Mastery Through Tutorials

Tutorials are a valuable tool in the quest to master motion graphics. Here on Motionworks we offer a range of step-by-step and walkthrough After Effects and Cinema 4D tutorials, recorded by some of the top presenters from around the world. You’ll also find project breakdowns that present the key areas of design and production for individual projects.

Remember that tutorials will only take you part of the way and to truly master motion graphics you must develop your own unique style. Spend time working on your own projects and perhaps join us in the regular experiments here on Motionworks, where we explore the software without guides or rules. Have fun and be creative!

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Tutorial

Baking the Physical Sky in Cinema 4D

Learn how to bake the Physical Sky in Cinema 4D

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Tutorial

Model a Hexagonal Hole Sphere

Learn how to quickly model a sphere with hexagonally shaped holes in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Working with UVs in Cinema 4D and 3D Coat

I recently switched from Bodypaint to 3D Coat for preparing the UVs of my models

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Tutorial

Retopology in Cinema 4D

Toby Pitman demonstrates how to block out and use booleans as a base mesh for retopology in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Sharpening Curvature in Cinema 4D

Learn how to sharpen geometry under subdivision in Cinema 4D without affecting existing curvature.

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Tutorial

The Cleansing Hour Breakdown

In this walkthrough tutorial I discuss the design and production techniques used in the main-on-end titles for “The ...

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Tutorial

Sapphire Top 15

In this series of tutorials I walk through the top 15 Sapphire effects in Adobe After Effects.

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Tutorial

Creating Transparency using Sapphire SetAlpha

Learn how to use Sapphire SetAlpha and Color to create an alpha channel for RomanTile.

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Tutorial

Bevelling Booles in Cinema 4D

Learn how to get perfect bevels when dealing with booled objects in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Model a Philips Screw Head

In this tip recorded over Skype, Toby Pitman demonstrates a quick, low poly method for modelling a philips screw head.

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Tutorial

Halloween Webinar

Here’s the recording of my 1.5 hour live webinar featuring Mocha Pro, Sapphire and Boris Continuum Complete.

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Tutorial

Model a Hex Bolt Shape

A fast and clean method for modelling a hex bolt shape in Cinema 4D

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Tutorial

Sapphire 10 New Features

I recorded these tutorials for GenArts to demonstrate the new features and enhancements in Sapphire 10.

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Tutorial

Non-uniform Bevels in Cinema 4D

A quick tip on how to control the tightness of curvature when using the Bevel Tool in Cinema 4D.

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Breakdown

Sapphire Builder Preset Breakdown

Learn how I used Sapphire Effect Builder to combine various effects and create a variety of presets.

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Tutorial

Creating Pipes & Railings in Cinema 4D

Toby Pitman demonstrates a fast way to create pipes, pipe networks and railings in Cinema 4D.

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Breakdown

Tiki Idol Model Breakdown

I've been busy freelancing with the design team over at Network Ten for the past 4 weeks and one of the projects I ...

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Breakdown

Ex_Machina

Learn how I used After Effects with GenArts Sapphire to create a tech-style background and title reveal.

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Breakdown

Mini Breakdowns 3

Here are a couple of recent title animations I completed using Cinema 4D and After Effect.

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Tutorial

New Features in AE CC 13.5

Learn what's new in After Effects CC 13.5

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Tutorial

Cinema 4D Quick Tip #2

Learn how to model more efficiently in Cinema 4D using a simple tool for custom commands.

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Tutorial

Cinema 4D Quick Tip 1

Learn how to model and lay out your Cinema 4D scenes more efficiently.

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Tutorial

Model a Star

Learn how to model a simple golden star in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Using Sapphire Effect

Sapphire 8 is out now and the biggest new feature is Sapphire Builder, which allows you to create custom effects ...

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Tutorial

Transforming Gradient Ramp

A quick tip on how you can use the Transform effect instead of Transform properties for more predictable results ...

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Breakdown

Thriller Ident Breakdown

Continuing with the recent Foxtel On Demand rebrand breakdowns, next is Thriller. This ident was created using ...

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Breakdown

Action Ident Breakdown

This ident was created using Maxon Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects and plug-ins from GenArts, Boris FX, FX Factory, ...

