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Nodes 2 from Yanobox

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Avengers. Ender’s Game. Iron Man 3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes. These are just a few films that have had the opportunity to utilize the plugin that is known as Nodes. With the release of Nodes 2, Yanobox has upped the ante with what this plugin can do. This motion graphic tool can import 3D models, interact with the After Effects camera, link text and images to individual nodes and so much more. The best part is that it supports the most popular editing and compositing programs on the market which include the following: After Effects, Motion, Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro. If you don’t believe how awesome and intricate this plugin is, well then take a look at this demo below.

I’ve had a chance to try out Nodes 2 myself and I was extremely impressed with how quickly I was able to pick it up. Here are a few quick examples of what I was able to create on my own which to my surprised rendered real fast on my iMac.

Overall, Nodes 2 is an incredible plugin that needs to be experienced firsthand to admire the depth it has. With this plugin, I am to create breathtaking and stylized motion graphics that would require multiple plugins and tinkering to achieve look the Nodes can create effortlessly. The fine folks of Noise Industries have provided very detailed tutorials for your favorite software application which you can check out here.

If you are looking for a plugin that imports stunning 3D models, build networks of node structures and allows you to create an limitless amount of text and image connections then look no further than Yanobox Nodes 2. At the price of $299, it’s a no brainer purchase that will save you hours of work and allow you to explore more creative depths than you can imagine.

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Luca Visual FX Hi-Tech Overlays

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The team of Luca Visual FX have been working hard to bring a new product in the market that will benefit post production professionals across Mac and PC computers. It is Hi-Tech Overlays. This product line expands on the line of alpha transitions and overlays that LVFX has created in the past with a brand new model for users to access the elements they need at a moment’s notice. I’ve had a chance to preview the new library and had a chat with the guys LVFX. Here are a few questions users may have.

 

What’s Hi-Tech Overlays?

It is an alternative solution to our Hi-Tech plugins for FCPX that provides users of software such as Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, After Effects, Motion, Final Cut Pro a way to build Hi-Tech mographs for promos, sci-fi, music videos, news and sport, corporate productions and more.

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I see that you implemented a new system for the users to access the product, tell us about it.

Yes, all mographs and images are provided in full resolution and the user will download from our web site only what they need any time they wish, right from the moment of purchase. We started working on this new way of delivering a product in December 2013 and hope to provide the easiest and most convenient way for our users to access a vast library of interchangeable mographs and images.

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Will the library be based on a subscription that you pay monthly or is there a lifetime license?

No monthly subscriptions to pay but only a single lifetime licence that people can easily purchase on our web site. The user will receive unique and safe login details shortly after completing the payment and will be able to download both Hi-Tech default looks of effects like holograms, displays, sci-fi mographs, fractals etc. and individual elements to customise and combine as desired. The library also includes High-Tech Elements Vol.1.

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I have issues with Quicktime on my PC. Is it possible to get the Overlays in a different format?

All files are delivered as .mov so as long as the user has Quicktime correctly installed everything should work correctly.

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Will there be tutorials on how to achieve the results you showed in the demo?

Yes, we have already edited 4 of them and more will come. They show how to customize not only the elements but also how to combine them creatively in order to create unique looks. The first for are available on VIMEO.

If I own the FCPX templates of this product, is there a way to get access to this library to get additional elements?

Hi-Tech Overlays is essentially a cross-platform alternative to Hi-Tech for FCPX that will work with more hosts, FCPX users would find in the library what they have already in the form of FCPX templates. There are however several advantages in using indicvidual layers, we also intend to expand the library and add more and more elements for our users, should FCPX users wish to access the library in order to handle individual layers we recommend to email support@lucavisualfx.com with their request.

What manipulation options would allow you to get the best results with Hi-Tech Overlays (i.e color change, distortion, time remapping, etc.)

There are tons of ways to modify the overlays, the only limit is one’s creativity. For example with filters the user can indeed change the color and distort (some examples can be seen on the demo) but also add glow, blur and many other stylisations. Another way to create unique compositions is to combine individual elements taken from different categories (i.e. Holograms and sci-fi overlays or Screens and Fractals, you name it), use blend modes to create nice superimpositions and layers. Another great advantage that not even the FCPX template can offer in such extent is the use of any transition you can think of in order to create your own Build-In and Build-Out at the beginning and end of your composition. An example is shown at the very beginning of the demo where all elements come together in different ways. Possibilities are endless!

