Archived entries: Tutorials&Presets

Are After Effects cameras difficult to use?

Every now and then there is an outburst of tutorials, plugins, presets and rigs for After Effects camera controls. We have sure targets, orbit cameras, simple rigs, complex rigs and tons upon tons of tutorials on this subject. In fact, Rich from After Effects portal recently released a lengthy post over at aetuts+ compiling a list of resources, tools and videos talking about AE cameras.

Personally, I find cameras in After Effects extremely intuitive, easy to use and simple, so I have problems understanding why does this topic tend to reemerge so often. What is your opinion on the subject? What’s your experience with AE cams? Do you think it is a topic worth covering in one of the future tutorials?

What do you think of camera controls in After Effects?

View Results

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Vote in the poll above, and if you have something specific you’d like to see covered/explained – drop a comment underneath this post. You may also want to mention, whether you have experience using real, live cameras or 3D cameras in other programs and what is your experience with them, as compared to AE. How about your orientation in virtual 3D space? It’s a wide topic, so feel free to talk about it :)

iDoF Camera Rig: Community Update 1.1

You simply got to love the Internet, and the motion graphics community. Less than a day has passed since the release of our Cinema 4D Camera Rig and we already have an update!

Mdhamiri a Nkemi, one of the site’s visitors decided to clean up the rig a little bit and add some new functionality. I liked it so much, I decided to share it with all of you as an official community update 1.1.

Continue reading…

Preset+Tutorial: C4D DoF Camera Rig

A program of choice to many motion artists, Cinema 4D has a rather counter-intuitive method of producing depth of field. Both the camera controls and the way in which C4D handles depth maps can be a cause of major headache, especially for the newcomers to this program.

With the coding support from German motion artist and art director, Derya Ozturk, we have been able to construct an improved camera rig for Cinema 4D that should help you eliminate needless frustration, and get the results you need with just a few clicks.

Please note that while the tutorial will teach you how to use the preset, it will not show you how to construct the demo scene seen in the preview video.

As much as I would like to credit the awesome flute player who provided the audio for this preview, I was unable to locate the “patient zero” among dozens of videos around the net using this jingle. Whoever you are, kudos and don’t ever stop trying!

Code by Derya Ozturk
Concept and math logic by Quba Michalski

Running time: 46min
Difficulty: Easy
Required tools: Cinema 4D R11.5 or R12 (does not work with R13, sorry)
Optional software: After Effects, Frischluft Lenscare plug-in

Continue reading…

Tutorial: Procedural Disintegration

In this long-delayed tutorial I will show you an efficient method for disintegrating/dispersing a 3D layer into particles. The method shown here has been optimized to produce maximum amount of particles at lowest computing cost (more stuff flying around, faster renders).

Originally planned to be released in June 2010, this tutorial concludes the four-part series including: 100% Accurate Reflections, Automated Light Rig and Light Wall.

Running time: 70min
Difficulty: Medium
Required tools: After Effects, Trapcode Particular
Optional plug-ins: VC Optical Flares (or similar)

Continue reading…

Good news, everyone!

I have been using Dreamhost for many years now and could not be happier with the quality of service they provide. I have used many hosts in the past (doesn’t it sound like a creepy sci-fi quote?) and always suffered from messed up controls, poor plans, incompetent support – all that until I switched to Dreamhost. No matter how hard I mess up, what files I accidentally delete and whichever databases I corrupt – they always manage to get my sites back up and running quickly and professionally.

I do however realize that media streaming from QubaHQ can be a bit slow at times. Apparently it varies from day to day and from user to user, but I have received enough complaints to actually take action and do something about it.

It is my pleasure to announce that from now on all the new tutorial content from QubaHQ will be hosted in at Vimeo. All the future tutorials will be published in HD (720p at 30fps) resulting in both much better viewing experience and increased file sizes. Vimeo seems like the best match to host such content. Additionally, the videos will now be viewable both on computers and on all the major mobile platforms, including iPhone and iPad. You will also be able to download and save the entire tutorials both from Vimeo and from QubaHQ.

