Action Essentials Now Available

Action Essentials 2 is great for Film-Makers, but you can also create exciting motion graphics too! The natural elements are great for building mixtures of unexpected elements like water and fire. Check out this sample video that might get your creative juices flowing.

Be ready for the final Action Essentials 2 Promo video that will be online July 01, 2009. Don’t miss it!

See the Action Elements:
Must Watch Gallery Demo

The Video Blog is also near completion, including a new segment with behind-the-scenes coverage of Action Essentials 2. And don’t think I’ve forgotten about the awesome free tutorials, now that we have this new product launched, I’m going to sprint to the 100th tutorial with exciting graphics and visual FX!

Action Essentials 2 Online + New Site Design!

So here is the deal, we have a new site design and Action Essentials 2 is available for Pre-Sale right now.

We will be shipping July 3, 2009.

Don’t forget we have Free Shipping on the 2K version through July.

The new trailer for Action Essentials 2 will be online early next week but there is tons of video walk-throughs and everything you need to know about the product.

Action Essentials 2 Features

Have a great weekend!

PS, Updated the “2K Free shipping” option at checkout. Thanks for catching that. All orders of the 2K version will be updated to receive the free shipping.

Tech-Note: Be sure to Hard-Refresh and clear your internet cache to see all the new changes and stuff. If you are seeing old imagery, you need to do this.

CTRL+F5 for most browsers or go into internet options.

Sweet Action 2K Box & Info

The 2K version of Action Essentials 2 (above) will consist of 4 DVDs in 2 dual-DVD cases, while the 720p version will be on 2 DVDs inside a single Dual case. Needless to say, both versions are packed to the max. There is over an hour of tutorials, including one based on the street explosion from a couple days ago.

Now if I can just finish this promo video…

Action Essentials 2 will be available in 2 Versions:
720p High Definition [1280 x 720] $99.95
2K Film Resolution [2048 x 1152 ] $249.95 (beyond 1080p)

UPDATE: Someone asked if they could see a list of the elements. Sure.
Here it is.

Aerial Clouds

Since creating the Earth Zoom tutorial back July 2007, I have always wanted the clouds to look more realistic. Although the fractal noise was a decent solution, nothing compares to the real thing. Recently on my travels, I was able to capture some images that might just be the solution to a better earth zoom. I actually shot them with the intention of sharing them here.
Obviously I travel by cape.

Download Hi-Res Images

Use them professionally too! License

The Good, the Bad and the Awesome!

By now you have heard about the looming release of Action Essentials 2, there is some news however. Although we are still on schedule for a (very late) June release, the product has secretly changed a bit…

Many of you have watched the early teaser for Action Essentials 2 and learned about some of the product features such as being available on 2 Versions. 720p & 2k. You may have also noticed, all of the clips have been Pre-Keyed and the collection includes many diverse camera angles. All good stuff, these facts have not changed.

However, we did our best to keep the collection at 95% Live action and unfortunately, a few late additional CG (computer generated) elements left us with about 93% Live Action. We’re sorry for the change. But we have to tell you the truth…

Another big change is the amount of elements included… We did our best to include at least 250 elements but because of unexpected factors, Action Essentials 2 now has over 500 HD ELEMENTS!

Again, we’re sorry.

Now the other news. The size of the 720p version is 14 GBs and the 2K version is 32 GBs so regrettably we will NOT be offering a downloadable version of this product. The main reason is high-volume bandwidth is very expensive and the challenges of massive sized downloads can be chaotic. Plus, the multi-disc packaging is awesome!

We know this puts a strain on some of our international customers but we want you to know that our international shipping track record is very good. Specifically 83% of our international customers request physical shipments and less than 1% are camel-delivered  We really do ship all over the world. If you have questions about your neck of the woods just send us an email but chances are we deliver.

Now if you remember this collection now contains TWICE the number of amazing HD elements at the same low price, it might make you feel a little better. We don’t want to brag but this collection is pretty decent.

Finally, to help with possible import taxes, we are offering FREE SHIPPING on the 2K Version for the first month wherever our postal service delivers to, including international locations and everyone here in the U.S. too.

Until then…

Back to the Action…

We have some pretty intense updates coming soon, as we gear up for Action Essentials 2. Since this new DVD is easily our most impressive collection to date, we are also launching the Video Blog as well as a significant site-design upgrade, plus a fun new tutorial. Needless to say we have been working over-time. (Might explain the seemingly slow blog updates, but don’t worry it’s non-stop over here.)

I thought it would be interesting to share some background on the first Action Movie Essentials and where it came from. When I was 9 or so I loved making home-made action films and this continued through to High School where digital film-making was just coming around with the release of Final Cut Pro. It was the idea of making my short-films better that took me into After Effects.

Shortly after starting Video Copilot, I created the first Action Movie Essentials which came out in June of 2006. I had a massive concept in-mind, but the equipment, the technology and frankly the budget was not enough to completely shape my vision. If I remember correctly, I was filming gun fire in the desert just a few weeks earlier on the day before getting married. My wife called to remind me to pick up my tuxedo… I was already wearing it

Although we created a useful tool for many, the need for even more action stock footage was strong. So here we are, precisely 3 years later…

Edit: Mid 2005, was when Video Copilot started.

Essentials Update

As I’m sitting here putting the finishing touches on Action Essentials 2 bonus content, I have to take a moment to tell you how freakin’ awesome this collection is. I’m looking at these elements, and I just can’t believe it. Better than we ever could have imagined.

Should have something to see later in the week.

Get Down! Video Added

One of the great features of Action Essentials 2 is the debris and dust elements. With the new atmosphere effects in this collection, you will be able to create depth by layering multiple elements in your composite. Foreground dust is one of the best ways to give your audience the feeling of being trapped with you as well as helps blend things together.

Another great side point, is the benefit of using real live action elements with CG ones (like 3d animation). This gives your mind something to look at that IS real and makes the rest of the composite more convincing.

Here is something you can create in 5-10 minutes with Action Essentials 2. Imagine how good it would look with 17 minutes of work! …maybe fix the motion tracking… nah.

Watch Sample Video

PERFECT Compositing

As we get closer to launching Action Essentials 2, I have been developing a simple guideline for better compositing that is broken down to 7 key points. This is by no means a ‘complete’ guide for every scenario but it should be a good place to start. I plan on detailing many of these techniques in the future but here is a basic overview. If you have some tips that have helped you out in the field, please share them in the comments below.

I call it: P.E.R.F.E.C.T.

Read the rest of this entry »


In this tutorial we will create a DVD from start to finish. This includes building a motion menu in after effects and preparing for export and rendering. Then we’ll move on to Encore for adding buttons and functionality to the DVD before burning.

Watch Tutorial

I also animated the menu background using Video Copilot’s Twitch:
Twitch Product Page.