Back on Track!

Over the past year I had the opportunity to work on Star Wars, 10 Cloverfield Lane and more recently Star Trek Beyond (not titles this time).  Whew! Now that I am focusing on Video Copilot Full-Time (YAY!!) I’ve noticed something different.

It started with Saber. (Our free Energy Beam plug-in)
It was my first thing after getting out from underneath the visual effects tsunami of working on features. It started as a simple plug-in that would kick things off again. But while working on the promo video with my release date set, something seemed off.

The plug-in wasn’t good enough!

It was OK but not up to the Video Copilot standards. After-all, it’s been so long since I had done something new, I wanted it to be REALLY COOL! But it needed more work.

Not really an ideal way to approach a hard deadline.

As I worked on the promo video to show off what the plug-in could do,  I would say to myself: “We need better noise options”, “We need control over masking and glow order?”, “What if you could use Text Layers too!?”, “I need to create a specific look and we need to add distortion!”, “We need a preset manager!”

I love making software, so even though we were running out of time, we needed these features! This was the ultimate stress test because we were adding and testing features under a lot of pressure and I must admit, it can be helpful.

In the end our plug-in was 2 weeks late. Every missed day was excruciating. Knowing how much work needed to get done and hoping it will be worth it.

After-all some of the BEST FEATURES were added in, days before we released it.  And while I’m personally very proud of our Saber plug-in, I knew we needed to do better, but I didn’t fully understand what I was up against.

Afterwards, I figured out what had changed.

When you work on a movie, there are supervisors  and Directors and everything you do is projected on a big screen! The bar is set high! Every pixel is analyzed and scrutinized. You learn quickly, that EVERY DETAIL MATTERS!

Once you develop an eye for certain details, it is very hard to settle or to ignore them. So somehow the better you get at something, the longer it takes. What?!

Now I’ve got to do a better job at accounting for the extra work needed to reach these high standards and even hire some additional compositors to help with projects so I can keep the ideas rolling out and back to reliable release schedules. I have too many crazy ideas!

So yeah… in regards to the upcoming Video Copilot show… it may have got a little too ambitious… But with some better planning in the future, I know we can get back to our A-game!

I’m very excited about the show, we worked really hard on it and we are putting the finishing touches on it this weekend! Until then!

NOTE:
Just for contrast: Element 3D V2 doesn’t have a promo video and Saber has a promo with 35 fx shots. And it’s a free plug-in. I’d say it might actually be a curse!

 

POSTED:
4 years ago
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PLUG-INS
81 Comments

3 years ago
great to hear this
4 years ago
Hi Andrew,
I used this plugIn and the CC for our new music video.
Enjoy ,,, and thanx for the great stuff you bring in.
https://youtu.be/EGLviI-5ntg
solaiappan
4 years ago
Little Fun With Videocopilot and My Company LOGO
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loXVZobpKZk
Ace
4 years ago
Currently playing with saber to create some kind of ghost aura. Such a great tool. Thanks a ton!

https://www.behance.net/gallery/41822979/HELP-ME-FIRST-SHORT-MOVIE-CREATING-THE-DEMONS
4 years ago
I love this plugin because I used it in all my projects , It's easy and need a little time , but we need more features .. thank you AnDrew .. your friend from Canada :)
BigFan
4 years ago
Only thing saber is missing is the ability to loop, like with the inbuilt fractal noise 😉
4 years ago
Wow....! you worked on 10 cloverfield lane.... I need to go and rewatch that movie again. doing that right now.
Adam
4 years ago
Andrew , please i watched every tutorial you have made but i can't produce the qualityyou have although i have a 2 GB NVIDIA GEFORCE 710M , when i see for example the logo VIDEO COPILOT with Cloud here in this page , the image so perfect tell me how you get this quality please
William Yeh
4 years ago
My first thought was...INTERCEPT!?!?!! WHERE IS IT!?!?! Mainly because Star Wars was quite a while ago. But then I saw somethign: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE??? STAR TREK BEYOND???? Some of y favs of 2016!!! I forgive you, Andrew. KEEP IT UP!!!
Tural
4 years ago
Worth
4 years ago
Any chance that you might create a public update to element 3D using the coding work done for Force Awakens? The hologram look.
4 years ago
Hey andrew , A lots of Saber and few Shockwave material used in New WWE smackdown new era theme video.

http://bit.ly/2atCYPl
    wes
    4 years ago
    I'm not sure if that's something for him to be proud of or make him cry...lol.
    4 years ago
    I am not sure either. haha
    But big brand like WWE used it so yeah.
Simon Thorley
4 years ago
Always a buzz to know Andrew's onto something new, and out there - a genuine pioneer.