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Tutorial

Motion Design with Cinema 4D Lite

Learn how After Effects was used together with Cineware and Cinema 4D Lite to create a look for my recent Adobe ...

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Tutorial

Cineware 2.0

A quick overview of the new features and enhancements in Cineware 2.0, included in the upcoming After Effects CC ...

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Breakdown

Sci-Fi Ident Breakdown

As part of the recent rebrand for Foxtel On Demand I created some genre-specific indents that play before the ...

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Tutorial

Composition

With a great conversational style, designer Carey Smith discusses composition in design – what it is and why it’s ...

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Tutorial

Channel Splitter

QHQ Channel Splitter is an After Effects script and Photoshop action for automatic splitting of the image/footage ...

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Tutorial

Introduction to Nodes 2

Eran Stern gives introduction to the brilliant Nodes 2 plug-in for After Effects.

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Tutorial

Working With Texture Tags

Learn techniques and workarounds for toggling Cinema 4D texture tags on and off.

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Tutorial

Mask Tracking & Colour Grading in Ae

Director Stu Maschwitz demonstrates Creative cloud 2014's mask tracking tools in a colour grade workflow with ...

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Tutorial

UberNumber

Formatting text for dynamically generated numbers in After Effects just got a whole lot easier thanks to QubaHQ.

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Tutorial

Background Design With Primitive Shapes

Harry Frank shows how to use very simple shapes in Cinema 4D to create an awesome looking background. Then ...

Breakdown

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

This look was created using After Effects CC and MovieType For Element 3D, Optical Flares, Magic Bullet Mojo, BCC ...

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Tutorial

BCC Grunge

Learn the basics of the Boris Continuum Complete 9 Grunge effect, and see how I used it and other BCC effects to ...

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Tutorial

Ripped Paper

Learn how to use standard After Effects tools, including Turbulent Noise and Turbulent Displace, to create a ...

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Tutorial

New Features in AE CC 2014

After Effects CC 2014 has been released, with some terrific new features and enhancements.

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Tutorial

Frosty Window

Learn how to combine stock footage with default Adobe After Effects tools to create a realistic frosty window.

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Breakdown

Split Screen Looks

For this project I explored split screen looks in After Effects. It can be a tricky look to use and not look retro.

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Tutorial

Warm Bodies

Learn how Adobe Illustrator, After Effects and Cinema 4D were used to create a promo for Warm Bodies.

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Breakdown

Olympus Has Fallen

Learn how I used Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator in this Olympus Has Fallen promo breakdown.

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Tutorial

New Features in AE 12.1

After Effects 12.1 is loaded with handy features and in this tutorial I demonstrate some of the main features and ...

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Tutorial

Hidden Gems in AE 12.0

In this tutorial I demonstrate some of the less obvious, but still super useful new features in After Effect CC (12.0).

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Breakdown

The Talking Dead

Brett Morris discusses The Talking Dead and how he used Cinema 4D and MovieType to create the spot.

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Tutorial

Realistic Human Iris

I’ve always wanted to attempt a realistic human iris in After Effects and last week I got my chance.

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Breakdown

Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

This look, inspired by the opening titles for Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters, was created using Cinema 4D, ...

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Tutorial

Woodblock Print Style

This short Photoshop walkthrough demonstrates how I used Photoshop Oil Paint and Filters to create a woodblock ...

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Tutorial

Cineware & Cinema 4D Lite

In this overview I demonstrate the new Cineware effect and discuss the benefits of this exciting workflow.

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Tutorial

Flipping Objects

In this short tutorial, learn some of the different methods for flipping an object in After Effects.

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Breakdown

Oscar Month

Learn how I used Cinema 4D and After Effects with some help from Greyscale Gorilla, to create a glamorous Oscar look.

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Tutorial

Model a Mask

In this sample lesson from Making It Look Great 10, host Rob Redman demonstrates how to subpolygon model a mask.

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Breakdown

The Courier

Learn how I used Cinema 4D and After Effects with help from Greyscale Gorilla in this Courier promo breakdown.

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Breakdown

Total Recall

Learn how I used Cinema 4D and After Effects, with help from Greyscale Gorilla and Motion Designer’s Toolkit in ...

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Tutorial

Model a Net

In this sample lesson from Making It Look Great 10, host Rob Redman demonstrates how to model a dynamic net.

