Adobe CC 2015 WARNING

Adobe CC 2015 WARNING

This Adobe CC 2015 warning is for those updating their Adobe software to CC 2015. There are some issues with the installer that are not immediately apparent. The default settings will remove all your old software. If you want to keep your older software for backward compatibility then follow the instructions in this short video.

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Textonomy Presets for Sapphire Edge

Textonomy Presets for Sapphire Edge

My brand new Textonomy Presets for Sapphire Edge are now available from the Genarts FX Central Website.

OK, sometimes you need text, but no-one says it has to be boring. These ten effect presets, designed for text will have your viewers sitting up and taking notice.

Camoflash A Camouflage-style of pattern is applied to text to give it texture. The Jitter Frames value adjusts the sped of the flashing animation of the texture.

Disintegrator Added to text this will have the effect of giving it a slight disintegrated quality. Great for adding a bit of damage to your motion graphics.

Damage Limitation Scratches, stains, dust and shake are added to text to give it a more organic appearance. Perfect for those “”Seven”” inspired film titles.

Steeley Glare Adds a textured steel effect to layers. Specifically designed for use on text to add an interesting textured fill.

Searchlight This grainy effect plunges your text into semi-darkness and highlights it by adding a searchlight to it. Vignette Centre property is keyframed in the preview movie to make the light move over the text.

Textatic A groovy, tiling pattern that looks great applied to geometric text. In the preview movie animation is added by keyframing the Inside Rotation property.

Trippy Hippy Tiled instances of your text move together in a fluid way to create a groovy movement reminiscent of 60’s dancing. In the preview movie the Zoom property has been keyframes to create additional movement.

Mittageisen Designed to add a metallic look to outlined text.

Interference Animated scan lines and a dodgy reception effect make your text look slightly damaged. Less than perfect and much more interesting as a result.

Metal Postcard A great preset for adding a metallic sheen to your text layers. Who’d have thought you could use a half-tone effect for that!

Adobe After Effects CS6 – Learn by Video

Adobe After Effects CS6 – Learn by Video

It’s finally here, my brand new After Effects CS6 – Learn by Video course. I worked on this course with Adobe’s Todd Kopriva who I just love working with. Together we teamed up to provide a good mix of technical and creative training in our favorite software application. We hope you enjoy it. Here’s an intro to the course from us both.

This Learn by Video course offers in-depth training on the interface, workflow, and features of Adobe After Effects CS6. If you subscribe to my newsletter you can get 20% off this course with a discount code. The contents of this course include:

Introducing After Effects CS6
In this chapter you’ll get an overview of how After Effects works, what it does, and what the main controls are.

Interface Tour
Before you start following along with the instructions in this training, it will help to learn what the controls are called and where things are located. You’ll learn about the basic controls and the most commonly used panels in this chapter.

Creating Compositions and Layers
In After Effects we work in projects. Every project contains compositions, each of which is the framework of a movie; layers are assembled within the framework of these compositions. In this chapter you’ll learn how to create compositions and bring layers into them from the Project panel. You’ll also learn how to create layers from scratch.

Importing Footage
In this chapter you’ll learn how to bring various types of files into After Effects. You’ll also see how to make sure After Effects interprets these files correctly and how to manage them once you get them in.

Interpreting and Managing Footage
Sometimes you need to tell After Effects how to use source files. This chapter shows you how to set various parameters for how files are interpreted and used.

Animation Basics
The most important aspect of learning to fully understand After Effects is getting to grips with how After Effects handles animation. Once you have mastered the topics covered in this chapter, you can really do anything in this powerful application.

Fine-Tuning Animation
This chapter will take your animation skills further by showing you how to understand timing. You’ll learn how to work in the Layer panel and the Graph Editor for more precise control over layers and animation.

Animating Text Layers
Text layers can be animated in a variety of different ways to create exciting and compelling motion graphics. In this chapter you’ll learn about the properties and methods used to control these layers. Text layer properties use a slightly different animation system than standard layer properties, so we’ll also discuss the idiosyncrasies involved in animating these wonderfully flexible design elements.

Fun with Shape Layers
Shape layers are pretty unique but can be confusing to new users. This chapter will help demystify shape layers and give you the confidence to push them in all sorts of creative directions.

Basic Compositing
Compositing is about stacking layers on top of one another and making parts of each layer show through others in specific ways. You’ll learn about many of the ways to composite layers together in this chapter.

After Effects provides you with scores of effects that you can apply to your layers, allowing you to create virtually any look or style you like. Imagine being able to animate all of these over time and you get a real sense of the creative flexibility that After Effects can offer you. This chapter tells you everything you need to know to create amazing effects.

A movie is a series of images that plays over time, and After Effects provides many powerful controls for controlling exactly how this happens. This chapter will teach you about tools like frame blending, slow motion, freeze-frame, and more.

Grouping and Linking
There are times when it makes sense to group layers together into a single item, either to simplify complicated comps or to make editing, moving, or applying effects a whole lot easier. In this chapter we’ll look at several methods for grouping layers together.

Introduction to 3D
After Effects allows you to transform and animate your layers within a 3D environment. This adds some complexity to your compositions. After Effects CS6 also lets you work in ray-traced 3D, where you can extrude and bevel shapes and text and even bend video layers. In this chapter you’ll see how After Effects deals with mixing 2D and 3D in the same composition.

