AE Tips from UkraMedia

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Every so often, there will be people on Youtube who produce useful content which can help make you better at a particular task or application. If you know the places to look, or you happen to find a clip based on dumb luck, then you can gather great nuggets of information from professionals who take time out of their day to create great content. One particular Youtube author who has helped me become more proficient in using After Effects is Ukramedia. Known as Sergei to his friends, Ukramedia produces tutorials for After Effects and Cinema 4D which showcase ways to use said programs in ways you may not have thought before. His most recent tutorials involve shortcuts that AE users may not know of which can help you use the program more efficiently. I’m going to highlight shortcuts I learned from his three-part series. Hopefully, you can learn something new yourself.

20 Useful Tricks in After Effects You May Not Know About – Part 1

Align Tools

Using the alignment tools can save you time when you have multiple assets across the screen. Using the multiple alignment tools, you can use your mouse to put assets in place as you see fit. You can align your assets to the selection you have in your composition, or based on the dimensions of composition.

Scaling Multiple Keyframes (Alt + Click and drag)

With my keyframes selected, I can use the alt key and change the duration of my animation to be either shorter or longer. This is a much more efficient way to change your animation duration than having to move individual keyframes one by one.

22 Useful Tricks in After Effects You May Not Know About – Part 2

Center Anchor Point/Center in View

If you have ever dealt with text or shape layers, then you will know that anchor points on these layers shift depending on size or position not related to the Transform parameters. If you want to have your anchor point centered on these layers, hit Control+Alt+Home on a PC or Command+Option+Home on a Mac to center it. For positioning any layer in the center of the compositon, all you have to hit is Control+Home on a PC or Command+Home on a Mac to have it relocate to the center of the comp. I’ve found these shortcuts helpful when dealing with layer positioning and continue to use them regularly.

Default Render Setting

To change the default setting you see when you send a comp to the render queue, first send a composition to the queue. Control+click (command+click on a Mac) on the output module, and the next time you send a composition to the render queue it will have the last setting you used as its default setting.

Delete All Effects from Selected Layers

If you want to remove effects from your layers, you may be used to clicking on effects in the effect control panel and pressing the delete button. Well, you can actually remove them with the keyboard shortcut Control+Shift+E (Command+Shift+E) with the layer selected. This will remove all effects from your clip. If you only want one effect removed, then stick to the mouse click and delete method.

25 Useful Tricks in After Effects You May Not Know About – Part 3

Solo Properties/Hide Properties

If you have ever been in the situation where all the parameters are showing on your layer, it can be hard to read. What if you just want to focus on a few properties at once? Command click the properties you want and press SS on your keyboard to solo those properties. These selected properties will be visible until you click off of them. If you want to hide properties, all you have to do is hit Alt+Shift+click on the property to hide them. Knowing these shortcuts will clean up having to see multiple properties of layer when you don’t want to.

Save Frame as Photoshop Layer/Still

To save a frame of your composition as a Photoshop document or still image, park your playhead over the frame, go to Composition>Save Frame As>Photoshop Layers. This will bring the frame into the render queue and it will export as Photoshop document which you can modify to your liking. If you want something other than a Photoshop file, change the output module to a still codec and it will save it as a png or jpeg. In the past, when I needed to export a still image from After Effects, I would set my work area to one frame and export it like a normal comp. I’ve been using this method recently as it does not save a timecode to the title of the image.

Scroll Selected Layer To Top Of Timeline Panel

If you are ever in the situation where you are 50-100 layers deep into a composition, navigating the composition can be hard to deal with. If you want a particular layer to be at the top of the hirearchy, select it and press the X key. This will shift the layer to the top of the order until you navigate away from it.

Select and Deselect All Visible Keyframes

To select all the keyframes across multiple layers without using the mouse to select them, select the layers and hit Control+Alt+A (Command+Option+A on the Mac) to select all the keyframes. To deselect all your keyframes, select your layers and hit Control+Alt+Shift+A (Command+Option+Shift+A on the Mac). These shortcuts are very useful for when you need to select all your keyframes and a mouse select isn’t enough.

