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After Effects Photoshop Plug-ins Premiere Pro Preset Tutorial

5 Tutorials to Give the 8-bit Look of Old Video Games @adobeae #8-bit

8-bit Forever!

Have fun Here are several tutorials that give After Effects users that chunky, retro, 8-bit, posterized look, with or without plug-ins. Plus some 8-bit inspiration.

The first tutorial from Charles Yeager caught my eye today and then I thought, well why not expand on the  8-bit theme and give you all something really good today! Combine several of the techniques explained here and have one amazing 8-bit Nintendo-style animation!

1. Quick Tip: Create an 8-bit Style in After Effects

This will get you started with the basics. AE Tuts+ and Charles Yeager bring you a two minute After Effects tutorial on creating the 8-bit look using Posterize, Mosaic, and Hue/Saturation. He shows how to save this as a preset to speed up your workflow.

2. Digieffects Damage | Artifact – 8 Bit Gaming Tutorial

This tutorial has disappeared from the interwebs but I’m leaving it in just in case it comes back. Apparently, something on the internet IS NOT there forever! 😉

Here’s an older tutorial by Brandon Smith and Digieffects, which he creates with Digieffects Damage. Create 8-bit style video with Damage’s Artifact plug-in in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro 6/7, and Final Cut Pro X. Download a free demo of Damage.

3. After Effects Tutorial: Retro 8-Bit Video Game Title Screen

This one comes from Thinkmojo and is a bit more involved than the previous two. He goes over how to create a reflection, how to use the loopOut() expression to cycle the animation, and also how to create that 8-bit look with Mosaic and Posterize in After Effects.

4. How to Animate Retro Pixel Art in After Effects, 8-bit Style

This one comes from Nick Morris at AE Tuts+. He explains the workflow for taking pixel art from ASEprite into Photoshop and then finally into an HD comp in After Effects.

5. Creating 8-Bit Animation

This is an interesting tutorial because the artist is singing while he works! He starts off by making a character with a unibrow in Photoshop and then takes it into After Effects to create the lipsync. He does this manually but I would suggest using a plug-in called MamoWorld Auto Lip-Sync, which allows you to create a mouth that automatically animates according to your voice recording.

Inspiration: 8 Bit Cinema: The Big Lebowski and Pulp Fiction

Inspiration: Retro 8 bit Video Game Title Screen

Categories
After Effects Plug-ins

Adobe CS5 Cleaner Tool for installation problems (removes CS3-CS5.5) + Moving Plug-ins

With Adobe CS6 out in just a few days, this tool will remove older versions of Adobe software from your system. Sure you could just trash everything but software these days leaves little bits and pieces of code all over your system. This tool will remove all the pieces from your system.

Why do you want to remove CS5.5 and earlier?

  1. To avoid system & software conflicts
  2. To free up space

Yes, there are reasons you may not want to uninstall older versions of After Effects, for example, your clients have not upgraded. You can of course try running both on your system, but this script is here in case of problems.

Note: The first item under “Before you start”: Back up all files stored in Adobe product directories, including custom plug-ins or profiles you have installed.

Here are a couple of tutorials for moving your CS5 plug-ins to CS5.5. The same method applies to CS6. I’m suggesting that you back up your plugins and the video explains the locations where your plug-ins might be:

  1. Plug-ins Folder
  2. Media Core Folder

Also, back up presets!

Because many plug-ins will not be ready by May 7 with installers for Adobe CS6, it does not mean they will not work. Follow the same procedure in the video for moving your plug-ins to CS6. Not everything will work, but you will be surprised at how many will function just fine. This will save you a lot of time re-installing as well. The videos are about making aliases but we are suggesting that you move them, since you’d be deleting older instances of After Effects anyway.

Transfering your After Effects CS5 plug-ins to After Effects CS5.5

How to Transfer CS5 Plug-ins to CS5.5 in Windows

Note: If you do not remove older versions of After Effects from your system and have multiple instances of the plug-ins on your system, you will likely get some errors. It will probably work fine but you’ll find yourself clicking through an endless series of popup windows telling you you have duplicates.

Categories
After Effects

Which glow should I use?

