Category Archives: After Effects

Roto Brush 2: Semantic Boogaloo

Back in 2018 I wrote,

Wanna feel like walking directly into the ocean? Try painstakingly isolating an object in frame after frame of video. Learning how to do this in the 90’s (using stone knives & bear skins, naturally), I just as quickly learned that I never wanted to do it again. 

Happily the AE crew has kept improving automated tools, and they’ve just rolled out Roto Brush 2 in beta form. Ian Sansevera shows (below) how it compares & how to use it, and John Columbo provides a nice written overview.

In this After Effects tutorial I will explore and show you how to use Rotobrush 2 (which is insane by the way). Powered by Sensei, Roto Brush 2 will select and track the object, frame by frame, isolating the subject automatically.

New public betas available for Adobe video apps

I somehow overlooked last month’s announcement of a public beta program for Adobe DVA apps:

Today a small group of users will become the first Adobe Creative Cloud members to find Beta versions of the Adobe video and audio apps available in the Creative Cloud Desktop app. This marks the start of a public Beta program which will roll out incrementally over the coming months, until it is available to all Creative Cloud members.

Now O.G.’s David Simons & Jason Levine have given a live overview and Q&A covering the project:

The new public Beta program started rolling out to Creative Cloud members earlier this year. On Friday, join this discussion and live Q&A with Jason Levine and David Simons, Adobe Fellow, who has been leading the initiative. If the name rings a bell: Dave is one of the inventors of After Effects, for which he won a technical Academy Award, and Adobe Character Animator, which won him a technical Emmy.

Premiere Pro introduces productions

Not to be confused with cloud-hosted Team Projects, this new feature is geared towards editors working together on premises:

Productions connects Premiere Pro project files, making them into components of the larger workflow.

Media referencing across projects means you can reuse assets within your Production without creating duplicate files. Using shared local storage, multiple editors can work on different projects in the same production. Project Locking ensures that no one overwrites your work.

You control your content: Productions use shared local storage and can be used without an internet connection.

Adobe makes Team Projects free to editors & animators into August

My wife & her team have been working hard to support freelancers & other video professionals collaborating remotely. Here’s some great news:

[W]e are pleased to extend the availability of Adobe’s Team Projects video collaboration capabilities to Premiere Pro and After Effects users with a Creative Cloud for individual license… until August 17, 2020, at no additional cost. […]

Team Projects is a cloud-hosted collaboration service that allows editors and motion graphics artists to work within Premiere Pro and After Effects. With Team Projects, colleagues can collaborate on video projects from anywhere by syncing changes through the cloud. All you need to do is connect to the Team Projects service and create a team project in Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects.

Project files are stored and saved in Creative Cloud, so you can revert and sync project files across multiple workstations.

Check out the rest of the post for an FAQ and other details.

Killer animations o' the day

  • Despite finding it some time ago, I’ve been avoiding blog The Art of the Title Sequence, knowing that it would likely take over my life.  Sure enough, it’s loaded with good stuff.  Check out the beautiful titles for El Don, whipped up by Santiago artists Smog.  I saw motion graphics pioneer Kyle Cooper (SE7EN, etc.) speak years ago and remember him saying that every frame should hold up on its own as graphic design.  This piece aces that test.  (For unrelated goodness, see Smog’s “monkey-headed dancing guy” (or whatever “un mono bailarín” is).)
  • Motion artist PES creates incredible stop-motion films using found objects.  KaBoom and Western Spaghetti are particularly great (c’mon, Candy Corn as flames?).  Check out his work before People for the Ethical Treatment of Upholstery shut him down. [Via John Peterson & Maria Brenny, “Because (re: KaBoom) I know what you do in the desert”]
  • My Drive Thru is a new stop-motion video for Converse, produced by the team at Psyop.  Behind the scenes, Pharrell Williams talks about rescuing Chuck Taylors from the taint of Punky Brewster, and Glossy interviews the Psyop crew while posting some high-res stills. [Via]
  • Superfad has kicked out a trio of stylish ads for Sprint.  The Hurricane Katrina spot is particularly worth a look.  

Recent motion graphics goodness

 

  • Roi Sabarov’s Typeflow animation is poetry in motion.  ("That is awesome.  That goes on the blog."  –Margot, Licensed Nackwife.)
  • Fatal Farm makes some super, ah, unique remixes of 80’s TV themes.  Knight Rider is brilliant, though be warned that you won’t be getting the song out of your head. The rest are of mixed taste, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • Mato Atom’s "Champions" probably won’t change any hearts and minds about Bush, Blair, & Co., but it’s impeccably executed. [Via Sebastian Meyer]
  • I like the lo-fi stylings of these animated videos for Welsh band Los Campesinos!, created by Simon Ampel & Chris Seimasko.
  • The Whitest Boy Alive is all about optical illusions. [Via]

 

By the way, if you’re going to be in NYC in a couple of weeks & are interested in After Effects, you might want to check out the next AENY meeting.  Jim Geduldick writes to say that the June 26th meeting will feature some cool speakers:

 

  • Visual Designer Marc Coleran, whose work has been seen in films like  The Bourne Ultimatum, Domino, Alien vs. Predator, The Bourne Identity, Blade II, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The World Is Not Enough – just to name a few.
  • Visual effects artist John Montgomery, co-founder of the online visual effects news site fxguide, as well as the training site fxphd. His Clients and Credits include Super Bowl commercials for McDonald’s, Disney as well as work for Budweiser, Miller, Hallmark, Sears, Moen, Gatorade, Morgan Stanley, and the ESPN and CBS television networks.

 

Check out the AENY site for more details.

Technology sneak: Photoshop, AE, Flash

Last Thursday Adobe held a day-long event at which the execs briefed members of the financial community.  A couple of us spear carriers (Steve Heintz, Karl Soule, and I) were recruited to help show off some new technology that’s baking "in the labs" (i.e. none of this stuff is promised for a future version, your mileage my vary, void where prohibited, professional driver on a closed course, etc.).

Check out the Connect webcast to see the goods in action.  (Scrub ahead to 18 minutes or so–about one third of the way through–to catch the demos.)  I show off some new performance tuning in Photoshop by playing with a 650 megapixel image on a Mac Pro.  It’s too bad that the low frame rate of recording hides the fluidity of panning, zooming, and rotating via OpenGL hardware acceleration.  I also demonstrate automated merging of images to extend depth of field, as well as a 360-degree panorama mapped onto an interactive 3D sphere on which I can paint directly.  (Painting directly onto 3D models–mmm, yes.)  Steve demos Adobe’s new "Thermo" RIA design tool while Karl shows off inverse kinematics in Flash and more.

You can check out the rest of the executive presentations & their slides here.