TypeMonkey After Effects Script

typemonkeyartA big part of motion graphics for worship is animated type.  Whether it’s lyrics to a song or a powerful Bible verse, at some point you’ll want to create moving text.  While there are some great presets built into After Effects I just found out about a script add-on that takes it to the next level.

TypeMonkey is a script for After Effects that takes the tedious process of animating a lot of text and makes it easy and quick!  It offers a lot of cool features and has a lot of options making it pretty versatile.  Now it’s not a cure all, but it looks like it’s something that will work well in a lot of cases.

Head on over to AEScripts.com and check out TypeMonkey.  It’s on sale until the end of the month!

Cinema 4D And After Effects

433505036_640I’ve been using Adobe Creative Cloud for about a year now.  For a flat fee monthly subscription I get every Adobe product.  It’s awesome!  Instead of forking out thousands of dollars for everything, and then paying for upgrades every year, I pay one flat fee and I always have the latest and greatest.

And it’s that last part that makes CC awesome.  The newest big upgrade to After Effects is its deep integration with Cinema 4D using a new plugin Cineware.  If you don’t know Cinema 4D is a high end 3D program.  It’s been used in lots of movies and TV programs.  It also has a lot of motion graphics uses.

Like any program there’s a learning curve but it is one of the industry standard 3D programs and it’s not exorbitantly priced so it’s a good one to learn.  Since it is a standard there are many resources out there to learn from.  GreyscaleGorilla.com is one worth checking out.

With the recent CC upgrade After Effects now comes with Cinema 4D Lite, for free!  With the Lite version you get a lot of features and you can get your feet wet in the world of 3D software without any extra investment.

Cineware eliminates the need to render out before sending things to After Effects.  This makes the whole process a lot faster and a lot easier!  Plus if you need to make a change you just go back to Cinema 4D and make the change.  Those changes then go to After Effects in real time, no re-rendering!

While you may not use Cinema 4D for everything it is very powerful.  Even if you’re not making 3D movies it’s still a great compositing tool for creating stills.  Once you try it and learn the basics you’ll find lots of uses for it.

On a side note I recently made a couple of things with Cinema 4D, check them out!

Where To Crank, Red Black

Element 3D Is Out!

Video Copilot’s Element 3D plugin for After Effects is now out!  I’ve talked about it a little already and there’s plenty of information on their website but basically it’s true 3D inside of After Effects.  There are some limitations but for motion graphics and title work it does 90% of what you would want a dedicated 3D program for.

I’ve only been playing around with it for a little bit now and it’s really cool.  It’s pretty easy to create some nice graphics and animations.  You can check out all of the Element 3D tutorials here and get the idea of what it can do.  The different software packages are available here.

Blender 3D Program

If you’re like me you occasionally need to do something in a 3D program but you don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars.  I want a 3D program I just can’t justify that kinda money, I don’t need it that much.

In going through the tutorials on VideoCopilot.net I learned about Blender.  Blender is a free 3D program and a pretty sophisticated one at that.  Even thought it’s free you still get a complete 3D toolset with materials and physics, pretty impressive.

I may dive into it deeper but for now I’m just using it as a tool to help composite in After Effects.  Using blender I can create some true 3D title graphics or create and edit other 3D objects to export into AE.  If I get real courageous I may use it to create some better models for when I use Light Converse.  I need some better people models in there.

That’s it, I’m not familiar enough with it to show a tutorial or anything but there are already plenty of resources out there for that.  It’s available on Mac and PC, go ahead and download it here.

Element 3D After Effects Plugin

VideoCopilot has been a great resource for me to learn After Effects and start to create my own motion graphics.  They also make some great tools for compositing and motion graphics.  I like to support sites like them so I’ve purchased many of their products.  It’s not out of charity completely, they really have good stuff that improves my work.  Plus supporting them keeps the tutorials coming.

Now they’re close to releasing a new plugin called Element 3D.  This product helps bridge the gap between 3D created in a dedicated 3D app and the control of keeping everything inside of After Effects.  Plus the approach they are taking to 3D should keep things very fast when it comes time to render.

The traditional workflow would be to create a 3D object in a 3D program, render it out, then bring it into After Effects.  If  you need to tweak or adjust the 3D object you would need to go back into your 3D program, edit, render, re-import. That will still be necessary for really intense scenes but it’s a lot of extra work when you just want to create 3D text and simple shapes.  That’s where Element 3D will help bridge the gap and keep you working inside of After Effects.

It’s not out for another week, personally I can’t wait to get it and play around with 3D inside After Effects!  Price will be very reasonable, I think I heard $150, but don’t quote me on that.

Update:  They announced pricing today.  $150 for the plugin alone up to $250 for the plugin and some extra presets and models, very reasonable.  They also released a video showing off some features and the user interface, looks really good!  Check it out here.

Update 2:  More information!  It’s available tomorrow, 7/10/12.  There’s more bundles, some more tutorials, it really does look sweet!  Check out the latest update.

VideoCopilot.net After Effects Training

I’ve been wanting to learn After Effects for a while now.  Now that we’re getting closer to getting our environmental projection setup I want to be able to create our own custom content when we can’t find something we like that’s already on content sites.

Adobe After Effects is an extremely powerful tool to create some motion graphics and cool videos in general.  Learning it though can be a little intimidating though when you’re starting from scratch.  When I decided to learn After Effects I stumbled across VideoCopilot.net.

VideoCopilot.net has been an awesome resource to learn After Effects in a fun way.  The guy teaching is pretty funny and knows his stuff.  Everything is done through videos and they even supply project files to use in the tutorials.  If you never have used After Effects before then start with the Basic Training series and go from there.

They even provide free files where you can just plug in your text or graphics and have really nice title graphics with almost no effort.  They also have some great products of their own that help support the site and keep the training free.

I’ve also ordered Adobe’s classroom in a book training for After Effects.  That will help cover some of the topics and basics that VideoCopilot doesn’t.  I used one of their books when I first learned Photoshop and they’re great.