Question: Hi, I have CS5 Production Bundle (PPro + AE, etc).  I am looking for a 'Glow' plugin that is SIMILAR to the Sapphire Effect: "GLOW"  That ideally I can purchase separately or in a SMALL bundle? I can't justify $1600 even if the other effects are amazing…as I just never used them.  ANY products you can suggest?

Answer: There are a ton of glows out there. I'm attaching a small excerpt from my book Plug-in to After Effects, which gives an example of some of the glows. I'm adding extra info to the details.

Glow

 

  1. Original Image

     

  2. After Effects Glow (Free with AE). It works either on the Color Channels, which can be used for creating a glow for full-frame footage, or Alpha Channels, for creating light ray effects around layers with alphas such as text and logos. There are a decent amount of options but the look just isn’t as nice as with the third party glow options. It has no presets.

     

  3. Noise Industries FxFactory (MSRP $399, TF Price: $379) The FxFactory Glow (Box-shaped) is a nice looking glow, but there are no presets. Even at a Strength value of just 0.01, the effect is still viewable. This is a great plug-in for bright bloom transitions. There is an option to Use Image Colors or to choose a Color with the eyedropper, an option not included in a lot of glow plug-ins. There is a built in Mask Tool, which has custom Mask Shapes or the option to choose a path on the layer. FxFactory is Mac only  and works in AE, FCP, Motion and Final Cut Express.

     

  4. Boris Continuum Complete (MSRP $999, TF Price: $945) BCC Glow is a robust plug-in comes with multiple presets and allows for the glow to be based on RGB Channels, Luminance, Lightness, Red, Green, Blue or Alpha. There are the usual glow adjustments such as the radius, threshold and compositing mode. BCC Glow has the added options of a built in Motion Tracker, a Pixel Chooser to isolate areas of the shot and Beat Reactor, to animate with audio input.  There are quite a few glow plug-ins included and it's one of my favorites because of the variety of options and speed. We sell Continuum Complete for $945 (list price is $999) and it's well worth the price because there are so many great filters with it.

    Update: Peter McAuley of Boris FX contacted me to let me know that the filter used in the sample is now obsolete with the release of BCC 8 (looks like I need a major revision to the book!).  It was replaced with BCC Film Glow, which is "capable of generating an exact match to the Sapphire Glow filter, and in fact it even matches Sapphire Glow at it's default settings. One of the added advantages of the BCC Film Glow is that, again by default, it renders a glow all the way to the edge of the source clip… the Sapphire Glow filter stops short of the source edge, regardless of the setting used." 

     

  5. GenArts Sapphire ($1699) Sapphire's S_Glow is interesting because it works with a Background and Matte layer, so it is made specifically for compositing. Width X and Width Y allow the glow to be stretched and this is not something seen in other glow plug-ins. Not only that, individual Red Green and Blue widths can be adjusted. It also has options to Glow From Alpha and Glow Under Source, so the glow can come from behind the text or keyed footage, not just on top of the image. There are no presets with S_Glow, but it’s a solid choice.

     

  6. Digieffects Delirium (MSRP $299, TF Price: $284.05) Delirium's DE Glower, which does not have a lot of options but it does include the basics and the option to set a Dark Color and Bright Color, or use the Original Colors. There are a few presets as well. Delirium is fairly inexpensive and has a lot of fun filters with it. Note, the image above, from the book, is out of date. Glower is from the older version of Delirium. Delirium DE Glow is included in the new version and looks like this:

Here's another quick sample (Thanks, Brandon!)

  1. Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter Suite (MSRP $599.95, TF Price: $569.95). DFX Glow is a plug-in that doesn’t seem too special on the surface but once the Color Correct settings are pulled down, there are options not seen in other glow filters. There are Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Gamma and Red, Green and Blue controls for the color of the glow for precise control of the color. I love this package. It's mostly not glows but gels and lens effects that recreate the look of their gels and lenses in the real world.

Another option, not pictured is Red Giant Warp (MSRP $199.00, TF Price $179.10). It includes a glow plug-in.

All the plugins here are available as free trials or demos here. I'd highly recommend downloading a few and checking them out to see which gives you the look that you want. I'd definitely suggest trying the Boris Continuum Complete package and if you're on Mac, Noise Industries FxFactory.

Categories
After Effects

Which glow should I use?