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Do these elements come with embedded alpha transparency? If they don’t, what would be the best practice for getting transparency?

Yes, absolutely, the alpha channel comes with every single element of Hi-Tech Overlays.

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Overall, I believe Hi-Tech Overlays will definitely be a product with infinite possibilities for the user. The amount of ways you can mix and match the elements will definitely draw the user to think outside the box when they apply mograph to their projects. I strongly recommend that you try experimenting with different colors and manipulation effects to see how far you can push each element. In the process, you may create a unique look that wasn’t thought of before.

The launch price of Hi-Tech Overlays is $39 for the first two weeks. Don’t miss out on this incredible product line.

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NLE Ninja now supports FCPX

fcpx-icon256Hey guys! It’s now 2014 and things are looking bright for what’s in store for NLE Ninja. I want to announce that going forward, I will show tutorial support for Final Cut Pro X. With the purchase of a new computer and the recent update to 10.1, I thought it was time to come back to the NLE that started this amazing journey. Here is the bad news. I will no longer show tutorial support for Final Cut Pro 7. In my opinion, I believe it is still a great program to learn to edit on but there comes a time when you have to let things go and move on. So my old tutorials on Final Cut Pro 7 will remain for anyone who wants to review them but I will no longer produce anymore.

In light of my support for Final Cut Pro X, I have produced my first tutorial on the NLE below detailing how to use a free Motion template from FCP.co. More to come in the near future.

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Luca Visual FX Hi-Tech Templates

lucapicWith the release of a new collection of plugins known as Hi-Tech, Luca Visual FX becomes the leading plugin developer to offer totally customisable mographs for FCPX. Being this a collection of over 30 FCP X effects templates, post professionals can completely customize mograph elements for a variety of projects ranging from music videos, promos, documentaries, corporate videos and a lot more. Within this collection, users have display screens, fractals, lower thirds and sci-fi based elements. From the promo below, you can witness the depth of intricate and expansive Hi-Tech is.

I had a chance to try out these awesome templates and was immediately impressed with all the options available for manipulations. One element that caught my eye was the fractals. These geometric, colorful patterns animate to simulate light and color effects that have been seen in various sci-fi shows and movies. Color Blast is a fun effect to experiment with. Lots of options under the hood and endless possibilities through experimenting with the built in parameters and blend modes, use the latter and the blur parameters to create even light leaks, flares and light streaks effects. I used it on a clip of a dancer in its default state as well as customized the settings.

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Another effect that stood out to me was the Hi-Tech Vignette. The parameters and capabilities of this effect is something I can see myself using a lot on my work. I gave it a go myself and came to this result.

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Creating holograms for a project can be tedious if you have to do them from scratch. The hologram effects with Hi-Tech are a welcome relief from creating them from scratch and the flexibility they offer are incredible. The default settings alone are eye catching but having the option to use drop wells to place your own clips or rendered models makes it no brainer effect. I tried out both the Holographic objects and Hologram on the left effects. When I saw the objects effect in the promo, I immediately had to try it out for myself. The effect reminds of the Star Wars and Iron Man films where you had rotating 3D object being projected with a nice and subtle glow. I tried these holograms myself on two separate clips. For the objects effect, I tried it on a clip of a woman looking up wearing sunglasses. The default spinning wireframe is cool but I felt it didn’t fit for this particular clip. I tried the other model options and arrived at the atoms animation.

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I tried the holographic screen on the left with an athlete training. I want to give the appearance that athlete was watching some programming while he trains. Using the perspective parameters in the Inspector, I was able to match the perspective of the camera as well as insert my own footage.

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Aside from the fractals and displays, Hi-Tech provides lower third effects. With 5 lower third options available, you are provided with the added benefit of titling with any other effects you use in the Hi-Tech collection and the possibility to implement your own media to achieve your very own look. I tried out the Lower Third default as well as the “free” Sports highlights. Both offer great customization abilities as well as endless possibilities. Take a look below.

