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APRIL 14, 2004
Motion Masks in DVD Studio Pro 2
Creating buttons with moving mask shapes and modifying button effects
Dave Nagel
You know DVD Studio Pro can use motion masks. You've seen them in action in some of the themes supplied with the program, but, for the life of you, you can't figure out how to make your own. Motion masks allow you to add transitions to your individual button shapes without affecting the entire menu. You can use them to create transitions for your buttons, add effects or even fade drop zones in and out. So why don't you have the ability to create your own custom motion masks? The short answer: You will after you read this.
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APRIL 10, 2004
QTVR Hotspots
Creating interactivity with Stitcher 4.0
Stephen Schleicher
When you create a QuickTime VR movie you provide your audience with a unique way to explore an environment. This environment could be your brick and mortar store, a special event location, or even a television studio. While your user may be able to navigate around the area, what really makes a QuickTime VR movie shine is the ability to create interactivity via hotspots.
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APRIL 09, 2004
Revisiting Write-on Effects in Studio Artist 3
Creating painting and writing animations, working with alpha channels and exploring new stroke recording options
Dave Nagel
Last August we explored methods for using the advanced paint tools in Synthetik Studio Artist to create write-on and paint-on effects for use in motion graphics. (An example of a write-on effect would be a self-animating signature.) Back then Studio Artist was still in version 2.0, and it had some significant limitations in terms of which types of brushes could be used for these sorts of effects. Now, with version 3 out, the possibilities are much more extensive. So we'll take a look now at the new options available for creating these effects and also cover the method for setting up your alpha channel output for use in other motion graphics apps and NLEs.
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APRIL 06, 2004
Getting Amorphous in Amorphium, Part 2
Introducing textures and height maps into the process
David Nagel
We return this week to our series on Electric Image Amorphium 3 with a further exploration of techniques for creating abstract imagery using 3D tools. Last time around we limited ourselves to working with geometry alone, examining Amorphium's various object deformation tools and relying just on lighting to produce our scenes. This time we introduce textures into the process, bringing depth not just to the object's geometry, but to its surface as well.
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APRIL 01, 2004
Combustion Eye for the AE Guy
Part 2: Network rendering
Stephen Schleicher
Everyone wants it faster; the producer needs to deliver the product to the distributor, the director needs the product from the editor, the editor needs the motion graphics from you. You need to render faster with discreet’s combustion 3. Have you considered network rendering?
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MARCH 29, 2004
Photoshop Basics: Gradients
Part 1: Custom Gradient creation
David Nagel
It's impractical for most users to get to know every aspect of Adobe Photoshop. Even advanced Photoshop users limit themselves to a certain workflow that precludes comprehensive knowledge of the program. Yet, every now and again, we all have to expand beyond our comfort zone and get into areas of the program that we're not familiar with, even on the most basic level. So I thought we'd launch a new tutorial series that takes a step back to explore some of these fundamentals for compositing, painting, masking and effects creation, starting with the first in a two-part miniseries on gradients.
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MARCH 25, 2004
Quick Tip: Maxon BodyPaint 3D
Preparing textures for Anark Studio
Ko Maruyama
Preparing bitmap textures for your Cinema 4D models couldn't be any easier than with Maxon's own BodyPaint 3D. But BodyPaint isn't just for Cinema 4D users; it's also integrated into the workflow of several different 3D applications. This week we'll take a look at how you can use BodyPaint 3D in conjunction with one such program, the new Anark Studio 3 from Anark Corp. There are really only three steps to get you on your way.
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MARCH 24, 2004
Getting Amorphous in Amorphium 3
Part 1: The basics of abstract imagery for still and motion graphics
David Nagel
So I was doing some research on 3D programs, and I learned something interesting. Contrary to popular belief, 3D isn't just for impressing your mom with your ability to make an image that looks like a photograph. It isn't just for creating monsters to populate your latest homemade Dungeons and Dragons module or Oscar-winning feature film. And it doesn't have to be used strictly for the purpose of designing your fantasy girlfriend and posing her in various stages of undress. In fact, though 3D programs are universally geared toward photographic representationalism, they don't have to be used to create artwork that looks like anything at all, but can be employed for creating abstract imagery with depth, texture and motion in ways that simply aren't feasible in 2D graphics applications.
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MARCH 19, 2004
Grow Bounds
Expanding your layers
Stephen Schleicher
Let’s face it, not all of the elements you bring into After Effects are going to conform to your comp size – some will be larger and some will be smaller. In the case of the element that is smaller than your composition size, you often will run into problems with certain effects that, in order to work correctly, need to go beyond the edge of the layer. How do you fix this? Read on…
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MARCH 17, 2004
The Streak
Creating dynamic backgrounds with Fractal Noise
Stephen Schleicher
There are so many ways you can create motion backgrounds in After Effects. One of my favorite ways is with Fractal Noise. This Production Bundle effect is so versatile you can create everything from a murky fog all the way up to a fast paced streaky background. In this exercise, we’ll create such a background and show several ways it can be used.
