Free Stock-Pack Appreciation Day

Hey what’s up! I don’t think we have an opportunity to say “Thank You” enough for all of your support, patience and pretending to enjoy terrible jokes. But today, here is a small pack of goodies as a way of saying, “here’s a small pack of goodies.”

This random collection of 20 stock elements and textures range from a night at the Air Show, to a burning Fuse and some stunning Time-Lapse clouds. Not to mention a little payback! Well… actually, video clips of money from around the world.

We are proud and humbled to have such a strong and dedicated community so without sounding like a jerk. Thank you and please enjoy.

Video Sample

Download Stock Package (100MBs )

Mocha CS5 Export Option

Our latest tutorial called Magic Tracking features a handy preset to work with Corner Pin Data from Mocha AE. Well if you are using Mocha for CS5, be sure to export the data from mocha using the “Corner Pin Only” Option. This method does not include any transform data so the preset can function properly.

Also we know the preset is currently only in English, so if anyone would be so helpful to modify the preset and upload it for others to use. We’ll try to package it up and get all the languages soon.

Magic Ball Tracking

In our recent Magic Tracking Tutorial, we used a new preset to help locate a specific point on a surface tracked with Mocha AE. This technique works well to establish objects onto a specific location like a sign but you can also slide objects on the surface as well. This example shows the ability to animate that point along the surface by keyframing the position of the NULL.

For the boulder I used CC Sphere with some fast rotation and manually scaled the ball as it reaches the camera. You can even download the project and see how I did the other effects as well but I encourage you to check the Magic Tracking tutorial to see how it works. There is no 3D tracking and it was all created within After Effects and tracked with Mocha.

Watch Sample Video
Download Project File


So I posted an old out-take from some old footage and there were a few people that didn’t believe the shot was real (possibly because our Failed BlogShow Video).

Well to fair, I may have been tricky with the way I cropped the original shots… so here is the full un-cropped shot that clearly show the Air Canon in the background. Of course some people say “Don’t believe anything your read”, I say “Don’t believe anything you see”.

But in this case… believe what you want. The truth is out there.

Original Video

Old Clip

I found this old clip from our Action Essentials 2 film shoot. We used powerful air canons to create huge fireballs and I thought it was a good opportunity to run away from one in slow motion. Thanks to John and Ben for this candid moment.

And YES it is a REAL explosion, that’s why it looks fake! [Sound Fx added]

NEW TUTORIAL: Magic Tracking

In this exciting new tutorial we will go beyond basic tracking with a new Video Copilot preset for utilizing corner-pin tracking data. This new preset allows you to create dynamic Null Objects based on corner pin data from Mocha AE. It’s a simple solution to getting precise control over your tracking data and the tutorial shows you all you need to know. The explanation is more complicated than the process!

The preset interpolates a specific point based on your corner-pin data so you can attach elements to an infinite plane of a moving shot to fake depth and parallax; without 3D tracking. Trust me, you should watch this tutorial, it may give you some cool ideas! Plus I say some crazy stuff…

Sample Video

Watch Tutorial

Swat Scene with No VFX

Here is the recent swat scene without any visual effects or green color timing! Might help people understand how we setup certain shots and get some ideas on the workflow. These 2 guys actually seem a little more precise…

Watch Raw Scene

Search & Destroy

Using various roto and split-screen effects we transformed a two-man SWAT team into a full squad for this demo scene. Sam Loya reprises his role as the “guy who probably gets killed”, in this exciting industrial saga.

The main goal of this scene was to film everything as if we had a dozen guys instead of just two. Don’t just shoot things that will be easy to composite later, push the limits and make the scene more dynamic.

Stay-tuned for tips on using the new Roto-Brush in AE CS5 as well as other split-screen and masking solutions that can be achieved in all versions of After Effects.

Watch Scene

Army of Two

So you’re trying to create a big action sequence with LAPD SWAT but unfortunately Samuel L. Jackson is busy and you only have 2 costumes…

So, I’m currently exploring methods for integrating multiple takes of the same 2 actors, to make a scene more exciting. There are several methods for doing this kind of effect, such as keying or split-screen but I wanted to explore the new After Effects Roto-Brush and see how well it could work in difficult situations.

Creating a large army requires special considerations but in this case we just want to create the illusion of a 12-man swat team so it should be more manageable. We shot a little scene and we’ll see how it turns out after doing the work. I’ll post it here soon.

Basic Tips:

  • Keep costumes generic and similar, unique items will stand-out.
  • Change up accessories and weapons but keep track of changes
  • Plan the shots so you know what you need when shooting
  • Track where people are with markers so they don’t overlap

Be sure to check out Bloody Omaha to get some ideas on what is possible!

Sample Video

7 Lucky Clouds

I was on my way home just now but I had to grab my camera because the sky was doing cool things. Dang it! It’s amazing the difference a fancy sky background can have on your composites, so here are some 2K images to use!

Download ZIP