After Effects & Performance. Part 7: Introducing AErender

When you install After Effects, Adobe also installs a separate program that can vastly improve productivity.  You already have it.  It’s there on your hard drive, right next to the main After Effects program.  Even if you already know about it, there’s a good chance you’re not using it.  It’s a standalone After Effects rendering […]

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After Effects & Performance. Part 6: Begun, the core wars have…

When we look back over the last 25 years of After Effects’ history, and how its performance has evolved, we can see a few key milestones. The years 2006, 2010 and 2015 proved to be hugely significant. In this article, we’re going to look at what happened in 2006 to make it such a landmark […]

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Faking 3D in After Effects

3D is ever present in the motion graphics world. It’s also hard to learn and, occasionally, overkill. That’s where moviola.com comes in. This week, we explore the different methods of creating 3D effects within After Effects to save you that extra bit of time and effort. These days, every motion graphics spot seems to require […]

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After Effects & Performance. Part 5: Introducing the CPU

Introducing the CPU – Confusing Products, Unfortunately… At the heart of every modern computer is the CPU – the central processing unit.  For several decades the CPU has been the main focus of the computer, with the name of the CPU sometimes used as the name for the computer itself.  In the 1990s Windows users […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Extended Vignette Techniques (part 3)

A potential problem with creating a vignette to focus the viewer’s attention on an area of the frame: What if the camera wasn’t locked down, and instead moves a bit, causing your focal point to wander around inside your vignette? Or what if your focal point wanders a bit themselves? One answer is to stabilize […]

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After Effects & Performance. Part 4: Bottlenecks and busses

Have you ever wished that After Effects was a bit faster? I’m guessing that every After Effects user has stared at the blue rendering bar hoping for a miracle.  Let’s assume you’ve got a modest budget to spend on either a new computer system, or upgrading the one you’ve got.  How best to spend the […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Extended Vignette Techniques (part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, we started talking about creating vignettes to subtly focus the viewer’s attention where you want in a video frame. This post covers “chapter 2” of that course, which discussed extended techniques such as using color, and applying the treatment to multiple layers at once. 2.1 Colorization & Blending Modes Traditionally, […]

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After Effects & Performance. Part3: It’s numbers, all the way down

If you’re reading this then you’re probably an After Effects user, and if you’re an After Effects user then you’re probably working in a creative industry.  And if you’re creative – however loosely the term is applied – then there’s a good chance you’re not a huge fan of maths.  This poses something of a […]

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After Effects & Performance. Part 2: What After Effects actually does

When discussing the history of After Effects and performance, there’s one single, critical, all encompassing factor that we have to begin with: what After Effects actually does.  Perhaps more significantly: what After Effects was designed to do. In part two of this series, we’re looking at two main points.  The first is to establish the […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Extended Vignette Techniques (part 1)

In both video editing and motion graphics, the goal is to focus the viewer’s attention in a certain place – on an actor’s face, on a company’s logo, etc. It is known that we notice and “read” bright areas in an image before the dark areas. A classy, subtle but effective way to darken the areas […]

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The November 2019 release of Adobe Premiere Pro and the other Adobe Video Apps is here

It’s Monday of Adobe MAX 2019 so that must mean new and cool stuff for the Adobe video tools. After a quiet IBC where Adobe’s focus was less on new features and more on performance, Adobe MAX brings us a new release of Premiere Pro that delivers Auto Reframe as well as a few other […]

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After Effects & Performance. Part1: In search of perfection

Introducing the Introduction When it comes to After Effects, “performance” is a complicated topic.  The notion of performance affects every single After Effects user, and yet it’s one of the most divisive, nuanced, problematic and downright misunderstood subjects to discuss. Have you ever thought After Effects felt “slow”? Have you ever tried to choose the […]

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Watchtower – Automatically load media into your Premiere Pro or After Effects bins

I’ve always thought that one of the most useful features a non-linear editing tool could add would be watch folder functionality that would monitor folders on your system and then automatically load media into your project whenever anything was added to those folders at the Finder or Explorer system level. It could potentially save a […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Set Matte versus Track Matte

One of the most useful compositing features in After Effects is the ability to use the properties of one layer to create transparency (an alpha channel) for a second layer. To do this, many use the Track Matte feature that’s available in the Timeline. However, there is also an effect plug-in – Set Matte – which […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Set Channels & Shift Channels

Earlier this year, we talked about the Photoshop skill known as “ChOps” – Channel Operations, where you manipulate individual color channels to perform a series of specialized treatments. In that post, we focused on the Channel Combiner plug-in. However, there are two other plug-ins in After Effects that also give you access to individual color […]

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