Recharge Dried Out Markers

Okay, not a tip for After Effects, but this one is really good! You all use markers in your office or school to make lists, diagrams or storyboards and I’m sure for multiple other purposes.

How many times have you thought you’ve capped your dry erase or felt tip markers? How many markers have your kids left the caps off and ruined? My daughter got some dry erase markers and an easel for Christmas and left the caps off last night. I Googled “Rejuvenate Dried Markers” and found a great tip. I always tried dipping in water and that has never worked too well.

This actually works. I’m sure that Mr. Wizard probably had this on his show… or in a Heloise column somewhere. Use a 2 foot length of string and some tape. Double up the string and tape the end of the string to the marker. Tape the top end of the marker, not the writing tip. You’ll have a loop. Put your finger in the loop and swing the marker over your head for 20 seconds or so, like a helicopter propellar. The centrifugal force will draw the moisture to the tip of the marker. The markers were so moist, they were drippy!


Number Decoder

What does the encoded message say? Click the picture and find out! This is a little animation preset that displays random numbers and reveals your orignal source text when you change an expression slider.


After Effects Tutorial

Free After Effects video tutorial from Trish & Chris Meyer

Studio Daily is selling training from The Meyer’s. Check out a couple of free clips.

After Effects Tutorial

After Effects Tutorial: Reflection

Image courtesy of
Author: Michele Yamazaki, Toolfarm, Inc.
Skill Level: Easy
Application: Adobe After Effects
Version: AE 7.0
Project Files: Download Project File
Movie Sample: View Quicktime
Plug-ins Used: None

I’ve been seeing this reflected look everywhere these days… from to software to jewelry print ads.

This look is very easy to create in Adobe Photoshop or After Effects.

Note: The image is not included with the project file because it is a stock image. The image is replaced with a solid blue placeholder. If you replace the solid with your own image, it may not line up properly because of size differences. You’ll need to reposition your image.


  1. Import your image into After Effects. Scale it to the size that you wish it to be.
  2. Make the image layer a 3D layer. We will be animating a camera later in the tutorial.
  3. Duplicate your image layer.
  4. On the duplicate layer, scale the X & Y values to -20.0. Scale the Z value to -100%.
  5. On the duplicate layer, set the Y rotation to 180°.
  6. Line up the bottom of the duplicate image to the bottom of the original image.
  7. Double click the duplicate image to open the image in layer editing mode.
  8. Draw a mask around the bottom portion of the image.
  9. Tap the F key to bring up the Mask Feather settings. Set yours to 175 or higher… whatever looks good to you.
  10. Close the layer window and go back to the comp window.
  11. Select your reflection layer. Apply Levels. Effect > Color Correction > Levels.

    The idea is to make the reflection light without completely blowing it out or turning down transparency. I adjusted Output Black to 214 and left the remaining settings alone.

  12. Apply a camera to the comp. Layer > New > Camera. Set it to whatever size you like.
  13. Keyframe the Y rotation of the camera. I set it so that it rotates from 13° to 0° over 3 seconds. Do whatever looks right to you.

Other options: Use video or animate shapes or images using this method.