Batchrame.com Blog Feed http://www.batchframe.com/blog/ The latest updates from the BatchFrame blog. en-us Tue, 10 Jun 2003 04:00:00 GMT Tue, 10 Jun 2003 09:41:01 GMT http://www.batchframe.com/_rss contact@batchframe.com (BatchFrame Contact) Track Points Advanced http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=49

Track Points Advanced is now available to purchase from the Google Play Store! Track Points Advanced is an Android app designed to simplify the screen replacement VFX process. What it does is allow you to cover your screen with a motion tracking friendly screen which you can customize to suit your specific needs. This is a completely redesigned update to the old 'Track Points' app and gives complete control over your tracking screen with tons of customizeable options. 

The most unique feature of Track Points Advanced is the ability to capture screen interaction that can then be imported directly into After Effects. This means that rather then tracking each finger as it interacts with the screen, all of that data can be simply imported and keyframed automatically using the free Track Points Import script.

Watch this walkthrough to see everything that Track Points Advanced can do!

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Jesse Toula Wed, 13 Jan 2016 09:35:45 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=49
Move Anchor Point 3 : Now Available http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=48

Move Anchor Point 3 is now available! This script has been rebuilt from the ground up to give you the most control possible. 

New Features: 

  • New Modes - Object, Selection and Composition to give more control over how Anchor Points are moved
  • Match - Quickly match a selection of layers to the anchor point of another
  • Z-Space Presets - Work in 3D space
  • Improved Custom Move Options: Choose between pixel or percentage values and move anchor points anywhere

Learn More

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Jesse Toula Tue, 03 Nov 2015 15:00:00 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=48
New Tutorial: Advanced Screen Replacement http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=47 Advanced Screen Replacement Tutorial

In this tutorial, we'll take a look at how to deal with some common issues when working on screen replacement. My goal with this tutorial was to explain how you can make your work as easy as possible, without sacrificing the look of a shot. With just a little bit of planning, you can simplify the entire post process and create a more complex visual without having to sacrifice the style of the shot. 

This tutorial will take you from start to finish, from choosing the best tracking marker to integrating your screen replacement. This tutorial is filled with little tips and tricks to make your work more efficient.

Watch The Tutorial Now!

Also, along with the release of this tutorial I am also releasing a simple new plug-in called 'Manual Track' (which is used in the tutorial, but can be completed without it). 'Manual Track' is currently in BETA and is ONLY available for Windows while any bugs are worked out.

Manual Track can be downloaded for free on the Extras Page

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Jesse Toula Sun, 12 Jul 2015 11:12:31 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=47
The Pseudo Effect Suite http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=46

The Pseudo Effect Suite is now online!

Check out the Pseudo Effect Suite page for all of the information about these programs. 

This suite of programs is designed to simplify the process of creating and installing pseudo effects, which has always been a big hassle in the past. The Custom Controls Creator and the Pseudo Effect Builder are built for developers who want to make their own pseudo effects more accessible to users.

If you are not a developer but want to take advantage of pseudo effects, then all you need is the Pseudo Effect Installer, which lets you install pseudo effects with a single click. The Pseudo Effect Installer is free to download and use.

If you would like to learn about the entire process from start to finish for creating and installing a pseudo effect, check out this series of tutorials.

I hope that this set of programs becomes a helpful tool for many people. This is only the initial release for all of this software, so everything will continue to improve as time goes on. If you have any issues, comments or questions, please send an email to contact@batchframe.com.

Please Note: Unfortunately at the time of this release there is a bug with applying custom controls through scripts in After Effects CC 2014. What this means is that if you are creating a pseudo effect, you will not be able to create it directly within CC 2014. You'll have to create your presets in an earlier version of After Effects (which is recommended to increase compatibility) or just import the control in an earlier version, save the project, and then open it in CC 2014.

This bug does not cause any problems when custom controls are applied through presets, so your users will still be able to use your pseudo effects without problems.

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Jesse Toula Tue, 12 Aug 2014 09:10:11 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=46
Announcing The Pseudo Effect Suite http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=45

I'm excited to announce the Pseudo Effect Suite, which will be available on August 12th!