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Overall, Hi-Tech is by far the most expansive and affordable collection of customizable mograph plugins I have encountered so far. From the available parameters in the inspector as well as the overall look of each effect, the creative possibilities are only limited to your imagination. Experienced FCP X guru Alex Gollner edited a short demo showing all default looks and quite a few personalised versions.

This is a must have plugin if you want to maximize efficiency in mograph creation. At $49, it’s a purchase that will make your workflow very worthwhile and the good news are that it comes with 2 free sport-themed templates: Highlights and Score-board. Right now, Premiumbeat is offering a giveway of 6 copies of Hi-Tech. To enter, all you have to do is use the auto tweet option and wait until November 29 to find out the winners.

Here is a video of all the images you saw with Hi-Tech applied. An amazing, must have collection of plugins.

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Luca Visual FX Alpha Transitions

Alpha TransitionsYears ago, if you wanted to buy high quality motion graphics such as light leaks, film leaders, countdowns and other film effects you were limited to the royalty free site, Artbeats. However, that all changed when Luca Visual FX started selling these items for an affordable price. Since 2010, Luca Visual FX has provided a growing collection of drag and drop Alpha Transitions that work in almost every popular NLE and compositing application. This collection includes Film FX 1 & 2, Leaders, Light Transitions, Grunge and Modern Transitions. With each pack, the user is given anywhere from 16-86 transitions to use on their projects. These transitions are compiled of selection film burns, film flashes, light leaks, countdowns as well as freely interpreted light effects and contemporary looking transitions. I’m going to address how to use these transitions in your next project as well how users on both Mac and PC can benefit from using these transitions. I’ll also touch base on the advantages between using these over plugins.

How To Use Alpha Transitions

These alpha transitions are real easy to use. All you have to do is drag and drop them over your edit point in your NLE. Since they come in both in high resolution, lossless codecs, their quality is always top notch and they also come with embedded transparency. One thing I recommend when you using these transitions is placing a marker at the wipe point of the transition. The wipe point is the point in the transition where it covers the screen or most of it. Having a marker at that point makes it easier to snap to your edit point. Now, you have the ability to manipulate the transition to your liking by changing its scale, position, blend modes and/or color. Best part is you can stack multiple transitions to create one unique transition of your own.

One thing to note is that Alpha Transitions have 2 ways of being using in Final Cut Pro 7. In Final Cut Pro 7, you can actually use some of these Alpha Transitions with the Alpha Transition wipe. All you would have to do is drag them in the first drop well of the Alpha Transition wipe. Then you have the ability to manipulate duration and other parameters.

Advantages over Plugins

One of the advantages to using these transitions over plugin-based transitions is their ease of use. With these drag and drop transitions, there are no parameters to learn or modify. Lay one of them over your edit point and you’ve added instant production value. Better yet, these transitions render and export quickly. Some plugins can be render hogs but you won’t get that with these transitions. You don’t run into the issues you would when dealing with plugins when you have these items. These Alpha transitions are not tied to any software package so you have the option of purchasing the whole collection or a la carte.

Another advantage of these transitions is that they can be used as overlays for your clips, (blend modes like SCREEN OR ADD can enhance the impact of the color and shapes). Although they are shown as transitions, I can overlay them over video clips to give them a distinctive look. Transitions like the Leaders collection or Film FX can give your footage a cinematic or grind house look by placing them on top of your clip. In order to achieve this, you would have to use a filter that can may or may not be RAM intensive and wouldn’t allow you to view it in real time without some rendering.

LVFX offers 2 free tailor made customization of Film Leaders Transitions to buyers who want to change the word, name or even insert a logo.

The ultimate advantage of using these transitions is their cross platform encoding. These transitions come in the Animation and Pro Res 4444 codec. Whether you are working on a Mac or PC, you are able to use these transitions. You don’t have be in the situation where you are a platform switcher and sacrifice access like you would with some plugins. One thing to note is that these transitions work even if you on older OS platforms such as 10.3 and 10.4. These transitions are guaranteed to work with most of your NLE or compositing program.

