July 21, 2016No Comments

Download: Per-Version AE Icons for Windows

Because I write scripts, I keep a whole bunch of different versions of After Effects installed. This can get a little unwieldy, considering the icons don't change much between versions!

With this in mind, I quickly whipped up some alternate AE icons for Windows (I don't know much about icons on MacOS, so no idea what size/formats are needed, sorry!). They're fairly pixely, just trying to keep the same dimensions and form factor of the existing.

Read more

August 3, 2015No Comments

Preset: Shape Layer Inner Stroke

Shape Layers. Strokes. You know how they work-- add a stroke, and it'll increase in width both internally and externally from the path. But what if you want to preserve the outer edge of your path, adding strokes internally only (a la Illustrator?)

Read more

August 3, 20152 Comments

Preset: Point on a Circle

In a throwback to Points Along A Line from several years back, here's a quick expression for ya-- "Point on a Circle." Straightforward, yeah? Yeah.

Read more

February 18, 20149 Comments

Preset: linear() – Syncing Precomp Audio to Main

OK, so, you're working on an amazing infographic piece slated to become the best thing out there since that Stuxnet video. You've got your master comp with the audio bed in place, and have a series of precomps w/ audio & graphics sequenced and arranged together in your main composition.

You're working away on your project, have everything in each precomp chapter timed out and synced properly with the audio, and then... your client wants to re-record the VO. Or add in some copy. Or needs an alternate language version.

Alright, that's cool, we'll just drop in the new audio, slide our precomp over in time to where it should now be, open it up and do a preview to ensure everything's aligned properly. Except– the audio clip in the precomp is now out of sync with the master, as we've time-shifted the entire thing!

Read more

April 16, 201311 Comments

Preset: Chunky Text Scrolling

You're sitting at home, watching some action movie in which our handsome Hollywood hero sits down at a computer, faced with a terminal-esque window and has to ENTER PASSWORD in order to be rewarded with the exalted, famed and fabled "ACCESS GRANTED." Brilliant, right? Oscar material, right here.

Well, something I notice so very often in these screens is that the animator just keyframes the y-position and calls it a day, whereas in any console I've seen, the text always jumps up in little steps of equal height-- so I sought to recreate that for the film I was working on at the time.

Read more

September 10, 2012No Comments

Preset: Pose Flipping

I was recently working on a title sequence for an animated children's film created in a storybook style (in the spirit of Shrek).

To fit the style, all of the characters were animated as cutouts/puppets, with several poses for each character/prop. From there, I had to animate the scenes, which included finding an efficient way to cycle between distinct poses, creating the illusion of movement.

Read more

May 11, 2012No Comments

Preset: Snapping to Hex Grid

Last year about this time I was doing some motion & comp work for a pair of cinematics for a big ol' video game. One of my shots involved having these indicators moving across a screen with a hexagonal tile grid, and the art director wanted the indicators to snap from one tile to the next, giving it a much choppier, digital feel.

It took a while (longer than I'd care to admit, but alas) to get this expression put together. I won't claim that it's the best (or even most efficient) way, but if anyone has any suggestions on how I can optimize it please let me know!

Read more

April 23, 2012No Comments

Preset: Points Along a Line

Things have been busy! I'm working on several cool projects at the moment, one of which led me to share some cool math with you guys.

I've got two expressions that produce similar (yet different!) results-- both define the position for a point along a line, though one is controlled by % completion from one point to the next (0-1), the other by the distance (in pixels) from the start point.

Read more

Zack Lovatt focuses on toolkitting, building custom studio pipelines, expression rigging projects, and creating data-driven animation workflows.