Pseudo Effects have always been a useful tool for anyone who creates or uses presets. They allow you combine a preset with a custom control so that everything is organized and user friendly.

The big problem with pseudo effects is that they can be a pain to install, requiring you to edit XML in your system files, otherwise you get "Missing" warnings and errors when the preset is applied. 

The Pseudo Effect Suite aims to get rid of the hassles and make creating, sharing and installing pseudo effects easy. The suite consists of three programs:

The Custom Controls Creator is an update to the Pseudo Effects Creator that is currently available at BatchFrame.com. The new version has many more features as well as a more responsive design area.

The Pseudo Effect Builder is where developers can combine their preset, control XML and other information into a single file. 

The Pseudo Effect Installer allows you to install one or more pseudo effects with a single click. It automatically updates the xml, installs and organizes your presets and even can help keep your pseudo effects up to date.

The Pseudo Effect Installer and the Custom Controls Creator will be free to use. The Pseudo Effect Builder will have a $15 purchase price.

More details about the Pseudo Effect Suite coming soon...

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Jesse Toula Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:21:55 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=45
New Tutorial: Rotoscoping Tips and Tricks http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=44

Rotoscoping... its probably not your favorite thing to do in After Effects, but its often necessary in order create the effect you are after. Most people I know cringe at the word, but rotoscoping doesn't have to be that bad. There are a lot of things you can do to make rotoscoping simpler, easier and faster. In this tutorial, I'll go through the way that I rotoscope and show you different techniques that will help you rotoscope faster while still keeping everything perfectly accurate.

This tutorial will not be a start to finish guide on creating the Invisible Tennis effect I posted a few weeks ago. The creation of that effect takes more time then you'd want to watch and is very repetitive. Instead, I focus just on the rotoscoping aspect and go into great detail on creating a good matte. For those who are interested in creating the whole effect, I give an overview of the whole process during the last 10 minutes of the tutorial.

Its a long one. Check it out now!

I am also releasing a couple of scripts that I used in this tutorial:

You can get more information about them and download both of these scripts for free over on the Extras page

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Jesse Toula Sun, 17 Nov 2013 18:31:39 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=44
More Free AE Scripts http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=43 So I'm still working hard to finish up the rotoscoping tutorial (its a long one), however during its production, I decided to create a couple new scripts that would simplify some of the things I do when I roto. The scripts have applications outside of rotoscoping, but I will be using both of them in the tutorial. I don't want to give away too many of the details yet because I'm still working on the final touches. As always the scripts will be free to download and hopefully you guys will find them as useful as I do.

I still have lots more to do before its all ready for release, but the tutorial and both scripts should be online very soon.

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Jesse Toula Fri, 25 Oct 2013 23:26:05 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=43
Upcoming Tutorial: Rotoscoping in AE http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=42 So I'm working on a new tutorial that doesn't have any scripting (well maybe a little bit), but rather a lot more working inside of After Effects. I do a lot of rotoscoping and I've learned and developed a few techniques that I want to share. Most people hate rotoscoping and groan at the thought of it, but roto isn't always as bad as it seems. There are many techniques that you can use to speed up the process while creating extremely accurate mattes. I'll be going through the rotobrush and rotoscoping using Mocha as well as rotoscoping the old fashioned way just using masks, which a lot of the time is my preferred method. 

Now there are a ton of different applications of rotoscoping and this tutorial is just going to look at one of the many different effects that can be achieved, but the techniques can be used for any rotoscoping project that you take on.  Below is a short clip of what we'll be working on. Keep in mind that the tutorial is mainly going to focus on the rotoscoping part of the project, it will not be a start to finish tutorial on creating the effect. That being said, I will go over the some of the different steps I took to create it for those who are interested.

Keep an eye out for the tutorial within the next couple of weeks.

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Jesse Toula Thu, 19 Sep 2013 08:45:56 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=42
New Script - Distribute By Scale http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=41 Distribute By Scale

So I've recently been working on a new script and I believe its finally ready to be released as a beta.

Distribute by Scale converts the scale of 2D layers into 3D positions. You can select a group of 2D layers and push them in to 3D space without seeing any change in size or position from the current perspective. I also threw in four different options for scaling groupd of layers to create different effects when distributing in 3D space.