Sergei’s tips and tricks have reinvigorated how I look at After Effects and have also allowed me to dive in further into what it can do in a much broader viewpoint. I highly recommend you subscribe to his channel so that you can learn a few tips and tricks yourself.

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Best Drones for Filmmaking

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In this new era of filmmaking, getting complex shots has become much easier thanks to technological advances made by vendors across the world. It’s more affordable to get a rising shot thanks to jibs and cranes that are accessible to even the most low budget filmmakers. Getting stabilized shots are easier now thanks to amount of rigs available. Aerial shots have now become cheaper due to the influx of drones available on the market. I want to highlight some drones you may want to consider adding to your filmmaking kit so that you can increase your production value.

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced/Professional $1,3000

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This aerial drone is a new release from DJI and can capture great high quality footage from great distances. What makes this drone so popular is the following:

  • 3 Axis Gimbal camera which shoots HD (for the Advanced model) or 4K (for the Professional model)
  • Captures photographs at 12 megapixels
  • Live HD camera view via smartphone or tablet attached to the remote controller through the DJI app
  • Vision positioning through visual and ultrasonic sensors
  • Intelligent Battery with battery level indicator
  • Worry-free AutoPilot

As an owner of the DJI Phantom 3 Pro, I can attest to the incredible media captured with this camera. Within three days of learning to fly this drone, I was capturing great aerial shots that I would have had to pay a helicopter pilot to capture. With a $1,300 price tag, it is a steal for what you get from this drone. I would personally recommend this model for any prosumer or high end shooter who needs to capture aerial shots of client locations.

 

DJI Inspire 1 $3,399

 

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The DJI Inspire 1 is the more advanced and expensive model of the Phantom models offered. This drone is designed with strong carbon fiber arms and gives the user a full 360 unrestricted view when in flight. The Inspire features:

  • 3 axis gimbal 4K camera which shoots up to 30 fps, or 1080p up to 60 fps and takes photos at 12 MP
  • Optional dual remote control function
  • Powerful propulsion system
  • HD wireless video transmission
  • Vision Position system
  • Intelligent Power Management system

If I had the expenses, I would have considered investing in this. I would definitely say that this model is meant for high end, big budget filmmakers that have the funds to afford it.

3DR Solo Quadcopter $999.95

 

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The 3DR Solo is an all-in-one personal drone with a great ease of use and powerful new features. Within these powerful features are the following:

  • Computer assisted cinematography through the Solo app
  • Attach a GoPro to gimbal harness and stream HD video from your GoPro to your iOS or Android mobile device, at ranges of up to half a mile.
  • Easy to use aerial photography controller
  • Powerful smart battery which displays remaining time
  • Up to 20 minutes of flight time with GoPro attached

I haven’t had the opportunity to try this drone, but based on the preview video above and the feature list, it has a lot to offer. With the ability to mount a GoPro, you know what type of quality you are getting. With a price tag of $1,000, you are getting an advanced video production tool that will give see a greater return.

Overall, these three drone models are great if you want to add aerial videography to your business and skill set. I’ve only began my journey into aerial photography, but already I feel that it has added much value to my current projects. I look forward to seeing what I can do next.

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VideoWall Plugins for After Effects

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One of the most common motion graphics you see on broadcast television, as well as motion pictures, is a video wall. A video wall consists of a grid of multiple videos all playing at once. In many examples, this is usually used to highlight a specific theme or subject, and is accompanied by text or other motion graphic elements. Creating video walls manually can be tedious if you don’t know how to start. But, nonetheless, it can be done. If you opt to go the third party plugin route, below are three plugins/tools from different companies for After Effects that can jumpstart your video wall creation.

Coremelt Video Wall Zoom & Panel Vision

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Within the Coremelt Complete suite are two plugins I use to create a video wall. The first one is Video Wall Zoom from the ImageFlow FX collection. This generator creates a wall of images/movies, one of which zooms in to fill the screen, then zooms back down. Another just zooms in to fill the screen. Not only does it come with enough image/movie placeholders, but it also has an animation option that can be utilized in more ways than one. With the multiple image placeholders and animation settings, it can be used as a standalone motion graphic, or a chapter transition between segments.