Simon.
Robert Kertesz
4 years ago
Awesome as always :) Very curious about the cloud pic, on how it was made. Take care of yourself Andrew and wish you all the best for you and your family! :)
Jeremy
4 years ago
Take care of your family, then work stuff. This is not condescending speak stuff, just a voice out here saying that the real world is great when the home front is ... great. We will all live just fine if your work and inspiration are two weeks late. Thank you as always for sharing your passion, lessons, family and talent with all of us. Thank you for the free plugins by the way.... very generous of you.
    Shawn Anthony
    4 years ago
    I endorsed Jeremy's wise counsel on putting family first. Dr. Kramer, your hard work and sacrifice is appreciated. We sincerely thank you. Give the family all the time they deserve.
4 years ago
So, you're saying that you don't have any new tutorials?
4 years ago
We all appreciate all the hard work that goes into these tools! Thank you!
4 years ago
Andrew,

Freddie W used your news templates from July 9th, 2008 in his new video....2:35 into video :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KIWVfJzBWk
4 years ago
The wait is always worth it here, as for the detail on big screen, so true, my first gig was doing print production in the late 90s and the attention to detail had to be spot on, it was a good start for future projects in video production and attention to detail.

Looking forward to the new stuff.
4 years ago
men, i only have to say u r to way important to new filmmakers.
chris
4 years ago
Can we get a fluid/partial system for element..working in Maya sucks
4 years ago
Hey Andrew Kramer,

Thanks for all the hard work, I have been watching since the first Riot Gear. My question is, is the AE beginners course you did still relevant since AE has evolved so much. It is something I have dipped my toes in, and done the very basics, but now I am looking into studying it more, but its knowing where to start. I was going to start at the very first tutorial of yours, but do you think that would be a benefit. If you cant answer this, I hope one of your Minions can :)
John
4 years ago
With all respekt....I love you guys ! But dont give us that Jim Jannard 2009 style ! Dont announce to cancel ! Thats soooo oldschool !
4 years ago
Andrew, you simply saved my life with that plugin! It was really helpful for this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F098aAErOoU

Don't be so hard on yourself, however i understand your attitude.
You, your team and your plugins made a revolution several times in film industry, you've done already much more than anybody.
    ANDREW FANS
    4 years ago
    thx a lot andrew
Curtis
4 years ago
I'd love to see how you made the elevator. Still waiting on the sonic boom you did awhile back. But like others have said. It's cool when you just drop it and post some content. And let us know what your doing.
Michel Dumont
4 years ago
Thank you Andrew for the time you put on your works. Always top-notch
4 years ago
Andrew - you are our of your mind. Saber is one of the best plug-ins you've ever made. The only plug-in I use more than Saber is "Copy Frame to Clipboard." I can't even imagine my life without that one. Sure, Element is cool, but Saber, with it's high-quality noise distortion, feels like instant sexiness that I don't know how I lived with before.

When you released Saber I happened to be directing a sci-fi series for Verizon's Go90 (shameless plug: MISS 2059 http://tinyurl.com/zgu4lxq). I ended up telling our VFX House that I wanted to do all the glowing effects with Saber. I even pitched using Glass Eyes to bring one of our creatures to life. I lost the Glass Eyes battle, but Saber is all over this show.

Needless to say, I would happily pay $100 for Saber. So bill me and keep up the great work!
4 years ago
Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown, eh, Andrew?
Leo
4 years ago
Very thanks for teaching us about these cool tutorials, can you share some of the soundtracks of 《BTS Star Trek Titles》(Including the soundtrack at the beginning of each of your tutorials)? These soundtracks sound pretty cool, I like them very much. Thanks sincerely!
Duncan
4 years ago
Nice, man. Honestly, it's just cool that you're back contributing to the site. Can't wait to see the blog show!
George Laird
4 years ago
as a fan, can I just say I love the tutorials, love the skill you pass on, and can honestly say you have helped me understand more about the movie business and how it relates to cgi than anyone else I know.