While I want you to keep coming back to the site, you may now also subscribe to the new Vimeo channel with my tutorials at:

I need a hand with the next tutorial…

Quite literally, I need a hand with the next tutorial for QubaHQ. To be precise, I am looking for a CG artist who could provide me with either a render, realistic illustration or a 3D model of a human hand in two forms: normal and skeleton only.

Why? Quite simply, because I am bored of using text layers for every effect in the tutorials, and would like to do something special for you guys this time.

If you are willing and able, simply reply to this post – if you are a registered user of this site, I will look up the e-mail you registered with and contact you shortly. The images used in the next tutorial will also be distributed with the project file, so please make sure you own the rights to them and are OK with giving them away for free (no budget on this gig, except for credits).

Hope to hear from some of you soon!

Poll Results: CS3 it is (huh?)

OK, so after running the poll for around 2 weeks, the results are in. A majority of you are using After Effects CS4, with CS5 following closely in a second place. CS3 takes the third with 14% of votes. What does that mean?

It pretty much means I will continue producing the tutorials using CS3 as a base, lowest version supported.

More after the break.

Continue reading…

Poll for Y’all

With the new system up and running, I am slowly getting ready to resume producing new tutorials. On the old system I always kept a copy of After Effects CS3 installed and made all the tutorials using that version for all the folks using older versions of AE.

I have migrated my workflow to CS5 quite a while back and was wondering – which version of After Effects do you use? Is there even a need to make the files CS3-compatible anymore? Do I really have to install the old program on my computer?

The results of this poll will help me determine how to proceed. It will remain open until the end of October, so cast your vote and let others know to do the same – the larger the voting base the more accurate the information will be. Also, feel free to comment on this post if your answer cannot be summarized with a simple 1-choice selection.

Which version of After Effects do you use?

  • CS4 (47%, 138 Votes)
  • CS5 (38%, 111 Votes)
  • CS3 (14%, 40 Votes)
  • CS2 or older (1%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 292

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The poll is now closed.

Tutorial+Preset: Light Wall

Hello everyone! Yes, it is here – a long-delayed new tutorial from the June series. It’s been around 6 weeks since the previous tutorial, but I have been incredibly busy building a new kick-ass hi-tech intro for the tutorials… No. Not really. The truth is I have been working on multiple commercial projects and could not find any time off for neither leisure nor tutorials. As for the intro – I knocked it together in a few minutes at 4:00AM last night.

This tutorial is a hybrid between the Automated Light Rig and Scrolling LED Text. We will be building an animated image map driven light array that can be used for for either cool light effects or easily controlled particle emission.

While the entire project can be completed within After Effects, I will also jump into Cinema 4D every now and then and show you a very easy way for creating quite complex light arrays and importing them back into AE.

Music used in the trailer comes from Beck’s Cellphone’s Dead from the album The Information. Music in the intro comes from… here.

Running time: 73min
Difficulty: Easy-Advanced (depending how much you want to learn :)
Required tools: After Effects
Optional software and plug-ins: Cinema 4D, Trapcode Particular, VC Optical Flares (or similar)

Continue reading…

Still Swamped

I know many of you are still waiting for me to complete the two remaining tutorials promised for June. It seems however that it is going to take a while longer. Summertime is usually a very slow commercial season with not many TVCs being produced, so I naturally assumed I will have tons of free time to work on the tuts.

Things tend to work out not according to plan, though. I am still completely swamped with the projects for various clients and new ones just keep on coming. My current estimate is that I will be able to catch a break and record the next tutorial probably within 1-2 weeks, but only time will show if that’s realistic at all.

QubaHQ tutorials are quite important to me – just so you know, I have decided that I will not play a minute of Starcraft 2 until we get the next one online. And that’s a big commitment for me :)

Header photo by Ajfraser

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