After Effects and Cinema 4D

After Effects and Cinema 4D

Angie Taylor in the Adobe Theatre at BVEI’ll be presenting After Effects and Cinema 4D in the Adobe Theater at Broadcast Video Expo 2013 in London between the 26th and 28th of February.

Here are links to some of my Tutorials that cover working with After Effects and Cinema 4D. I’ll be expanding on these at the event.

Preparing Cinema 4D projects for After Effects

Compositing C4D Multipass Renders in After EffectsOnce again Adobe will bring its comprehensive suite of creative tools and services to the BVE audience in its dedicated Adobe Theatre on the show floor. The Adobe Theatre timetable can be found at

Adobe’s experts will be on hand to discuss the advances that have been made in broadcast and production technology with Adobe’s comprehensive suite of tools and services for video content delivery, including Creative Cloud which makes it easier and more affordable to access all of Adobe’s production related tools. The theatre will also present demonstrations of After Effects and Premiere Pro.

In addition, a selection of Adobe’s hardware and software partners feature on the agenda. Maxon will be showing the slick interop between After Effects and Cinema 4D; EVS will talk about its advanced integration between Premiere Pro and EVS servers for fast-turnaround production; Dalet has created the Xtend panel module for Premiere Pro; Dell underpins Adobe’s software with its high performance T- and M- series desktop and mobile workstations; and NVIDIA powers high end capabilities using the latest Kepler technology on Quadro and Tesla graphics hardware.

Adobe will also be on Stand L16 where visitors can take a look at product demonstrations and participate in a prize draw to win a year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Full details of BVE’s entire seminar program can be found here, together with up-to-the-minute news about all aspects of the show. Information is also available across social media on, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Visitors can also download the BVE 2013 App at

Register for free entry here

Happy Birthday After Effects

Happy Birthday After Effects

Happy Birthday After EffectsI’d just like to celebrate a momentous occasion by saying Happy 20th Birthday After Effects. It may seem odd to wish a software application birthday greetings but After Effects is so much more than just an app. It’s the great team of people who build it, the strong user community that support it, the network of professionals who push it’s boundaries to new directions, the third-party community who provide extra functionality and take risks with user-demands and of course the company who bought it and nourished it, and allowed the original team enough freedom to develop it into the De Facto motion graphics application, bar none.

After Effects has a life of it’s own and she has her own personality. She is intelligent, good-looking, hard-working, courageous, funny, belligerent, stubborn, creative, inventive, reliable, naughty, reckless and smart – who could resist such a lethal combination? Not me, I was smitten as soon as I animated one of her properties! I’ve seldom looked back.

Before After Effects (BAE) I would go from job to job, sticking at them for a maximum of two years before getting bored and moving onto the next thing. I’ve been dishwasher, kitchen assistant, chef, prop-maker, model-maker, airbrush artist, cartoonist, deejay, sound engineer but none of them fulfilled me. After Effects did, it offered me so much creative flexibility I would never be bored again. In fact she still throws up endless ideas and new ways of working each time I delve into her timeline, it’s like After Effects has become an extension of my brain. I lose myself in her, and I love it.

To celebrate this occasion I’m giving away some of my latest animation presets in my newsletter. Check out the movie above to see them in action;

These are used in the image illustrating this article and are made with native After Effects features (no additional software required). I’ll also be sharing some tips and tricks so if you don’t want to lose out, please subscribe here.

I could go on but there are many people who I’d like to thank for my career and inspiration. I can’t name them all but special shout-outs go to the entire After Effects team past and present. In particular I’d like to thank these Adobe people; Dave Simons, Dan Wilk, Todd Kopriva, Steve Forde, Kevin Monahan, Jim Guerard, Michael Coleman, Steve Kilisky, Mansi Grover, Eve Hatton, Rory Duncan, Mark Harrison, Mitch Wood, David Trescot, Al Mooney, Bill Hensler, Bruce Bowmann, Bruce Bullis, Ton Fredricks, Karl Lee Soule, Jason Levine, Johan Jonker, Erica Schisler, Amacker Bullwinkle, Nina Ramos, Ellen Wixted, Michael O’Neil, Jane Birch, Michelle Galina, Simon Hayhurst, Simon Williams, Matthew Gyves, Niels Stevens, Eric McCashey, Robin Charney and Dawn Osbourne. there are countless others – I thank you all.

