September, 2010 Archives
Adam Shaening-Pokrasso presents a seven-part video tutorial series that introduces After Effects for beginners. This series is a single multi-part hands-on tutorial with downloadable exercise files, so it’s especially good for people who learn by doing.
I’ve added this tutorial series to the resources that I recommend in my overview post for beginners: “Getting started with After Effects”.
One of the things that makes this series stand out from other tutorials is that it spends a lot of time on fundamentals of animation and motion graphics, not just on the specific features of After Effects, and not just on the creation of a specific result or look. These fundamentals can be used every day, for every project. This is real teaching.
Here’s a quick summary of the highlights of what each episode shows, with links to pages in After Effects Help that give more detail about each subject:
- Episode 1, Animation and compositing basics
- Episode 2, Animation technique and keyframe interpolation
- Episode 3, Masking and duplicating layers
- Episode 4, Parenting
- Episode 5, Precompositions and master compositions
- Episode 6, Photoshop to After Effects workflow
- Episide 7, Final touches and rendering
It’s my pleasure to introduce my replacement in the role of “Community and Content Lead” (otherwise known as “documentation lead”) for After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder.
I asked Kevin if he minded me sharing his email address with y’all, as I have done with my own, and he said that he’d like to continue the pattern of openness. So, here it is: kmonahan -at- adobe -dot- com
Kevin is especially interested in continuing the process of finding, linking to, and enabling the great tutorials, articles, and other resources that can add to the system of resources that can be used to learn After Effects.
Of course, the best way to give feedback about the After Effects Help document is still to add a comment at the bottom of the relevant page. You can add comments to add information, to add links, to make corrections, or to ask for clarification. Here’s a reminder of the various ways to give feedback about After Effects.
UPDATE: The After Effects CS5 (10.0.2) update is now available.
Today, the After Effects CS5 (10.0.1) update was released.
Ideally, you should check for and install updates by choosing Help > Updates from within After Effects (or another CS5 application).
You can also download the update packages from the download pages for Windows or Mac OS, using the “Adobe After Effects 10.0.1 update” link. The links are not at the top of the page, where I expected to find them.
Important: You must choose the correct patcher based on your original installation type: use the “Electronic Download” update package if you installed from a download; use the “Retail DVD” update package if you installed from a disc. (I found it confusing that the word ‘trial’ appears in the file name of the “Electronic Download” package, but that is indeed the correct package for updating the full version.)
You should also install the Adobe Media Encoder CS5 (5.0.1) update. Adobe Media Encoder got some bug fixes and additional formats and export settings presets, including several for F4V and FLV formats.
If you use Premiere Pro, you should also install the Premiere Pro CS5 (5.0.2) update.
If you have any problems with this update, or if you have bugs to report after applying the update, let us know by sending feedback or coming to the After Effects forum. Don’t ask questions in the comments on this blog post, which fewer people will see.
new and changed features
- There were several fixes and improvements for RED (R3D) import and workflow. See the last section of this post for details.
- The Apply Color LUT effect can now use .3dl files with floating point values or 3DMESH/Mesh keywords, or those saved from an ASSIMILATE SCRATCH system (i.e., that have SCRATCH in the comments at the top of the file).
- QuickTime (.mov) files from JVC solid-state cameras can be imported.
- The standalone Adobe Media Encoder (AME) application can export MXF files containing MPEG-2 essence items that comply with the XDCAM HD format used by such systems as Avid Unity. Because you can use the standalone AME application to render and export After Effects compositions, this feature extends to After Effects.
Here’s a partial list of things that we fixed.
Note that we were able to find and fix a lot of these problems because of the great feedback that we got when we asked people to use the crash reporter. Please keep doing so. And don’t hesitate to file bugs and send feature requests.
- When using AIFF source audio, RAM previews and rendered and exported audio were scrambled or jumped around. (See this Technical Support document.)
- Apply Color LUT effect rendered IRIDAS .cube 1D LUT files (containing LUT_1D_SIZE keyword) incorrectly.