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The second plugin from the Coremelt Complete set I would turn to for video walls is Panel Vision. Panel Vision is a part of the Shatter collection, which contains “3D” perspective plugins with interesting effects. Panel Vision allows you to tile up to eight source images randomly into any number of rows and columns. It’s great to use when you want to cram four to five videos into a wall with little effort. You can also combine with other plugins like I did in this tutorial below and get a circular shape.

BCC Wild Cards

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BCC Wild Cards is used to generate an array of 3D cards with interesting and convenient animation options. This filter is a part of the Particles category in the Continuum Complete suite. It can be used to divide up one video into rows and columns of cards, or multiple videos into rows and cards. Below, After Effects guru Kevin P. McAuliffe shows us the possibilities you can achieve when using BCC Wild Cards with multiple videos.

One of the reasons I like this filter for video walls is the ease and flexibility in the control options. They are very straightforward and can have you up and running in little time. I have used it myself when I made a promo for my Premiere Pro project file giveaway, which you can see below.

I highly recommend giving this plugin a try if you want a quality filter for doing a quick video wall animation.

Red Giant Planespace

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Planespace is a compilation of tools that are made to help manage large amounts of 3D layers in After Effects. Within this compilation are Cubic Distribution, Box Creator, Cylinder Creator, and Matrix Creator. One tool in particular that is great for creating a video wall is Matrix Creator. This tool can set up rows and columns with ease along with predetermined animated parameters. I’ve used this tool a few times when I wanted to create a video wall using 3D layers in After Effects, as opposed to having it contained within a filter. With Planespace, I can use an unlimited amount of layers to achieve the look I want. With this ability comes the caveat of slowing down After Effects if you have too many 3D layers.

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Overall, Planespace is great when you want to push the boundaries of After Effects’s 2.5D layers.

These are just some of the incredible tools and plugins you can use to create a video wall for your projects. Feel free to give them a try and add to your arsenal.

Valentine’s Day Theme Tutorials

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With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be nice to share a few free tutorials for those of you involved in post production. These free items service a variety of programs such as After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Cinema 4D, and more. Feel free to scoop these up before Valentine’s Day so you can make a special video for that special someone.

Creating Flying Hearts with Boris FX

In this Valentine’s themed tutorial, Imagineer Systems Product Specialist, Mary Poplin, shows you some quick ways to get particle effects into your workflow with Boris Continuum Complete. If you are a fan of using particle effects, then I strongly recommend using plugins from the Continuum Complete particle collection. I can honestly say that they are on par with Red Giant’s offerings of Trapcode Particular and Form. On top of that, this tutorial shows you how to take a vector image created in Illustrator, and extrude it in 3D space. With some post effects like vignettes and color grading, you are able to achieve quite an animation. What I found very interesting about this tutorial is that it looked complicated in design but easy to follow. Feel free to download a trial of Continuum Complete and create this animation for your V-Day sweetheart.

Create a Valentine’s Day Themed Animation in Cinema 4D

In this tutorial from AE Tuts, motion graphics artist Stefan Surmabojov shows us how to create custom Valentine’s theme animation using Cinema 4D and After Effects. Starting first in Cinema 4D, we create the heart shape and ending text. Using Cinema 4D’s camera tools and effectors, we are able to produce the emitting hearts and animation in 3D. Before we send it to After Effects, we can touch it up in Greyscale Gorilla’s HDRI Studio Pack to give it a photorealistic look. From there, we refine the look of animation in After Effects using Optical Flares and Trapcode Shine. This particular tutorial can seem daunting if you are not used to Cinema 4D, but it can help leverage your learning curve by showing you how to create something complex in an efficient manner. If after following the tutorial you are not getting the results you want, you can download the files from it and modify it to taste.

Valentine’s Day Particle Animation

In this tutorial by motion graphics artist Abdul Kabir, he shows us how to make another Valentine’s Day animation utilizing Photoshop and After Effects. He starts in Photoshop by creating miscellaneous shapes he will need down the line. With those shapes, he turns them into particles which form a heart with the help of Particular. With a camera added along with a null object, he is able to finesse the animation further. From there, he adds a gradient background and a lens flare reveal to tie everything together. What I liked about this tutorial is the collaborative nature of Photoshop and After Effects. I’ve found in some situations that it may be easier to create assets in Photoshop than in After Effects. Using them together is a powerful combination which I encourage users to do as much as possible.