Overall, Alpha Transitions from Luca Visual FX are a versatile set of transitions. These drag and drop transitions offer the user a lot manipulation options and creative avenues. As a freelance editor, I find myself using these more often than plugin transitions because I’m not bogged down by long render times or complex parameters to change. Try out a demo of these transitions (Modern Transitions you can be fully downloaded as trial watermarked copy) and you will instantly want them on every project from here on out.

There is a special promotion for these alpha transitions going on right now. You can get 20% off any pack when you use the the coupon code CHANCE2WIN. Those who use the code are automatically entered into a drawing where 5 buyers will be chosen to get a free single pack of alpha transitions they don’t already at the end of NAB. So don’t miss your chance to partake in this excellent Alpha Transitions.

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NLE Ninja Edits Volume 3

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Hey everyone. I would like to present NLE Ninja Edits Volume 3. This free Premiere Pro CS6 project file contains 7 transitions, 4 effects and presets which you can download and use on your next edit. This file was made to commemorate 2 years of making video tutorials and the progress I’ve made in the community. Here’s a breakdown of each effect below:

Transitions

Diagonal Stripe Passby- A transition with 2 colored stripes which slowly pass by between two clips.

Spaces Animation- This transition simulates the Mac OS function of switching between desktop views only instead it switches between clips. It features a graphic at the bottom which shows which space it’s going to.

4-Flare Transition- 4 blurred lens flares animating towards one point from 4 corners of your screen to reveal your next clip.

Fractal Zig Zag- A zig zag patterned transition with a fractal noise bars to follow each path revealing your next clip.

Media Buffer- A transition that simulates what happens when your screen freezes because your media is not done loading up yet.

X-Bar Transition- A transition where 4 bars come from the each corner of the screen to converge onto one point and then reveal your next clip.

Alt + Tab- This transition simulates what your OS does when you want to jump from open documents/applications but instead of applications you can choose as many as 1-4 clips.

Effects

iPad Overlay Animation- This effect simulates what your screen looks like when using an iPad then unlocking it.

CW Overlay- This overlay effect takes a note from the current CW promo graphics by having your clip blurred in the background and also having it in a rectangular frame slowly zooming in.

Chaos Overdrive- An effect which starts off normal and then comes in the blurred streaks and unpredictable screen shakes and zooms.

Ribbon Wall Video Display- An animated ribbon wall background that compliments the matted video displays in 3D space with an editable title at the front.

This project file is a sequel to the last one I released back in 2012. I believe from this point on, I plan to release single effect projects to keep my subscribers coming back for more. In the meantime, enjoy the promo and the free project file. Would love to see how it works for you and a tutorial explaining how to best use it is on the way.

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Work Smarter Not Harder with Rampant Media Design

As editors and motion graphic designers, we are tasked with bringing our clients’ vision to life through our cuts and creativity on a regular basis. Those of us who have had to create in a short amount of time know the pressure of achieving a certain look or creating a time-consuming mograph element. Lately, I’ve been hearing the phrase “work smarter not harder” thrown around by creative professionals I’ve talked to. That definitely rings true with Rampant Media Design. Sean Mullen has created an array of products that can address a multitude of projects. Have a short film and you need camera made lens flares? Get LightFX. Need to add floating particles to a motion graphic composition and you don’t have or understand your particle plugins or want to endure long renders? Use DustFX. Do you want your show to look like the MTV’s Ridiculousness? Buy Screen Damage and Glitch Transitions. Need to create interesting split screen effects and your crop tool isn’t doing it for you? Get Style Mattes. I can list off all the products in the Rampant product listing and find a use for them.

The point I’m trying to make is these products were made with the philosophy and intent of working smarter not harder. With the growing demand for editors to create on tight deadlines and to give their projects high production values, Rampant has the products to accommodate you. As you can see in any promo video that is on their Youtube channel, all you have to do is drag, drop and go. After you’ve done that, you can continue editing and meet those deadlines. I can personally say that whenever I’m handed a project that needs a quick turn around, Rampant is my go to ”bells and whistles”. I don’t have to go through a volume of discs or converter to get the elements I need for my edit. Just import, drag, drop and go. I am granted more time to edit and revise if needed and spend less time doing the conversion/rendering roulette. The convenience factor it offers me is hard to beat. Below I have provided my experiences/recommendations for some of the Rampant products.