As to saber, as is it's great but you are so good you just keep making stuff better.

Some of the tutorials are just jaw dropping, especially the destroyed city one, that was amazing, I have watched that one countless times.
reza
4 years ago
hey man. i am so happy for you. you have done amazing jobs. congratulations bro.
so what about your short film "intercept"?
it's been more than a year but i still can't wait to watch it.
SaifTechno
4 years ago
I love this plugin because I used it in all my projects , It's easy and need a little time , but we need more features .. thank you AnDrew .. your friend from Iraq :)
Max
4 years ago
(obviously) made with Saber : https://dribbble.com/shots/2830573-Atomic-Ed
it rocks for me :)
Oleg
4 years ago
my congratulation! you showed for everyone what you can,) cool
4 years ago
Firstly, thank you. You have given away a lot of very useful free things and the price for element is a real bargain. I appreciate that. As well, your quality is great. J.J. is not a fool i would say. He hired you for a reason. But the kind of quality that you are going for needs a budget and a sales price. I think it is time to hire an office manager who does bookkeeping and will help keep everything to a monetary standard for the future. As for creating software, yeah, that is what my family does. I am learning Java programming on the side now. Making software does seem pretty cool huh? I don't know what it is but i just love the feeling of making a script or program and having it work. Video and graphics can be so subjective. Where as programming is either on or off. I honestly like programming so far more than doing grpahic design or video work. With video planning and execution it is most often about getting things "Good enough" for the money and whenever i look back at my work i don't like it at all. My stuff is too low budget for tiny companies. But even if it wasn't the work itself is too subjective. With programming, it is much more straight forward to get a product that works, and you like it. And as well, you can more easily continue to simply make it better and better over time. With visual products, that simply can't be done. Its ok to like programming software Andrew. Be a proud programmer!
Ashley Lee
4 years ago
Ummm.... Intercept?
4 years ago
Hey Andrew

That's the wrong direction in the clip . why the videocopilot-logo moves down ? It goes up !!!

You are doing a very good job.

Thank you
Thomas
4 years ago
Saber was right on time for me... the week Saber was released, I had a music video that I was doing some vfx work for. The main performer is a rock violinist and I needed to have his bow spin and be on fire. With the motion blur, added I looked just like how fire looks as it spins on a stick. (ie. like it does in comparative footage of fire dancers). The footage was 4k and it looked great! Thanks, for the free plug-in.
4 years ago
Video Copilot has really been stepping up the game and I'm really glad you are thinking to get more people on board :) Just found out how much quality matters when you work on a project for months.
Ben
4 years ago
Every detail matters but look at the top right corner of the title render =O Otherwise great idea, can I ask how was the cloud made? Thanks!
    4 years ago
    Crowd sourced quality control!
    Kevin
    4 years ago
    I don't see anything wrong with it..
    4 years ago
    @kevin you can see some Photoshop clone stamp gone "wrong".
    Aidan
    4 years ago
    Clone stamping? Looks like it got passed into Photoshop for a final cleanup.
Jakob
4 years ago
you should make a destruction particle simulator for after effects!
4 years ago
I don't feel its the delay that people get upset about, but rather the lack of updates explaining the reasons why there is a delay.