These are just a small collection of tutorials you can use to create a gift for that special someone in your life. I’ve found that people really appreciate the effort you put in when you use a video over a physical item. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Royalty Free Music

XEffects Toolkit Review

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As content creators, we are tasked with delivering the best videos in a timely manner. However, obstacles beyond our control can impede that process, such as poorly shot footage, creating motion graphics from scratch, or utilizing footage from a smartphone in an HD project. Luckily, there are plugin developers who understand the woes that editors endure on a regular basis.  They’ve created tools to help in the editing process. The folks at Idustrial Revolution have created a fantastic set of plugins known as XEffects Toolkit. Included in this set of 53 plugins for Final Cut Pro X, are tools that make the hard tasks in editing easier. Just by looking at their promo below, you’ll see tools you wish FCPX came with natively.

I’m going to discuss tools that I find useful in my workflow with some added insight.

Pillarbox Shoulders

This effect is meant for footage shot on your iPhone or smartphone that was recorded vertically. If you are an editor who deals with smartphone footage on a regular basis, and hate when the shooter has their camera vertically, this effect reduces the time you would spend making the footage fit within a 16×9 sequence. This effect works as a title layer which can expand across a long piece of footage. What this effect does, is it first adds a drop shadow to your source footage. Then, it repeats your source clip in the background and blurs it to put the main focus on your source footage. Within the parameters, you can control the image, blur amount, drop shadow, and much more. Here’s my example below.

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Shrinkback

Shrinkback is a cool auto animating effect that scales your footage up and down based on the parameters you set prior. There are three variations of this effect with Shrinkback, Shrinkback Side by Side, and Shrinkback Quad. This effect is useful when you don’t want to keyframe the scale and position of your footage over time. It is definitely useful for showing multiple clips at the same time with the different variations.

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RGB Time Adjust

This effect is a nice VFX filter for the times when you want to see the RGB channels offset in time. With this filter, you can determine which frame you start, the amount of time you offset each channel, as well as whether to enable frame blending. Here’s a picture of my example of a martial artist expert.

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3D Perspective Pro

I’ve come across multiple 3D filters for FCPX; each claiming to be better than the other. However, 3D Perspective Pro has to be the most in depth 3D filter I’ve used. Not only can I control the scale, rotation, and position of the image in 3D, but I can control those parameters as it relates to camera parameter in the plugin. This filter is helpful when you need some quick 3D animation and you don’t want to ship out a clip to After Effects or Motion. I believe the folks at Idustrial Revolution did a great job making this a strong “3D” filter for editors.

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Overall, I believe these tools are must haves for those editing tasks that delay you from getting things done. If you are a diehard FCPX user, I strongly recommend you add XEffects Toolkit to your arsenal. You can trial XEffects Toolkit through FxFactory, or purchase it for $49. Idustrial Revolution also creates many great effects and transitions that are worth checking out. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you stay creative.

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Typography Transition in Premiere Pro

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These days, typography seems to be all the craze in print, web, and video design. You see it in infographics, commercials, testimonials, and much more. One particular technique that seems to be popular among motion graphics projects is kinetic typography. This technique uses spoken word or lyrics and animates the message into an illustration. There are dozens of tutorials that show you how to pull off this technique. Tutorial author Evan Abrams shows you how to do this in After Effects below.

However, I want to show you how to do a typography based transition in Premiere using a text layer and the native compositing tools available. This transition was inspired by an Apple Motion template created by the folks at MotionVFX.

In Premiere Pro, I have two clips overlapping each other by about three seconds.

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Let’s create a title layer with the name “Text Matte” in the title tool. Choose whatever font you want, but make sure it stretches out horizontally across the screen.

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Duplicate the Text Matte layer twice and rename them “Text Overlay” and “Text Shadow.”

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Double click the Text Overlay layer to bring up the title tool. Change the color to taste.

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Double click the Text Shadow layer to bring up the title tool. Change the Fill to Ghost and enable Shadow. Change the shadow opacity to around 60-70%.

