After Effects?

Posted by MikeLA 
After Effects?
March 24, 2006 04:37PM
Question, as a new editor, can anyone comment on something I've been wondering. Do most good video editors construct their EFX and transitions from scratch, or is it the case as I am finding that packages such as After Effects are what most editors use to do the really cool stuff?

Also, i've be looking for help on an EFX which I can only describe. It makes an image appear almost in a vertical flipping fashion, almost as if it were an old 35mm film running thru the projector without connecting to the sproket, so that is appears as if the frame just slide across the lens. Its something I see veery often these days, but I can't seem to re-create it.

thanks for any help folks!
Re: After Effects?
March 24, 2006 05:03PM
i use a combination of illustrator and after effects to make this happen. its a very easy but rather involved process. go to you local bookstore and find any one of the dozens of after effects tutorial books and look for topics alpha channel, and luma-mattes that will explain everything
Re: After Effects?
March 25, 2006 03:20PM

I wouldn't go by "what most good editors do"... you must find out what's best for you. "Most good editors" are just that... good editors. They know about storytelling & timing, but they don't know a lick about Design, typography, color & photorealistic FX creation. Their projects always reflect that in the end. Have you ever watched a piece that had a great story & cinematography but you said to yourself, "...looks like they did those FX at home". It's cool to attempt your own work...I would never discourage that...but if it were my own feature and I didn't know EXACTLY what I was doing... I would get with people that did.

I, personally, was an After Effects Artist before I was an Editor (back to v.3 in 1996) so I use After Effects Pro / Photoshop / Illustrator for ALL my FX (always have). I make commercials from script to screen, so I have my hands in all aspects of production. We always gear the shots towards what I am going to do with the ftg in After Effects...not the edit. Docs are a different world, I woud think.

A lot of really busy editors don't even touch the Grafix / FX... they actually go out of house or take on a freelance dedicated After FX / 3D Designer for "really cool stuff" so they can concentrate on tweaking the edit. Most high end boutiques do it this way - separate FCP / Avid / Grafix Departments. Most of the time, when an editor tries to do too much, one aspect of the production usually suffers...either the edit or the look (or the deadline - depending on the revisions). If you have a feature length Doc, and you plan on blowing it up, and you are "new to editing", would you trust your own inexperience to finalize your piece?

As far as your effect, you need to be more specific. How long is this effect? Do you have a link to a reference?

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

hey mike, in looking back at both mine and joeys responses to your questions - neither of us really got you any closer to your answer.

i spent a few minutes this morning putting together a very basic tutorial for you that i can post to my web server for you to download. quick question though - what version of after effects are you using??? as doing this process in version 7 is a little different than in previous versions.

cheers - wG
Re: After Effects? - TUTORIAL FILE
March 26, 2006 02:44PM
Wayne, thanks for your help. Everyone here has been very helpful, and I'm learning After Effects as we speak. I'm using version 7.0 and I'd love and appreciate ashort tutorial to get me started with that effect.
Re: After Effects?
March 26, 2006 02:50PM
thanks for the feedback. Your reply deals with the issue I've been going back and forth on alot How much EFX talent do I need to be a good editor, given that it is an area of expertise that people can and should focus exclusively on to some degree, so that Editors can be Editors and FX folks can be FX artists.

I am guessing that to be well rounded, and ( to be able also to put together a sexy reel) I need to learn a decent level of FX. It also seems that lots of TV work requires that an editor have rounded skills. thoughts?
Re: After Effects?
March 26, 2006 03:32PM

You don't need any "FX talent" to be a good editor. You don't need any "editing talent" to be a good FX Artist. You do need a certain amount of talent and ambition to be good at both (and get paid well for it) .

In LA, it's common for straight cutters not to touch FX...they get someone to dedicate themselves to that element and concentrate on the story. It just so happens that I have been doing both - making commercials (short form) script to screen for going on 7 years because my market dictates that for me to make a good living (Edit / Sound Design / Design & Compositing). Editor / FX Artists have a higher value with clients / employers than one or the other in my market (the newest Avid Editors at my facility were hired because they had experience with After Effects & Photoshop...NOT JUST THE NLE). I like to think I have gotten pretty good at both, even though a lot of straight cutters will tell you that you CAN'T do both and be good at both - which is nonsense. On some projects, I use FCP just for ingest / sound mixing / output (I cut / design the full spot in After Effects).

"...well rounded..."

I can't speak for you or your market, but here in Orlando, Florida, there are "well rounded" editors being hired at my studio. The straight cutter is a dinosaur here (especially online tape-to-tape). VERY small number of straight cutters I know of...and those that are, get paid less than an editor / FX Artist.

- Joey

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: After Effects?
March 27, 2006 04:16AM
I find this all very interesting. I think GFX Joe is correct - where I work I do the cutting and off it goes for GFX then I master to tape. However, I have been eding for seven years (Doc/commercials) and I am now ready to pursue the mastering of After Effects...whether I am any good or not is down to me I quess, my design skills are improving. But After Effects - wow. It is a killer piece of software and I would encourage folk to give it a try.
Re: After Effects?
March 27, 2006 02:37PM
ok, here is a link to the folder of the tutorial file:


its pretty basic and just uses circles, but you can use any black shape you can create in illustrator as your masking shape.

the files are:
- which is the illustrator shape mask
- circles.aep is an AE file that animates several of those illustrator circles filling the screen.
- is the movie result of circles.aep
- is the video clip to be masked.
- mix.aep is the circles and bus movies laid together to create the effect.

there is a little icon of a circle overlaying a square at the lower left of the AE7 timeline window that toggles the transfer controls view, make sure that is set so that you can see the alpha track matte pull down off to the right of the bus clip.

keep in mind this is a SUPER BASIC and pretty rough sample workflow, but i think it shuould get you on the road to where youre going.

you WILL have questions... post them here when you come accross them

cheers - wG
Re: After Effects?
March 30, 2006 09:14PM
Thanks Wayne buddy... I'll try this out in the next day or so. Appreciate it.

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