- A bug in the 10.0.0 implementation of the Apply Color LUT effect for .cube files caused the R and B channels to be swapped for one another. A common workaround for this bug was to use two instances of the Shift Channels effect, one before the Apply Color LUT effect and one after, to swap the channels into the right order. With the 10.0.1 update, .cube files are correctly interpreted and no longer require this workaround. To preserve the function of projects that use the workaround, the fix to the Apply Color LUT effect is implemented in a new minor version of the effect. Existing 10.0.0 projects will render the same, because they continue to use the old version of the effect; you do not need to remove Shift Channels. Copying/pasting, duplicating, or applying an animation preset saved using these existing applications of Apply Color LUT will render in the old way. Newly applied instances of the Apply Color LUT effect will use the new version of the effect and will not require the workaround. You can identify the old version by its version number, 1.0, in the effect’s About box. The new version of the Apply Color LUT effect has a version number of 1.1.
(Note: If you no longer want to use the Shift Channels workaround for existing projects, you must delete and then reapply the Apply Color LUT effect.)
- When initiating a RAM preview, After Effects said that the composition must have 2 or more frames to work (“After effects error : Ram preview needs 2 or more frames to playback.”), but purging the cache allows it to work.
- Crash on start due to bad fonts.
- Crash using
setProxyToNonemethod for footage item in script
- Crash importing Sony XDCAM HD footage from Sony XDCAM Transfer application.
- Slow playback of compositions containing several layers based on video footage items, especially for long-GOP footage from DSLR cameras.
- MPEG files with
vbv_buffer_size_extensionvalue set were coming in at 2/3 the expected frame rate.
- Crash on quit when not saving changes to an untitled (not saved) project after Auto-save interval has passed.
- Crash scrubbing in Timeline panel if OpenGL rendering used for previews.
- Crash duplicating a layer after RAM previewing in the Layer panel, with disk cache on.
- Couldn’t import DPX image sequence either manually or with Automatic Duck Pro Import AE if GlueTools is installed.
- OpenGL error interrupted render: “AE_OpenGL: Unexpected Condition: No active gl context for line drawing”.
- After Effects hung when unfreezing a precomposed layer with Roto Brush effect (with Refine Matte enabled) on it. Also, freeze could sometimes stop when calculating the backward-propagating part of a span.
- Crash when copying and pasting Roto Brush effect to text or shape layer.
- Crash on start after creating a custom workspace if Project panel was undocked and Brushes panel was opened in the last workspace.
- Couldn’t snap keyframes or layer markers (using Shift-drag) to layer, current-time indicator, or work area at start of composition.
- Crash when using a PNG file with path name longer than 256 characters.
- Couldn’t auto-scroll in the Composition or Layer panel when dragging a UI item (e.g., track point or mask vertex) off the edge of the panel.
- Colors rendered incorrectly with Avid DNxHD and AJA2vuy codecs in 16bpc and 32bpc projects.
- QuickTime movies using PhotoJPEG codec with large frame sizes created by After Effects CS4 or earlier rendered with large color shifts in Premiere Pro CS5 or After Effects CS5.
- QuickTime movies using Blackmagic RGB 10bit codec rendered with color shift or gamma shift.
- Standard-definition-sized H.264 movies were imported with color space interpreted as HDTV (Rec. 709) instead of SDTV (Rec. 601 NTSC).
bug fixes and updates for third-party software
Here is a partial list of the bugs fixed in these updated third-party software components:
- mocha-AE: Issues with QuickTime-related crashes, performance on Windows, and miscellaneous incorrect behaviors.
- Color Finesse 3: Gallery pane didn’t update after saving a color preset using the button in the Gallery.
- Color Finesse 3: Various hangs.
- Color Finesse 3: Black and white film profiles were not enabling effect tab, leaving view in color.
- Color Finesse 3: Color Match button sometimes failed.
- Color Finesse 3: (Windows only) Gallery items were not being loaded.
- Color Finesse 3: (Windows only) Taskbar icon was not appearing.
- Color Finesse 3: (Windows only) Couldn’t type a decimal point in numeric fields in Full Interface.
- Color Finesse 3: Incorrectly accepted Color Finesse 2 serial number.
- Color Finesse 3: Exported Truelight .cube file would show a yellow tint when used in Nuke.
- Crash in CC Particle World effect
- Crash in CC Glass Wipe effect
- Couldn’t uncheck the RGB Only option in CC Composite effect after reopening the project or when duplicating the effect.