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In the timeline, drag a duplicate of your incoming clip to an upper track. This will be necessary for completing the transition.

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Place the text layers you created in the order as shown: Text Shadow on track 3, Text Matte on track 5 and Text Overlay on track.

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Select the duplicate clip on track 4. Apply the Track Matte Key to it. Make sure the matte is Track 5 and it is compositing using Matte Alpha.

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Let’s animate the Text Overlay. Change the scale to 180. Set a keyframe for position five frames from its in point with it offscreen.

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Move 20 frames forward and bring the Text Overlay layer near the center of the screen.

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Move the playhead two seconds forward and move the Text Overlay almost offscreen.

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Go to the second position keyframe and add an opacity keyframe with a value of 100. Move 15 frames forward and change the value to zero.

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Highlight the Text Overlay layer and copy it. Select the Text Matte and Shadow layers and Paste Attributes.

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Select the Text Shadow layer. Highlight the opacity keyframes and move them down 25 frames. Change the duration of the opacity animation to about 20 frames.

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Let’s highlight the video clip on track 5. In the Effect Controls panel, I will create a 25 frame opacity animation. It will start at 100 and end at zero.

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Let’s do the same thing to our clip on track 2, only instead of animating from 100 to zero, do the reverse.

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If you do all of that then you should have result similar to this.

This is a nice transition to use when you need your text to make more an impact on your project. There are many ways to push this further, and I advise you try to manipulate it. I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.

Sound Effects

Solarize Flashframe Transition

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As a viewer and as an editor, I have had the opportunity to see all kinds of effects and transitions. Some have been cheesy, over the top or totally unnecessary. Meanwhile, others have helped move the story along or enhance what the editor was trying to convey.

One of my favorite plugin developers, Idustrial Revolution, has a set of 30 unique transitions for Final Cut Pro X known as X Effect Tech Transitions. These hi-tech effects form grids, repeat frames, split color channels, and much more. In this promo video below, there was a transition that caught my eye and I wanted to replicate it in Premiere, using only the native filters. It’s called the Flash Invert Freeze and you can see it at the 33 second mark in this promo below. I will show you how to replicate this transition in Premiere Pro.

Solarize Flashframe Transition

In my timeline, I have 2 clips with one clip on Track 1 and another clip on Track 2.

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I will move my clip on Track 1 to the out of the clip on Track 2.

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Next, I will create hold frames on each clip. For the outgoing clip, I will find a moment towards the end where I want to hold on and make an edit. For the incoming clip, I will hold the frame on the in point.

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Let’s extend the hold frames of each clip so they overlap for about 1 second.

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Now, I will key frame the opacity on Track 2 to go from 100-0 every 2 frames until the end of the clip. If you want to speed up the time, first create  two opacity key frames at 100 and 0. Move your play head 2 frames after the second key frame and option drag the opacity key frames to the play head’s current position. Then, right click on the key frames and select Hold.

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With the opacity blinking every 2 frames, you will see both clips within a 22 frame time span. Animating the opacity of the clip on Track 2 gives the user more flexibility than using the Strobe Light filter. To adjust, trim the clip on Track 2 one frame after the last opacity key frame and the clip on track 1 a frame or two, as seen by my timeline below.

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The last step in this transition is to add an adjustment layer. Let’s place an adjustment layer on Track 3 so we can affect both clips simultaneously. Trim the length of the layer to match the duration of the hold frames.

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Apply the Solarize filter to the adjustment layer and change the threshold to 100. Lastly, apply the Tint filter and keep it at its default colors.

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Render your timeline and your result should look something like this video below.

If you want to create this transition to use in future projects, you can save presets for the opacity animation and image filters that were used here. Overall, I believe this transition is best used in fast paced music videos, where the genre is house or dubstep.  I can also see it being used on fashion shoot/show highlights. This transition can be taken a step further by adding a scale and rotation animation to make it rumble erratically.