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MARCH 18, 2004
Nested Styles in Adobe InDesign CS
Simplifying complex character style combinations
David Nagel
When you're laying out copy, you'll often encounter situations in which you'll use the same repeating character styles over multiple paragraphs. This is true of catalogs, buyer's guides, ad layouts or even magazine articles that contain stylized lists, such as in a sidebar. With previous versions of Adobe InDesign, the process of applying styles to such a list would have been a tedious one. But InDesign CS introduces a new function for nesting styles within the context of a paragraph so that you can apply multiple sequential styles over multiple paragraphs with the single click of a button. How's that work? Read this article, and you just might find out.
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MARCH 11, 2004
Custom Brushes in Painter 8
Part 1: Creating paint blenders, diffusers and distorters
David Nagel
We kick off a new series of articles on Corel Painter this week--actually our first Painter series--with a comprehensive look at methods for creating custom brushes. Brushes are, after all, at the core of this painting application, and few of you are likely to be satisfied working with just the limited number of brushes included with the program. We'll start things off this time around with brushes that don't apply paint at all, but rather ones that scatter, blend or otherwise distort the paint that's already on your canvas, either for helping you blend elements in your composition or for creating painterly effects on an existing image.
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MARCH 09, 2004
Combustion Eye for the AE Guy
Part 1: A workflow overview
by Stephen Schleicher
After writing my look at discreet’s combustion 3 from the Adobe After Effects user perspective I had a great number of e-mail from people (probably AE users) who were interested in finding out more about combustion 3. I even received several messages asking for tutorials. You asked for it, you got it. In this, the first part of a new on going series, we’ll exam the differences in the combustion 3 workflow, and what you need to know if you are migrating from After Effects, or simply adding combustion to your application expertise.
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MARCH 03, 2004
Cinema 4D Quick Tip: Reverse Time Remapping
Simple methods for changing keyframes
by Ko Maruyama
Sometimes the animations you've created in your timeline need to be edited to fit specific timings. While moving keyframes around to match key points may seem easy enough, there are some hidden tricks and short cuts that may help you manage those pesky timeline events a little easier. This week we'll take a look at controlling keyframes in an existing animation in Maxon's Cinema 4D 8, specifically for reversing keyframes on a sequence.
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FEBRUARY 27, 2004
Up Next 2
Adding text to your bumper
by Stephen Schleicher
Here's the second part of of our two-part exercise on station interstitials, those bumper pieces you see between shows that tie everything together. In this installment about creating an ‘Up Next’ bit for our make-believe station, we’ll add animated text to our interstitial using the Adobe After Effects 6.0 Text Tool.
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FEBRUARY 26, 2004
Up Next
Yet another bumper for your station
by Stephen Schleicher
A great number of you like the project based After Effects exercises I have done over the years. One area that continues to be a favorite is the station interstitial. Interstitials are those bumper pieces you see between shows that tie everything together. In this After Effects 6.0 Pro exercise, we’ll create an ‘Up Next’ bit for our make believe station. To help us out, we’ll also show you an effect from Profound Effects’ Useful Things.
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FEBRUARY 26, 2004
Color Shift in DVD Studio Pro 2
Smoothing the color gap between still and motion graphics
David Nagel
Your footage is pristine. Your graphics are immaculate. And it's time to put them all together into the greatest DVD presentation in history using Apple's DVD Studio Pro. One hitch though: Despite your painstaking efforts to get your assets to look just right, there's a problem with your menus, namely a shift in color between still and motion graphics. For some, the problem is negligible and can be shrugged off; for others, the effects are dramatic, sometimes to the point where a completely different approach to the project must be taken. But this may not be necessary. Today we'll take a look at the issue of color in DVD Studio Pro and explain why the shift is happening and what you can do to avoid it.
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FEBRUARY 24, 2004
Cinema 4D Displacement Mapping
Using textures to shape your model
Ko Maruyama
Not everything in 3D has to involve complex modeling. Sometimes there are alternative techniques that can be used to create imagery just as effective as anything you might spend hours building from scratch. This week we'll take a look at one such technique for creating a holiday graphic for St. Patrick's Day. Legend has it, of course, that St. Patrick plucked a shamrock from the earth to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity. Well, in this tutorial, we'll pluck a shamrock from a clipart library to illustrate displacement mapping in Cinema 4D.
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FEBRUARY 20, 2004
In the Cards
Sub-pixel placement in After Effects
by Stephen Schleicher
You are probably familiar with the X,Y, Z pixel coordinate placement of layers in After Effects. But what if you need to nudge something less than a full pixel? You can certainly do it, but why is it helpful? In this beginner Adobe After Effects exercise, we’ll examine how nudging along the Z space can create a two sided object.
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FEBRUARY 17, 2004
Animating a Signature in After Effects
5 Quick tips on mask animations, including paint
by Ko Maruyama
Several years ago, my PaintBox initiation began with rotoscoping signatures for a game show that featured celebrities' names in the promo. For the show's promotional campaign, I was charged with the task of replicating the light-pen animation that was used on the set to animate each signature for the 15 celebrities that would appear that week. These sorts of effects are much more accessible these days, and programs like Adobe After Effects offer a variety of solutions for creating animated signatures or other writing effects. This week, we'll take a look at a few of the options you can use to create the illusion of writing in your compositions.
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