Filmmaker that you should know

images-24With projects taking up all of your time, we know how easy it is to miss some breaking news or cool features. These are some of the biggest stories from August 2015.

1. Fusion 8 Beta Released

Hot off the release of DaVinci Resolve 12 Beta, Blackmagic Design has already made Fusion 8 available for download.Fusion 8 is a compositing software for VFX artists to create motion design and 3D animation.

Prior versions of Fusion have been used on features like Thor, The Amazing Spiderman 2, and The Hunger Games. It was also used on television series like Breaking Bad, Adventure Time, Downton Abbey, and Battlestar Galactica.

The public beta is available for FREE! More on Fusion 8 over at No Film School.

2. The Future for Adobe

Adobe’s Sr. Director of Product Management for Video, Bill Roberts, gave an interview to Video & Filmmaker about the future of Adobe. You’ll see how Adobe discovered that filmmakers use Creative Cloud more than any other industry users.

We found that video professionals are the most voracious users of

Titling for Video Editors

images-26We’re living in a 3D world, so it only makes sense to integrate 3D type into our videos as well. In this project-based course, motion graphics artists and video editor Eran Stern shows you how to add 3D titles to your movies. He explores four different ways to create text while expanding the capabilities of Premiere Pro by working with integrations and plugins. Animating text is also covered. Regardless of the editing tool you use, principles and instructions in this course are universal, including how to ensure your text has meaning and works in harmony with the content shown.

This course works through real-world scenarios, showcasing impressive type effects used to create visually stunning scenes. To make type integrate seamlessly with the footage, Eran demonstrates how to use tracking, rotoscoping, particles, distortions, camera effects, and more. Compositing is performed in Premiere Pro as the main editing hub. In addition to Photoshop and After Effects, the course also explores a PixelSquid plugin, a Bounce Pack set of transitions, ReelSmart Motion Blur, a Continuum Complete set of 3D objects, and some text design templates of

FilmMaker Guide

images-25Introducing the pocket sized Super 16 digital film camera that’s small enough to keep with you at all times, so you’ll never miss a shot! Get true digital film images with feature film style 13 stops of dynamic range, Super 16 sensor size, high quality lossless CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProResTM recording and the flexibility of an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount, all packed into an incredibly tiny size! The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera records 1080HD resolution ProRes 422 (HQ) files direct to fast SD cards, so you can immediately edit or color correct your media on your laptop. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is everything you need to bring cinematic film look shooting to the most difficult and remote locations, perfect for documentaries, independent films, photo journalism, music festivals, ENG, protest marches and even war zones.


Ikan’s T-Slate appears to be a traditional clapperboard but look closer and you’ll discover that it is the perfect companion for your iPad and MovieSlate app. Not only that but the T-Slate is an essential piece of your production

After Effects Apprentice

After Effects CC comes bundled with the 3D application CINEMA 4D Lite. But many new users are intimidated by 3D space. After Effects Apprentice offers three training courses just for C4D beginners. In this installment, After Effects expert Chris Meyer shows you how to create, extrude, and animate 3D text in C4D Lite, and believably composite it over a 2D background inside After Effects. The tutorials cover creating 3D text from scratch, animating with effectors, texture mapping and lighting the text, working with 3D cameras, and rendering. Chris also shows a workflow for extruding Illustrator artwork for animation.

The first course in the series, After Effects Apprentice 17, includes an overview of the C4D Lite user interface, as well as important setup information you need to know whenever you use live C4D layers in After Effects. We recommend you watch it first if you have no prior experience with C4D.

Topics include:

  • Extruding 3D text and Illustrator artwork
  • Beveling letters
  • Creating animations using the Fracture object and plain effector
  • Texturing and lighting
  • Adding a camera move in After Effects
  • Using multipass renders
  • Simulating glass-like effect distortions
  • Improving render quality

Social Tech Infographics Tips

After Effects Breakdowns is for artists who want to better understand advanced techniques, design concepts, and approaches to complex motion graphics projects. The infographics-driven video in this installment, designed for the nonprofit organization Com.unity, explains how social tech is designed to solve large-scale social problems, such as obesity, accessibility, and car accidents. Watch Eran Stern reverse engineer the finished project using his favorite tools: After Effects and a few third-party plugins (Animation Composer, Particular, and Newton).

Eran shows how to decode a client brief, perform storyboarding in Illustrator, and then transition the design to After Effects for animation. Along the way, he weaves in tips, shortcuts, and professional techniques that will amaze both veteran After Effects users and new motion graphics artists.

Topics include:

  • Analyzing a client brief
  • Designing a storyboard with Illustrator
  • Automating animations with Animation Composer
  • Creating custom particles with Particular
  • Crashing simulations using Newton

Get a glimpse behind the scenes of a real-world commercial made with After Effects. This course is for artists who are familiar with After Effects and want to better understand advanced techniques, design concepts, and approaches to complex projects.

