3D + Animation - Post archive

After Effects Technology Preview: Part 3

Published by | Friday, April 19th, 2013

Warp Stabilizer VFX and 3D Camera Tracker enhancements

Next in my review of significant new features that Adobe has revealed for an upcoming version of After Effects, let’s look at enhancements to the Warp Stabilizer and 3D Camera Tracker tools already available in After Effects.

Warp Stabilizer VFX

Many treat Warp Stabilizer as an apply-it-and-done stabilization effect. Now it looks poised to become a serious visual effects tool in its own right with the ability to take on many of the tasks you might have previously reserved for a motion tracker.

For example, in addition to stabilizing footage, you will now be able to reverse a stabilization. That means you can stabilize a shot for the sake of applying effects to it (including the After Effects Paint tool, which is rendered as an effect), and then reverse the stabilization to restore the original camera movement to the affected painted shot. The camera motion calculated in the original, unstabilized shot can also be applied to another layer to composite it onto the original.

After Effects Technology Preview: Part 2

Published by | Friday, April 12th, 2013

Refine Edge: A new way to deal with hair

As you no doubt know by now, Adobe has started to reveal some plans for its next generation of pro video tools. I’ve had the privilege of working with a pre-release version of Adobe After Effects, and recorded two hours of lynda.com training about it. In this blog, I’ll give you an overview of the Refine Edge tool, an important addition to the Roto Brush technology that will make rotoscoping hair and other soft, detailed areas much easier than ever before.

Roto Brush and Refine Edge

The Roto Brush tool in After Effects has been significantly upgraded with the addition of a companion Refine Edge tool. To review, Roto Brush allows you to make a series of general paint strokes defining the foreground and background areas of an image (such as an actor over a complex background—in other words, not green screen). With this information, as well as judicious tweaking of its propagation parameters, Roto Brush then detects the edge between the foreground and background, and creates a matte. When used properly (as demonstrated in my course After Effects Apprentice 13: Paint, Roto, and Puppet), it can greatly reduce the labor involved in cutting elements out of video.

After Effects technology preview: Part 1

Published by | Friday, April 5th, 2013

Adobe has started to reveal some plans for its next generation of pro video tools. Using a prerelease version of After Effects, I’ve recorded two hours of videos for lynda.com to keep you ahead of the curve. Over the course of a few blogs, I’ll fill you in on some of the interesting features that are on tap. First up, the new integration between After Effects and CINEMA 4D.

Live 3D pipeline between After Effects and CINEMA 4D

A couple of weeks ago, Adobe and MAXON issued a press release announcing a “strategic alliance … to bring creative professionals new levels of digital media content creation.” Buried inside that release was the intriguing statement that “As part of the alliance, both companies are expected to collaborate and engineer a pipeline between Adobe After Effects software and CINEMA 4D to give users a seamless 2D/3D foundation.” Now we can finally see what they were hinting at.

How to approach migrating from AutoCAD to Revit

Published by | Friday, March 8th, 2013

When I’m teaching Autodesk Revit to new users, I frequently get asked: “Why isn’t <fill in the blank feature> more like AutoCAD if both products are by the same company?” It’s a perfectly logical line of reasoning. Autodesk is the maker of both AutoCAD and Revit. But to understand why your favorite feature in AutoCAD isn’t in Revit, or is included but works differently, it’s helpful to understand the history and focus of these two products.

The history part is easy. AutoCAD is an original Autodesk product, developed and sold by Autodesk. A small start-up company created Revit and Autodesk acquired the software over a decade ago. Autodesk has since enhanced Revit in many significant ways, and along the way has even incorporated some features from AutoCAD when and where appropriate. However, there are vast differences between the functions and tools of AutoCAD.

The power of previsualization… what is “preVIZ”?

Published by | Friday, February 1st, 2013

The power of preVIZ

PreVIZ is short for “previsualization.” It’s a technique that allows filmmakers to quickly visualize parts of a script to solve problems and inform planning and execution prior to a costly production phase. Oftentimes, this process creates momentum and excitement and helps you determine where to allocate your creative and financial efforts.

