Tracking in Mocha: The must-have 2020 skill upgrade

Editors, mograph artists, and VFX artists all need to track objects. What if in 20 minutes you could learn to track in Mocha, the undisputed champ of tracking software? While there are always plenty of skills to add to your workflow, planar tracking in Mocha is one that can instantly unlock extra client work that you […]

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After Effects Classic Course: 3D Camera Tricks

After Effects' Unified Camera Tool

After Effects CS4 saw a pair of updates that made it easier to manipulate and keyframe its 3D camera. The keyframing trick also made it easier to create animations that were very hard to pull off with traditional Position keyframes. Separate XYZ After Effects’ Position keyframes normally bundle X, Y, and Z position data – […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Cartoon Effect, Bilateral Blur, and Turbulent Noise

An application of the After Effects Cartoon Effect

A major part of After Effects has always been its effects plug-ins. It used to be common for new versions to introduce new effects. Here we’ll take deep dives into three effects that were introduced in After Effects CS4: Cartoon Effect, Bilateral Blur, and Turbulent Noise. The first two are great for creating stylized looks […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Wiggle Transform for Shape Layers

AE's Wiggle Transform animates each pedal of this flower automatically.

For the next few months, we’re going to be working our way through various “new features” courses we created in the past for LinkedIn Learning & Lynda.com, covering features added since Creative Suite 4 – just in case you missed them. We’re going to be grouping them by the version they were added to (starting […]

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The top 7 After Effects scripts you should be using

Ever get that feeling while working in After Effects that you’re doing things the slow way? Enter the magic of scripts. Scripts save you from death by a thousand clicks (well, maybe carpal tunnel anyway). They automate functions and provide tools to put more focus on the creative decisions, and less on the technical ones. […]

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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 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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DUIK Bassel: The Premiere Animation Toolkit for Mograph Artists

If you’re an After Effects artist toying with the idea of creating character-driven animation, the free but powerful DUIK should probably be your first port of call. With the recent release of DUIK ‘Bassel,’ primary developer Nicolas Dufresne (aka Duduf) has redesigned the interface and functionality of DUIK to create a modern, robust bone-based animation […]

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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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After Effects Classic Course: Light Transmission

3D Lighting is probably one of the more underused creative tools in Adobe After Effects. It’s not just for lighting complex 3D worlds; it can also be used to add “sexiness” to flat 2D sources such as videos. One of the more advanced 3D lighting tricks is “light transmission” – using the colors present in one […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Hot Looks from Floating Point

We’ve finished with posting movies on individual After Effects plug-ins from our Insight Into Effects course, and are turning our attention back to learning features. To this end, we’re going to be posting sets of movies that focus on individual features that are taken from several of our “retired” courses. These are features that might […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Remove Color Matting

One of the tell-tale signs of a good composite versus a bad composite is the quality of the edges around the foreground layer. For example, it may contain some color contamination from the background it was originally shot against, which can prevent it from seamlessly melting into the new background you are trying to place […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Color Stabilizer

While discussing color-oriented plug-in effects, one of the more common tasks we’ve covered is fixing color imbalances in an image. Well, what do you do if that imbalance changes over time? You can keyframe your changes to match the changes in the footage and hope you don’t get odd pulsing or flickering…or in some cases, […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Solid Composite

In the previous post we showed you how to use a Solid layer plus Blending Modes to tint an image. Well, a clever plug-in developer decided to encapsulate this trick into an effect, and then extend what it can so. The result is Solid Composite, and it was one of our “secret weapons” when using […]

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After Effects Classic Course: Tinting with Solids & Shape Layers

In the previous post we showed you how to use Photo Filter, which is an extremely easy color tinting effect. However, you don’t even need to use a plug-in to get this result; you can get the exact same effect using Solids and Blending Modes.  For an advanced version of this trick, it is worth […]

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