Its a little confusing to explain exactly what this script does, so check out this video to see how it works:

Download Distribute By Scale for free and try it out.

If you have any questions or comments about the script, let me know by leaving a comment on the blog.

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Jesse Toula Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:59:48 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=41
Move Anchor Point Version 2 http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=40 Move Anchor Point Vsersion 2

 

Move Anchor Point has been updated to version 2.0! It has new features as well as many bug fixes. 

 

If you are not familiar with Move Anchor Point, it gives you the ability to quickly change the position of the anchor point while maintaining the layer's position. Even if your layer is 3D, animated, has masks, is parented and almost any other situation, Move Anchor Point will still work successfully.

 

Check out this video to see Move Anchor Point in action and download it for free now and give it a try.

 

 

 

 

If  you are interested in scripting and want to see how Move Anchor Point was made, go ahead and download it now. This script is open source so you can see all the code that makes Move Anchor Point work. I've also gone through and made comments explaining what each piece of the script does.

 

If you have any comments, questions or issues, please leave them here or send me an email.

 

Download Move Anchor Point v2.0 now!

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Jesse Toula Tue, 19 Feb 2013 13:34:36 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=40
Video Quick Tip: Creating Presets http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=39

I've been getting some questions recently about creating presets in After Effects. The tutorial on Creating Pseudo Effects shows you how to create the controls, but how do you actually use them to control something?

I thought I'd make a quick video to show how its done. Though the video isn't that quick, you'll see how you can use expressions to link your controls to the properties of other effects. Even if you've never used expressions before, you should be able to follow along. The expressions start out basic, but  I also go into some more complex uses as well as some trigonometry in order to keep the ramp effect locked to a layer without having to pre-compose. 

Check out the Video Quick Tip!

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Jesse Toula Thu, 05 Jul 2012 22:41:26 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=39
Auto Crop Version 2 http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=38

A new version of Auto Crop is now available for free download. Its got a few new features as well as a language fix, the script should work now matter what language After Effects is running in. 

As far as the new features, Auto Crop has a new panel, 'Previous Crop Info'. This panel will display information about the crop that has taken place, giving you before and after dimensions as well as the number of pixels cropped off each side. 

There are two new options, 'Ignore Masks' and 'Delete Mask After Crop' which allow for more customized results. Also, mask crop no longer requires you to use retangular masks. As long as it has two points, you're good to go.

Download Auto Crop 2 today and give it a try!

If you have any issues please leave a comment. 

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Jesse Toula Thu, 24 May 2012 09:13:36 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=38
Video Quick Tip: Star-Burst http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=37

I'm sure most of you have seen the star-burst graphic before, but anyone who has made it knows that it can be a bit of a hassle to create, especially in After Effects.

Well not anymore! I'll show you a method of creating this with just one layer and a few effects. Absolutely no masking involved!

Check out the video, and while you're there, why not subscribe to the Batch Frame YouTube Channel. I'll be posting more useful and informative videos there soon!

Visit the YouTube Channel

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Jesse Toula Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:17:23 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=37
Focal Length http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=36 Beyond Camera Basics - Focal Length

So here it is, the first in a series of videos called Beyond Camera Basics. My goal is to go through concepts of Still Photography and Cinematography that seem basic and easy and show that there is much more to these concepts then you might think. For the first video we will be going through Focal Length, possibly the most fundamental part of photography.

Do you know what focal length is? What is it measuring exactly? What is focal length actually referring to? Well this video will go through it all and explain in as simple terms as possible the science behind focal length. Learn about what it is as well as what it can do for you and how you can use different focal lengths to your advantage. 

This video starts at the basics assuming you have almost no knowledge of focal length and goes up to into advanced concepts that many have probably never seen. So even if you know about focal length already, there will probably be some info in here for you.

And all of this in a quick 10 minute video. Check it out!

For those of you looking for more info on the subject, here are a list of my references for this video. There is info here that I could not fit into my video, so I encourage you to do more research on your own if it interests you. If you have any questions that were not answered in the video, leave a comment and I'll try to clear things up for you.

