AE Mini Tip: Color Control Layer

If you’ve worked on commercial project, you know there’s only one constant: change… especially at the last minute. One of the things that seems to frequently change is color choice. If you have a complicated AE animation and many layers that use the same colors, this can be a royal pain. You can reduce this pain if, from the beginning, you set up a color control layer.

[Note: this really only works well if you’re working on vector animations with single-color objects.]

First, set up an adjustment layer and add the “Color Color” effect found under “Expression Controls.” Do this for as many colors as you want.

ColorControl

I recommend naming the controls for the layers you will be coloring rather than the color itself.

Then, apply the “Fill” effect under “Generate.” Here, you can option-click (alt-click on PC) and drag the pick-whip (that little spiral button) to the color control in your color control layer.

layer

Now, when the client comes back to you with the comment “The trees should be purple,” you won’t be cursing under your breath (as much).

Using photos to enhance video (and more)

video-enhance2No, we’re not talking about simple Ken Burns effects here. Some CS students at the University of Washington have come up with what can only be called an incredible video enhancement program. To be honest, I have no idea how they’ve accomplished this (I was only in CS for one year at Marquette), and it’s almost a little scary.

Though some of the effects seem a little unnatural, they’ve gone a long way to make everything as seamless as possible. I won’t say I’m out of a job, and I’m pretty sure they had some insane computing setups, but I’m both looking forward to and dreading the day this capability reaches the hands of the masses.

[via Daring Fireball]

High-Five Hollywood

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So, I don’t know if you’ve seen the High-Five! montage by my friends Jake, Bob and Jack. If you haven’t, go watch it, I’ll wait.

That video was enough to get the attention of Jake’s higher-ups at Funny-or-Die and they created the much anticipated sequel: High-Five Hollywood! Take a look, it’s fun times.

As a side note, I did the effects for the final shot of the Hollywood video.