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Breakdown

Shadows, Swords & Snow

This set of quick-turnaround graphics all have a similar look and feel and were created using Cinema 4D, After ...

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Tutorial

Repositioning Motion Paths

How do you reposition a keyframed motion path in After Effects? Guest host James Zwadlo demonstrates some techniques.

Tutorial

OSX Workspaces

Learn how to use Mac OSX Mission Control and Workspaces to save time and streamline your workflow.

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Tutorial

Hulk Walkthrough

In this webinar for Boris FX, I breakdown the Hulk animation created using After Effects and Boris Continuum Complete 8.

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Tutorial

Symmetry Object

Guest host Michael Szabo from Big Mike Design demonstrates the Cinema 4D Symmetry Object.

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Tutorial

Removing Dust From Video

Guest host Angie Taylor demonstrates the smart way to approach dust removal across multiple frames of video.

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Tutorial

Render Setting Presets

Guest host Craig Whitaker explains Cinema 4D render setting presets and how he uses them to save time.

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Breakdown

Time Travellers

Here's a stills breakdown of the Time Travellers title graphic, created using After Effects with Element 3D.

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Tutorial

Word Spacing

Guest host Eran Stern demonstrates how to adjust word spacing in both Photoshop and After Effects.

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Tutorial

Difference Matte

Learn tricks for creating a clean plate using Photoshop's Smart Object settings, then use that plate with ...

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Tutorial

Moneyball Jumbtron

Learn how I used After Effects with GenArts Sapphire and Noise Industries FX Factory Pro to create a Moneyball ...

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Tutorial

CC Page Turn

Guest host Adam Everett Miller demonstrates the basics of CC Page Turn. Check out Adam's full length tutorial on AeTuts.

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Tutorial

The Brainstorm Tool

Rediscover the power of brainstorming and how you can use it to accelerate experimentation in After Effects.

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Tutorial

Quick Vignette

Learn how to create a quick and flexible vignette using Curves, Circle and CC Composite.

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Tutorial

Alien Meteor Storm

Learn how I used After Effects with Trapcode Particular to create an alien meteor storm reminiscent of the film The ...

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Tutorial

CS6 3D Template

This free After Effects project will give you some ideas when working with 3D ray traced scenes in After Effects CS6.

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Tutorial

New 3D Features in After Effects CS6

After Effects CS6 includes a new ray-traced 3D renderer, 3D text and shape layer extrusion, environment layers, ...

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Tutorial

The Collision Deformer

Guest host Michael Szabo demonstrates how to use the Collision Deformer to create an effect where bullets bounce ...

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Tutorial

Exporting to Cinema 4D

Learn how to export an existing After Effects project to Cinema 4D to add a 3D logo.

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Tutorial

Channel Combiner

After Effects wizard Maltaannon is back, this time demystifying the Channel Combiner effect and how to use it on ...

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Tutorial

CC Flo Motion

Guest host Florian Fueger gives at revealing look at the After Effects CC Flo Motion effect.

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Tutorial

Captain America Shield

Learn techniques and workflow used to create a battle-scarred Captain America Shield using Cinema 4D, Photoshop and ...

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Tutorial

Channel Blur

Guest host Jerzy Drozda Jr is back with another After Effects tutorial, this time explaining the basics of the ...

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Tutorial

Maintaining Velocity

Have you ever created an animation you were happy with only to realise you needed to extend the length?

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Breakdown

Chemistry by Pierre Magnol

Motion graphic artist Pierre Magnol's Chemistry comprises beautifully shot imagery with fine graphics. I asked ...

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Tutorial

Explosive TV Graphics 2

Guest host Brett Morris discusses the After Effects workflow he used to create impactful Fast and Furious-style titles.

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Tutorial

Advanced Type Fade

After Effects has a very powerful type engine for creating all kinds of dynamic type animations, but what if you ...

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Tutorial

Grungy Makeover

Learn how to use one of the Digital Juice Toxic Type After Effect templates as a starting point for a grungy promo.

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Tutorial

Change Color

After Effects Change Color and Change to Color effects are handy tools for isolating and changing colors in ...

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Tutorial

Pinball Bumper

Learn how to set up a pinball bumper in Cinema 4D with dynamic sound, bump action and lighting effects.