The featured product is the N-trig

After Effects Techniques Tips

Learn looping animation techniques for motion graphics and web design using Adobe After Effects. Owen Lowery shows you how to create a “never-ending” animated loop comprised of multiple nested looped elements and render the results as an animated GIF. Along the way, you’ll learn how to work with AE expressions, loop footage with Time Remap, and use effects such as Echo and Offset to create background loops. At the end of the project, you’ll render the results as versatile animated GIFs, using Photoshop and the third-party AE Scripts plugin.

Topics include:

  • Working with loop expressions
  • Looping mash and shape paths
  • Combining expressions
  • Looping footage with Time Remap
  • Looping with effects
  • Rendering loops as animated GIFs

Learn how to create a looping animation for motion graphics and web design using Adobe Photoshop. Owen Lowery shows how to create animated loops in a variety of styles (including a hand-drawn look) and export them as different file types, suitable for web or video. Along the way, you’ll learn how to set up a Photoshop workspace specifically for animation, animate layers in the Timeline, use onion skinning, and add color and texture to

Better in filmmaker tips

Technology can only progress so far. It will get better but not at this astounding pace we’ve seen in the last 5 years. Now we are entering a perfect storm of social propaganda that threatens to enslave us in a never ending [camera] consumer cycle and it has nothing to do making films or making films better.

For 95% of video applications, what is currently available on the market and affordable to most people is “good enough”.  For the remainder 5% of projects there are a myriad of options available for rent. And yet I keep reading comments like “I’ve been asking for a camera that does x, y, z” or “This camera is crap because it can’t do 60p” or “Z Camera company is finally listening to their customers.”

Bullshit. No camera is holding you back.

You are holding yourself back.

The digital revolution has ushered in an era of artistic freedom. But freedom is scary. Freedom means we have to take responsibility for our success and our failure. This freedom also means your audience now has the same tools as you and you no longer belong to a special class with privileged access.  Freedom requires you

After Effect Compositing in a Cell Phone

The mobile app market is saturated. If you can show clients or investors how the app works—before any time or money has been invested into a lengthy development cycle—it can help speed up approval and funding.

Here, Andy Needham shows how to take the app mockup created in the companion course, After Effects: Creating a Mobile App Interface, and composite it into live-action footage of a smartphone. The final product is an animated promo video that helps visualize how the app will be used on a real device. Andy also covers storyboarding, tracking, keying, color correction, and a few audio tips. By the end of the course, you’ll have more experience with the screen replacement workflow in After Effects and have a web-ready deliverable ready to share with the world.

Topics include:

  • Planning with a storyboard
  • Filming the phone
  • Importing the live-action footage in After Effects
  • Retiming the animation
  • Tracking the shot in mocha AE
  • Keying the screen with Keylight
  • Adding an animated logo
  • Rendering the shot
  • Color correcting the composite

The Phonotrope Analog Techniques Tips

Learn how to create looping animations using analog elements that can be filmed with a camera and then refined in programs like After Effects. The “phonotrope” technique shown in this course uses the rotations of a record player to create the illusion of motion. Owen Lowery provides instructions on creating paper animation loops by hand, then going back and forth from the computer to plan and execute a more advanced animation using After Effects and Photoshop.

You’ll get hands on and color, cut, paste, and draw and, along the way, learn about the logistics of player speeds, frames, video capture, and lighting. In the final chapter, you’ll get tips and inspiration for taking your phonotrope to the next level with transparency and mixed media.

Topics include:

  • Introducing the phonotrope
  • Understanding frame and speed settings
  • Experimenting with drawing and play dough
  • Using Illustrator and Photoshop to plan a phonotrope guide
  • Preparing After Effects for a phonotrope animation
  • Shooting, lighting, and editing animation footage

Fix Film It in Post

Whenever you hear “don’t worry—we’ll fix it in post,” a red light should go off in your head. Those who say it on set often don’t solve the problems; the burden will fall on you, the editor. Luckily, many issues can be solved at the post-production stage, and this course teaches you how. Premiere Pro guru Eran Stern touches on topics such as white balance, relighting, flicker and banding problems, shaky footage, cosmetic skin issues, video noise, color matching, and even common audio problems. The techniques shown rely on collaboration with After Effects as well as third-party plugins that augment Premiere Pro.

