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FFX PRESET ANIMATION

Using After Effects and Adobe Bridge By Ko Maruyama

This is not for beginners.  While it may be simple to use, it is also fairly easy to break parts of existing FFX data by using this tool.  For that reason, I warn, apply with caution.  This isn't an Adobe supported feature - but it works!  And works well!  One caveat is that there are two scripts (ONE=Mac, ONE=PC).



First, you'll want to download the script.  This is a .JSX java script for use within After Effects.  However, before you use it, you'll have to create some files to use (the script requires them; special thanks to Michael Coleman).




1. CREATE A FOLDER CALLED "CUSTOM_BRIDGE_DATA".

Of course, it doesn't have to be called this exactly, but it will keep your files neatly together.  We'll move the FFX later.


CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION

2. CREATE A PROJECT.
  
Use a small project size.  The movie and image data will add to the file size on your system, so you don't want to create a large canvas.  I'm using a 219x164, 5fps 10 second comp.



3. SET YOUR ANIMATION & CREATE PRESET (an animation preset requires animation, yeah?)

Check the AfterEffects Channel archive for a how to.  Basically, select the properties or keyframes you want to make into a preset, then Save Preset...

I've created a simple text animation:

 




4.  SAVE IMAGE / JPEG

Save a single frame as a JPEG.  You can either park on a frame, then save it as a file, or create a photoshop file.  I like to make a photoshop file, so I can add some custom information on the still image preview.
 

5.  SAVE MOVIE PREVIEW AS GIF

At the top of the output options, you'll find Animated GIF.  Yes, you can create any kind of GIF that you want, as long as the file is really a GIF.  I've made mine smaller to save space.





6. NOW YOU CAN RUN THE SCRIPT

The script will ask you to select  a GIF file, JPEG, and the FFX they are associated with.  Once that is done, return to the Bridge and check the file.
 





While in the Bridge, simply move this newly injected FFX file into your "CUSTOM" Presets (wherever you keep yours).




 When you return to view those custom presets in the Bridge, you'll be able to tell them apart right away.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TWO SCRIPTS (MAC/PC)



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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:after effects 7, FFX, preview file, java script, tutorial, AE7, ko, preset, bridge animation

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