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Jesse Toula Sun, 15 Jan 2012 21:25:36 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=36
Quick Lock http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=35 Quick Lock

I've been doing a lot of rotoscoping recently. One thing I found myself doing constantly was locking the position property of the layer using expressions. By using expressions, I can be sure the layer isn't moving anywhere, but I am still able to work with it, unlike using the layer's 'Lock' switch. By locking the layer before I start rotoscoping, I can make sure the layer iteslf does not get shifted while moving around mask points. There's nothing worse then finishing a big chunch of roto only to realize that at some point you had moved the layer instead of a mask point. All of your keyframes would then be wrong for as long as the layer has been shifted.

Now honestly, all that it takes to fix this problem is adding a very simple expression to the layer properties you want to lock. basically you just want to take the layers current position and set it explicitly inside its expression. So if your layer's position was 960, 540, you would simple put the expression [960, 540] into the position attribute. Now even though this is pretty simple to do, its something that I found myself doing over and over again and decided I could save myself a little time by writing a script to do it. 

Just drop the Quick Lock script into your SriptUI folder and you can open the panel from the Window menu. To use it, just select the layer you want to lock, then click the button for the particular property. The button labels will update accordingly (between lock and unlock) depending on the status of the layer. If you are using After Effects CS3, the labels may not update correctly but the functionality will still be there.

Quick Lock Panel

Download Quick Lock for free over on the AE Extras Page!

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Jesse Toula Wed, 11 Jan 2012 13:48:49 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=35
Beyond Camera Basics http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=34

It's time for Batch Frame to get the new year started with some new tools and videos. In a few days, I'll be releasing the first of what will become a series of videos called 'Beyond Camera Basics'.

With the cost of pro-sumer and professional cameras coming down, more and more people are begining to create their own content. Unfortunately many people never learn the basic camera concepts that make it possible to create quality video. In these lessons, I'm going to be starting with basic principles of lenses like foccal length and aperature as well as concepts like depth of field and circles of confusion. Eventually I'll go into things like color sampling, bit rates, video formats and more. 

Now, these aren't just going to be the usual camera 101 lessons. These are going to go way beyond the basics and into more detail then you probably need to know. I'll be explaining all the technical details about each concept and explain the reasons behind the principles. So if you're a nerd like I am and like to know how everything works, these videos are for you. And even if you aren't, these videos will be easy to follow for people with any level of experience.

I'm looking forward to getting these videos online and I hope you all will find them useful.

Also, keep your eye out for new scripts and other After Effects tools that will be online soon.

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Jesse Toula Mon, 09 Jan 2012 17:55:42 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=34
TrackPoints http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=33

So I've got many things in the works that will hopefully be ready to realease on the site in the next couple of weeks. For now, I've got a simple tool that may be useful to some of you.

I've recently been a part of many projects that required screen replacement to be done on cell phones. Having to put tracking markers onto a cell phone can take time to get perfect and I thought it would be useful to have an app that would simply display them for you. Since I have been interested in learning to create mobile applications, I thought this might be a good place to start.

My first app, 'TrackPoints' is now available for download from the Android Market. It is a fairly simple application that allows you to quickly display tracking markers on your phone. You can choose a screen color, with or without tracking markers, using the preset blue or green screens, or choose your own custom colors screens and trackers. 

This app is something I really made for my own use, but thought it may be useful to others. If I see there is some interest, I'll probably make an iPhone version. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any ideas for improvement.

Download it Now from the Android Market!

Or scan this barcode with your Mobile Device.

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Jesse Toula Thu, 10 Nov 2011 21:42:54 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=33
Quick LED http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=32

So it's been a while since my last post, I've been busy with other projects, but I was recently working on a project where I needed tp create an LED style display. I needed a way to turn a video into an array of blocks, each havinga single, solid color. Using the mosaic effect together with the grid effect, you can quickly create this look. Since I think the effect looks neat and could be useful in many different project, I created a quick preset that allows you to quickly create and control this effect. 

Download Now

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Jesse Toula Thu, 29 Sep 2011 13:13:24 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=32
New Plugin: Auto Focus http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=31

I'm currently working on a new stock After Effects template, and while doing so, I realized there were a couple things that I kept on doing. One was setting the anchor point to the center of a text layer. (Which is why I made the Move Anchor Point Script) The other was setting the cameras focus distance to the layer it was looking at. Even though setting the focus distance of a camera is easy, I thought it could be a little quicker. So I wrote this plug-in that automatically sets the focus distance for the active camera to the selected layer.