After Effects CS5 (10.0.1) includes Color Finesse 3.0.1. Synthetic Aperture is currently providing an update to version 3.0.2. If you installed Color Finesse 3.0.2 or later, then install the After Effects CS5 (10.0.1) update, then you will need to reinstall the newer version of Color Finesse. The preferred order is to install After Effects CS5 (10.0.1) and then install the Color Finesse 3.0.2 update.
other software updates known to address crashing problems with After Effects
If you use the Optical Flares plug-in, be sure to update it to the most recent version.
If you use After Effects on Mac OSX v10.6.4, be sure to apply the graphics update from Apple.
We have also been working with several providers of plug-ins, codecs, and hardware devices (such as Cineform and BlackMagic) to assist them in updating their software to fix some errors and crashes. Please take this opportunity to download and install updated codecs, plug-ins, and drivers from these providers, as relevant to your work.
See the After Effects 10.0.1 release notes for other known issues. (The release notes might not be available yet at the time that you’re reading this.)
- Possible hang on start if firewall or other software (such as ZoneAlarm or FileMaker) blocks communication with After Effects and related components. (See this Technical Support document for more information and solutions.)
- Blocky artifacts in RGB color channels using Canon 5D MKII footage.
- BMP footage in a CS4 project opens as missing footage. Workaround: Relink footage after opening.
- “Unexpected data type” error when opening a project containing instances of an effect for which the plug-in is not installed. See this forum thread for a workaround.
updates for RED (R3D) footage and new REDCODE plug-ins
- Updated support for build 30 (Mysterium-X sensor, new color science) support: This is the same support that’s available as the RED3 Importer prerelease available on the Adobe Labs website. The difference is that the new RED importer software is installed with the After Effects 10.0.1 update, so you don’t need to install the importer plug-in from the Labs website. For more information about changes and bug fixes in this importer, and how to make it work, see this blog post about the updated RED importer.
Note: If you save a project using R3D files from After Effects 10.0.1 and then open the same project in After Effects 10.0.0, R3D footage items in that project will be reset to default source settings. After Effects 10.0.0 uses an older version of the RED importer plug-in. Also, After Effects CS4 and After Effects CS5 (version 10.0.0) projects that use color science version 1 will use the new color science (version 2) when opened using After Effects CS5 (10.0.1). If you are using R3D footage in a multiple-machine environment, make sure all machines are using the same version of After Effects.
- Initial support for RMD metadata sidecar files: RED (R3D) video files can store settings in RMD (RED metadata) sidecar files. After Effects 10.0.1 introduces a Save RMD button in the lower right of the RED R3D Source Settings dialog box, with which you can save the current settings in the dialog box to an RMD sidecar file. You can also load or reload a sidecar file and set the settings in the dialog box to those in the sidecar file by clicking the Reload From RMD button. If there is no RMD sidecar file associated with the video file, the Reload From RMD button resets the settings to the defaults.
- Support for RED Rocket cards: RED Rocket cards are optional cards that can accelerate decoding and debayering of RED (R3D) files. To tell After Effects to make use of an installed RED Rocket card, use the Enable RED Rocket (Global Setting) menu in the RED (R3D) Source Settings dialog box. The options are None, One, and All. The One and All settings refer to the maximum number that will be used by After Effects; if fewer are available, then only the available number will be used. If another application acquires the ROCKET card before After Effects does, After Effects does not display a message at launch that it will fall back to software (non-ROCKET) rendering.
Note: If you installed the RED3 Importer from the Adobe Labs website, the After Effects 10.0.1 update will update the plug-in, but an uninstallation of After Effects will leave a partial copy of the Adobe After Effects CS5.app application. It is safe to delete this .app file.
When Stephen van Vuuren started to make an IMAX movie in his basement, he hit a few obstacles. He documented these obstacles in a series of blog posts with the title “11 reasons NOT to make an IMAX art film in your basement”. The one most relevant to the point of my post here is “#5: It’s HUGE!!!”.
Making a 5.6K (i.e., ~5,600 pixels wide) movie in After Effects CS3 and After Effects CS4 was not really feasible, especially doing so at a color depth of 32 bits per pixel (bpc). The dreaded “image buffer error” was a constant companion.
Stephen has said that After Effects CS5 made his movie possible because as a 64-bit application, After Effects CS5 can address much more RAM and therefore hold entire large frames in memory for processing.
As you can see here, things are coming along quite nicely.
We are so very, very glad to have helped you to realize your vision, Stephen. Your movie is the kind of thing that makes me do the job that I do.