What if you had a looking glass into the future of your projects? What if you could help uncover what projects your firm would work on and what they’d look like? I discovered something amazing by watching several behind-the-scenes documentaries of my kids’ DVDs. This insight helped me identify an opportunity for a new type of design group at my company. I realized that filmmakers had developed a language and a methodology for creating their movies and telling their stories. I learned that the same process could be used to design anything from a website, product, service, or business strategy. Storytelling the future seemed like a very valuable proposition.

I was discovering the power of preVIZ.

Share and share alike with AutoCAD WS

Published by | Monday, January 21st, 2013

Historically, exchanging Autodesk AutoCAD drawings with non-CAD-using clients was a challenge. That’s because viewing DWG files outside of AutoCAD required downloading and installing special software. For this reason, many clients preferred using PDF files to review design changes.

Nowadays, AutoCAD WS makes it easier for all stakeholders to participate in project collaboration, whether they have CAD software or not. AutoCAD WS is a free application offering virtually unlimited online storage for your project drawings.

Select File in AutoCAD WS

Visit www.autocadws.com to create an account and get started. After creating an account, uploading and managing files within AutoCAD WS is as simple as using a USB flash drive. To share a file, simply select it and press the Share button.

You can then enter the recipient’s email address, assign file permissions, and jot down a quick message related to the file. When finished, click the Share button.

Share DWG Files in AutoCAD WS

Another great part is your client doesn’t need an AutoCAD WS account to view the drawing. Within the email they receive will be a View Online link. Clicking this link will automatically launch AutoCAD WS allowing them to pan and zoom around the file.

Your client doesn’t have to stop there. Using AutoCAD WS they can work with the drawing by measuring, editing, adding comments, downloading, or printing it. And if your client is running the AutoCAD WS app on their smartphone or tablet, they can do any of these things on the go.

Editing AutoCAD DWG Drawings

If you and your client are both viewing the same drawing, you can engage in a “live collaboration” where you can chat, and edit the file simultaneously. During the meeting, AutoCAD WS will automatically archive the entire revision history, which allows you to restore the drawing to any prior version.

Using AutoCAD WS helps make your designs accessible to every stakeholder.

Interested in more?

• All courses by Jeff Bartels on lynda.com
• All 3D + Animation courses on lynda.com
• All AutoCAD courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:

• AutoCAD WS Essential Training
• AutoCAD Essentials 1: Interface and Drawing Management

Maya Essentials training series is now complete

Published by | Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

If you take a look at our list of Maya courses, you’ll see six new Maya Essentials titles designed to introduce the basics of Maya in simple installments. Together, these six courses provide a more flexible approach to learning Maya.

In the series, I cover the nuts and bolts of Maya, from the interface, modeling, and materials, to rendering and animation. This modular series is divided into six courses, each no more than an hour or two long. Start at the first course and work your way to the end, or watch one course that interests you. The Maya Essentials courses are available to watch in any order at any time, so it’s your choice.

We’re also exploring the Essentials format for other large software packages, so let us know what you think of this new format. Your feedback is always appreciated.

 

All six Maya Essentials courses:
Maya Essentials 1: Interface and Organization
Maya Essentials 2: Polygonal Modeling Techniques
Maya Essentials 3: NURBS Modeling Techniques
Maya Essentials 4: Creating Textures and Materials
Maya Essentials 5: Animation Tools
Maya Essentials 6: Lights and Rendering

Unity 3D 3.5 Essential Training is now available

Published by | Friday, August 10th, 2012

We just released Unity 3D 3.5 Essential Training, our first 3D game engine course. Unity 3D is one of the top 3D gaming engines on the market, and is used for desktop, online, and mobile games. It’s a strong authoring and development environment for new users interested in creating 3D games.

Author Sue Blackman details how to use the major features in Unity to create engaging 3D gaming content, such as adding lights, texture, multiple views, fire and smoke effects, and employing reusable assets. She also covers interactivity, controllers, the basics of scripting, and some game and level design theory. The end result is a sample game with a lush environment, fully animated characters, and some basic interactive gameplay.

We’re very committed to games. Look for more gaming courses from us in the future.

 

Interested in more?
• All Unity 3D courses on lynda.com
• All 3D + animation courses on lynda.com
• All courses by Sue Blackman on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Creating Urban Game Environments in 3ds Max
• Flash Professional CS5: Creating a Simple Game for iOS Devices
• Flash Professional CS5: Creating a Simple Game for Android Devices
• Game Character Creation in Maya