I’m the NLE Ninja with AudioMicro asking you to stay creative.
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Professional Color Correction in After Effects

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A camera can only go so far in terms of changing the colors of the raw footage you take; sometimes your typical white balance and contrast adjustments just don’t cut it. Colors seem flat and just don’t come at you enough, so to spice things up, we turn to post-production CC (color correction). Here is a video showing before and after (left and right) comparisons, giving you an idea of the practical capabilities of cc:

We’ll be using Adobe after effects today but pretty much all editing platforms have CC, some more advanced than others. The focus will be on 3 different main effects, each making a slight difference. *remember, CC can be used to not only spruce things up, but create more emphasis on various emotions.

The 3 main effects we’ll use are: Curves, Tritone and Exposure. Each effect will be broken down into small steps so you get a bigger understanding on how each of them work, and how they can be manipulated. So let’s get started.

Some of the footage used in the video will be part of a short movie teaser that I’m making, so of course, we’re going to be aiming for quite a gloomy feel. The shot types and cinematography also play a big part in how we create that atmosphere. The first shot is a handheld shot of a tree. Here is what I’ve done:

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This was quite simple to get my desired colors. I added a brightness/contrast effect, to up the contrast and lower the brightness as a starting point. I then added a tritone at 70% blend and went with navy blue midtones and pale yellow highlights. These colors helps make the tree come out and made the branches look more eery.

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In the next shot we have a handheld shot of a rocking toy and another one of the shadow that it casts. We used the same effects as last, but also added exposure adjustments, as well as change the color used for the tritone. We took the exposure and offset down for this shot. The exposure controls the amount of light which is let in, where as the offset controls its luminance. I kept the color correction for both the shot of the toy as well as its shadow exactly the same as they were of the same subject.

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This shot here is where I decided that a curves adjustment would be useful. The original footage looked very flat and bland, so I needed to correct it quite a lot without it looking too unnatural. The tritone and brightness/contrast was changed a little like the rest, but what helped more with the color grading was the RGB curves.

I took the blacks and midtones lower so the highlights would come out a little more – this helped bring out the texture of the bricks and the colors on the leaves.

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The last shot in the example footage is the macro shot of some leaves. The original footage was quite simply dreadful – it was lacking color rendition, and vibrancy and so the color correction needed to boost it up ten fold. I went ahead and turned the brightness down abit and upped the contrast so there would be a little more difference in the background and the leaves. After this is I added the tritone and used bright highlights as well as midtones, and went for a midnight blue for the background shadows. There really was a noticeable difference here.

So color correction isn’t as hard as you thought – just a little experimenting and some decent tools will work wonders here. I hope you’ve all learned something!

Stay tuned for the short movie teaser which I am working on, where I’ll write about some short movie cinematic techniques.

Until next time, Peace, Love and After effects.

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Dispursing Ink Text Reveal

Today we’ll be going a little further into the potential of After Effects (still only scratching the surface). We’ll be using new techniques and effects like Track Matte’s and the use of plug-ins . For this tutorial, you’re going to need to use some third party software and resources. You’ll need:

Pre-keyed Ink dispersion (Food Coloring #1)

Twitch Plug-in from VideoCopilot

First, we’re going to make a new composition, about 11 seconds long with your preferred render settings. Create a white background followed by a black text layer or anything else you want to be revealed by the ink. Import the food coloring, make sure it’s on top of the layer you want revealed. Select an alpha matte (under TrkMat tab) on the text/logo layer, then move the food coloring layer around so that it’s scale is about 25% bigger than the text. Be sure to have the black water line out of the mask. We want the ink reveal to last about 8 seconds, however after 8 seconds the whole text/logo hasn’t fully been revealed. This is where we use time remapping.

For 0-1 second it will be normal speed – we’ll then set a keyframe for the speed to increase up to 200-300%, another after 2 seconds, and one right after for normal speed. This needs to be repeated once more, but left at the increased speed. The last thing we’ll do for the first 8 second text layer is have the scale increase 5-10% from start to finish, and do the same for the ink layer.