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Tutorial

Cell Pattern

Cell Pattern is handy for background creation and with a little experimentation you'll be surprised what you can create!

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Tutorial

Caustics

Guest host Eran Stern explains Caustics, the water surface simulation effect created by After Effects pioneer Brian ...

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Tutorial

Experimenting in After Effects

The importance of experimentation to a motion designer can't be over emphasised. Experimentation stretches your ...

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Tutorial

The Warriors Way

Learn how MovieType for Cinema 4D, After Effects, Sapphire, Key Correct and Optical Flares were used for sweeping ...

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Tutorial

Cartoon

Guest host James Zwadlo demonstrates creative ways to use the After Effects Cartoon effect.

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Tutorial

CC Bender and Bend It

Guest host Quba Michalski demonstrates the After Effects CC Bender and CC Bend It effects and their differences.

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Tutorial

Card Wipe

Guest host James Zwadlo demonstrates the After Effects Card Wipe effect.

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Tutorial

4-Color Gradient

Guest host Jerzy Drozda Jr makes a welcome return with some tips for using the After Effects 4-Color Gradient effect.

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Tutorial

The Shadow Catcher

Guest host Joren Kandel demonstrates how to use the Shadow Catcher plug-in in Cinema 4D for more realistic ...

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Tutorial

Boole vs Spline Mask

Guest host Joren Kandel demonstrates how to use a Spline Mask instead of a Boole to retain fillet caps on the cut ...

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Tutorial

CC Bubbles

Guest host James Zwadlo returns to the After Effects: Effects A-Z series with some creative uses for After ...

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Tutorial

CC Blobbylize

Eran Stern is back with the After Effects CCBlobbylize effect. So put on your googles and gloves, it's gonna get messy!

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Tutorial

CC Ball Action

Guest host Adam Everett of Aetutsplus.com gives an in-depth breakdown of the After Effects CC Ball Action effect.

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Tutorial

CC Burn Film

James Zwadlo introduces the After Effects CC Burn Film effect and shares some creative uses for water and ...

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Tutorial

Spooky Hallway

Learn how I used Vanishing Point in Photoshop to create a 3D hallway, then animate the After Effects camera up the ...

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Tutorial

Brush Strokes

The After Effects Brush Strokes effect could easily be written off as a cheesy oil painting-style effect.

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Tutorial

Blur Effects Comparison

Learn the key differences between Box Blur, Fast Blur and Gaussian Blur and which one is the better choice

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Tutorial

Block Dissolve

Learn how the After Effects Block Dissolve effect can be used for more than simple transitions.

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Tutorial

After Effects Template Makeover

Learn how to turn a simple After Effects template project into a dynamic and grungy title sequence for an imaginary ...

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Tutorial

Invisible Selections

Learn how to use invisible selections when applying multiple materials to NURBS objects in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Template Extreme Makeover

Learn how I gave an After Effects template an extreme makeover into a moody, sci-fi-style opening sequence.

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Tutorial

Animating Opacity

Learn how the Display tag and Alpha channel can be used to animate the opacity of your Cinema 4D objects.

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Breakdown

Freeze Frame Titles 2

As I mentioned in the previous breakdown, shot selection for this kind of look is very important.

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Tutorial

Fun With Photoshop Layers

In this 2 part After Effects tutorial learn to use a variety of tools in After Effects to bring Photoshop layers to life.

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Breakdown

Freeze Frame Titles

The look where a shot is freeze framed and graphics build around a cut-out element isn't new, but surprisingly this ...

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Tutorial

Grungy Mechanical Look

Learn how to take a layered Photoshop file and breath life into it in After Effects, for a grungy mechanical look

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Tutorial

Grungy Sports Look

Learn how I recreated the look of Kick Ass, with a sports theme, almost entirely from stock footage.

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Tutorial

Automatic Animation Features

In this 2 part recorded webinar, we explore some of the automatic animation features in After Effects.

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Breakdown

Mini Breakdowns 2

The Hurt Locker is a good example of taking a concept from a tutorial, in this case Andrew Kramer's Animating a Still.

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Tutorial

Using Illustrator with After Effects

Learn a range of must-know techniques, tips and gotchas for using Adobe Illustrator with Adobe After Effects.

