Thursday, August 16, 2012


A way to easily make a WHOLE LOAD of the same style title cards/lower thirds/whateverr with different info in the text fields.

I figured out (from misc threads on the creativecow forums) a way to set up a composition so you can just duplicate it and put the info you need in the title of the comp, and the text will change accordingly. You never even have to open them at all! Just copy, rename and drag the lot into the render queue.

The expression is:"_")[1] 
It goes in 'Source Text'

I put an underscore as the 'split' character but you could use something else, just put whatever character you want in.split("*")

Just change the number in square brackets for each text layer to turn that text into the corresponding word/phrase in the comp title. It counts from zero; I usually leave that for a comp name and 1,2,3 and so on for each on-screen text.

Probably I could have been even CLEVERER but it works.

I'd also probably make one master comp and use expressions in the duplicated comps to connect to it each animated/positioned/scaled/font-size/etc value that might need to be changed, in preparation for the inevitable client amends... (u__u;)>

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Evidently I haven't drawn anything for like 3 years so now for a while this will be a notepad of useful After Effects Expression clippings I mostly found/stole elsewhere, sometimes modified myself a bit.

Posterize time with offset.

Use it on Time Remapping to make a clip have a low frame rate which falls on a specific frame eg to match another piece of low frame rate animation.

posTime =(Math.floor(time*fps+phase/360)-phase/360) /fps; 

Attach the phase to an Angle expression control and animate with hold keyframes if you need to make it stay in sync with irregularly keyframed animation

phase=effect("Angle Control")("Angle");
posTime =(Math.floor(time*fps+phase/360)-phase/360) /fps;

I used this to make a live action background play at a lower frame rate perfectly in sync with rotoscoped animation which had different parts done on 2s and 3s, and a few accidental missed frames here and there throwing things off.

Taken from

Audio files in 3D space!

(EDIT: actually not sure if this is really working properly at alll)

This seemed a bit clunky and confusing to me at first but it appears to work OK and I couldn't have come up with it myself so can't complain. :) Controls the volume and panning of audio layers based on distance from comp/camera. Might try and improve it some time; at the moment it works by you put the expression on the 'Audio Levels' of the audio file and the object controlling the position in space underneath that layer, which isn't a workflow I like really. Will probably attach loudMax and loudMin etc. to master sliders for easier tweaking too.

loudMax = 0; //The loudest that the audio file will ever be in dB
loudMin = -20; // The quietest that the audio file will ever be in dB
close = -10; // The smallest Z value expected
far = 1000; // The largest Z value expected
distance = thisComp.layer(index+1).transform.position[2]; //The Z value of the layer beneath this one
myLevel = linear(distance, close, far, loudMax, loudMin);
myWidth = thisComp.width;
//The following section is new and required for the change to the 'balance' equation:
motionLayer = thisComp.layer(index+1);
halfWidth = motionLayer.width / 2;
halfHeight = motionLayer.height / 2;
balance = motionLayer.toComp([halfWidth,halfHeight])[0]; //This is a new form of this equation that converts the XYZ coords of the layer to screen X coordinates for more realistic panning
leftMult = linear(balance, 0, myWidth, 1, 2);
rightMult = linear(balance, 0, myWidth, 2, 1);
myLeftLevel = myLevel * leftMult;
myRightLevel = myLevel * rightMult;
[myLeftLevel, myRightLevel];

Stolen from 'wuzelwazel' on this olde thread: