Here is a quick test utilizing some new features of Sure Target 2. Notice the bouncy movement and the subtle roll and pitch of the camera as it moves.
Think about being in a car with very soft suspension…
Watch Test Video (looping)
The camera Roll is also velocity based so that it will inherit the speed of your camera movements and the amount is controllable as with the inertia.
You might also notice the variable target distance from the first title to the second… Each Target has a slider to control the (dolly/truck) distance from the camera so some targets can be close and others far without having to move your layers or animate the camera manually.
UPDATE: Just doing some more testing and should have a tutorial and download ready next week. See you then.
Our soon to be released plug-in Sure Target 2 is near…
Sure Target 2
Precision 3D Camera Control for After Effects 7, CS3, CS4
Price: $0 (Free)
Value: $5,000,000 + a Turkey Sandwich
Real Plug-in Form: As an actual plug-in, Sure Target 2 has better organized parameters and will run on any language of After Effects and provide advanced feature support.
Auto-Camera Rigging: When you add Sure Target to a NULL, a 3D camera is created and parented instantly, plus the NULL is changed to 3D and necessary expressions are added and activated.
Auto-Populate: Select Target Layers one by one and Sure Target will add them to the target list in order with one click. This will save setup time if adding or rearranging your targets.
Ease Target Modes: Sure Target 2 will automatically ease the animation keyframes as requested with 4 modes. Ease, ease in, ease out and linear.
Auto-Focus: Sure Target 2 will calculate the focal distance to the camera so that your target layers are in focus.
Inertia Inheritance: Incorporate natural springy movement at each stop with control over amount and decay.
Dolly Control: Sure Target 2 allows you to control the camera distance to each target individually. Target 1 can be the default distance and Target 2 can be 50% closer… etc.
Create a Baked Camera: I’ll be honest… expressions can be slow to calculate some times, especially for motions blur. Sure Target 2 can create a baked camera to include all of the settings with one click. If you need to make a change, just delete the baked camera, adjust the settings and bake a new one.
Condition Protection: Sure Target 2 will make sure your NULL and target layers are 3D before adding them to avoid errors.
Refresh Expressions: We haven’t been able to break the expressions by deleting targets or changing them to 2D by accident but if you should find a way to disconnect the expression, simply refresh all of the expressions with 1 click.
Probably some other stuff too but we’ll talk about them on launch day!
The Video Copilot Gear is now available. We have a stylish black hat and 5 shirts from our T-Shirt design contest. We have several sizes available too!
Very limited quantities so please one per customer
While your at it, you might check out some of our great DVDs too, shipping is a low flat-rate per order.
In keeping with the habit of providing the most valuable FREE content and tools for After Effects on the net, we are making one of our favorite free presets even better! Sure Target, our fast, easy-to-use Camera animation tool is easier and more powerful with Version 2.
Version 2.0 features easy 1-click rigging and un-rigging, so you don’t have to remember technical details for setting it up in a pinch so you can concentrate on the design of your project. It even makes the layer 3D so you don’t forget! We have also included improved organic movement control as the camera moves through 3D space. Expect the update soon!
OPTICAL FLARES UPDATE:
Our upcoming product for creating next-generation 3D lens flares, Optical Flares is nearly completed, however I see an opportunity to make it even better with a little more time.
Optical Flares is capable of building amazing 3D lens flare presets with precise and realistic qualities. Now imagine the power of a free network where customers could upload and share these amazing presets online?
The Video Copilot Preset Network is a perfect solution to continue the spirit of the website of sharing and contributing knowledge and presets, as well as enhancing the value of the product. This will also allow the style of lens flares to evolve beyond the built-in presets as artists develop them.
With this in mind, we have decided to wait about a month to give us time to incorporate this preset network and improve the built-in preset browser to allow multiple collections to be loaded at once. This is an exciting new endeavor and we know customers will benefit even more from this amazing software plug-in.
Good news! We updated our VC Reflect plug-in to work with PPC Macs. If you were having trouble loading the plug-in on your MAC with AE7 or a G5 processor, try the latest build 14 and see if that works for ya!
Check out the tutorial and download the project with the plugin.
BTW: Optical Flares is making big progress, expect more news next week. Look, Optical Flares is just an awesome, fun plug-in… I’m very excited and can’t wait to show you more!
In this tutorial we will take a look at our brand new free reflection plug-in that allows you to create great looking 2D reflections. We will examine a few examples and customize the reflection with a few easy steps.
Watch Tutorial Download the project to get plug-in!
NOTE: We recently migrated to a new server so we are working on balancing the load. Things should be in better shape later today. Thanks!
We have developed a fancy new plug-in for After Effects that simplifies the creation of 2D reflections as seen one of our early tutorials. The plug-in offers many helpful new features and a tutorial will be out soon. The best part of all, you get it absolutely FREE.
Patrick should be posting the tutorial sometime tomorrow and the project file will include the Plug-in. Should work with AE 7 and newer and when 64 bit After Effects comes around, we’ll port it as well.
NOTE: Our Easy-Reflect preset will most likely be retired since it lacks many features and relies on awkward recipe. Look, we had some fun… but I think it’s time we see other people. We’ll still be friends.
ALSO: QuickMatte, my other pet project, will be out when I have time to explain how to use it fully. I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to it with so many projects going on but I will tell you that, everything the plug-in does can be done in AE, it just makes things easier. It will be out soon, I was planning on releasing after the 100th tutorial sometime.
Just want to let you know that I’ll be in LA this week, working on an exciting project but I hope to also shoot some footage for another upcoming tutorial while I’m there. I’ll probably be away from the computer for most of the trip but I’m working on project that will hopefully push my limits to reach new horizons just as I encourage everyone to do as often as possible. This is the only way to get better!
I’ll try to blog when I can, where I can.
Watch Sam VS Sam, a video we featured in our last Blog Show. The show also included behind the scenes footage and some added commentary.
Video Notes for the gear-junkies: We shot this scene using the canon 7D and a 50mm 1.4 lens. For the close POV style shots we shot with the standard 18-55mm lens. To avoid jitter we shot on a tripod for most of the scene and then added some wiggle inside AE. The scene was shot with 2 350 Arri lights.
In Part 1 of this exciting tutorial series, we will build a lightning strike with rain effects using built-in After Effects plug-ins and then composite stock footage from Action Essentials 2.
BLOG SHOW: Go behind the scenes to see some on location preparation in our newest Blog Show episode.