Flare FX

How many times have you ever been in an edit and your client wants lens flare transitions but you don’t have any? There are many lens flare transition plugins on the market to choose from. When time isn’t on your side, do you want to spend hours fiddling with the parameters or would you rather have a pre-made lens flare transitions that fulfills your needs? Look no further than FlareFX. With FlareFX, you get 200 lens flare transitions to play with. I’ve used them on a few edits recently and it gave me more time to focus on the edit than play with parameters of a plugin. Next time you need to add some lens flare transitions between your cuts or reveal a title, look no further than FlareFX.

Film FX 2

One of my top favorite products and go to set of elements when editing. Film FX 2 provides you with those film elements that can make your videos pop instantly. I’ve used them on event highlights, fashion demos and high energy sizzle reels. One thing about Film FX 2 is that you can use it in its default way or turn it into something much more. I’ve used some elements for transitions, overlays and more. The possibilities are endless and with some out of the box thinking you can find new ways to utilize Film FX 2 for your projects.

Color Transitions

These transitions are one of the new additions to the block. I’ve used pattern transitions from other sources before but I prefer these more. With an array of transitions to choose from, you’ll find a place in your project to use them. I’ve used them on a few web shows I’ve cut and I feel these transitions can work in a variety of videos such corporate, event highlights, sizzle reels and even talk shows. In fact, I’ve seen similar transitions like these used on the Talk during the intro segment. One of the things I enjoy about Color Transitions is the speed they animate at and the varying color palette per transition.

Style Mattes

One of the more popular new releases from Rampant Media Design. When this was released, the Rampant community was busy with questions on how to use these. I’ve explained how use this mattes in this video using a variety of NLEs and Graham Cohen explains how to use them FCP X in this video. Style Mattes is a great product because it takes the time out of having to use the crop tool and keyframes to achieve animations like these. Great part about this product is that you can create intros, montages and even transitions really quickly. Once this product was released, I referred any Youtube subscriber who had questions about mattes to this product. There are a lot of possibilities with this product and a must have if you plan on stocking up on Rampant products.

Rampant Music Tracks

The music offerings of Rampant Design have been phenomenal to say the least. With their first few releases, they had music that catered to the hip-hop crowd. The next releases offered a more eclectic collection of tracks that are suited for multiple projects. I remember when I was looking for a theme song for an entertainment show for one of my friends. I watched the Rampant promo for their music tracks and instantly feel in love with a song from their Dirty South collection. Now whenever I hear the intro to my friend’s web show, it reminds me where it came from. I look forward to seeing the future releases of Rampant music tracks. They will definitely have a place in my next project.

Overall, I can say that using Rampant Design products has definitely changed how I approach editing certain projects. If I need an element or transition to give my project instant production value, I’m running Rampant. Sometimes, you don’t have time to create the bells and whistles you would want to. That doesn’t mean your edit should suffer. Once you purchase one Rampant product, you’ll definitely want more and more. But don’t take my word for it, try out their sampler pack and take a look at the growing community they have. The next time you find yourself in a creative bind, work smarter not harder and run Rampant.

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Audio Micro Blog

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Hey folks,

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t posted too much on this site in awhile and I thought I would update you on what I have been doing. I recently began writing blog articles for Audio Micro. Audio Micro sells stock music and sound effects to the masses. They have asked me to write blog articles weekly on their site about using programs such as Premiere Pro, After Effects and other post production programs. Take a look at my recent articles below.

2 Methods for Dealing With Audio

Custom 3D Transiton

Freeze Frames and Layer Styles

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New Rampant Media Design Online Community

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Hey folks,

Just wanted to let you know about the new Rampant Media Design community. Here you can discuss current projects you are working on, applications you use in your daily workflow and much more. I’ll be available to answer any questions and provide great thought provoking topics for discussion. So don’t wait much longer and get in on the discussion. Run Rampant! http://rampant.forumbee.com/