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Breakdown

Mini Breakdowns 1

For Law Abiding Citizen I took the opportunity to get down and dirty with textures in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Align, Distribute and Orient

Learn some creatives uses for the After Effects Align and Distribute to Composition and Orient Characters ...

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Tutorial

Dynamic Sci-Fi Look

Learn how I used Cinema 4D and After Effects to create a dynamic sci-fi look.

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Tutorial

Refine Edge

Learn how to you can use Photoshop’s Refine Edge tool to take much of the hard work out of refining intricate selections.

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Breakdown

Follow the Stars

Created in Cinema 4D, this campaign included a competition to win a trip for 2 to Cannes Film Festival.

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Tutorial

Bezier Warp

Learn how you can use Bezier Warp to make subtle adjustments to the position of elements in your scene.

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Tutorial

Easy Scripting

Tim Clapham demonstrates a must-know and surprisingly simple technique for creating custom scripts in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Inglourious Basterds

Learn how I used stock footage and some free grunge textures to recreate the blood splatter style used in the ...

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Tutorial

Creating Magic From Presets

Learn how to take basic Adobe After Effects presets and customise them to create your own unique looks.

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Tutorial

Spray Paint and Bullet Holes

Learn how I used Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to create a grungy, bullet-riddled wall with spray-painted text.

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Tutorial

ReelSmart Motion Blur

Grischa Theissen demonstrates a must-know technique for adding motion blur to your 3D renders in After Effects.

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Tutorial

Photo Mosaic

Grischa Theissen demonstrates the popular photo mosaic look in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial

Jumbotron Column

Learn how to identify the field order of footage and interpret it collectedly, and create a realistic ...

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Tutorial

Bulge

Guest host Eran Stern demonstrates the After Effects Bulge effect.

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Breakdown

Green v Jones Jr: Before, After and After That

Generally, when creating a boxing promo, we are given between two and five days. This project was different.

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Tutorial

Bilateral Blur

Guest host Eran Stern demonstrates the After Effects Bilateral Blur effect.

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Tutorial

Simplified Text Workflow

Design skills are important but good workflow is also critical when working with Adobe After Effects.

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Tutorial

Beam

Learn about the After Effects Beam effect and two unusual ways it can be used.

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Tutorial

Explosive TV Graphics 1

Learn how Illustrator and Cinema 4D were used, along with stock footage to create explosive TV promo graphics.

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Tutorial

Audio Spectrum

Guest host Maltaannon demonstrates the After Effects Audio Spectrum effect.

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Tutorial

Working with Trapcode Soundkeys

Learn how I used Trapcode Soundkeys to control the look and feel of a boxing promo.

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Tutorial

Motion Sketch

Motion Sketch is one of those After Effects tools that is often forgotten, but very handy.

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Tutorial

Rotoscoping Fields

Learn how to set up your After Effects composition to rotoscope footage imported with fields.

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Tutorial

Animating Brushes in Photoshop

Learn a technique for creating cel-style animation in Photoshop using the Onion Skin feature.

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Breakdown

Trapcode Form Transitions

For this promo I turned to the ultra-useful After Effects plug-in – Trapcode Form.

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Tutorial

CC Time Blend FX

This retro CC Time Blend FX tutorial by industry legend Brian Maffitt is still surprisingly useful.

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Breakdown

Women’s Murder Club

While researching for this teaser spot for Women's Murder Club, I noticed that police tape was a common theme.

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Tutorial

Audio Waveform

Guest host Maltaannon demonstrates the After Effects Audio Waveform effect.

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Tutorial

Arithmetic

Guest host Harry Frank demystifies and offers ups some creative uses for the After Effects Arithmetic effect.

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Tutorial

Angle Control

Guest host Maltaannon explains techniques for using the After Effects Angle Control effect with basic expressions.

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Tutorial

Advanced Lightning

Guest host Eran Stern demonstrates the basics of using the After Effects Advanced Lightning effect.

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Tutorial

Add Grain

Have you ever looked in the Adobe After Effects Effects menu and wondered what some effects are used for?

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Breakdown

Damages 2 Teaser

Recently I posted a 3 part series on creating a shattering glass effect. This is the project that inspired that series.

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Tutorial

Working with Duplicate Text

Learn how to work faster and smarter when using duplicated text layers in After Effects.

