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How to create a custom effect

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Ben McAllisterHow to create a custom effect
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 12:27:46 pm

I have created a very nice camera rig that uses five different null objects and connected them together with expressions. X, Y, Z rotation, zoom and a master controller null with all the angle controls and sliders linked together.

This is a pain to setup each and every time I want to use it as I have to add the nulls, make them 3D, link their various parameters to their respective controllers on the master null (You see what I mean...)

I'm looking for some way to make my own custom effect which automatically adds the nulls, camera and related expressions all once.

Animation presets do not help as I need all the elements added to my timeline at the same time.

Are we talking simple preset of full-blown plugin?

Any ideas would be great, Thanks...


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Kevin CampRe: How to create a custom camera rig preset/plugin
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 1:09:22 pm

you can't do all of it with a preset (as you've found), but you could create a series of presets for each null that has a slider/effect control and the camera that links the camera controls to the sliders and nulls.

still a bunch of steps, but easier than doing it manually.

otherwise you'll need to write a script that will create the nulls, name them, add the sliders (name them if needed), add the camera and add expressions to link the camera controls as needed... not an easy script, but if you know some java, you may be able to make it.

here's a page with an introduction to scripting in ae:
http://motionscript.com/ae-scripting/table-of-contents.html

and of course, there's the ae expressions forum (lead, in part, by the guy who wrote that page, dan ebberts).

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Ben McAllisterRe: How to create a custom camera rig preset/plugin
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 1:56:50 pm

Thanks but I was kind of hoping to avoid that...

I just saved my rig as a .aep file then import it into any new comp, making sure to change the original precomp size to match my targets comp size then copy all the nulls with my camera and copy the solids into my new comp. Ready to go...

But still writing a script sounds like something I'd like to have a go at. Thanks for the link.


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Kevin CampRe: How to create a custom camera rig preset/plugin
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:55:50 pm

[Ben McAllister] "Thanks but I was kind of hoping to avoid that... "

yep, i love expressions, but scripts are a bit beyond me...

the setup comp is a good idea, you should be able to import that project into any project to effectively load the camera rig whenever you need it.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Dave LaRondeRe: How to create a custom effect
by on Mar 2, 2010 at 4:37:50 pm

[Ben McAllister] "I'm looking for some way to make my own custom effect which automatically adds the nulls, camera and related expressions all once. "

How about if you do all this hard work just ONCE? Is that okay?

You can get everything set up just the way you want in an extremely simplified comp in an extremely simple AE project. Then give the project a name: "Great Camera Rig" or something.

When you need it, you simply import this streamlined, bare-bones project into your current AE project. Everything's there, all set to go.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ben McAllisterRe: How to create a custom effect
by on Mar 3, 2010 at 2:17:58 pm

Thanks I've done exactly that.


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