The next layer is in our case my new wave rendition of the AudioMicro logo, but you can use any image or perhaps some text like ‘presents’ etc. The first thing I did here, was split the layer into two (one of 5 frames, and the other 2 seconds long): I wanted to disrupt the pattern, and create some discontinuity here, so for 5 brief frames I used VideoCopilot’s Twitch plug-in to create an RGB shift. I enabled blur, color, light and slide. The slide is what brings out the RGB split. For those of you who don’t have the plugin, it’s a lot more difficult and would take a long time to explain. What I suggest is to watch a tutorial on YouTube for creating an RGB shift, but as for the movement itself, enable motion blur and have the layer move quickly in different directions. After the twitch, it’s just 2 seconds of un-animated text, again to disrupt the pattern.

In the last 1.5 seconds, we have a new AM layer, which is completely unlike the ink AM logo. Again I used the twitch plug-in, and gradually increased the speed and amount of the twitch, in sync with the gradual gain in noise. I made the noise by adding a ramp and HLS Auto Noise from the effects tab to the original white layer. Set both of the ramp colors to white, make sure it’s set to radial and make sure the start of the ramp is in the centre. Now, as you can see from the link at the top, the white layer gradually creates a vignette at the end. All you have to do to achieve this effect is to keyframe the ramp colors from white at the beginning to grey at the end (darker grey for the end color). Next is the noise. Have all the parameters except speed start at 0% and finish at about 50%.

Last on our list, but probably most important to achieving this effect is the sound. I used a guitar sample, reversed the sound effect, and slowed the speed down using time stretch. Time stretch is located in the layer tab at the top, inside time. I stretched the time to 150%, as it went in sync with the twitches. If after you’ve modified you’re sound, and you still don’t have that edge to you’re audio, it’s always a good idea to throw in some effects like a reverb or a flange; remember, all your effects can be found by press CTRL and 5 (CMD and 5 for Macs).

That’s it from me today, I hope you all found this article helpful.

Until next time, Peace, Love and After effects.

Sound Effects

Create an Event in Final Cut Pro X with Larry Jordan – RAID for Video Editing

In today’s post we take a look at creating an event in Final Cut Pro X with the master himself Larry Jordan. Larry has a plethora of tutorials and webinars at his website www.larryjordan.biz. Today we look at how to create and manage events in Final Cut Pro X as well as review a few tips on different hard drive configurations.

First of all, Larry begins with describing hard drive configurations in great detail, emphasizing the use of both SSD (Solid State Drives) and standard Hard Drives (IDE). In Larry’s set up he has a new iMac 2012 with a fusion drive for his main disk and a few external drives in a RAID configuration for video editing. This is important because it allows the operating system and Final Cut Pro to function snappy fast while allowing him larger storage options for his Final Cut Events. Keep in mind with Solid State drives that the price is definitely higher per gigabyte than standard magnetic hard drives, but you’ll benefit from insanely fast read/write speeds with no moving parts. Another quick note that isn’t mentioned here is that SSDs need not be very large for the Operating system and Applications. Something like a Crucial m4 128GB SSD will be more than enough for your Applications and OS.

Another thing to note on this importance is that with the new Final Cut Pro X, there are no scratch disks available. Which means no more dedicating separate drives to view your cached render files for a certain project or in this case an “event”. Instead you can only chose one hard drive initially to keep the event on. Larry explains further on how this works and how you can easily copy events to multiple drives, but this isn’t necessarily a permanent fix to the once very popular scratch disk option. This is what makes Final Cut Pro so dynamic yet revolutionary, in that Apple no longer believes you need multiple scratch disks but instead opt in for a RAID configuration.

The rest of tutorial explains a bit more about event management and how to manage and organize Final Cut Pro events accordingly.

Furthermore, going back to the idea of RAID storage poses an interesting challenge for today’s editor and the production environment.

RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is not a new technology and has been around for years. However it wasn’t until recently with the introduction of the Drobo series of RAID enclosures for production that RAID has become a viable and economical choice for editing media. Whether you’re a photographer, music producer, or video editor, storage arrays like the Drobo and other RAID enclosures have made it possible to easily set up a RAID with various hard drives to use in a production environment.