Topics include:

  • Fixing white balance problems
  • Stabilizing shaky shots
  • Fixing bad pixels
  • Handling noise, grain, and banding
  • Minimizing flicker and exposure issues
  • Removing camera flashes
  • Fixing skin problems
  • Relighting a shot
  • Performing lens corrections
  • Fixing audio in post
Skill LevelIntermediate
2h 25m



Integrating Type into Video

Discover new ways to combine text and video in After Effects and create more visually stunning scenes. This course, the second volume of Eran Stern’s Integrating Type into Video series, features four unique type treatments that integrate text directly with the action on screen. Watch and learn how to explode text, create liquid text, map text to moving objects, and animate type in Z space.

Along the way, Eran demos a handful of advanced techniques, from tracking, rotoscoping, and particles to distortion and camera effects. After watching this course, you’ll be able to create impressive promos, trailers, and openers that will stand out from the rest.

Topics include:

  • Dandelion type: exploding text into dozens of seeds
  • Time remapping
  • Tracking text
  • Rotoscoping with Roto Brush
  • Floating type: creating a liquid text simulation
  • Designing with shape layers
  • Creating water effects with caustics
  • Perspective type: attaching type to moving guitar neck
  • Planner tracking with mocha AE
  • Pasting tracing data
  • Matching focus
  • Hot spot type: adding motion graphics to a runner’s steps
  • Camera tracking
  • Adding titles
  • Creating a pulse effect

Creative Cloud Updates Tips

Adobe After Effects CC 2015 brings significant breakthroughs in performance and shared workflows—and in this course, master user Chris Meyer will show you how to put them to work in real-world situations. After Effects has been rewired underneath the hood to be more responsive, including a new preview scheme optimized for those with an editing background. Creative Cloud Libraries were also introduced in the CC 2015 release, as well as face tracking technology thanks to Adobe Character Animator, which is now bundled with the program. With over 20 years experience using After Effects, Chris Meyer demonstrates these and other changes using real-world examples, including how to work around the inevitable shortcomings and gotchas.

Check back often for updates. New chapters will be added each time Adobe releases a major After Effects update.

Topics include:

  • Preview options
  • Editing a project without stopping preview playback
  • Navigating the CC Libraries workflows
  • Moving animations from Adobe Character Animator to After Effects
  • Using expressions to dynamically measure facial dimensions
  • Setting up layers in CINEWARE and CINEMA 4D Lite

How to upgrading to the blackmagic cinema

There’s no question about it, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is one of the hottest cameras out there. Let’s say you already own a small compact DSLR – you’ve honed your story and lighting techniques and you’re ready to step up your image quality – the Pocket Cinema Camera looks like a good fit. Well it’s not as simple as just buying the body and being done – here are 7 things you must consider when upgrading to a dedicated digital filmmaking camera like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera


Lets just start off by saying that yes indeed, the quality of the video coming off the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is quite fantastic. The fact remains that DSLRs are stills cameras first, with video added as a side thought – what Blackmagic is doing in terms of their Cinema Camera lines is build a camera with the same type of stripped down form factor but engineer it for video from the ground up. The images off the camera are cleaner, crisper and easier to manipulate than footage from a DSLR.

I got to spend some time with an

Filmmaker contest

Here’s your chance to show off your chroma keying muscle… Filmmaker IQ is holding a Greenscreen contest. We shot this footage for our Chromakey course and we’re giving you the opportunity to recut it.


The rules are simple – we’re giving you seven greenscreen shots recorded for our course “History and Techniques of Modern Chromakey.” Your job is to use some or all of t his footage to create something AMAZING. The only rule is you have to use at least one shot from the seven we’re giving you – otherwise we’re giving you total free reign to let your imagination go wild.


These LEDs will be a great addition to your lighting kit – they’re very soft and even lights – great for lighting a chroma key screen or just general purpose everyday lighting. Strike up these babies with pride because you made an awesome greenscreen video. (Value $1049)


DaVinci Resolve is a fully featured color correcting and grading software package from Blackmagic Design. This full version features real time performance,

How to choose cinemas title

As humans, we make immediate and long lasting judgements in that very first moment of experience. Much like seeing someone across a room who catches your eye, a title should attract both powerfully and authentically, promising something exciting, stimulating, thought provoking and mysterious… If it can do this, the grounds for a solid relationship are laid (be that an actor turning the first page of the script, an audience member buying a cinema ticket or a financier choosing to read the whole synopsis instead of moving onto the next project).

Over the last week I have been teaching at a European initiative workshop called Four Corners. Film makers from countries including Greece, Bulgaria, UK, Germany, Estonia and more, all gathered in central London for an intensive week long development workshop.

All the students had reasonably well developed projects, some commercial, some art-house, some drama, and some just ‘out there’. One consistent issue that kept coming up for me was the titles they had chosen. To be fair, these filmmakers were not working in their first language (they were working in English) and it was clear a huge amount was being ‘lost in translation’. Titles often felt