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Sebastian Mecklenburgswitcher & looper plugins
by on Sep 13, 2011 at 12:11:45 pm

Hello,

About 10 years ago I created two After Effects plug-ins that were quite popular. The one was called switcher and would allow to switch layer contents using keyframes. Without it you would have to create 10 layers if you wanted to show the same footage in 10 different locations of a composition. A specialized version of it was called talker, that could be used to create lip synchronous animation. If you have some images of a face saying different sounds (typically a,e,i,o,u,m,n,l) you can do quite convincing lip synchronous animation by showing the appropriate image at the right time. However, since this requires a new image to be shown every few frames there was no realistic way to do it in AE, because you would have to create hundreds of layers for every minute of film or so. With talker you would just create and adjust keyframes within a single layer, no matter how long.
The second plugin was called looper and with it you could loop any layer indefinitely and with three different loop modes normal, pingpong and random. Well, random isn't really a "loop" mode, but it would show a random image every frame, which can come in handy at times.
These plug-ins are currently not working because they are too old. I am wondering if I should resurrect them. Now my questions are:
- I haven't used After Effects in a while for any serious work. Maybe this functionality is included by now or is easy to create via scripting. Is it?
- If not, would there be any interest in this kind of plug-ins?
- If it is, would anyone pay money for it? 10 years ago it was a fun side project when I studied and I gave the plug-ins away for free but I can't really afford to do this right now. I prefer the idea of making them available for a voluntary donation, does someone have any experience with that? Will it work out? I guess that it would require about two weeks of work or so, so I don't really need large amounts of cash to do it, but I don't want to do it completely for free either...

Thanks and regards,
Sebastian Mecklenburg



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Michael SzalapskiRe: switcher & looper plugins
by on Sep 13, 2011 at 1:34:42 pm

The looping you describe can be done very easily with Time Remapping and the loop() expression.

The switcher thing you're talking about (and Talker) also sounds like something you could do with time remapping.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: switcher & looper plugins
by on Sep 13, 2011 at 7:40:49 pm

Here's a tutorial covering lip syncing using precomps and time remapping: [link]

It goes a little slowly because he covers the basics very carefully, but once it's set up, it goes pretty quickly. If your switcher thing isn't significantly easier/better than this, I wouldn't bother.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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ben g ungurenRe: switcher & looper plugins
by on Sep 13, 2011 at 1:35:26 pm

"This is the talker plug-in. A, E, I, O, U. Thank you."

Oh, yea -- I totally remember this plug-in. I had a lot of fun playing with it, though I never managed to find a place for it in any serious project. From time to time, during a project, I've wondered if it was still around, thinking it would be interesting to try to implement it.

It feels like the kind of thing a good expression could do for you as well (nest five layers in a separate composition, then drive which of the 5 layers is visible with a slider), though the plug-in would probably be more efficient.

As for money, I think it would work best as what you see on aescripts.com, where a minimal amount is charged, or else the person downloading chooses their own price. But I imagine you probably can't quit the day job with that kind of operation.

I wonder if anyone else remembers the plugin....

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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