I could go on and on about RAID storage and how great it is, but until you’ve tried it yourself and tested it to its limits, there’s no way of ensuring how productive one can be with RAID for projects and other productions. The true advantage here is getting the speed of multiple scratch disks, but in one centralized and quick solution. Prior to Final Cut Pro X you could’ve easily selected 10+ hard drives for caching and storing your render files. But now it’s a different ballgame and the times have changed. RAID offers you maximum performance and maximum redundancy if configured correctly in a RAID6 or RAID10 for your production environment. In the case of Final Cut X events, all your media and associate files are stored in that event folder on a single disk. If you have RAID0 for example (combining hard drive space + read speeds) you can expect an extremely snappy playback even at full resolution, provided your CPU and operating system are up to task as well. By using the power of RAID and Final Cut events, one can truly be a master of efficient post production.

So now that all that technical jumbo has been digested, I’m sure you’re wondering what hardware I’m using with all this RAID vs SSD vs Hard Drive stuff.

Here are my top recommendations that I’ve tried and tested myself:

Best Hard Drives for Video Editing and Production

Solid State Drive: Crucial m4 256GB SSD
Hard Drives in RAID: 2x 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green
Hyrbid Drive: Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM 750GB Hybrid Solid State Drive
RAID Enclosure: Mediasonic ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 and eSata

Well that’s all for today’s brief overview with Final Cut Pro X events and the technology behind hard drives in the production environment. If you’d like a more detailed overview of RAID for the production environment let me know in the comments below or tweet Christian Hermida @chermida on Twitter.

Royalty Free Music

‘Retro’ Feel Film Burn Text

FilmBurnScreenshot photo Filmburntext0-00-01-23_zps16a7c096.jpg

With video effects programs like Adobe After Effects becoming more and more popular, it’s no wonder there’s such a broad display of cool techniques and styles inspiring film makers and video editors out there.
In this article, the focus will be on how we can introduce a, ‘retro feel’ to a text intro. This tutorial will be fairly basic: we’ll animate the text using motion and flicker effects. We’ll also use a film burn accompanied by a film reel sound effect. Here’s what we’ll be creating today:

We’ll start off with the text layer. Open up a comp with your desired settings and create a new text layer. We’re going for a real vintage feel here so be mindful of what font you choose; Dafont has some amazing fonts. We’re going to add a glow to give a slightly blurry washed out look. Next, we’ll add a drop shadow. Turn the opacity up to 100% and choose your desired color – I went for pink. Turn the softness up to about 90%. There’s a whole manner of things we can do to further enhance the text, but we’ll leave that for another time and keep this sweet and simple.

Now we’ll get on to the animating. We’re going to have the text jolt up and down quickly into position, flicker a little and finally jolt out all whilst the scale slowly increases. We’ll get started off with the scale first then have a keyframe at the start for 90% scale and one at the end for 100%. The jolt in and out is just a simple quick shift in movement on the y axis. Put a keyframe at the start with the footage below the composition; 2 frames later have it really high in the composition, with just the bottom exposed. Do this once more, and then 3 frames after at the top have it in the center (the same applies the the jolt at the end). Now, this looks quite good but what makes it look so much better is the motion blur. Just click the two icons shown below. With the little flickering through the middle, it’s simply just quick keyframed changes in opacity.

MotionBlur photo motionblur_zps63009247.jpg

For the film burn, we’ve got a lot of margin in terms of what we can use – just a simple YouTube search will give you a wide variety of free film burns to choose from. But we’re not limited to just film burns. Any sort of moving texture, camera bokeh, or anything else can be used. BE CREATIVE… Once you’ve got your footage in you might find it’s just not looking ‘RETRO’ enough. Head into the Noise and grain tab. Perhaps add some HLS grain, dust and scratches so it looks more worn out. You might also want to add some color correction. I find that the Tritone works best. I wanted a little yellowing of the highlights, the midtones to be brownish and the shadows a dark green at a 50% blend with the original. These sort of colors are great for correcting footage to feel more vintage.

Last on our list is SFX. Fitting in with the whole vintage theme, we get the sound of an old film reel being projected. These sound effects can be purchased from AudioMicro. In terms of sound treatment effects, there’s not much here. The one thing I did was apply a Parametric EQ. I keyframed it so that at the end when the text jolted out, the frequency increased.

That’s all from me! I hope you’ve gained insight into how I get that vintage feel, and have learned skills which can be applied elsewhere.

Until next time, Peace, Love and After effects.

Sound Effects