SHORT-CUTS Episode 02: 3D Sparks Title

In this new (not-so-short) Short-Cuts Episode we’ll take a look at creating sparks in AE with CC Particle World and uncover some hidden features as well. This tutorial uses the new Per-Charachter 3D in AE CS3.

Be sure to stay tuned to the end for a sneak preview.

Watch Tutorial

May 7th, 2008 @ 7:53 am
Great tip Andrew. Such a neat little piece of work.

VCP rocks
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:00 am
Nice, watching it now =D
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:08 am
Another great tutorial! Thanks Andrew!
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:10 am
Wow, very nice, I'm still waiting for that super impose tutorial like the one from Forest Gump.
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:10 am
Nice cover art for the DVD. I'm excited.

Will you be diving into the Blender section assuming we know something about 3D apps? Or are you going to give those who have no prior experience, some basic training on that as well?
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:14 am
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:17 am
hahahahhahaha, gr8 goin Andrew, Really nice tut.

Thnx continues.................thnx thnx thnx..............

May 7th, 2008 @ 8:19 am
Cool, thanks man =)
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:20 am
Nice tutorial - as always!

Here's a tip for another short tutorial: The Star Wars Hyperspace effect. You know, when the Millenium Falcon jumps into hyperspace, the stars get elongated and the ship just soars away.

I've found very few AE tutorials on how to create that effect and none worth using. It would be fun to see Andrew do it. Shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes of video I guess. :)
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:31 am
The Blender Tutorials on the DVD start the program from scratch and take you through all the tools and interface. You don't need any 3D experience to follow them.
May 7th, 2008 @ 9:09 am
omg you're awesome, i know you don't get that enough ;) your DVD and blender is my final excuse for getting into Full fledged 3D. thanks a big one man, most def gonna cop it.
May 7th, 2008 @ 9:24 am
Hi Andrew,

a silly question:
I want to buy your new DVD and get started with awesome effects, but I live in Germany.
How long do I have to wait till it arrives, or can I even download the content before, so I don't have to wait that long?

May 7th, 2008 @ 9:34 am
Looks sexy, i cant wait. :D
May 7th, 2008 @ 10:01 am
why does sam look differen in the cover :P
Xavier B.
May 7th, 2008 @ 10:04 am
I loved the sparks effect, it would be very useful to simulate sparks in other situations, like a razor blade cutting metal...etc.

By the way I really enjoy the little humor you put in the tutorials ; )
May 7th, 2008 @ 10:57 am
That was awesome!
tommie12P(Thorsten Miess)
May 7th, 2008 @ 11:09 am
i think you should better call them: almost short tutorials... but nice is it always. more time to waste..spend in learnig new techniques.. ;-)
Dustin James
May 7th, 2008 @ 11:16 am
5 Stars + 2 Circles! that was funny!

Thank you for these shorts!
May 7th, 2008 @ 11:41 am
WOW another Mini-Tut alreadyyyy.. thats absolutely awesome.

And I'm stoked that your gonna include blender in the new dvd. Ive had it on my linux box for about a year and have never really messed with it. (prolly cause it's on my linux box now that i think about it lol)
Rene MAtos
May 7th, 2008 @ 1:49 pm
You are my master; I don’t need to go to college to learn After Effects and graphics design.

Thank you Andrew
May 7th, 2008 @ 1:52 pm
I love your tutorials
so much
May 7th, 2008 @ 1:59 pm
Hey Andrew,
Perfect tutorial! I love particle effects! Actually, this timing is ideal! (haha, someone has more work!)

A fast question: could you have a tutorial coming about audio effects?

May 7th, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

These tutorials have taught me an enormous amount, many thanks.

I don't know how interested most people would be in this, but might I suggest a tutorial detailing your entire workflow from capture to delivery, and maybe even something about shooting for VFX? After Effects is only one step in the pipeline in the vast majority of projects and it would be cool to see how you integrate it into the bigger picture.

May 7th, 2008 @ 4:04 pm
Wow looks interesting ... thank you Mr Kramer :).

by the way I was surfing and found this

actually I was on the site and they were talking about some guy who was inspired by Andrew Kramer to do his effects, I felt proud :p ... juts like if you were a brother .. I know you're already proud of ur self .. All my respect ..
Thank you again and again.
May 7th, 2008 @ 4:10 pm
WOW sam looks younger on the dvd cover
I think thar's the magic of photoshop, it can change people in a dramatic way

May 7th, 2008 @ 7:00 pm
What is the best setting for exporting a 32bps project out of after effects to quicktime? Anyone know?
`ChaRLeS x
May 7th, 2008 @ 8:37 pm
aim in AE7, when add the cc particle world to the layer and adjust the settings in the options menu, cant see any change on the particles , in the tuto the particles have some blur and look like a cilinder, i change some of the propieties and i cant make it look like in the tutorial. ????
May 7th, 2008 @ 9:02 pm
a hot one! im so excited to see the next tutorial!

thanks mr. kramer !
May 7th, 2008 @ 9:11 pm
Just thought I'd share a little shortcut with you guys. If you're working in 32bpc as in this tutorial, you can boost the value of a solid color into overbright by using the * operator (multiplication in programming) in the text fields of the text/solid color picker.

