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Here’s the latest in After Effects tutorials, plug-ins, scripts and other news from around the web. You never know when you’ll need examples, so don’t forget to scan the varied AEtuts+ tutorials as well.

ShapeShifter AE, a new AE filter for text and logo extrusions, is now available for Windows only. Shapeshifter goes beyond simple extrusions to offer 3D Deformations, particles, 3D displacement maps, depth maps for use with lens blurs, reflection mapping, and shadow casting, all with high-speed rendering. There's also ready a good number of tutorials and presets for this filter, like Aetuts+ Plug-in Sneak Peek: ShapeShifter Ben Griggs, reviews by Phil Bearman and Tudor Jelescu, and more through Mettle. Here's a newer one from Ben Griggs, ShapeShifter AE | The Basics - Part 1:

Motionworks' After Effects A-Z series continued with a video tutorial on the Cartoon filter (and Posterize), with guest host James Zwadlo demonstrating. See also The Cartoon filter story and Cartoonification at Artbeats at AE Portal archive.

Making It Look Great 9 was recently released but, thanks to piracy, it looks unlikely that the Making It Look Great training series for AE and Cinema 4D will continue.

Quba Michalski decided to stop including project files with his tutorials after "a certain individual applying for a job in my studio with a portfolio containing rendered versions of project files from my tutorials (no credit given, of course)"!!! Grayscale Gorilla notes the difference between learning from watching and learning by doing in Learning From Tutorials.

Export Blender 3D 2.59 to After Effects is one of several video tutorials, scripts, and plugins by Bartek Skorupa:

Chris and Trish Meyer posted 2 articles on some “hidden gems” in AE:
CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 36 – Working With Audio
CMG Hidden Gems: Chapter 36B – Audio Effects

Trapcode Form has been updated to version 2. New features in this particle system for After Effects include: 3D import of static or animated OBJ (leapfrogging Plexus), orthographic viewing & Shading and Layer Maps, Particular’s Textured Polygons that can rotate in 3D space, Shadowlets that cast shadows onto other particles, natural light fall-off, and intergration with 3D Cameras using World Transform and Motion Blur. A full list of new features is available at Red Giant. Check out blogs with more info from Harry Frank, Peder Norrby, and Tim Clapham. Also new is Plexus OBJ Sequence Exporter for C4D, which is compatible with Form 2; see also RipTide from Keith Young. Here's Harry Frank on Form 2:

Andrew Yang released YY_Voronoi, a Procedural Texture Generator, on AE Scripts: "Voronoi diagrams are procedurally generated images which can be used as all sorts of textures, from terrain maps to water caustics to abstract backgrounds. By layering different Voronoi patterns, variations in complexity can be achieved. YY_Voronoi provides a way to generate Voronoi diagrams in After Effects, with extra options to control animation, shape, and more." The main difference between YY_Voronoi and the built-in Cell Pattern is this one is 32-bit not 8-bit. For other cell pattern effects, see Pixel Benders for grading, shortcuts & tiling.
Angie Taylor added new training, Stereoscopic 3D Motion Graphics Workshop: Create a Striking Title Sequence. Angie is giving away this workshop to subscribers of this week’s newsletter -- so sign up!

To go deeper into stereo 3D, see stereoscopic 3D in After Effects CS5.5 by Todd Kopriva, free in-depth videos from Chris Meyer, and resources for earlier versions of AE at the AE Portal archive. See also the new article from Scott squires on 2D to 3D conversions, as well as Parellel vs Converged from Steve Wright and Q&A: Why Hollywood Needs to Get Smart About 3D Production by Bryant Frazer.

Quba Michalski posted Preset+Tutorial: Floaties on a "text animator-based fake-particle simulator allowing you to create floating specs of dust, glitters, bokeh-style out of focus abstract backgrounds and other visual elements. It attempts to emulate some of the basic behavior found in Trapcode Particular, providing a limited, but free alternative to that popular plugin." Here's the tutorial:

Mark Christiansen continued his 'After Effects Script of the Week' series at PVC with pt EffectSearch (on effects: search and instances) and KeyTweak (which fixes drifting motion tracks and animated masks).

In a 2-part tutorial, Book of the Week, Eran Stern shows you how construct a paper city using stock elements, Particular, and the Digital Juice Color Rules plug-in for After Effects.

AEtuts+ lists "Additional AEtuts+ Resources" on paper-style animations in the new Create A Construction Paper Craft Animation by Jeremiah Warren. If you want to take to another step beyond, check out an old video in which Terry Gilliam explains the secrets of the Monty Python paper animations:



On Ned Soltz takes a quick look at a new set of plug-ins for NLEs in In Review: GenArts Sapphire Edge. See also Kevin McAuliffe's Review Series: GenArts Sapphire Edge.

Vincent Laforet helped Vimeo create some video tutorials on lenses, focal length,and depth of field; they're described Oh Dear… The Viking has landed… and, uh, the Astronaut! Here's a sample:

Stu Maschwitz noted Moire and Aliasing no more?! A solution for the 5DmkII by Philip Bloom.

Andrew Devis has 2 video tutorials on color matching footage from different cameras; see Premiere Pro: Matching Cameras and Matching Cameras and Composite Elements in After Effects and Using That Information in Premiere. Also, Todd Kopriva collected links to free color correction and color grading tutorials for Premiere Pro & After Effects.

Warren Eagles, who teaches for Fxphd, posted Get started with Resolve lite:

Autodesk has a ton of training resources for Smoke by Grant Kay, including a video series on Smoke for Final Cut Pro users. It's all outlined in a few forum posts.

Alex Lindsay spoke in-depth with Brent Bye about different types of lighting, white balance, color temperature and more in the video Pixel Corps Live: Gear Media Tech - July 7th, 2011. There's been a lot of good video coming from Pixelcorps this summer on editing, effects, greenscreen, photography, etc.; here's the lighting show:


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