Once downloading and installing, Auto Focus will show up in the 'Layer' menu between 'Guide Layer' and 'Add Marker'. (May differ depending on the selections in your layer menu). To use, simple select the layer you want to focus on and click 'Auto Focus'.

The selected layer must be a 3D layer and can't be a light or a camera. If there is no active camera when you run the script, you will receive an error. Cameras can't be set to a negative focus distance, or course, so if the layer is behind the camera, you will be asked if you would like to set the focus distance to what it would be if the camera was facing the selected layer.

Auto Focus (For After Effects CS3 and Up) is free to download. If you have any issues, comments or questions, leave a comment.

Download Auto Focus

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Jesse Toula Mon, 23 May 2011 21:27:02 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=31
Move Anchor Point http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=30

So here's another script I just wrote. Spent a couple of hours on it only to find that there is a script called Reposition Anchor Point by Charles Bordenave who runs nabscripts.com. Its also available for download at aescripts.com. I decided to post mine anyways because it does handle things a little bit differently.

The point of move anchor point is to change the placement of the anchor point of the layer without changing the position of the layer. The script quickly move the anchor point to one of nine key places on the layer, (shown in the image above). If there are keyframes on the anchor point, position is not maintained, but a new anchor point keyframe is set to the desired position. If there are position keyframes, the anchor point is moved and position is corrected for all of those keyframes. This means that any position animation that you have already set up will not be changed by the script. (That is where it differs from Mr. Bordenave's script)

If you have any suggestions for making this script better or experience any problems, post them here or send me an email.

By the way, I went through this script file and made a bunch of comments explaining the entire script. So if you are just starting to learn scripting or are just interested to see whats going on inside, feel free to check it out.

Download Move Anchor Point Here

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Jesse Toula Fri, 20 May 2011 20:08:06 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=30
Auto Crop 1.0 http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=29 So after a lot of work, the free After Effects script: Auto Crop is now at version 1.0. All of the know inssues have been fixed and some other updates have been made that make this script even more user friendly.

Top Features include:

  • Automatically crop any nested composition down to the size of its contents
  • Preform an 'Auto Crop' over time to account for animated layers inside the pre-comp
  • Crop based on a mask
  • Crop accurately applies to all instances of the nested composition in the project
  • Crop can be performed at any time, even if the pre-comp has transform keyframes

Download Auto Crop for free!

See the Video Preview.

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Jesse Toula Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:41:37 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=29
Auto Crop http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=28

Auto Crop is a Script UI tool for After Effects that will rezise a composition to fit its contents. Auto crop give you three ways to crop your composition. 'Auto Crop' will crop you composition at the current frame. 'Auto Crop Duration' will examine each frame of your composition and crop based on the entire length. That way even if you have animation inside, you can crop without cutting anything out. You can also 'Crop to Mask' wich allows to crop based on a mask you have created.

This crop will work on anything that has alpha, which means you can crop compositons containing anything from simple solids to particles.

Auto Crop is still in beta, so if you notice any issues, please leave a comment and let me know.

After Effects CS3 or higher is required.

Enjoy!

Download the Script

Video Walkthrough

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Jesse Toula Fri, 15 Apr 2011 16:14:41 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=28
Free Textures http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=27

Looking for some textures to use in your projects? Well here are ten free ones. I hope to get a couple of texture packs online soon, but for now, enjoy this free sample.

Download the Free Textures

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Jesse Toula Tue, 05 Apr 2011 20:53:53 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=27
Epic http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=26

In addition to working on Effects and Motion Graphics, I am a Camera Assistant out here in LA. I recently worked on a shoot with RED's new camera, the Epic. It's still in testing so there were a lot of limitations, but there were some interesting new features. First, it shoots 5K and can even shoot at 120fps at 5k 2.4:1. It's smaller and lighter then the RED One and looks like an oversized DSLR, which could be good or bad depending on who you are.

A big improvement I saw is that the Epic shoots onto solid state drives. This means the chance of dropped frames is extremely low.

