After Effects

AE Expressions Blog

Have you seen Harry’s Expressions Blog? He has 6 lessons up there now. Good stuff!


Adobe Releases Beta Version of Photoshop CS3


Company Also Previews Adobe Bridge and All-New Adobe Device Central

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Dec. 14, 2006 – Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) will introduce a beta version of Adobe® Photoshop® CS3 software, the next release of the world standard in digital imaging, on Friday, December 15th. Adobe is delivering a widely available Photoshop CS3 beta to enable customers to more easily transition to the latest hardware platforms, particularly Apple’s new Intel-based systems. The beta is available as a Universal Binary for the Macintosh platform, as well as for Microsoft® Windows® XP and Windows Vista computers. The final shipping release of Adobe Photoshop CS3 is planned for Spring 2007. The software can be downloaded at Adobe Labs, in the early hours Pacific Standard Time on December 15.

Packed with new features, Photoshop CS3 beta also includes a pre-release version of a major upgrade to Adobe Bridge, as well as a preview release of the all-new Adobe Device Central. Photoshop customers can use Adobe Device Central to design, preview, and test compelling mobile content, created specifically for smaller screens. This new tool, integrated in the Photoshop CS3 beta, simplifies and accelerates the creation of mobile content through a preview environment and built-in device profiles.

“This is an exciting time for the Mac, and Adobe wanted to ease the move to new Intel-based systems with a preview release of Photoshop CS3,” said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. “We didn’t want to leave Windows customers out of the party, so the beta is available to everyone in the creative industry’s most passionate user community — no matter what their platform choice. We still have some surprises in store, but this beta gives customers an early chance to see the power of another great Photoshop release, optimized and tuned to run natively on the latest hardware and operating systems.”

To utilize Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta, customers require a serial number from either Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Creative Suite® 2, Adobe Creative Suite Production Studio, Adobe Design Bundle, Adobe Web Bundle or Adobe Video Bundle. Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta is available in English only. Customers who have a valid serial number for all other language versions of qualifying Adobe products can download the software. Without a serial number, users can still download Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta, with the product expiring after two days. Customers must register online with Adobe or have an existing membership account to access the software.

In related previews of future technologies, Adobe has also released two new web tools as beta releases. Adobe CSS Advisor is a new web-based community site to easily identify and resolve browser compatibility issues. Web designers and developers can contribute their own issues, comment on existing issues, or become an editor to participate in driving the site’s future. The site is accessible at: Also introduced is a beta release of Adobe Spry framework for Ajax, a designer-focused solution for adding the interactive power of Ajax when developing rich, dynamic web-sites. Adobe Spry framework for Ajax is available at:

System Requirements

For Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta, recommended system requirements are as follows. For Macintosh: Mac OSX 10.4.8 or 10.5, 1 GHz PowerPC® G4 or G5 processor, Intel based Macintosh. For Windows: Intel® Xeon® , Xeon Dual, Centrino® or Pentium® 4 processor, Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, Microsoft Windows Vista. Both platforms require 512 MB RAM and a 1024×769 resolution screen. Photoshop CS3 beta will expire soon after the launch of Photoshop CS3 in Spring 2007. Details on final pricing, system requirements and availability have yet to be determined.

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit

After Effects Preset

Aurora Borealis

I really enjoy astronomy and keep an eye to the sky. This week is the Geminid meteor shower and today Space Weather is reporting that a “coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth today at approximately 1400 UT, and the impact may cause strong geomagnetic storms.” You know what that means? Auroras!

Sadly, I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life and have never seen an aurora. We’re known for our cloudy and overcast conditions and cold winters, so that does inhibit one from going out and seeing the real deal. Plus, I live in the city and the light polution often kills the experience. In other words, I’ve only seen video of auroras, so this is my interpretation of the beauty of an aurora.

I’ve created a preset for an aurora which uses Trapcode Particular and Fast Blur, as well as a crazy expression that uses some advanced geometry. I’m still learning expressions and I tend to keep modifying the values until I get what I like. I wanted a large wavy movement that moved from left to right across the screen, in a somewhat random manner. I’m sure the expression could’ve been done a bit more neatly, but it gets the job done and it’s very easy to modify.

The following was applied to Particular’s X,Y Position.

[x, y]

Download preset (AE 7)

View Sample Movie

If you need a demo of Particular, you can download the full Trapcode Suite here (Shine, 3D Stroke, Echospace, Sound Keys, Starglow, Lux, Echospace and Particular)


CINEMA 4D Tutorial

10 STEP STAR: A simple piece of geometry

Author: Ko Maruyama
Skill Level: Easy
Application: Maxon Cinema 4D
Version: r9.6
Project Files: Download Project Files (zipped)
Plug-ins Used: None
Demo: Download Free Demo of Maxon Cinema 4D
View text tutorial


  1. Choose the front view. This will make things easy to see – later you’ll be able to do this in any viewport, but it allows you to see what’s going on.
  2. Create a STAR SPLINE object. Star spline will allow you to set up the right number of points in the right area quickly and easily.
    Click the screen grabs for larger images in a new window (pops)
  3. Set the number of points in the star to the number of points in the star you want to make. In the attributes window, set the number of points to 5. star
  4. Now that the Star Spline has been modified, make it editable by using the pulldown menu or simply use the "C" key on the keyboard to make the selected object "editable". star
  5. With the editable star object selected, open the STRUCTURE MANAGER. Select all of the points (these represent all of the points in the star (not the spikey points, the 3D vertices!) There should be 10 points (count ‘0’ as one of the points). COPY THOSE POINTS (cmd or ctrl-C). star
  6. Create a polygon object. Note: this isn’t a primitive shape, it’s just an empty polygon object.
  7. In the polygon object’s structure manager, PASTE the point data from the clipboard. star
  8. Create a new line (you’re making a new set of data for a new point). This point should have values of (0, 0, 0). The new point will be in the center of x,y,z. star
  9. With the POLYGON objet selected, and the points now pasted in the object’s structure, you’ll need to connect the points to create polygons. Note from the pulldown menu, the shortcut is to type (in rapid succession) M then E.



  10. Let’s revisit the new point that was created in the center of the structure. Change the Z value to -50. This moves all of the newly created geometry out to meet the new position of the center point. star


11-opt. If you’re going to see around to back of this model, you may want to add a symmetry object to easily recreate the geometry on the other side of this. Add the symmetry object while holding down the option key to add it as a parent to the selected object. Don’t forget to switch the mirror plane to the correct face (this one is XY)

12-opt. Add a material. There are tons of presets that you’ll find in the application. There are even more on the CD in the goodies folder. There are more yet online. Have suggestions for where to find CINEMA 4D materials? Check in at the Toolfarm Forum and let us know where your favorite material site is.

Here’s the file if you need to get there in a hurry. DOWNLOAD .C4D FILE (R 9.6) Go through the steps to figure out how to make this, and you’ll see how easy it is to make many other models using CINEMA 4D. NOTE: There is an alternate version of the model in the file using an array object. Click the READ ME objects for more information. Wanna learn more about C4D? Check out Cineversity Tutorials, now over 500 video tutorials

Purchase Cinema 4D