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SkyBox VR Player: Authoring VR just got easier!

SkyBox VR Player: Authoring VR just got easier!

Authoring VR/360 content in Adobe Creative Cloud is not an easy task. The tools currently don’t support rendering high resolution compositions like 4K^2 (4096x4096px) or 8K^2 (8192x8192px) into any practical output format. In my personal workflow, previewing animation at 4K used to mean several hours of work:

Once the composition was ready, I needed to render it as a sequence of images. I’d then use an external tool such as FFMPEG to encode the H264 out of them, with a second encoding pass to mix the video track with audio. Only then I could either view it using Virtual Desktop on my Oculus DK2 or transfer it to my phone or tablet and use Google Cardboard viewer.

Well, not anymore.

Yesterday, Mettle released a brand new plugin named SkyBox VR Player. The plugin integrates with Adobe After Effects, Premiere and SpeedGrade and allows you to view your 360 content directly in Oculus Rift – without rendering! It will even let you work on your software without taking the HMD off, and automatically recognizes mono and stereo 360 compositions. Best of all: It’s free!

Get it now from or read on for my first impressions review.
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Tutorial: Scrolling LED Text

In this After Effects tutorial I will show you how to create your own highly customizable LED screen effect, ready to convert any text or image into pixelated goodness. The video covers the setup, expressions and usage of this versatile preset.

The preview video below shows but one possible way of using the Scrolling LED Text and the tutorial concentrates on the effect itself, rather than the setup of this particular scene.

Preview video uses a photograph by LonelyBob licensed under Creative Commons. It also features 5 notes from the Solitary Wasteland track on the Flower Soundtrack by Vincent Diamante and a sample from Pac-Man by Namco. This tutorial was made possible by the espresso coffee maker gifted to me as a wedding present.

Running time: 47min
Difficulty: Medium (quite a few expressions)
Required tools: After Effects (CS3 and above)

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Wireframe Madness

A few days ago I published a post entitled Volumetric Clouds? Yes We Can! featuring the screenshot of the After Effects timeline containing over 550 layers used in creating (among other things) fake volumetric fog/clouds.

The project is now complete, but since it is still not cleared for air, I have another teaser for you all – a video of the entire animation in wireframe mode.

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Bici Bee #93: Modern Warfare 2: The Painball

Exclusive information straight from Infinity Ward… not really.

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