Another interesting feature is that the new LCD's are touch screen. Kind of neat, but I found myself accidentally changing settings when moving the screen. So it could be a time saver or a big hassle.

And the last feature, and probably the best thing about it compared to the RED One is that is starts up and is ready to shoot in about 5 seconds. I huge improvement over the shoot stopping 60 - 90 second start up time for the RED One. It's got some other features like HDRx that I did not have time to play around with.

With all these new cameras coming out, who knows what kind of impact the Epic will have on the industry. We'll have to wait and see.

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Jesse Toula Sun, 03 Apr 2011 15:19:15 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=26
New Tutorial: Pseudo Effects http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=25

Do you make your own presets? Are you looking for a way to make them more organized and professional looking? Well Pseudo Effects are the answer. Pseudo Effects, sometimes called 'custom effect controls' and 'custom expression controls' allow you to put all of your controls into a single 'effect'. You can set your own defaults and value ranges so that users can use the reset button to return to the defaults you chose. There are many more advantages to using Pseudo Effects, and this tutorial will go over all of them as I walk you through creating one from scratch. The creation of these controls is done in an .XML file, so for those of you how do not feel comfortable writing your own code, or just want to speed up the process, I also end the tutorial by showing you a way of creating all of the XML without doing any programming by hand. This tutorial takes an in-depth look at the PresetEffects.xml file, and talks about features of Pseudo Effects that you wont find anywhere else. So lets get started creating a Pseudo Effect!

Watch the Tutorial

Also check out the Pseudo Effect Creator, which is discussed in this tutorial

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Jesse Toula Mon, 28 Mar 2011 15:07:21 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=25
Nuit Blanche http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=24 This is a short film made a couple of years ago by Spy Entertainment. Uses some pretty awesome visual effects throughout. Check out the "Making Of" video to see how they integrated all of the different elements into the amazing final product. Pretty inspiring stuff...

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Jesse Toula Thu, 24 Mar 2011 13:20:07 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=24
De-Compose: 64-bit http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=23

The De-compose plug-in is now available as a 64-bit plug-in for After Effects CS5. The download now comes with both of the 64-bit plug-ins for Windows and Mac as well as the 32-bit versions for those of you who don't have CS5 yet. Simply copy the plugin folder into your plug-ins directory and the option will show up at the bottom of the 'Layer' menu.

The only change in this version of De-compose is that now, the name prefix text box defaults to blank, since most users will not need to know where the layers came from after the composittion has been de-composed.

You can download the plug-in from the After Effects Extras page.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, leave a comment or send me an email.

**Updated: A new update is now available. v1.01 has a new fix. Details in Updates.txt included in download.

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Jese Toula Tue, 08 Mar 2011 18:17:20 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=23
Scripting For After Effects Part 2 http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=22 Part 2 of Scripting for After Effects is now online. This tutorial goes into the After Effects specific concepts that allow you to create effective and useful scripts. Learn about selecting Compositions and Layers, how do do basic error checking, create undo groups, loop through layers, set layer properties and more. After watching this tutorial, you should have a solid understanding of how scripts can help you speed up your workflow, as well as the capability to start creating some of your own scripts.

If you are new to scripting and Javascript, make sure you check out the part 1 first.

Scripting for After Effects - Part 1

Scripting for After Effects - Part 2

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Jesse Toula Fri, 25 Feb 2011 03:38:21 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=22
New Tutorial: Scripting for AE http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=21 Scripting for After Effects - Part 1

The first of a two part tutorial is online. In this tutorial, I will walk you through the basics for creating scripts for After Effects. Scripts can help to speed up your workflow and make repetitive tasks quick and easy. If you've never worked with scripts before, I reccommend you check out all of the different things that they can do:

Batch Frame Scripts

AEScripts

Part 1 takes you through some of the basic JavaScript concepts to give you a starting point for creating your tools. In the second part, which should be online soon, will get into the After Effects specific code and we will go through the creation of a simple script for After Effects.

This tutorial is not going to teach you everything about JavaScipt, only the very basics, so after watching, I reccommend doing some research on your own. I also advise that you download the After Effects Scripting Guide.