Memory and Performance
Every person, project, and computer system is different. In this chapter you’ll learn how to configure After Effects to match your needs, the capabilities of your computer system, and the needs of your projects.

Render Order and Collapsing Transformations
Layers and their components are processed in a specific order. In this chapter you’ll learn about that order and how to use special features to control it

Output Options
When you’re finished with your project, you need to get your data out of After Effects, usually as a finished movie. In this chapter, you’ll learn the basics of rendering and exporting movies.

Project Explorations and Recap
This chapter contains some examples of animations created in After Effects along with explanations of how they were made. You’ll also get some tips on integrating After Effects with Cinema 4D, as well as some final thoughts on the course and suggestions for further learning.

The lessons are wrapped in a feature-rich interface that lets you jump to any topic and bookmark individual sections for later review. Full-Screen mode provides a hi-def, immersive experience, and Watch-and-Work mode shrinks the video into a small window so you can play the videos alongside your application. Also included are exercise files that give you an easy way to try out the techniques you learn and a 48-page guide containing supplemental material.

Uprezzing Comps

Uprezzing Comps

A question appeared on the Video Copilot website today about uprezzing old projects which can be a bit of a nightmare in AE. You can often find that layers positions get messed up and effects change appearance when you scale your comp.

Some of the issues that you’ll come across are hard to avoid but you can make the process a little easier by using some of the scripts that come free with After Effects CS5.

Incidentally, making projects bigger is a massive headache so always good (if you have the opportunity of course) to create your projects at the biggest size you think may be required. If there’s ANY chance of HD requirements then use HD, even if the immediate requirement is only for SD.

Having said all that, there are always times when you need to up-rez. Updating old projects for showreels; adapating other old projects for new jobs etc. So, if you simply HAVE to do it, there’s a couple of scipts that will work. In the Demo Palette (can be opened by going to File > Scripts > Demo Palette) there are two gems, one is called ‘Scale Comp’ and can be used to scale your entire composition, keeping all layers in the correct position. The other is called ‘Scale Selected Layers’ which will work on a selection within a comp, again, maintaining their position relative to each other.

You need to make sure your preferences are setup correctly to use scripts in order to use these. to do so, go to Preferences >General > Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network.

You will still need to go through the somewhat painful process of editing effects but this will save you a lot of work with layers etc.

To find out more about After Effects and download some FREE movies, check out my After Effects CS5 Learn by Video page where you can watch excerpts and learn more tips.

Employment versus self-employment

Last month I made a life-changing decision to resign from my post as Creative Director of GridIron Software and return to self-employment. This was not an easy decision to make, particularly at this time of economic uncertainty but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and do what you feel is right, deep down in your heart, despite the difficulties that it may create for you along the way.

I’ve been with GridIron Software for two years, working with a fantastic team on some truly ground-breaking products. It all started at IBC 2008 when I worked with the GridIron gang for the first time. They were a great bunch of folks – a really creative and inspiring team. I was doing some freelance work for them when Steve Forde (The CEO at the time) offered me the opportunity to see if a full-time role in the software industry was something that I’d like to pursue. I couldn’t imagine a better team to test the waters with. The GridIron gang were not a typical corporate software company, they were a bunch of engineers, stars of creative media business and designers who got together to try to break the mould and create something truly unique, which they did.

Before GridIron I’d worked as a freelance designer and animator for sixteen years and before that worked at various jobs including deejay, cartoonist and modelmaker. But self-employment can be exhausting and can take its toll. You end up diversifying to make a living and I had somehow become sidetracked into spending over 50% of my time working in the software industry for folks like Adobe and Apple as a demo artist. I felt divided at the time, as if I was being a jack of all trades, trying to split my time between two related but fundamentally different careers. Neither career was getting the full attention that it needed to make it blossom and I was literally exhausted from trying to make it work. So I decided to grab the opportunity with both hands in order to find out if working full-time was really something I wanted to do. I gave up self-employment after about twenty years of being my own boss and began working as Creative Director at GrdiIron.

I have learned so much during my time at GridIron and have made some life-long friendships so I don’t regret joining one bit. I learned about marketing and was amazed to find that it was something I actually enjoyed. I did some visual UI design which was something I’d always wanted to do but never thought I could – and I loved it. I learned more about software development and how the whole process works. I wrote user guides, web content, marketing copy and collateral. I learned the importance of creating good working structures, using statistics and listening to other people’s opinions.

But I’ve also learned a lot by looking back at my previous periods self-employment from a different perspective and recognizing both the aspects that I missed, and the ones that I didn’t. I learned that I really do need to have a creative aspect to my work. I need to work with lots of inspiring people from different walks of life and from different creative industries. I want to help other creative people to succeed in what they do. But most of all I want to feel truly independent and be able to say what I want, when I want. I have so much that I want to communicate with people and I need to do it my own way. I also learned that I want these things so much that I’m prepared to take a risk. Things have certainly changed since my last period of self-employment – it’s not as easy to find work now as it was back then. But the other thing I love is a challenge. I’m going to take a bit of time out to recuperate from a very busy year, get my thoughts together and then put everything I’ve learned into action. So watch this space – here goes! Head first into the deep unknown! Wish me luck I’m going in!