Steve Kilisky's Dynamic Media Blog

March 9, 2006

Express Yourself

You know how one thing leads to another...

I wanted to spend some time boning up (ever wonder where that term comes from?) on the competition and somehow I wound up at Digital Tutors Web site which was a new discovery in itself for me, and I saw they offered free (well almost free if you don't consider watching a commercial before the content a price to pay) tutorial videos on After Effects.

Not to repeat an earlier blog entry, but expressions is one of the most powerful features in After Effects that gets underutilized because of its mathematical and programmatic nature. I thought their expressions tutorial movie, on using expression controls to create a single location to modify effects applied to multiple layers was a excellent example of tapping into the power of expressions without having to understand javascript.

Even though the tutorial was created using an earlier version of After Effects, the principles are still relevant in AE7 and the good news is that in After Effects 7.0 we added a feature so that you can now rename your layer and effect controllers after you've created the expression and the expression will auto-update (so if you are using AE7, you can ignore the part of the movie where the expression breaks).

Note: I haven't checked out their other free tutorials or their commercial products, so please don't take this as endorsement for Digital Tutors, but the expression tutorial was a good one.

Posted by Steve Kilisky at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2006

Comments

Andrew — 9:37 AM on April 5, 2006

"we added a feature so that you can now rename your layer and effect controllers after you've created the expression and the expression will auto-update"

I was wondering to myself the other day if v7 adressed this differently than 6.5, now I have my answer. I've just recently began exploring expressions, and this one gets me all the time in 6.5. Kudos to you guys for making that change, I'll have to upgrade now!

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