Question: Hi, I have CS5 Production Bundle (PPro + AE, etc).  I am looking for a 'Glow' plugin that is SIMILAR to the Sapphire Effect: "GLOW"  That ideally I can purchase separately or in a SMALL bundle? I can't justify $1600 even if the other effects are amazing…as I just never used them.  ANY products you can suggest?

Answer: There are a ton of glows out there. I'm attaching a small excerpt from my book Plug-in to After Effects, which gives an example of some of the glows. I'm adding extra info to the details.

Glow

 

  1. Original Image

     

  2. After Effects Glow (Free with AE). It works either on the Color Channels, which can be used for creating a glow for full-frame footage, or Alpha Channels, for creating light ray effects around layers with alphas such as text and logos. There are a decent amount of options but the look just isn’t as nice as with the third party glow options. It has no presets.

     

  3. Noise Industries FxFactory (MSRP $399, TF Price: $379) The FxFactory Glow (Box-shaped) is a nice looking glow, but there are no presets. Even at a Strength value of just 0.01, the effect is still viewable. This is a great plug-in for bright bloom transitions. There is an option to Use Image Colors or to choose a Color with the eyedropper, an option not included in a lot of glow plug-ins. There is a built in Mask Tool, which has custom Mask Shapes or the option to choose a path on the layer. FxFactory is Mac only  and works in AE, FCP, Motion and Final Cut Express.

     

  4. Boris Continuum Complete (MSRP $999, TF Price: $945) BCC Glow is a robust plug-in comes with multiple presets and allows for the glow to be based on RGB Channels, Luminance, Lightness, Red, Green, Blue or Alpha. There are the usual glow adjustments such as the radius, threshold and compositing mode. BCC Glow has the added options of a built in Motion Tracker, a Pixel Chooser to isolate areas of the shot and Beat Reactor, to animate with audio input.  There are quite a few glow plug-ins included and it's one of my favorites because of the variety of options and speed. We sell Continuum Complete for $945 (list price is $999) and it's well worth the price because there are so many great filters with it.

    Update: Peter McAuley of Boris FX contacted me to let me know that the filter used in the sample is now obsolete with the release of BCC 8 (looks like I need a major revision to the book!).  It was replaced with BCC Film Glow, which is "capable of generating an exact match to the Sapphire Glow filter, and in fact it even matches Sapphire Glow at it's default settings. One of the added advantages of the BCC Film Glow is that, again by default, it renders a glow all the way to the edge of the source clip… the Sapphire Glow filter stops short of the source edge, regardless of the setting used." 

     

  5. GenArts Sapphire ($1699) Sapphire's S_Glow is interesting because it works with a Background and Matte layer, so it is made specifically for compositing. Width X and Width Y allow the glow to be stretched and this is not something seen in other glow plug-ins. Not only that, individual Red Green and Blue widths can be adjusted. It also has options to Glow From Alpha and Glow Under Source, so the glow can come from behind the text or keyed footage, not just on top of the image. There are no presets with S_Glow, but it’s a solid choice.

     

  6. Digieffects Delirium (MSRP $299, TF Price: $284.05) Delirium's DE Glower, which does not have a lot of options but it does include the basics and the option to set a Dark Color and Bright Color, or use the Original Colors. There are a few presets as well. Delirium is fairly inexpensive and has a lot of fun filters with it. Note, the image above, from the book, is out of date. Glower is from the older version of Delirium. Delirium DE Glow is included in the new version and looks like this:

Here's another quick sample (Thanks, Brandon!)

  1. Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter Suite (MSRP $599.95, TF Price: $569.95). DFX Glow is a plug-in that doesn’t seem too special on the surface but once the Color Correct settings are pulled down, there are options not seen in other glow filters. There are Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, Gamma and Red, Green and Blue controls for the color of the glow for precise control of the color. I love this package. It's mostly not glows but gels and lens effects that recreate the look of their gels and lenses in the real world.

Another option, not pictured is Red Giant Warp (MSRP $199.00, TF Price $179.10). It includes a glow plug-in.

All the plugins here are available as free trials or demos here. I'd highly recommend downloading a few and checking them out to see which gives you the look that you want. I'd definitely suggest trying the Boris Continuum Complete package and if you're on Mac, Noise Industries FxFactory.