Now that Shatter is included in the filter set of After Effects 5.5, many users are asking how to use this effect. In this tutorial, Ben Unguren demonstrates a very simple technique to help get you started with Shatter.
A key to making Shatter work the way you want is to use a gradient layer, or a separate layer that tells the Shattter effect how to behave (this will make more sense later on). You can make your gradient layer in Photoshop, Illustrator, or another graphic program, then import the file into After Effects. You can also make the layer in After Effects itself, which it what we will do:
Open After Effects
Make a new Composition (Composition New Composition...)
Name your new comp ramp, choose the Medium, 320x240 preset, and set your duration to about 10 seconds:
In your new ramp composition, create a new Solid (Layer New Solid...)
Name your Solid ramp and click Make Comp Size. Click OK.
Apply the Ramp filter to your Solid (Effect Render Ramp)
For now, leave all the effects settings as they are. Your gradient is complete:
MAKE YOUR LAYER TO BE SHATTERED
The Shatter effect, well, shatters a layer. Therefore, we are going to make something for it to shatter. For this tutorial (as the above movie shows) we are going to shatter text. We will make this in After Effects again, though again you can make this layer in another graphics program like Photoshop or Illustrator.
Make another new Composition (Composition New Composition...)
Name it text, choose the Medium 320x240 preset again, and click OK.
In your text composition, create a new Solid. (Layer New Solid...)
Name your Solid text and click Make Comp Size, just as before. Click OK
To your text Solid, apply the Basic Text effect (Effect Text Basic Text)
In the window that appears, type in a nice message and click OK:
Adjust the Basic Text Settings as desired (try to fill as much of the screen as possible for this exercise):
Creative Fireworks in Adobe After Effects Play Video Rob Mize shares his techniques for using After Effects to create a variety of fireworks displays. All you need is CC Particle World, a few expressions and a reason to celebrate and you can light up your world with dazzling pyrotechnic effects.
Frequent COW Contributing Editor Kevin P. McAuliffe reviews the latest version of GenArts Sapphire plug-in effects filters for both Adobe After Effects and Avid AVX versions, with ratings for current and new Sapphire users. Kevin also observes Sapphire's ability to plug into other NLEs and finishing systems, and takes a closer look at its licensing options, including purchasing, monthly rental and site licenses. You'll definitely want to see the latest and greatest of what this must-have software package has to offer.
AE - RE:MATCH Non-matching Cameras in After Effects Play Video In this tutorial, Andrew Devis demonstrates a relatively new plug-in by RE:Vision Effects called RE:Match and how it can very quickly and accurately deal with the very common problem of non-matching cameras in After Effects.
A typical approach to dealing with say a white balance issue would be to apply Color Finesse 3 and work with that which can be a slightly convoluted process, while RE:Match deals with the whole thing in a couple of clicks!
This very powerful effect can save a great deal of time for an everyday problem and so earn its cost back very quickly as well as giving excellent and fast results.
There is another tutorial showing how this effect works in Premiere Pro as there is a slightly different way the two applications deal with reference images.
IK Character Animation: Walk to the Beat 1: Finding the Beat Play Video This tutorial is both a follow-on tutorial to Andrew's previous tutorials on IK controllers in After Effects and a helpful stand-alone tutorial showing how to define a beat range to use as a guide to animation in After Effects.
To start with Andrew shows how to use a simple expression to deal with a potential problem of controllers scaling your objects. Then Andrew shows how to find and download sample music which can be used to base your animation on. He goes on to discuss the difficulty of matching frame rates with audio sample rate and then shows how to get a reasonably close 'loop' in both After Effects and especially in Audition.
AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation Play Video Standard character animation in After Effects uses a process called 'Forward Kinematics' in that we animate down a linked chain - for example, upper arm linked to forearm linked to hand. To get animation we need to move the items down the chain one at a time. Inverse Kinematics creates a link back up the chain such that moving the hand would also move the forearm and the upper arm without breaking that link. This is a simpler and easier to control form of animation often used in 3D programs such as C4D and 3ds max etc. and allows us to control the animation for the complete chain through a single controller.
AE: Inverse Kinematic Character Animation PT 2 Play Video Standard character animation in After Effects uses a process called 'Forward Kinematics' in that we animate down a linked chain - for example, upper arm linked to forearm linked to hand. To get animation we need to move the items down the chain one at a time. Inverse Kinematics creates a link back up the chain such that moving the hand would also move the forearm and the upper arm without breaking that link. This is a simpler and easier way to control animation and is often used in 3D programs such as C4D and 3ds max etc. and allows us to control the animation for the complete chain through a single controller.
Kevin McAuliffe's experience has been that all editors need to know Adobe After Effects at least as well as their NLE. His own experience has been that anything less than intermediate to advanced knowledge makes it impossible to actually get anything done. Even working with the compositing power of Avid Symphony, Kevin is in AE all day, every day. Here's the story of how he got there.
"I don't know if it's addiction or adoration, but one way or the other, I'm hooked on her," says Creative COW's Rob Mize. "The signs are all there: the obsession with After Effects, the inability to function without After Effects there next to me on my laptop, waiting to be clicked. And the torment of each moment spent suffering any separation from my cherished compositor. Is it any wonder that I, a once innocent naïf in an analog world, now find myself enraptured by this non-linear, digital Delilah?"