I’d also like to add a big thanks to all the plug-in developers who helped push the product to where it is today (you know who you are). Also to the script-geniuses (or is that genii?) at

And finally a special thanks go to René Hedemyr for the amazing Media-Motion list where I met all my AE-pals and learned all about the application from some of the best in the business including Trish Meyer, Chris Meyer, Brian Maffit and countless others. I love this community. Thank you all.

Happy Keyframing!

Halloween Presets for After Effects

Halloween Presets for After Effects

Vector Shape Skull

Vector shape layer of a Skull – one of the free presets

I’ve created a new set of Halloween presets for After Effects. These presets are for native After Effects plug-ins and include particle effects, vector shape layers and expressions.

3D Skull & Crossbones

3D beveling & extrusion applied to the vector shape layer

You can download these presets free of charge by registering at my new website Effect Cafe – a resource for creative people like you. It’s free to join and my aim is to provide as much free content as possible for my members.

I’d love to see what you do with these presets so please post your results to me on Twitter.

Here are some examples of movies I created using these presets;

07 Skull Trace 1 from Angie Taylor on Vimeo.

Dripping Blood from Angie Taylor on Vimeo.

Skullduggery with Particles from Angie Taylor on Vimeo.

Review of After Effects CS6: Learn by Video

Review of After Effects CS6: Learn by Video

I was very excited to read this very in-depth review of After Effects CS6: Learn by Video on Amazon today;

5.0 out of 5 stars | August 20, 2012

A good solid base upon which to build

Diane Cipollo (Editor at – See all my reviews
This review is from: Adobe After Effects CS6: Learn by Video (Paperback)

I get many emails asking for the best way to begin learning a new software such as After Effects. My first suggestion is to start with a training video for the software of your choice. This is especially true for a robust and complex software such as After Effects CS6.

I found After Effects to be intimidating in spite of my strong Adobe Flash background but the Adobe After Effects CS6 Learn by Video training course from video2brain gave me a good solid base upon which to build. The authors Todd Kopriva and Angie Taylor share the instruction with Kopriva covering the technical aspects of the software and Taylor covering the creative.

The authors start with a short history of the After Effects software leading to what’s new in version CS6. With a panel-by-panel tour of the user interface, you are introduced to the basic project workflow and terminology.

Next, you learn what makes up a basic composition and how to build your own comps from scratch. You first learn how to create a line of text with the Character panel and a block of text with the Paragraph panel and then move on to using shape layers for creating simple and complex vector shapes.

The fun really starts with the Effects and Presets panel. You will learn how to apply a Keylight effect to turn the original background transparent. Then you create a new solid which will be your new background to which you can add effects such as the CC Mr. Mercury effect.

Not all comps are built from scratch. You learn how to import assets such as movies, stills, image sequences and audio. Also introduced is how to manage and organize the various assets for your comp. Of course, you will need to know the options for importing Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro files. You will also learn about interlacing, pixel aspect ratio, and trimming basics.

Halfway through the course, we get to the part I enjoy the most which is animation. First, you cover the basics including how to use keyframes and tweens to control the transformation of various properties. Next, you cover motion paths and how to use Motion Sketch to draw freehand paths. Delving deeper into animation, you learn about the various types of keyframes in After Effects and how to use the Keyframe Assistants and Graph Editor to refine your animations.

