CC Time Blend FX

CC Time Blend FX was originally published as part of the Final Effects plug-in set, but is now included in After Effects as one of the Cycore (CC) plug-ins. In his Unplugged interview, Total Training founder and After Effects legend Brian Maffitt discusses the Total Final Effects training series and how he used Time Blend FX to make realistic  smoke and plasma. It’s my privilege to tell you that Brian has given Motionworks permission to host the Time Blend FX tutorial. It’s over 18 years old (the After Effects was black and white back then) but is still amazingly useful. Special thanks to Carey Dissmore for transcoding from tape.

Discuss
  1. illd
    Reply

    Wow, very entertaining and informative. 10 Years ago I was bumbling around with audio software 🙂

  2. Brett Perry
    Reply

    Ahh, the old master himself, Mr. Maffitt. His tutorials and work with Adobe over the years made learning AE fun and easy for me. Thanks for the retro tutorial on an effect filter that is under utilized, John.
    Brett

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Brett, I’m glad you found it useful. Best, JD.

  3. Thambidurai
    Reply

    Thank you very much John for your help to AE community.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      You’re welcome Thambidurai!

  4. Eran Stern
    Reply

    Fantastic piece of history. Reminds me how I enjoyed the calm and entertaining method of Brian’s teaching. You may also want to check one of my earlier tutorials about the same subject: http://www.sternfx.com/tutorials/27

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Eran, it is a calm and entertaining style isn’t it. I’ve watched your Time Blend FX tutorial as part of your A New Solid training DVD, it’s an excellent example of using this effect.

    • Brian Maffitt
      Reply

      Very nice tutorial Eran! I’m so happy to see people are still using these effects””they’re very dense.

      Brian

  5. Jim Hines
    Reply

    Cool! Big kick to watch somebody smoothly using sophisticated software on Mac OS 7(?). And our tricked out boxes are stammering along.

    IN CS4 there is no “instance” drop down menu when duplicating the effect. Or am I missing something?

    P.S. Thanks Eran for your tut as well. I just now watched it and got a lot out of it.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Jim, I can see an “instance” drop down in both the original and the duplicate. Regards, John.

    • Brian Maffitt
      Reply

      Probably a stupid questions Jim, but are you sure you’ve applied Time Blend FX, and not just Time Blend?

      Brian

      • Jim Hines
        Reply

        Yes, I’m a mo-ron : – ) Almost too embarrased to come back and admit it. That is exactly what I was doing.

        But you know what? When I apply this effect it stutters. Kind of blinks on and off at points. I have a fairly robust computer with lots of memory. You think this is a hardware thing or … have you seen that kind of behaviour before? I do clear the cache.

        • Jim Hines
          Reply

          Ooops! Nevermind (all cleared up). Man, I’m having a bad week.

          • John Dickinson

            Hi Jim, I’m glad it all worked out, thanks for letting us know. Regards, JD.

  6. Boreale
    Reply

    An old tutorial but still very useful ! Thanks a lot ! 🙂

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Boreale, yes it’s amazing how much After Effects has changed since Brian recorded that tutorial, and even more amazing that the content is still relevant! All the best, John.

  7. Lambert
    Reply

    I always find that the Best and most complete AE training is from Total Training AE 6.5 13DVDs set, and Brian Maffit is still my Fave host. Actually I’m searching for the availability of the TT AE 6.5 13DVDs set at amazon cause I want to buy that title, 2nd hand will do.

    Thanks John for posting this retro but ever useful tutorial from Brian.

  8. Andres
    Reply

    Amazing Tut…!!!
    I have something funky happening here. I’m using AE CS4 and if I do not apply repeat Edge pixels when I set the Fast blur to 2 does not leave a path…

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Andres, thanks for the tip. Best, John.

