Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, & Happy New Year!
I was having some strange problems with audio not playing back properly in After Effects the other day, followed quickly by a similar issues in Premiere Pro. Wasn't able to find any google love for the problem, but eventually stumbled upon something that seemed to have fixed my problem.
Basically I was occasionally losing the ability to playback audio during Ram previews in AE, no matter what I had the audio preferences set at. I think* my problem was solved after booting up the 'Audio MIDI setup' utility. In here I noticed that there was entries for both After Effects 10.5 as well as After Effects 10.5.1, which I think was the route of the problem. Maybe the 10.5.1 update left some cache or something that was causing a conflict? Either way, I deleted the old one and everything seems to be back to normal for me now.
*Not 100% sure this was what solved it, but I'm pretty sure as things seem to be remedied for the most part now. This may or may not be of any use to anyone, but I just thought I'd put it out there in case someone stumbles upon this in a google search, as I couldn't find any mention of it out there myself. The Audio Midi setup tool is in your Utilities folder fyi.
Post Haste is an awesome app/utility I use on a regular basis. I have wanted something like this for a long time, especially when working in a busy studio environment with jobs coming in from everywhere and no one person responsible for getting project folders setup. I even entertained looking into getting it produced myself at one point because it was desperately needed at the time. But luckily, Paul Conigliaro came through and did everyone a huge favor with Post Haste. Basically this little utility pops up a dialog where you enter your new project's details and hit 'Create Project'. It creates a copy of your project folder template (which you define), and places it into your chosen directory of choice. Simple? Yes, but use it for a little while an you'll quickly discover how invaluable this little guy is.
I evoke Launchbar, type 'pos'... up pops Post Haste, quickly fill out the fields, hit create and boom, Finder opens to the newly created project folder ready to go. Essentially this really is no different than having your project template folder somewhere, duplicating it, renaming it correctly, & moving it to it's proper location. But it automates and regulates the entire process, and ensures consistency. It will be saving you a lot of time & headaches in the long run, trust me.
The project template you define can include files as well as folders. Which means if you usually start from a templated After Effects set-up file, you can include that in your AE folder as well, and have a fresh copy waiting for you when you start. It is a great way to ensure consistent project naming and folder structure when working. This becomes especially important at the small-t0-medium sized studios. If you're just one guy, sure you'll benefit from the consistency, but you probably know where your files are and have your own system for files. Larger studios typically have this organizational aspect under control, as typically someone or something is responsible for keeping things fairly organized. Aka, there's someone there responsible for yelling at you if your shit's everywhere and you're screwing up the system.
Where things start to go to hell in my experience have been in the smaller studios. The ones where no one is really too responsible for project management like this. Everywhere has a system no matter how broken or awfully disorganized. Things just kind of hobble along for the most part until things start to get misplaced or accidentally become 'unfindable' (aka deleted or otherwise MIA). Post Haste doesn't exactly solve anything in this regard, but that's really getting into something completely different. This is definitely a great thing to adopt if any of this is sounding all too familiar...
There's a great set of preferences to customize and get it setup just the way you need it. The only thing I'd really like to see added is a radio box/selection that would allow me to choose between a couple different project templates that I have. I'm probably in the minority here, but I do a few different types of work in addition to my main After Effects pixel-pushing. iOS apps, the occasional print or web job, etc. It would be nice to have a toggle where I could select which project type it is and have it duplicate the appropriate folder.
Put together an entry for the Hangout Music Festival gig poster contest over at Creative Allies. Pretty Lights definitely tops my list of new artists I've come across in the past year, definitely check him out over at prettylightsmusic.com
The background image is a C4D render of some NASA space-related models available at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/index.html.
[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/22753286?portrait=0&color=00ffea& 560 315] I recently completed work on a show package for one of the new primetime shows on the Sun News Network here in Canada. The Daily Brief package was completed in conjunction with WhiteIron.tv in Calgary, AB. I was brought on at the start of the project to provide the design for the overall look of the show package including a show open as well as bumpers, promo templates & various transitions. Here's a look into some of what went into creating it.
[iframe http://player.vimeo.com/video/22873331?portrait=0&color=00ffea& 560 315] Experimentation, Pre-Vis and R&D Reel
Above is the show open as it was delivered, unfortunately this was prior to some last minute talent changes that altered the format of the show slightly.
Promo Template Sample Promo Elements
Logo Bumper, Alternate color
Found an interesting little built-in After Effects preset I didn't know about while I was working on a recent project. Utility > Alpha From Max Color does pretty much what it advertises, but it's interesting and potentially useful in a few scenarios. Most likely of which is using it for creative applications rather than any keying endeavours (it's definitely not useful as a keyer for bluescreen/greenscreen footage). In particular, creating really quick alphas from rendered 3D sequences, or quick isolation/reduction for the purposes of adding an overlay for color correction.
Someone really needs to go through and do a 30-sec video for each one of the After Effects preset utilities, I'm constantly coming across ones that do exactly what I need but often not until months/years later.
Just doing some quick tests of Psunami from RedGiant Software for potential use in an upcoming personal project. You can quickly get an ocean simulation up and running with little effort, with a few presets to get you started to build on. It actually generates a pretty decent look for underwater scenes, something to keep in mind should you ever find yourself needing that.
Although I just scratched the surface of Psunami, it's pretty clear there's no way you'll ever get an actual realistic looking ocean (by 2000's effects standards, by 90s standards you're golden though!). But, as with a lot of these tools, there's a lot of potential creative applications that have yet to be explored with them. Including ridiculous blood effects for an potential upcoming zombie-themed project.
I was watching this great doc on H.P. Lovecraft while working the other day, & got a little derailed from that and ended up making this. I was originally animating some ink blots trying to create a variation on the classic rorschach patterns, but decided to switch gears mid-way through that and start putting together this poster instead.
Because I was working in After Effects on animating the ink spots, I just kept on working from what I had started. So, in the end this poster was created entirely in After Effects, which might seem a little odd.
This is the documentary I was watching 'Fear of the Unknown' @ www.snagfilms.com Well worth it for anyone interested in learning a little more about Lovecraft and his interesting life & work.
Music: a slightly derezzed version of Clint Mansell - Lose Yourself, from the Black Swan OST
Just a quick little title card I made up for a friend's shortfilm entitled 'Being Productive', which is all about the ups and downs of being a lowly production assistant. Production time was probably only about 8 hours in total on this.