Alright, so lets get started writing some code:

Watch the Tutorial

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Jesse Toula Sun, 23 Jan 2011 14:45:08 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=21
De-Compose Beta http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=20

So BatchFrame.com has been pretty quiet recently, but a lot has been going on. I am finally able to release a beta version of my first plugin for After Effects, De-Compose. De-Compose is not an effect, but a new function that shows up under the layer menu.

De-Compose is the opposite of pre-compose, allowing you to select a nested composition and extract all of its layers into the parent composition. It's as simple as selecting the pre-comp, setting a few options and clicking OK.

De-Compose is a free After Effects Plug-in and will remain free even when the first version is released. Download it and try it out. If you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them here. I'm trying to make this as useful and user-friendly as possible, so I'd love to here what you think.

Download De-Compose

Check out the other After Effects Extras from BatchFrame.

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Jesse Toula Sun, 02 Jan 2011 17:51:45 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=20
The Animation Codec http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=19 I have been getting many questions recently from people asking me why their renders are not playing back smoothly in Quicktime. Now for people who have been doing this for a long time, the answer to this may be obvious, however I have found there are many people who don't know what is going on.

The reason for the issue is the use of the Animation Codec. By default in After Effects, when you choose to export as a Quicktime, animation is automatically chosen. Those who are not familiar with After Effects and compression leave the default settings and render out.

Now, Animation is a great codec. When the quality is set to 100%, it is lossless and supports an alpha channel. The problem is that there is so much data that most computers (even higher end ones) are not able to decode all the information fast enough to playback in real time. So even though the playback looks choppy, it isn't. There is nothing wrong with your render, your computer just can't keep up. If you brought your render back into After Effects and did a little RAM preview, everything would be perfectly smooth.

So what is Animation for? It's what I would call an intermediate codec. It can be lossless, so it's great for going between programs without losing any quality. For example, if you finished a motion graphics sequence in After Effects and were moving back to Avid or Final Cut to add it to your project before doing a final render. Using animation in this case is great because it makes sure you have the highest quality image before doing a final render. (There are many more times when using Animation can be useful, this is just one example)

Now you might be asking, "Well what should I use instead?". There are many options and it really depends on where your render is going. If you are going to the web, you probably want to render out using H264. You still get the high resolution, but your video is compressed and able to play back normally. If you need a high quality render that plays back better then Animation, try Apple ProRes 422 or ProRes 4444.  Neither of these codecs are lossless, however they can produce very high-quality video. The fourth four in 4444 is for the aplpha channel which means that you can even store transparency data with that codec if needed. 

Also, one last thing you should know. After Effects in not compression software. Even though it has the ability to export to many different formats, it will not be able to produce the same quality as a program like Compressor or Squeeze, or even Adobe Media Encoder. If you have access to any of these programs, I suggest rendering very high quality out of After Effects, (maybe using Animation) and then do your final render in a program that is made for it.

 

Long blog today. Sorry about that. Hope it made at least a little sense. You should know this is a very brief explanation of compression. I recommend you search around to find out more. It will help you deliver higher quality content.

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Jesse Toula Fri, 03 Dec 2010 12:32:50 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=19
Custom Shatter Maps http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=18 I recently got some notes on my tutorial, "Custom Shatter Maps" from the creator of the "Shatter" effect, Brian Maffitt. He tells me that there are a couple little things I misinterpreted. 

1) Shatter maps do not "ignore" black, they ignore transparency. In my case, the background was set to black, so what I was calling black was actually transparent.

2) "Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Blue, Green, Red, White, and Black. Those are the only important colors to consider when making a Shatter map, and anything else will be "clamped" to those colors inside Shatter. You can turn off "interpolate palette" in Colorama to force the primaries in the shatter map, which will give you an excellent visual preview of the results."

So there are a couple notes straight from the creator. Keep them in mind when you are making your shatter maps.

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Jesse Toula Mon, 29 Nov 2010 00:20:03 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=18
Quick Gravity http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=17

Well, I admit it took more then a couple days, but the free After Effects preset, Quick Gravity is now online.

I recently posted a tutorial on creating gravity in After Effects. This preset takes all the work out of creating that same effect. Simply drag and drop it onto the layer you want to animate and you are ready to go. The preset comes with several easy-to-use controls that make customizing your bounce simple and quick.

