Steve Kilisky's Dynamic Media Blog

March 31, 2007

Road Warrior Finds a Glow

Usually lots of travel means I have time to catch up on my trade magazine reading on those long cramped plane flights (note to self: install Contribute on my laptop). Usually I'm lugging 5 to 10 pounds of reading material. On my most recent trip the combined weight of a stack of magazines was probably 1-2 pounds. The good news was less weight, the bad news there was not enough reading material to cover my plane flight.

I wrote roughly a year ago Sign-O-the-Times about the impact the Web was having on traditional print trade magazines. The trend seems to have spread as page counts are pretty slim in almost all of the industry related publications I read as advertising budgets shring and/or shift from print to online media. On the plane I began to ponder how this change and realized that I hadn't visited the online versions of many of these publications in quite some time and that I needed to revisit them to see how their business was changing as a result of this shift.

Studio Daily was my first stop. I had noticed in the back of the magazine, a small ad about video tutorials from Trish & Chris Meyer. I looked in the Training section, but couldn't find the tutorials. I then visited the Store section and there they were. There is a free tutorial on using AE's Glow filter. and 6 additional video tutorials that cost from $4.99 to $17.99.

11:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 27, 2007

When You Reach a Fork in the Road...

Take it (You gotta love Yogi Berra).

For the last 10 years I've lived, breathed, and outfitted my wardrobe with After Effects. Some might say After Effects is more than just a software tool and that it is a drug (FXTC),a cult, or a religion; for me its been a way of life. This is one of the reasons I created this blog.

But now after a year of blogging, I feel its time to expand my view of the world beyond After Effects and look through my new pair of sunglasses (Richard T., I finally retired my Vuarnets) at the broader world of Dynamic Media. To parapharase Theodore Levitt, I asked myself; "Self, are you in the train business or the transportation business."

What this means is that as soon as I can figure out how to do it (or more likely find someone smarter than me [not too hard to do here at Adobe]), I'm going to change the name of my blog and begin to speculate, preach, ramble, and babble about not only AE (which I'm still addicted to), but also cover topics of broader interest to me (and hopefully to others).

Stay tuned... facelift about to happen.

10:51 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 3, 2007

Domo Arigato Ayato@web

I was organizing my bookmarks (mostly deleting) and came across an excellent resource for classic (pre-AE7) AE tutorials created by Ayato Fujii designer in Tokyo. His web site contains over 50 step by step tutorials on creating everything from electrocardiograms to a wide range of logo treatments. Some require 3rd party plug-ins. Despite them being based on versions prior to AE7, there are many tricks and techniques that are timeless.
8:07 AM | Permalink | No Comments

January 2, 2007

Tutorials for a New Year

I just discovered Andrew Kramer's collection of 23 AE video tutorials over at Video CoPilot. Many include project files as well. Definitely worth a look-see.
6:57 PM | Permalink | No Comments

December 22, 2006

After Effects 7.0 Studio Techniques

I was just about to shut down my computer at work for the remainder of the year when an email came in informing me that a sample chapter on the "Keys to Compositing" from Mark Christiansen's outstanding visual effects oriented After Effects 7.0 Studio Techniques was available.

Speaking of Mark; you can find his brand new blog here.

OK, now I'm really outta here for the year!

4:26 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

December 3, 2006

Aharon's Tuts

I continue to be in awe not only of how passionate AE users are of an ostensibly mature product, but also the vibrancy of the community and how many AE users take the time from their busy work lives to share their experiences and knowledge with others. It is hard to keep up. It's been a while since I've personally had a chance to watch Aharon Rabinowitz's CreativeCOW podcast tutorials, but it looks like he's been busy over the last few months sharing, and based on my previous experience and the feedback he's received on the AE COW Podcast forum, I'll go out on a safe limb and recommend them. If you don't agree that  they are valuable let me (and Aharon know). In particular, I'm curious to watch his Force Motion Blur tutorial, as I'm curious why he chose to use the CC Force MotionBlur effects instead of the Force Motion blur feature in the native Timewarp effect.

