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Filip Vandueren's Blog

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Motion 3 vs AECS3

My my, the public beta of After Effects CS3 gets released AND Apple anounces Motion 3.

Go feast your eyes !

I've never played with Motion (I bought FCP & DVDSP, and never felt the need to upgrade to the studio), although I've sometimes wondered if Motion wasn't a better tool for some simple jobs.

But looking at the pressreleases begs the question: is Motion still AE's little brother ? It used to look and feel like an iApp that found it's way in a pro-studio, but here are some observations on it's latest incarnation:

The biggest surprise for me is the tracker in Motion. On first inspection (OK, it's just looking at the few Quicktimes on, it appears to be accurate, fast and it has way better control over stabilizing footage than AE.Haven't played with AECS3 yet, but I've heard nothing of an update to the tracker engine: a big mistake IMO: it's one of the areas where After Effects is still an easy target for people calling it an amateur app.

Motion has 3D layers now, a camera, lights (probably the lighting quality & quantity is limited by the openGL cacacities of your GPU) and it includes 3D text with individual characters flying around. AECS3 also introduces 'per character 3D', but consider it's here 5 releases after adobe introduced 3D layers.

Motions Audio Behaviours can be compared to Trapcode's Soundkeys, but wow, it's right there in the app with very clean previewing of the audio, and more importantly, no 3rd party stuff needed. Puts AE's Convert Audio to Keyframes functionaity to shame.


I know that After Effects will always be my choice for putting together larger projects, because of it's pre-comping, and I absolutely love motionscripting the hell out of every pixel on screen, but perhaps that's my idée fixe.And I can't count the times when I loathed waiting for another ram-preview with portions of the timeline that were finished two days ago.

Would having motion-projects chained together in an FCP timeline proove a better workflow ?Andwould that be that different from doing the same in Premiere, back on the (intel)-mac ?


I'm still not certain if I should fork out for both full video-suites, or mix and match FCP + AE.

Time may tell... Your views ?

Posted by: Filip Vandueren on Apr 16, 2007 at 10:21:39 amComments (3) after effects, apple, nab, final cut pro

Must see promos/shorts/animations

some quick copy-pastes, from Ludo Luykx' nozap blog @ 
Google's Master Plan:

Posted by: Filip Vandueren on Apr 2, 2007 at 7:55:43 pm movies

Dropping shadows... with CC Composite & Calculations

One of my nags with After Effects has always been the drop-shadow effect. It just seems so limited, and even worse: so slow to render...  Looks like it still uses the old Gaussian blur algorithm instead of the Fast Blur.  So I've gotten in the habit of creating my own Drop shadow formulas, using a combination of Tint, and any combinations of Blur I like, Fast, Directional, Radial, or sometimes even Trapcode's Starglow set to dark colors. But then I wind up with 2 copies of every layer, right ? That's where CC Composite steps in: you can use it to composite your original footage together with how your footage looks after filtering.  OK Cool...  But I still have to add it to, say, every single text-layer I want to separate from a background.  Well, for those occasions where I have a bazillion layers and don't care for them dropping shadows on each other, but I do want all of them to dropshadow on a background layer I found this nifty trick:
  1. I hide the Bg Layer
  2. I create an Adjustment Layer with any drop shadow treatment I'd like
  3. Then I use the Calculations filter to mulitply the hidden background on top of this shadow. (deselect 'Preserve Transparency')
  4. Then I add a CC Composite set to 'in front'
Et viola: Any Dropshadow I like with layermodes composited on a BG.  If it wasn't for CC Composite & Calculations, you would have to precompose all the text-layers create a copy of the the PreComp, with the Shadow Effects, and Add the BG underneath that.  "OK, Filip, but why go through that trouble: It's just 1 Precomp"  Well: because I can.

Posted by: Filip Vandueren on Mar 29, 2007 at 6:09:52 pmComments (2) after effects

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