If your RGB values are, for example: R = 1.0, G = .45, B = .24 you could simply type * 5 in the field BEHIND the current value and you will be multiplying the values by 5 which in the previous example would yield: R = 5.0, G = 2.25, B = 1.20. This way you can preserve the same Hue/Saturation of the color while boosting it into the overbright range.

And for James: I'm not aware of any video codecs that support 32bpc... Video display devices aren't capable of representing that many colors. If you want to preserve the 32bpc HDR values then you'll need to output to an image sequence that supports 32bpc (PSD or TIFF are good choices). You can also preserve HDR values with logarithmic Cineon/DPX files although these use only 10-bits per channel.

However, you probably don't need to preserve the HDR values if you're doing the final output, because there are currently no display devices (aside from film projectors) capable of representing the number of colors in a 32bpc, or even 16bpc image. 32bpc is really valuable because it allows for more photographically realistic effects and prevents rounding errors within the compositing/effects program. Even though you won't be outputting to 32bpc in a QuickTime file, if you create a 32bpc gradient in AE and output to an 8bpc QuickTime the gradient will look superior (although the extra overhead in processing and memory requirements for 32bpc probably deserves something more exciting than a gradient)
May 8th, 2008 @ 5:22 am
Yes, I know I don't have a life but I thought I'd point out that in the system requirements on the DVD cover, it says Blender 2.5, which hasn't come out yet. The newest version is 2.45.
May 8th, 2008 @ 6:41 am
@Darby - Thanks for taking the time to explain that extra information! That really answered the questions I had about 32bpc very well. Great post.
May 8th, 2008 @ 8:03 am

Really, really, really great tutorial. Always cool to watch you go deeper into AE. Not coming from a design background, I've learned so much.

Cheers Kramer,

This Bud's for you...

Clone # 3327
May 8th, 2008 @ 9:10 am
Man, did you REALLY have to do that? Now I'm really not going to get any sleep tonight.

Good job : )
May 8th, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

Great info, thanks allot! I have been exporting image sequences and was wondering if there was another way. Thanks for the info.
May 8th, 2008 @ 4:49 pm
Andrew or anyone else...

I noticed that during your tutorials your version of AE updates pretty fast as you edit or change values. Is there an option to enable fast previews like that? I'm not talking about rendering. I know that's different.
ömer tatlısöz
May 8th, 2008 @ 11:41 pm
May 9th, 2008 @ 5:44 am
I think it's a great idea you're doing this new "SHORT-CUTS" series, Andrew. I make video tutorials for the online world of Second Life, and was finding that doing one long tutorial after another just wasn't giving me enough diversity, so I spiced it up by starting a series called "QUICKTIPS" which you can see @

I've especially been interested in seeing what more people can do with After Effects compositing and Second Life machinima, so I've continually pointed folks here to pick up your mastery and learn some new tips 'n' tricks.

Keep it flowing, keep on growing.
May 9th, 2008 @ 5:50 am
Andrew, very good stuff.

As a part of this SHORT CUTS tutorials I think that you could make some cool transitions to integrate all professional work.

greetings from Panama and wish you success.
May 15th, 2008 @ 7:55 pm
hey andrew

thank for all your stuff we all here in india likes it...
i have a reqest that can you make a tutorial on morphing ...
using revsion plugins.....

usually morphing is seen in every 3rd film

plz plz plz
May 15th, 2008 @ 10:00 pm
Dear Andrew,

I thank you very much for all the tutorials that you have provided here on Many of your techniques and ideas have inspired me to become a special fx artist and I would also like to say that you riot gear collection has helped boost my level of presentations from zero to one-hundred.

I am soon going to be making a special fx movie on youtube and I have already created a promo using both the riot gear fx and the latest tutorial that you can see at I always look forward to your teachings and I would like to wish you, your family and the crew at videocopilot the best in.... the best..... well.... in everything.... I guess, but again thanks a lot and keep up this terrific work.
May 29th, 2008 @ 9:55 am
Andrew, where do you get your orchestral scores, which are fantastic! Do you use Network Music? I have your Designer Sound FX.
November 28th, 2010 @ 5:17 pm
Whatever happened to Short Cuts? I liked them.
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