For those of you who have seen the tutorial, you should know that this preset contains more complex functionality than what was described in the walkthrough. I encourage you to download it to see the improvements, for example I have coded it so that a bounce always happens on a visible frame, and added quick switches to turn the effect on and off as well as creating auto frequncy. The entire expression is coded with comments that explain everything that is going on. Please feel free to look through and add any improvements you see fit. If you make any interesting changes, please let me know, I'd love to see what you come up with.

Enjoy!

Download Quick Gravity

More Free Downloads

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Jesse Toula Fri, 26 Nov 2010 00:35:36 PST http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=17
Site Changes & Updates http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=16 So I've been working hard on getting the site organized. I've made changes to the After Effects Template and Stock Footage pages. I re-arranged the clip information so it is presented in a way that is easyer to understand. All of the specs for the clip or template are laid out in a clip information box. This lets you see everyting you need to know at a glance. More changes will be made over the next couple of days.

Also in the works: I've got a couple more tutorials and a free After Effects preset coming up. I hope to get the free preset online within the next couple of days and a new tutorial soon after.

Check back soon for all the new content.

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Jesse Toula Sat, 06 Nov 2010 01:42:26 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=16
New Tutorial: Gravity in AE http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=15

In this tutorial, learn how to use expressions to create gravity in After Effects. With some basic functions and simple math, we can create a bouncing effect that can be used in all types of situations. Learn how to use expression controls to make your expressions easy to control and keyframe. There is some math that goes into writing this expression, but I will walk you through and explain each step. The tutorial is just over a half hour long, but once you get the hang of it, you could create this effect in just a couple of minutes.

This tutorial only walks you through the simplest example of this animation, so I encourage you to play with it and use it in more complex and interesting situations.

Watch Tutorial

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Jesse Toula Sat, 30 Oct 2010 17:05:13 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=15
In The Works http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=14 So its been pretty quiet around here lately, but more content is coming. I've been busy doing some work behind the scenes on my site, as well as some other projects that have left me little time to focus on BatchFrame. I am currently working on a couple new After Effects templates, much more stock footage, and some new tutorials. Keep checking back over the next couple of weeks to see whats new.

I would also like to find out what types of After Effects templates, stock footage and tutorials you are all looking for. What kinds of things do you need? If you have any reccommendations or requests, please leave a comment and let me know.

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Jesse Toula Thu, 16 Sep 2010 15:17:09 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=14
Blog Spam http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=13

Batch Frame has only been up for a few weeks, and although its slowly getting more visitors, it has already become popular with blog spammers. This being my first blog, I was unaware of the issue, but I quickly saw the comments being posted were not the type of thing I wanted on my site. I researched different methods for fighting blog spam, and although there are many ways of doing it, I wanted to find something that I could create from scratch, and have complete control over. Solutions like Captchas and User Registration would work, but it adds an extra step for the user. And there are sites like Aksimet which work well, but I really wanted to create something on my own.

I came across Snook.ca who had the same situation I did and created a point system. This method allowed me to run tests on the post being submitted and rate them based on their content. A low score would be flagged, otherwise it would be posted.

So far everything is working pretty well, I have had to add some more checks, but for the most part, I have been able to stop the spam on my site.

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Jesse Toula Fri, 09 Jul 2010 13:52:43 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=13
BatchFrame.com - Now Open http://batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=12

Welcome to the BatchFrame.com blog. This blog is going to cover a wide variety of different subjects from Visual Effects and Motion Graphics to Web Design and PHP. I want to help people out and give people information that they can use to create their own projects. I hope this blog becomes a great reference for many people.

For now, I would just like to thank you all for visiting BatchFrame.com and I hope you like the site. I have been building it for the past several months and really like how it has come out. A lot is going on behind the scenes, which I will be sharing with you in the future. If you notice any problems with the site or have suggestions for improvements, please leave a comment and let me know.

Once again, thank you for visiting BatchFrame.com. I hope that you check back often for new content and blogs!

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Jesse Toula Sun, 13 Jun 2010 13:25:00 PDT http://www.batchframe.com/blog/blog_closeup.php?blog=12