Last week I was working on a retail spot where we needed a product that wasn’t shot on-figure. But we did have a shot of a similar product. It just needed a little work. This is what I mean by “a little:”
I’m pretty pleased with the end result. It was a fun task to work on, though I hope I don’t have to do it too often…
If you’ve worked on commercial project, you know there’s only one constant: change… especially at the last minute. One of the things that seems to frequently change is color choice. If you have a complicated AE animation and many layers that use the same colors, this can be a royal pain. You can reduce this pain if, from the beginning, you set up a color control layer.
[Note: this really only works well if you're working on vector animations with single-color objects.]
First, set up an adjustment layer and add the “Color Color” effect found under “Expression Controls.” Do this for as many colors as you want.
Then, apply the “Fill” effect under “Generate.” Here, you can option-click (alt-click on PC) and drag the pick-whip (that little spiral button) to the color control in your color control layer.
Now, when the client comes back to you with the comment “The trees should be purple,” you won’t be cursing under your breath (as much).
Being a Mac guy who works with After Effects, this news really bothers me. Keven Schmidt at Creative Mac benchmarked renders in After Effects CS4 on Mac OS X and Windows. The result? AE still renders faster in Windows, by roughly 1.2x. Now, AE has traditionally rendered faster in Windows, but now that we’re on v9 and OS X has been around for 8 years, you’d think there would be significant improvements. Kevin about sums it up:
Either Adobe isn’t tuning After Effects on the Mac at all, or tuning the buhjeezus out of the Windows versions. Hell, even single process rendering on Vista generally spanks multiple processes on Leopard, for the love of Pete.
This, coupled with the continued sub-par performance of Flash on the Mac really makes me doubt Adobe’s commitment to the Mac platform. Are they still bitter about Final Cut Pro eating into Premiere sales back in 1998 & 1999?
As a side note, the other takeaway from the post is that enabling multiprocessing in AE doesn’t save much time in either platform. For longer renders, it may help, but for those intermediate small batches, you may be better of sticking to single processes. This is something I’ve suspected for a long time, and I’m glad to see some numbers on this.
Now, if you don’t have Particular, what you can do is go in your back yard, and get a pile of dirt together. Put it in your hand, along with a grenade… No, along with like, a small firecracker. And then… light it. And when your hand blows off, what you can do is sue the company that makes the fireworks. Take the money from the settlement, and then buy Particular… so we can do this tutorial together.
Really, he doesn’t get into Particular until part 2, though.