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Tutorial

Shattering Glass

In this 3 tutorial series we'll look at how to build a glass shatter effect in Cinema 4D.

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Tutorial Breakdown

Quantum Of Solace

For this Quantum Of Solace promo I once again turned to Trapcode Form.

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Tutorial

The Dark Knight

Learn After Effects and Illustrator techniques used to create the bat shattering effect.

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Breakdown

Spline Wrap Ribbons

Recently I was asked to come up with an idea for a show and as seems to be the case lately, had very little time to ...

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Tutorial

Footage With Alpha Channels

Learn how to import footage with an alpha channel, apply it to an object in your scene, and have it play back in ...

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Tutorial

Grungy Text Look

Learn how to use After Effects Fast Blur, Turbulent Displace, Roughen Edges and other effects to give text a grungy look.

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Breakdown

Quick Supers with Trapcode Form

I had to whip up some quick supers last week and turned to Trapcode Form, used to create the gaseous elements.

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Tutorial

Photoshop & Illustrator Techniques

Learn some basic and little-known techniques plus handy workflow tips for using Photoshop and Illustrator with ...

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Tutorial

The Dancing Can

Learn various After Effects techniques for creating a dancing can animation.

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Breakdown

W Trip

For this shot my client wanted to place a logo in the path of the actor and have it appear as if she trips over it.

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Tutorial

The Vibrate Tag

Learn how the vibrate tag can be used to add automatic animation and save time when working in Cinema 4D.

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Breakdown

Heroes

This project was created using a combination of Cinema 4D and After Effects with Zaxwerks ProAnimator and Knoll ...

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Tutorial

Looking Through Lights

Learn how you can look through a camera linked to a light and see exactly what the light is pointing at.

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Tutorial

Lighting Using Link Active Object

Learn how you can use the Cinema 4D Link Active Object command to take control of lights.

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Tutorial

Bond Classic Bond

Learn the techniques used in After Effects and Illustrator to create the silhouette look used in the Bond Classic ...

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Breakdown

K1 Promo

This project is another good example of taking poor quality 4:3 vision, making it 16:9 and giving it some polish.

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Breakdown

Sunday Night Movie

Fox Classics is always a great client to work for simply because I get to work with some great movie footage.

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Tutorial

Cartoon, Bilateral Blur and Turbulent Noise

Bilateral Blur and Turbulent Noise are very similar to the existing Smart Blur and Fractal Noise effects.

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Tutorial

Composition Navigation

If you’re not using the After Effects Composition Navigator and Composition Mini-flowchart you’re wasting time.

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Breakdown

Bond Classic Bond Teaser

This Promax Gold Award winning spot included a green screen shoot, keying and rotoscoping.

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Tutorial

Saw 4

Learn various After Effects and Photoshop techniques for creating the grungy, dark look of Saw 4.

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Tutorial

Grungy Text in Photoshop

Learn a simple technique using grungy brushes in Photoshop to make some grungy text.

9 comments
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Tutorial

Leave Color

Learn how to use the After Effects Leave Color effect to create black and white footage with a single colour.

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Breakdown

Forever Classic

This image spot for Fox Classics channel won the Silver Award for Best On-Air Ident Design.

26 comments
  • C4D
Tutorial

The Compositing Tag

Learn how to use the Compositing Tag and Exclusion option inside Cinema 4D to control the reflections in your scene.

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Tutorial

Copying Masks To Shape Layers

The simple act of copying and pasting an existing mask onto a Shape Layer in After Effects can be tricky and ...

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Tutorial

Looping a Precomp

While looping a footage layer is easy, looping an unrendered comp takes a little more work.

38 comments
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  • C4D
Breakdown

CI Network New Zealand

This After Effects spot features glass panels created using Cinema 4D

50 comments
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Breakdown

12 Days That Shocked The World

It can be challenging to be creative without doing a complete rip-off, when given very specific guidelines for how ...

13 comments
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Breakdown

Sunday Night at the Movies

As with all graphics on Fox Classics, the palette for this spot was restricted to orange, black and white.

35 comments
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  • Ps
Breakdown

Vietnam War Month

For this promo for Vietnam War Month on the History Channel, I wanted the look to be gritty but still maintain a ...

2 comments