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

9 years ago
I'm Sorry Shape Layers! I love you!
I must confess… I was never a big fan of shape layers…  we just didn’t get along.  I was used to using masks but suddenly (around AE CS3) the same mask tool began creating Red vector shapes. At first, they seemed cool enough but after accidentally adding shape layers to my comps, instead of masks, I lashed […]
Visualization Experiment and new Renders
Just playing around with a new After Effects experiment without using any 3rd Party plug-ins! I need to refine some parts of the effect but I really want to make a tutorial for it ASAP! Here are some other projects you may have missed! Using Element 3D bump mapping to create some Gold coins and […]
New Tutorial: Realistic Rain Drop FX!
In this tutorial we’ll use After Effects to create a realistic water effect without any 3rd party plug-ins! Great for adding atmosphere to a rainy scene or title. This effect is fully customization and can be used to create many cool FX! In this tutorial: Create a dripping water displacement map Simulate realistic camera DOF […]
Destruction Experiment!
What is this thing! I’ve basically combined a bunch of stuff into one experiment! I might have been inspired by the amazing planet explosions from The Force Awakens but wanted to see if I could get a cool version inside Element 3D. Few Notes on this experiment; I added smoke elements, shockwaves using CC Sphere, and even […]

Whatever happened to Short Cuts? I liked them.
9 years ago
Andrew, where do you get your orchestral scores, which are fantastic! Do you use Network Music? I have your Designer Sound FX.
9 years ago
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.
9 years ago
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
9 years ago
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.
9 years ago
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.
ömer tatlısöz
9 years ago
9 years ago
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.
9 years ago

Great info, thanks allot! I have been exporting image sequences and was wondering if there was another way. Thanks for the info.
9 years ago
Man, did you REALLY have to do that? Now I'm really not going to get any sleep tonight.

Good job : )
9 years ago

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
9 years ago
@Darby - Thanks for taking the time to explain that extra information! That really answered the questions I had about 32bpc very well. Great post.
9 years ago
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.
9 years ago
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)
9 years ago
a hot one! im so excited to see the next tutorial!

thanks mr. kramer !
`ChaRLeS x
9 years ago
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. ????
9 years ago
What is the best setting for exporting a 32bps project out of after effects to quicktime? Anyone know?
9 years ago
WOW sam looks younger on the dvd cover
I think thar's the magic of photoshop, it can change people in a dramatic way

9 years ago
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.
9 years ago

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.

9 years ago
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?

9 years ago
I love your tutorials
so much
Rene MAtos
9 years ago
You are my master; I don’t need to go to college to learn After Effects and graphics design.

Thank you Andrew
9 years ago
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)
Dustin James
9 years ago
5 Stars + 2 Circles! that was funny!

Thank you for these shorts!
tommie12P(Thorsten Miess)
9 years ago
i think you should better call them: almost short tutorials... but nice is it always. more time to waste..spend in learnig new techniques.. ;-)
9 years ago
That was awesome!
Xavier B.
9 years ago
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 ; )
9 years ago
why does sam look differen in the cover :P
9 years ago
Looks sexy, i cant wait. :D
9 years ago
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?

9 years ago
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.
9 years ago
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.
9 years ago
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. :)
9 years ago
Cool, thanks man =)
9 years ago
hahahahhahaha, gr8 goin Andrew, Really nice tut.

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

9 years ago
9 years ago
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?
9 years ago
Wow, very nice, I'm still waiting for that super impose tutorial like the one from Forest Gump.
9 years ago
Another great tutorial! Thanks Andrew!
9 years ago
Nice, watching it now =D
9 years ago
Great tip Andrew. Such a neat little piece of work.

VCP rocks