is changing. The first sections is ‘CALCULATING.’ The next section is ‘100,’ which is the PLACEHOLDER text – this is the only bit that is important in completing this motion graphic effect. The last section is ‘%,’ and the reason I did not combine this section with the ‘100’ is to reiterate that once we apply the slider effect, it will eliminate anything we type into that section.


Now that you have your placeholder text, go to the EFFECTS & PRESETS window and type in SLIDER. CLICK AND DRAG your slider effect and add it to your placeholder text.

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At this point, go to your layers window. Open the settings on your placeholder text layer by twirling open the triangle icon next to the sections TEXT and EFFECT > SLIDER CONTROL.

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Go to your SOURCE TEXT and ALT CLICK on it.

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You will immediately notice your canvas preview has disappeared and new icons in the Source Text controls will appear. The WHIRL icon will allow you to CLICK AND DRAG your SOURCE TEXT and PARENT it to the SLIDER CONTROLS.

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You can now go to the Effects window for your slider controls. Notice that your placeholder text will follow whatever you set the slider to.

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Your source text and slider are tied together and can be keyframed and animated to increase and decrease as you see fit. The only issue here is, by default, the slider animation (when tied to the source text) will additionally add in a decimal system.

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If you only want to display whole rounded numbers, you will need to make one final adjustment. In order to resolve the decimal issue, first ALT CLICK on the SLIDER CONTROL STOPWATCH in order to pull up the effects natural input expression.

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So the natural expression is this:

effect(“Slider Control”)(“Slider”)

In order to round the system of numbers to the nearest whole number, you need to alter the expression to look like this:

Math.round(effect(“Slider Control”)(“Slider”))

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PLEASE NOTE, the ‘M’ in Math MUST be capitalized in order for After Effects to properly interrupt the expression coding.

There you have it! A number system you can keyframe and animate to increase and decrease as you see fit.

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