This update is a great step forward and a perfect example of what updates/ posts we love seeing from you. Even if its just about your struggles, hurdles and victories.
4 years ago
Hell yeah man, renders are looking legit. Looking forward to the blog show.
chris
4 years ago
Thanks Andrew for your hard work! Would it ever be possible to have Element for hitfilm 4 pro? The only reason I'm using after effects is because of you! I hate the adobe CC payment plan...But it would be nice to have Element for hitfilm or even nuke!
Daniel Walker
4 years ago
I love this site and what you do! Though if ambition is the driver, then maybe a challenge would be good. There is a piece of software called Vue from e-on and this to me would be the coup de grace of awesomeness if we could more easily couple this with After Effects. The Cinema4D plugin looked promising, but it can't do it now either. That would just be too cool! Just saying!
4 years ago
It's always worth the wait for your plug-ins and tutorials. I have learned sooo much over the years and have most all your goods. Thanks Andrew!
Eddie Gomez
4 years ago
It's funny I think vfx work is one of the few jobs that comes home with us, only because if want to increase our skill we need to be constantly trying on software, ideas, or just our eye. Andrew what u do is fantastic and I'm sure all of us here can appreciate what you do, and at the level that u do it in...from Working on features, VC, and making babies...dude props...so although many deadlines seemed to get missed, the true fans I believe are understanding and are willing to stick it out with ur company as long as you can. Big fan always :)
Koz
4 years ago
I think Saber is pretty awesome...
Jimmy
4 years ago
Just saw Star Trek Beyond. Anybody else extremely disappointed by the lack of Andrew Kramer (and team)-quality end credits? In regard to the Into Darkness end credits, they were pretty lame. It looked like they tried to copy them, but they weren't experienced enough to do it. Still better than me though... :)
yair
4 years ago
Holy fuck! your compositing abilities are just amazing and i just wanna say that i'de save up alot of money if you would sell a course about it. there are not alot of good tutorials or even paid courses about the subject.
psikhopat
4 years ago
kramer vs kramer what ! :P
baha
4 years ago
Andrew you've done so much and you have so much power but i think you're not very much aware of it. The power is your community. with our help you can achieve so much. Like crowdsourcing, compositing, editing, designing, anything that can be done on a PC. You can always distribute your workload and many of us would gladly help for free.
Christian
4 years ago
Can't wait for this blog show! You talked about your standards being pushed up, and a lot of us are pushing are standards towards your work, you are expanding better work beyond more than just yourself.
johnsnow
4 years ago
this weekend is over ??? you mean next weekend july 30th
Alsager
4 years ago
Comments started to decline
    xnauw
    4 years ago
    Happens when you've been gone for too long. I'm sure these blogs will get crowded again soon. Welcome back Andrew, feed us again what you've learned in your experiences.
Patrick
4 years ago
Good work needs time guys!
I loved your HUD stuff and your holograms in star wars! Could you maybe make a tutorial about this and it would be absolutly amazing if you could upload your elevator 3d model!
Dan
4 years ago
i stand corrected...
Gabe
4 years ago
AK, do you know how much anticipation you built in leaving so long between updates this last year? Unbearable at times. We miss you, don't leave again.
JOHN RONALD
4 years ago
when can we see your VFX again ?
4 years ago
Cant wait !
Federico
4 years ago
Woow.. I watched Star Treck yesterday and I was sure that title sequences were yours! Then what have You done on it? Congrats in any case!
    4 years ago
    Cool! I haven't seen it yet but this time I helped on some HUD stuff not the main title. Best!
Kai
4 years ago
For your next product, it would be an amazing idea to have a pack of 3d simulated explosions, dust elements and more that could be brought to element 3d as obj sequences, so that we can give the otherwise 2d elements from action essentials a sense of depth. I think that would be helpful to anyone doing vfx in after effects!
    Patrick
    4 years ago
    Yeah that would be sooo great!
David Vizurant
4 years ago
Soon you will also add Easter Eggs in your productions :D
Ivan
4 years ago
Glad to hear news from you, Andrew!
Question: how did you do those E3D renders for instagram with a lot of gradients and no banding? Btw, there were similar renders from you on youtube almost without banding. Any tips? Thanks
    4 years ago
    Little bit of noise always helps.
    Koz
    4 years ago
    Bit of noise and render at 16 or 32 bpc
    cloclo
    4 years ago
    32bit, if you use ramp-effects noise 'm up (if you can that is in that particular effect (dither or something)), if vignetting try adding subtle color in vignette, add noise (grain) overall, when exporting see that the encoding doesn't take out all that noise again
eric wadsworth
4 years ago
No apologies necessary, we'll be waiting champ. E
Muckyman
4 years ago
Blog show this Tuesday then...Yay !