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Profound Effects "Useful Things"

Useful Things Is The Gateway Drug Into Understanding And Effectively Using After Effects Expressions By Ko Maruyama
At the trade shows, you comb the floor looking at the hot new products, the upgrades and extended feature sets youve been waiting for all year (even ?though you know they wont be out of beta until Q4). Sometimes, however, you can be surprised by some gems that you may have dismissed their first time around.

This year at NAB, everyone I know went to see compositing tools. So, of course I stopped by the Adobe booth to see what After Effects had to offer. Peder Norrby has some exciting particles for Trapcodes family, Jim Tierneys DigitalAnarchists have come up with 3D assistants which are incredible, but what made my jaw drop was Profound Effects Useful Things. Profound Effects is an Adobe plug-in developer headed up by Perry Kivolowitz in fair Verona, Wisconsin.

Now you may have glanced at USEFUL THINGS as I had, when version1.0 was released, and kept on walking. With ?Swarming Letters I thought yeah a text tool that does something you could pull off with Path Text and a little creative expression code - - and ?CrossHair generator what?! Why would a designer need a cross-hair generator, what could this plug-in possibly offer in my crazy ?deliver now work environment? I hadnt looked closely enough. Dang! ?Useful Things doesnt come close to describing this plug-in. These should be called ?Required Things. Useful Things is the gateway drug into understanding and effectively using expressions, the power of AEs code, and, at the same time, exists as a simple ?as-is plug-in, just like any other in your effects library.

First of all, there are over 130 ?presets that are standard. Once you buy the plug-in, you can gain access to the members forum called Profound eXchange more free plugs/presets (about 50 and growing). But wait, theres more. You can write your own. (

Okay, so maybe youre not a programmer. You use AE, but you dont even know how to use the pick-whip, much less author your own expressions. No problem. Useful Things has a UI that you can relate to: on/off buttons, sliders and value input boxes.

However, if youre like me, and actually think that the introduction of Java in AE is a cool feature, you can open Python and roll your own Useful Things. If you dont already know Python, there are several books and websites that offer tips on everything from beginners Python to advanced tricks. Yes, there is MacPython for OSX (command line) MacPython 2.3 will probably look more like the original port to OS9. (

The alternatives continue to grow. If youve decided to start your addiction to Useful Things, but dont want to write any code yet, you dont have to. All you have to do is drop an email to Perrys team, or post your plug-in request to the eXchange board, describing the kind of plug-in feature, or control youd like to see incorporated into Useful Things. You might just get your dream plug-in returned to you in minutes.

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Related Keywords:Profound Effects, USEFUL THINGS 1.2, After Effects, Adobe, scripting


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