    • Brian Maffitt
      Reply

      Hi Andres,
      When AE added the capability for layers to grow beyond the edges of their borders, it broke the buffer behavior that Time Blend and Time Blend FX depend on. So if you are applying a filter that grows a layer (most blurs) it won’t work… unless, as you discovered, you switch on “repeat edge pixels”. This confines the effect to the layer, and the buffer becomes available to Time Blend FX.
      Have fun,
      Brian

  9. John Ghadimi
    Reply

    Thanks for providing this bit of “history”. I actually found it to be extremely informative and timeless.

  10. Orhan
    Reply

    It seems like an incredibly useful and informative tutorial, props to Brian Maffitt.

    It’s just too bad that this technique just simply does not work in CS4.
    Unless I missed something?

    • Andres
      Reply

      Hi Orhan,
      Yes it does work read all the comments and you will find out how.

      Have fun with AE,
      Andres

      • Orhan
        Reply

        Ah yes, but I was referring to other effects, such as displacement map.

        • Spencer
          Reply

          Should still work, I’m using CS4 and CS5.5 and both are doing great. Just hit “clear” every time you make a change to pretty much anything.

          – Spencer

  11. david bogie
    Reply

    Hiya Brian and thanks, both of you, for putting this video up where people can find it.
    I’ve still got my original Studio Effects and Final Effects tapes.
    Wish I had kept my original Atomic tapes because they included, like, 3 hours all about Shatter.
    And I’ve still got my AE 5 tapes because of the Space Coaster section.
    Total Training roacks.

    bogiesan

    • Brian Maffitt
      Reply

      Space Coaster! I forgot all about the Space Coaster, that’s another classic lesson I should put online somewhere… thanks for the reminder!

      Brian

  12. abhay sharma
    Reply

    After a long time my brain’s processors heats up!
    thanks for this great tutorial.
    It really helps to understand the weird work flow of Time Blend Fx. I have used Time Blend Fx in some of my pojects but I completely unknown by the actual
    workflow of Time Blend Fx that you have shown.
    Thanks.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi abhay sharma, Brian is a true master for sure. Best wishes, John.

  13. Tom
    Reply

    Thanks so much for offering that up John & Brian, that was fantastic, truly! I for one would love to see every single one of Brian’s tutes. If they’re presented at this level and even at AE’s early evolutionary stage (which I love by the way) I’d certainly pay for them. I know how an engine works but when someone who knows what they’re talking about pulls the injection apart and explains how I can modify and change the output of an engine to suit, I’m listening, and that’s what this was. For me, a relatively unknown (and completely ignored) filter is now a massively useful tool.

  14. Jaikumar
    Reply

    Hey John,

    This is so cool i have been searching for this quit a long.
    You pick the right Tuts and Motionworks always work for me.

    Thanks

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Jaikumar, glad this fitted your needs! Best, John.

  15. [email protected]
    Reply

    I’m building a chalkboard animation and needed recursive smudging as each new chalk frame instance created itself. This is a perfect use of this technique and I was bending over backwards trying to create it with particles and other nonsense. Thanks! Also killer to see some AE bad-assery version … 3?

    c

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      That’s great to hear Colin. Perhaps you can show us the finished spot?

  16. ali
    Reply

    thank

  17. Claudiu
    Reply

    wow great! i was just playing around with some time remapping and due to extensive time stretch animation started to get blocky! this was the perfect fix and i knew i saw it somewhere on this website! really good stuff! thank you

  18. Alex Brazil
    Reply

    Greattttttttt!!!! thank’s….demaissssssssssss.

  19. Paul Liptrott
    Reply

    this is great. I will have to get on ebay and look for this collection. I have thought about making some retro style stuff. Wouldn’t it be cool to get the computer and software too. This effect is useful by the way

  20. Mike Abbott
    Reply

    Fantastic stuff – and have those title sequences ever been bettered in the world of AE training? I doubt it 🙂
    It makes me want to dive into those dusty boxes in the back of the cupboard and see if I still have my copy of ‘Total Training for AE’ on VHS, that shipped free – with AE3 – I think.

    This tutorial is seriously good stuff even now. More from Mr. Maffitt – please!

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