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.

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

After Effects Tutorial

Video Tutorial: Rippling Circles

Rippling Circles TutorialHarry Frank has put together a very cool video tutorial for Toolfarm called Rippling Circles. He makes an interesting effect which could be used as a transition, background interest, or just eye candy. He uses a multitude of effects built into After Effects 7 Production Bundle, but users of the Standard Bundle can also follow the tutorial with a free demo of Cycore FX HD (or maybe you already own Cycore FX HD, in which, hey, you’re good to go!)

Harry FrankThis is a sneak peek of the kind of training you can expect from Harry’s soon-to-be delivered Toolfarm Expert Training Series on Expressions… and I know many of you can use a little help in that department. The training will be available very soon. We’ll announce it on Toolfarm’s home page and in our newsletter! In the meantime, watch this training segment.

After Effects Tutorial

AE Preset: Scaling a Motion Path

This link came via the AE-List. Jonas Hummelstrand has a great blog for Tips and Tricks in Motion Graphics. He had a tip up in July that someone posted to the aforementioned AE List that deals with Scaling a Motion Path. Check ‘er out.