Anyway, a public thanks to Aharon for his continued contributions to the AE community.

5:16 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 30, 2006

Giving Ken Burns the 3rd Degree

Unintentionally, I goaded Bob Donlon, our resident Digital Video guru to post a 3D pan and scan tutorial (AKA Ken Burns effect) on his blog. Thanks, Bob!

Out of the blue this morning, in between keeping up with the Phillies attempt to make the playoffs (wishful thinking) I was going through my bookmarks and stumbled across an excellent 3D PIcture Trick" tutorial by Daniel Brown, a former resident Digital Video chef, inspired by the amazing 2D into 3D work of Patrick Siemer.

In addition to this tutorial, there are some additional tips and trick for AE users on the Adobe Evangelists site (although mostly geared to AE 6.5 and earlier), however, if you are an avid Photoshop user, there is a copious amount of excellent info provided by Julieanne Kost, Adobe's resident Graphic Arts guru (she keeps Russell Brown on his toes).

11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

September 18, 2006

3 free Lessons from AE Classroom in a Book (CIB)

Short entry today.

The Adobe Design Center is one of those resources that I sense not many people use that is chock full of goodness. I just noticed that 3 chapters from the AE CIB including source files are posted here.

A review of the CIB by Aanarav Sareen appears on CreativeCOW.

Happy keystroking.

6:10 PM | Permalink | No Comments

March 17, 2006

Vectorized Video Tutorial

Several people have asked me at launch events how we created the vectorized video of a DJ spinning turntables. I told them, it was done using AE and the livetrace feature in Illustrator, but this brief answer probably wasn't sufficient for someone to figure out how to do it themselves.

Well lo and behold, over on the CreativeCOW, Aharon Rabinowitz must be a mind reader because he created an in depth 3 part video cartoonization tutorial on creating this pseudo "Waking Life" look. It is long, but well worth the time. Tutorial also includes sample project files. One of the cool things about this is that once it is vectorized, you can continously rasterize it and scale it to any resolution.

Thanks Aharon.

6:02 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

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.

5:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 5, 2006

Sharing from Trish & Chris

There are quite a few After Effects users who generously share their knowledge and talents to help others get the most out of After Effects and expose us to cool techniques and creative ideas. Trish and Chris Meyer have been using AE from the very beginning and going as far back as the old CoSA forum on AOL have been contributing to the AE community. Their Web site has comprehensive library of articles and tutorials. While some of them were written several years ago, most of the topics and techniques are timeless and still relevant today.

10:01 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 17, 2006

After Effects 7.0 Classroom in a Book Now Available

The After Effects 7.0 Classroom In A Book was released this week. It contains all new lessons, and for the first time covers Pro version features such as Keying, Tracking and Timewarp. You can view the Table of Contents to get a better sense of what is covered. Unlike the previous edition, each lesson is self-contained and allows you to create a finished result at the end of the lesson.

My thanks to Mark Christiansen, Takeshi Hiraoka, Stephen Schleicher, and Anna Ullrich, for the lessons they contributed; to Andrew Faulkner and Anita Dennis for pulling it all together; and to Christine Yarrow for letting me meddle, and turning me on to Sambar.

6:52 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

February 13, 2006

After Effects 7.0 HDR & OpenGL Tutorials

Brian Maffitt's latest episode on the Guru Lounge is an excellent introduction on how HDR is relevant for a non-film based workflow.

Over on Creative COW, Mylenium walks through the OpenGL fidelity improvements added in After Effects 7.0

5:34 PM | Permalink | No Comments

January 20, 2006

After Effects 7.0 Tutorials

It is amazing to see how many tutorials have been created already for After Effects 7.0. Thanks to all of our users who invested time creating these to help support this release. Here is a list of the tutorials I am aware of at the moment. Let me know if you know of others:

John Dickinson on Creative COW
AE7 User Interface Tour

Stephen Schleicher on Animation Artist
Timewarp Tutorial

In addition a selection of new tutorials have been added to the Adobe Resource Center (search on After Effects).

11:47 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]