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Category Archives: After Effects

After Effects compositing Technique, Tutorials & Resource.

I recently traded services with a talented designer/web designer friend Nick.
I did a added some motion to a TV spot with some sound design from some images and fonts that he provided to me.
In exchange he re-designed and revamped my website.

new gorillaproductions 2009 site

I am just re-compressing the Flash media to fit his functional and clean design.
He gave and captured a great feel for my type of work whilst featuring my reel footage.

I think I won in this trade, but I am sure I will get him back on another TV spot.


(Long descriptive non- creative more descriptive titles so you can find it on the inter-web)

Why isn’t there 3D text in After Effects yet?
I was watching a pretty cool tutorial from the GreyMan. He created a pretty cool old video effect look, which is sometimes the hardest thing to do. Then it had me thinking about the recent updates from Adobe. They seem really interested integrating 3D features into Photoshop and Illustrator but what about After Effects. For years there has been Plug-ins an workarounds and presets to make 3D text but why are they taking baby steps when this feature has come and gone in a sense. Time to give it up Adobe…

Your key is perfect, it blends in with the background, you have adjusted all the color correction and everything but there is something still not just right.


Your Brain is telling you NO! I think the very generous Maltaannon has given in his tutorial LIGHTWRAP the “keys” to the keying problem for FREE.

Maybe it is my eye has been exposed to the evolution of green screen thought the years and I usually can pick off a greenscreen but in recent years some shots I just know are logistically greenscreen moments but I can’t see it and I think this is why. This little addition of the interaction of the light wrapping around the subject is what is tricking my brain into thinking that the Giant Monkey is stomping out the city.

This technique is a must in your keying arsenal!
(And Hey if your reading this and your at one of those Big Companies, make them buy the Man’s Preset because he is making you the Hero.)


I sorta enjoy watching keynotes or presentations but taking time out of my busy day to go to a conference hall to listen to 10 different presentations and eat a continental breakfast is not always my idea of a productive time spent.
All that, to get to one 20 min featured product… a healthy alternative from the comfort of your computer.

macvideo-logo delivers tons of info and presentations on all aspects of Editing, Authoring, Motion Graphics and cameras. Lots of nice demos and previews.


Still trying to back into the mix of the freelance lifestyle after a few months of grinding it out at Cuppa Coffee Productions. (pun intended)
Just finishing a HIV Stigma web campaign and have a 2 more potential projects in the works.

I was doing a little catching up on my software packages, after working in a production environment where they use older versions of software packages, I learned to appreciate being able to upgrade my system and have the best tools at my disposal for my projects.

Adobe seems to want to make Photoshop the next After Effects.
I watched this tutorial running down the new features in PS CS4. Originally, I was slightly annoyed by the very close updates of their packages, I just got familliar with the 3D capabilities of CS3 and I haven’t even had a chance to familliarize myself with all the new features in AE CS3. They should have just waited and called CS3, CS4 at this rate in 2020 we will have CS XXV.

Here is a link to the Photoshop CS4 new tools:

They created some cool tools to generate a proper plates, focus and 3D composting graphics but why not include this features in AE, so we don’t need to go back in forth in Photoshop? Doesn’t make much sense that the Pros could not have these tools in AE that a Photoshop artist has access to.


However, they seem to be consistent Photoshop now has basic Video editing and 3D capabilities since CS3 Extended. For some reason it seems like a lot of effort is being put into photoshop as the “hub” of the Adobe package. It sort of makes sense or does it? If they can convert that user base, they would have a huge share of the market, but at the expense (neglecting) of the rest of their pro market.
Similar to Apple, they seem to neglect the pro or at least force them to invest in a pricier laptop… ahhh that is another topic to tackle on another day.

Here is a quick way to get up to spead on the new video features in Photoshop.

I use After Effects a lot so I don’t think I would need these features.
Crazy thought: they should combine After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator… that seems to be the natural solution rather then integrating minor capabilities from all the apps.

I stumbled upon a really info filled podcasts on
3 different podcast and one podcast dedicated to the Red camera (Red Center)

Lots of good information and good resource to more information.

The podcast lead me to a DV rebel, Stu Maschwitz, that doesn’t treat DV as a film stepchild.
Moreover, he is all about the practical filmmaking. Using “Prosumer” tools like After Effects to achieve HighEnd finish. His Blog ProLost has very great trick like how to do a mini crane shot/dolly without a dolly

Definetly an out of the box thinker. Also, he is involved with the Orphanage company.

Since I am between major aka exciting projects, I am going to pick up this book today and try some cool stuff out with my dv camera.

I have been taking a PW (personal week) perfecting some After Effects skills and working through this training DVD by Andrew Kramer (

dvd training tutorial

The tutorial goes through the round trip production workflow of compsiting a fake Bullet, built in a 3D package and dropping into a prepared After Effects 3D scene, that is composited and color corrected for final delivery.

Andrew gives you a basic insight into Building a simple 3D object in 3 different packages (3d max, cinema 4d and Blender). Blender is an exciting package. It’s a free 3D package that is open source and very deep. I had played around with it before and honestly having some 3D package terminology and concepts down is helpful but he definitely gives you the real world concepts needed to “knock it out of the park”.

Free 3-D software package

The low down on the Bullet Tutorial is that it is good. Unfortunately, I would have to say that it isn’t free like most of the other tutorials at, but you have to help a Brotha out and lay down the cold hard cash.

Also, it isn’t for the novice AE user there are alot of advanced/pro level concepts that are applied. Another negative, he goes really fast, so it doesn’t take 5hrs as advertised but it just might be that my old brain is not good at mimicking/transferring knowledge from one screen to the next. I opened the .swf files of the tutorial in Quicktime so I could pause and rewind and that solved the speed issue.

Overall Gouda like the Cheese!