Resources : After Effects

Adobe Inspired Media

For those who attended my talk on the 28th August 2007, I have now uploaded some of the materials used in the presentation so you can have a play around with it yourself. The presentation was created in Apple's Keynote (awesome app BTW) but I've exported it as a PDF to keep the filesize manageable.

Presentation Document (PDF)

Here's the After Effects project (requires AE7 or higher)

After Effects Project

After Effects Scripts

I've ended up creating some handy scripts to automate some of the more common and tedious tasks I have to undertake. These are all free to download and use.

DS AutoReplace footage from Folder (UPDATED - now with recursive search)
Download (right click and save)

This is an updated version of the script below, now fixed to work in CS5 (the older version was using a deprecated file I/O call). While I was updating it, I also added another feature: A user-specified search length for the filenames of the items you're replacing. This old scripts are stil here for legacy users, but I strongly recommend using this version instead - not least because the old versions don't work in CS5 at all!  UPDATED -  CC comptible, but much more cool - I've made it into a recursive function so it now searches all subfolders for replacement footage too. Very, very handy!

Replace footage from Folder: RED version (NOTE: DEPRECATED - Use the new version above!)
Download (right click and save)

This is a simple script aimed mainly at Automatic Duck users or anyone else bringing an edit into After Effects that was shot on RED. If you edited in Avid, it tends to mangle the source filenames when it converts them internally to MXF files. All RED clips are uniquely named though, so using this script you can automatically relink missing clips. It's not an iterative search (it doesn't search other folders inside the folder you select)- so it's advisable to have already batched your footage into a single online folder using Red Rushes.

To use it, select all the missing clips you need to re-link in the project window, then run the script. A dialog box will ask you where the folder with the replacement clips is. Navigate to this and select Open. The script will then go through all the files you've selected in your project window and replace them with clips from that folder with the same name (or rather ones that share the first unique 16 characters in their filenames).

This is a big time saver when you're dealing with a RED -> Avid -> AE workflow.

Such a workflow works like this:

  1. Shoot on RED, pool all your takes to hard disk (or 2 disks to be safe!).
  2. Using RED Rushes, from your source files create SD proxies and put them into a folder called "offline". Format of these proxies varies, but if shot at 25fps I usually do them as PAL resolution H264 Quicktimes. Give a copy of this folder to the Avid guys to do their edit with.
  3. Using RED Rushes, from your source files create HD proxies and put them into a folder called "online". I typically do this as 720p25 quicktimes in Prores422HQ format, or 1080p if the final master needs to be full HD.
  4. Once the edit is done and signed off, get them to export an Avid AAF file of the finished edit and import it into After Effects using Automatic Duck.
  5. Use the above script to relink the missing offline clips to their online versions (in the Online folder)

That's pretty much the essence of it. I might create an amended version of this script at a later date to directly re-link to the real RED footage itself. Right now though, After Effects doesn't really cope too well with 4K footage (probably needs a 64bit version to cope), so creating lower res (but still high quality) online files to work with is a good compromise.

Replace footage from Folder: Generic version (NOTE: DEPRECATED - same as the other one)
Download (right click and save)

This is a the original version of the script I created in 2004 for re-linking footage wih mangled filenames. I've updated it to support Undo groups, but beyond that it's pretty basic. The only real difference between this and the RED version is that the RED script only reads the first 16 characters of the project item filenames when looking for replacements. To be honest the RED script is generally a good bet to use whenever your're dealing with any AVID projects that originally used quicktimes/AVIs as a source for editing.

More scripts to come later...