Todd Kopriva posts scripting changes in After Effects CS5

Not sure how I missed this when he first posted, but Todd Kopriva has posted a nice rundown on all of the scripting changes made in After Effects CS5. Also glad to hear there will be an update to the Scripting Reference docs that were getting long in the tooth. Todd and Jeff Almasol do a great job with supporting the scripting community around After Effects.

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A PixelBender Rounded Rect Generator for After Effects

Why Rounded Rects? Because Steve Jobs says they are everywhere. And because a cursory search didn’t find anything for Pixel Bender. Use this plugin to generate a solid color rounded rect or sample footage to easily add rounded corners to your footage.

Tip of the Hat to David Van Brink for his Pixel Bender efforts and especially for making me think of the generative possibilities of Pixel Bender in addition to image processing. And to Greg Best whose Core Image Kernel is the basis for this.

<languageVersion : 1.0;>
kernel RoundedRect
    namespace : "";
    vendor : "Creative Workflow Hacks: Dale Bradshaw,";
    version : 1;
    description : "Generates a Rounded Rect given an Upper Left coordinate, a Bottom Right coordinate, a Corner radius, and a Color or Sampled Footage";
    displayname: "Rounded Rect";
    input image4 image;
    output pixel4 result;
    parameter float4 color
  <defaultValue: float4(1,1,1,1);
   aeDisplayName: "Rect Color";
   aeUIControl: "aeColor";>;
   parameter bool transfer<defaultValue: false;aeUIControl: "aeCheckbox";aeDisplayName: "Sample Footage";>;
   parameter float radius<defaultValue:25.0;minValue:0.0;maxValue:100.0;>;
   parameter float2 upperLeft<aePointRelativeDefaultValue: float2(0.01, 0.01);aeDisplayName: "Upper Left";aeUIControl: "aePoint";>;
   parameter float2 bottomRight<aePointRelativeDefaultValue: float2(.98,.98);aeDisplayName: "Bottom Right";aeUIControl: "aePoint";>;
        float2 p = outCoord();
        float dist = 0.0;
        dist += (p.x < upperLeft.x + radius) ? pow((upperLeft.x + radius) - p.x, 2.0) : 0.0;
        dist += (p.y < upperLeft.y + radius) ? pow((upperLeft.y + radius) - p.y, 2.0) : 0.0;
        dist += (p.x > bottomRight.x -radius)   ? pow((bottomRight.x -radius) - p.x, 2.0)   : 0.0;
        dist += (p.y > bottomRight.y - radius)  ? pow((bottomRight.y -radius) - p.y, 2.0)   : 0.0;
        dist = sqrt(dist);
        dist = clamp(radius - dist, 0.0, 1.0);
        result = sampleNearest(image,p) * dist;
        result = color * dist;

Download db_roundedRect.pbk Pixel Bender kernel

This Kernel is set up as After Effects plugin, but it should be relatively easy to setup for Flash. I’ll update it when I get a chance to check it out.

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Building Animated Lower Thirds in Photoshop

An AdobeTV segment on a Photoshop/Premiere Lower Third workflow. There is a lot to like about Premiere Pro. I’m thinking about taking a deeper dive into a pure Adobe edit workflow to see if the Adobe Über-integration is worth the mono nature of that particular ecosystem.

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64 bit issues running osascript from terminal

If you use osascript to run applescript from the command line, you may have run into errors looking something like:

Error loading /Library/ScriptingAdditions/Adobe Unit Types.osax/Contents/MacOS/Adobe Unit Types: ... no matching architecture in universal wrapper

This is due to osascript running in 64 bit mode and being unable to load a 32 bit addition. A quick fix is to force osascript to use i386 architecture, like so:

arch -i386 osascript path/to/applescript

In addition, you can now eliminate the error referenced above by downloading the latest 64 bit Adobe Unit Types.osax from the Adobe site.

Here’s hoping the 64 bit transition goes smoothly for all involved. I’m thinking the performance payoffs will make these little workflow snags worth the effort.

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ProRes, After Effects, Final Cut And Gamma Shifts

Todd Kopriva posts a handy guide on how to avoid gamma shifts in an After Effects/Final Cut workflow using ProRes 4444. Gamma shifts have been the bane of my existence over the years and Todd gives a nice step-by-step and points to some good supporting resources.

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Creating Workflow Tools for the Flash IDE Session at Adobe Max

Adobe just posted tons of great sessions from Adobe Max. I found this session dealing with workflow, JSFL, Flash IDE panels, etc. particularly interesting.

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UV Mapping and After Effects

Jerzy Drozda (maltaanon), in his usual understated way, introduced Youveelizer his plugin for integrating UV Mapping in After Effects via a Pixel Bender plugin. It’s a really nice, tightly integrated plugin/workflow/training in the maltaannon style.

If you’d like to explore the UV Mapping concept in a developer style with a little less hyperbole, take a look at AE: Projecting a Movie onto a Complex Surface where David van Brink walks you through his experiments and includes a sample AE project.

Pixel Bender is really exciting. A very accessible kernel-style image processing platform without the baggage and overhead of digging into the AE SDK. There is also a useful subset of the kernel language that works in Flash, like these 3D Normal Mapping experiments. Give it a try.

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Apple updates sample code with new Final Cut Pro Apple Events

Apple has updated their Final Cut Apple Event sample code to reflect the new Apple Events added to Final Cut Pro 7.0. 


Apple Event List

Quite a few look really interesting and I’m hoping to dig in as soon as I get my upgrade in place.

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Primal Screen website launch

Proud and excited about the new Primal Screen Website. A big push at the end, but I think it showcases a bunch of talented designers, animators, and developers. I still do a little whistle when I see the depth and breadth of the Primal oeuvre.

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Workflow tools from Michael Cinquin

Michael Cinquin has developed some handy workflow tools for FCP/Pro Apps. Lots of glue code for Red, FCP,Color, etc. Most of the tools seem to be web apps which makes it handy for remote locations. I’ve been wondering lately if a lot of workflow media tools and processes shouldn’t be moving to a web service architecture? Having been doing mostly web development for a while I can vouch for how handy it is to have an API to solve a problem.

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