When did you fall in love… with After Effects?

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Do you remember you’re first date with After Effects?

In the year 2000 after reaching the limits of Final Cut Pro’s compositing and special effects toolset, I decided to see other people. That’s when After Effects came into the picture with her floating windows and layered timeline, we began spending many hours together. Some of the first stuff we did involved motion graphics, light rays, radio waves and many bad font choices.

The graphic above was part of a corporate video I did in February of 2003 for a tech company that loved high-tech catch phrases. I may try and dig up some even older work if I can find it. But, maybe it is better left forgotten 🙂

I imagine some of you started out as graphic designers and wanted to bring visuals to life or perhaps you were a video editor that wanted more control of graphics and FX… Do you remember when you first got into After Effects?

6 years ago
Atmospheric Re-Entry!
Here is a preview of an animation i’m working on. Playing around with Element 3D and Saber to create the fiery streaks! This past week has been super productive, finishing VFX for Intercept, doing daily renders and preparing for another DMALA meeting in Los Angeles on October 18th. Going to be a blast! Circuit City #Element3D […]
Circuit City
Making circuits! After trying to create something large, I thought I should try to make something small! I started by taking a circuitry texture and placing it on a plane in Element 3D. I used the texture in the Glossiness channel and the reflection channel to give the pathways a metalic look. Next I built the […]
Cloud City
Continuing the Element 3D fun! This started as a desert scene and soon turned into a cloud city! Typical. Part of the fun of these render projects is just creating random stuff and designing without a specific goal. It’s actually been really challenging and exciting to try various techniques. In this scene, I used an aerial […]
My 10 Cloverfield Lane Contribution
Earlier this year I had the chance to work on 10 Cloverfield lane, on this horrifying matte painting and composite. Many image-searches for road kill have scarred my mind! As always it was a pleasure to work with Dan Trachtenberg.     My work on 10 Cloverfield Lane! #nightmares #mattepainting A photo posted by Video Copilot (@andrewkramer) […]
Chrono Trigger, Cool Scene with Action!

Here’s a great action scene by a talented filmmaker I found on youtube. The fx are cool and the action is well designed. Gotta love his style and sense of humor too. Enjoy!

And ya, I’m pretty sure he used Video Copilot’s Action Essentials 2 for a lot of the bullet hits and muzzle flashes but I must give the credit to the filmmakers for great compositing and integration.

Check out this other great movie scene.

6 years ago
Animating a Still

After looking at some amazing pictures of the recent Volcano I was inspired to bring one of them to life. I wanted to animate a still image to make it look it was video shot from a moving helicopter. I added some Optical Flares and subtle camera shake to give it a little more life. I also used the liquify filter to animate the smoke over time as it plumed out. There are also some small falling ash particles created with particular.

The flying parallax effect is a little tricky but I’ll see about making a quick tip or including it in the upcoming blog show.

Watch Sample Video

6 years ago
Stereo 3D

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OK, we have a cool tutorial in the works and some fascinating behind the scenes action based on our recent short movie but after that I want to explore Stereo 3D production. I’ve been collaborating with an amazing team of stereo experts and got a chance to talk to some pros handling the stereo workflow on the upcoming film Tron and it’s been a fascinating journey. In 3D!!

It seems a fair amount of people understand the basics of Stereo 3D and how it works but once you get into the science, it is easy to over-simplify and destroy the illusion. Now I don’t know if Stereo 3D is here to stay, but hollywood is going to be busy with it for many years ahead and I want to share everything that I’ve been learning over the last few months through behind-the-scenes interviews, tests and tutorials.

The concept of Stereo 3D is simple, 2 cameras capture a scene at about eye-distance apart. Now the challenge of Stereo 3D is delivering the image from the left-side camera back to the viewers left-eye and the right-eye image to the right one.

In the past, stereo 3D suffered from a poor delivery method known as anaglyph, which is the 2-colored glasses that aren’t the most comfortable to wear...

6 years ago
Plug-in Updates & Information

All Video Copilot products now support After Effects CS5 and free updates are available for Optical Flares and Twitch.

Important Information About CS5 and 64-bit:

  • Each Plug-in comes in 2 versions: one for After Effects CS5 (64-bit) and one for previous versions of After Effects such as AE 7, CS3 & CS4 (32-bit).
  • Please install the plug-in based on your version After Effects only. The 64-bit version is for After Effects CS5 only and NOT based on your Operating System.
  • So if you have AE CS4 installed on the 64-bit version of Windows 7, you still only need to install the 32-bit version of the plug-in because AE CS4 is still a 32-bit application.
  • Customers can reuse their current licenses with this update. Simply copy your license file from the previous directory into the new installation folder. If you have a new computer or need to request a new license please contact our support team.


Download Optical Flares 1.2.128 Update*
This update is for all customers, not just CS5. It includes several new features.
*We fixed a couple of bugs as well from 2 days ago.

Download Twitch CS5 Update
Order Email Required to download.

6 years ago