The next section covers text animations. Taylor covers options for importing text created in Photoshop and how to edit the text in After Effects. She then demonstrates an easy and fast way to animate each letter individually with the Text Animators. She shows you how to combine animators to create more complex animations and how to save your custom animators as presets. Next we see how shape layers can be used to create many effects, as well as using the Repeater to emulate a particle-like effect.

Switching back to Kopriva, we learn the basics of compositing and how many effects can be created using Blending Modes, Alpha Channels and Masks. Next he discusses common problems and how to correct them with Color Keying, Motion Tracking and Rotoscoping.

The next section concentrates more closely on how to create custom effects. Beginning with a discussion of the Effect Controls panel and categories. Taylor also covers how to use keyframes to animate properties and how to apply easing. One nice feature is the Brainstorm viewer that lets you preview variations of effects and save them as presets. She also discusses what she calls fixer effects for solving common problems such as rolling shutter. She ends this section by covering how to edit layer styles and adjustment layers imported from Photoshop to create effects.

When working with video, you can manipulate the frame rate to achieve various effects. Kopriva first discusses frame rate in general and then covers common retiming tasks such as Time Stretching, Time Remapping, Freeze Frame, Slow Motion and Reverse Frame.

The next section concentrates on your workflow and ways to use grouped and linked layers as well as nesting and pre-composing. One example of character animation demonstrates parenting hierarchy and IK. You also learn about expressions and how easy it is to write your own for complex animation.

Animating 3D effects can add realism to your projects and this section of the course begins by discussing how to use the 3D wireframe and other views needed to work in 3d space. Once you are familiar with working in 3d space, Taylor moves on to how to animate by bending layers. She also covers the basics of using camera presets and controls for depth of field and point of interest. Next, she adds lighting to the 3D scene and walks you through the various types of lighting such as Environmental, Point and Spotlight and how to work with cast shadows and reflections. Reflections can be very important to the realism of your scene and Taylor discusses the various controls such as Reflection Intensity, Sharpness and RollOff, as well as Specular Intensity and Shininess and Environmental Layer maps.

Switching back to Kopriva, we discuss optimizing software performance by adjusting the default preferences and taking advantage of Ram and Disk Catching. Next, he covers After Effects default render order and how this order determines the final render, much like the hierarchy in Cascading Style Sheets determines the final HTML document.

After Effects has several options for exporting your projects and in this section Kopriva discusses how to use the Render Queue. Much like other video exporting, he shows you how to set the various format options. He discusses how to use preset output templates and how to save your own custom settings as a template. He demonstrates how After Effects can save time by rendering several formats simultaneously. Next, he does a walk through of how to use the Adobe Media Encoder to choose output presets for Vimeo, Apple and Android.

The final section is a wrap up and final thoughts. It examines several projects and discusses how they were made. It also covers how to integrate After Effects with Cinema 4D.

The course includes 10+ hours of the video2brain Learn by Video series and supporting files for following along for a hands-on, watch-and-work teaching approach. Also included with the DVD is a small booklet with additional information. As with all the Learn by Video series, you have an easy-to-use control panel for viewing the videos.

Todd Kopriva has been with Adobe and After Effects since version 7.0. He creates Adobe documentation and training materials. Angie Taylor has worked 14 years in motion graphics and animation. Examples of her work have been featured on the BBC.

*Peachpit Press provided a copy to me for review purposes.

Getting Started with Illustrator CS6

Getting Started with Illustrator CS6

Getting Started with Illustrator CS6

Getting Started with Illustrator CS6

Step-by-Step Basics to Get You on Your Way

In CS6 Adobe Illustrator is more powerful than ever before, and in this course Angie Taylor shows you just how easy it can be to use. You’ll get a tour of the interface, gain an understanding of the workflow, and be introduced to core techniques like working with artboards, understanding layers and objects, and making and moving selections. You’ll also learn how to create images from shapes, apply color, reshape paths, and save and export artwork for the web, print, or animation.
Check out some free movies from this workshop here. Click on the unlocked links to watch a movie.

Free Movies