After Effects

Free LME Trapcode Shine Presets

LME logoThese five free LME Shine comps are extra bonus files from LME. They work in After Effects 6.5 and higher and you need Trapcode Shine to use them. If you don’t have Shine, you can download a free demo.

After Effects

MyToolfarm launch

We’re planning to launch the new feature, MyToolfarm, by next Monday and we could use your help!

MyToolfarm will be the next hottest content swapping community for video editors and compositors.

Show off your skills and promote the plug-ins and tools that you use. Plus, hook up with other artists and find someone to help you on your next job… and companies and producers can find your work too. You can upload your work for feedback or help!

MyToolfarm still has a few bugs that we’re working out but it’s pretty much 100% functional. If you would like to get in early, please email me at

We have something extra special planned for the launch, and there will be a lot of traffic. Lots of eyes will see your work!

After Effects

Chicago Motion Graphics Festival 2008 Re-Cap

The CMGF08 was a smashing success and we had a great time. We came in on Thursday morning and after getting settled in, we headed to the Stash Screening. I had forgotten that my laptop doesn’t reset the timezones automagically like my phone does and I arrived over an hour early.

Well, it’s a great thing that I did because I got to catch most of Reiner from LeftChannel Industries presentation. LeftChannel, of Colubus, Ohio, worked with a Japanese company on a project for Kirin Hyoketsu, an adult beverage flavored with Hyoketsu, a Japanese apple variety. He talked about how they made animatics and how the shots were incredibly detailed, even though the shots lasted all of 2 seconds. The video is on their website if you want to have a look.

He also talked about an amazing video that they produced by pulling two words out of a hat, ‘Blissful’ and ‘Devil’. They passed around the posters that they came up with, based on those words, and in the end animated it. They entered it into film festivals all over the place and received several awards and new jobs too. Not half bad for pulling two words out of a hat!

I got to sit by my old friend Rani Stack, who worked with me 7-8 years ago at Postworks. She’s now doing digital signage for big hotels. She presented earlier in the day, but unfortunately, I missed her presentation by a couple of hours.

The Stash Screening was excellent – the Best of Stash 2007. Check out some of the highlights.

There was a studio tour that evening, but I decided to get some sleep and be bright eyed for my class in the morning.

On Friday morning, Harry Frank and I met up in the doorway of the SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago). We taught a class together on intermediate to advanced After Effect use. I first taught Harry’s lesson called ‘DJ Roto’ and went on to show s few things about the new Shape tool in After Effects. Harry filled the afternoon with some great examples from a Sherwin Williams spot he just finished with Digital Kitchen, and also showed us how to make incredibly cool 3D grass with CC Hair and a few other plug-ins.

CMGF Class

Friday night was the tour at Bridges Media, a post house and studio in Chicago. It’s the third year I’ve been there and they’re pretty much all FCP HD suites and running all Macs with the Adobe video tools. The CEO gave us a tour. The food at the party was very interesting and vegan. They had really delicious (and hot!) stuffed jalepenos, plus mini salads served on a leaf of endive with watercress, grape tomatoes, and these crispy brown onions. Truffles too. Very frou-frou, and I loved it! They also had a DJ spinning some great tunes. It was a lot of fun meeting new people and seeing the folks I met in the past years at the fest.

Bridges party

Saturday morning was my Apple Motion class. It went really well and I plan to put some tutorials and presets up at Toolfarm/AE Freemart soon. Maybe I’ll make some full training… not sure yet.

On Saturday night there was a video installation from 9pm-2am, but I missed it. I was very tired and it was very cold. When I say very cold, I mean frigid. I wasn’t just being wimpy. The high was 3° and the wind chill was -40°

On Sunday, Harry taught After Effects Expressions at the SAIC and he said it went very well.

The event is really well organized and they have a terrific lineup of activities and guests. My only complaint is the weather. Chicago in January. Ick. How about having the fest in May next year?! It was also the same week as Mac World, which I know caused a few conflicts.

Also, I’d like to mention, for being such a hot dog/deep dish pizza place, I had some of the best food I’ve ever had in one city in Chicago. Chicago really is a culinary destination.

After Effects

Adobe After Effects 8.0.2 is Here

AE BoxTodd Kopriva of Adobe posted about the latest AE update on Toolfarm Expert Forum. Todd says:

The After Effects 8.0.2 update is live, and so is the new After Effects CS3 Help on the Web. To get the update, choose Help > Updates. To see all of what has changed, see the ReadMe document.

Here’s a link to After Effects Help on the Web, in case you forgot.

And here’s a link to the page from which you can download a PDF copy of the Help document.

Beyond the additions to Help for P2 functionality, we made several hundred changes to the document for this version, most of which fall into two categories:

  • We fixed a lot of little errors and clarified explanations based on feedback in LiveDocs comments and feedback from the LiveDocs survey.
  • We added a lot of links from Help to external resources.

First, about that survey: We are doing a survey each quarter about our documentation resources. If you took the survey last quarter, please consider taking it again so that we can tell how our changes are working. This quarter’s survey has additional questions about kinds of examples and illustrations:

Take the survey

I strongly urge all of you to take this survey. As you may have noticed, After Effects documentation is being done a bit differently than it used to be, with more links to external material, more frequent updates, et cetera. We _need_ feedback about how well this is working for you so that we can decide how to go forward.

Now, about those external links: One of the things that we heard from last quarter’s survey was that After Effects documentation is incomplete (but accurate, yay!). One very fast way to fill some gaps is to point users to the example projects, tutorials, and other materials that people like you create and publish. Some of you have been adding LiveDocs comments to Help on the Web that point to these great materials. We’ve incorporated many of those links—plus a great many more—in the parts of Help where we thought that these external materials could help the user. We intend to do much more of this if you tell us that you find it valuable.

Also, there are a lot of extensions to After Effects (some free, some not) that make After Effects work better. We also point to some of those. How did we pick which ones to point to? In part, we went by what we were being told in LiveDocs comments and on forums. If you don’t see a mention of a plug-in, script, or other tool that you think is great, tell us through the LiveDocs comments in Help on the Web.

Todd also added a huge list of thank you’s. You may be on that list! I was. 😉