Tag Archives: After Effects

Illustrator HD templates

I thought I’d share these handy HDTV templates I created for Adobe Illustrator CC 2014. They probably work just fine in previous versions, though I haven’t tested them. Many video artists find the transparency grid distracting and difficult to design against. We’re used to working over solid black canvases in most NLEs and compositing apps. These templates use a dark gray background instead of black so you don’t miss that errant default black stroke outlining your text.

Just download and uncompress the zip file.


Click to download

Drag the contents to the path below.  path

Layer management in After Effects

Lloyd Alvarez posted this incredibly useful script at AEScripts.com. My one beef with After Effects over the years has been how difficult it is to manage layers in the timeline. Using the simple concept of tags, this script makes layer management much easier.

Working around QT 7.4 After Effects error

As noted nearly everywhere motion graphics artists congregate on the web including here, QuickTime 7.4 and After Effects don’t play nicely together. Apparently Apple’s movie rental DRM scheme is the culprit. Any QuickTime render from After Effects that requires more than 10 minutes will generate a permissions error.

There are two obvious options to address the issue:

  1. Downgrade to QuickTime 7.3
  2. Render an image sequence and then piece that sequence together in either QuickTime Pro or After Effects.

I’m not a huge fan of downgrading because you just never know if you’re going to break something in the process. If 7.4 is working for you aside from this pesky After Effects error, you might want to try this work around. It adds an extra step in After Effects, but it works. Follow these steps:

  1. When it comes time to render your After Effects composition, take that composition and nest it in another composition with the same settings by dragging the composition to the New Composition icon in the Project window.
  2. Select the original composition in the project window.
  3. Go to the Composition menu and select Pre-Render. The original composition has now been added to your Render Queue.
  4. In the Render Queue, edit the Output Module settings so that you are creating an image sequence. (I like .psd files for this because the file sizes are reasonable and the files are written quickly.)
  5. Now add the new sequence with the original sequence nested in it to your Render Queue. Set its Output Module to the desired QuickTime settings. Since this sequence will render in much less than 10 minutes, you should have no problem getting a valid QT movie out of After Effects without reverting to an earlier version of QuickTime.

This adds just a couple of minutes to your total render time, and you can leave After Effects to do its thing with a long render without having to manually piece the image sequence together in QuickTime Pro.

After Effects CS3 8.0.2 update available

After Effects logoThe awaited 8.02 update for Adobe After Effects is now available for download for Mac OS X and Windows, and through the Adobe Update Manager. It’s been my experience that the process goes a lot faster with the manual download.Support for direct P2 import into After Effects has been added. Mac users get Leopard compatibility.Originally the update was going to address issues with QuickTime 7.4, but the update was released without the QT fix. Adobe continues to recommend CS 3 users do not update to QuickTime 7.4. Known issues include failure to render files that take longer than 10 minutes to render.Some work arounds include rendering still image sequences and then piecing them back together in QuickTime Pro, or downgrading (just like the PCs do in those ads) to QuickTime 7.3 using Pacifist.No word on when a QuickTime 7.4 fix will be released.

ADDED January 25:

Edit detection in After Effects

After Effects timeline after running scriptLloyd Alvarez posted Magnum – The Edit Detector to AE Scripts. The script will examine a layer in an After Effects composition and either break each shot into separate layers, or place markers at each shot change. I tested it on the old Apple “1984” ad I use in a motion graphics class, and it found all 26 edits at the default settings in less than two minutes on my MacBook Pro. I estimate, that it easily saved me about 30 minutes of work.

This is one of the most useful free scripts I’ve come across for After Effects.

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