4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 30, 2011 7:58 AM by J0hj0h RSS

    How to create a Custom Effect?

    J0hj0h Community Member

      First of all, I'm sorry, if I make any mistakes writing this post! I actually am German!

       

      I would like to know how I can alter the Animation Presets in AE CS5, that are quite messy because they just are a collection of effects, into the much more organised and nicer Custom Effects like Andrew Kramer (from Video Copilot) has on his website for free download.

      I already tried out a tutorial from aetuts+ ("Create Your Own Custom Effects!"), but it just didn't work and told me it couldn't apply my effect when I runned the script (maybe because it actually was written for AE CS4).

      So my question is: Is there an easy way to organize the effects and expressions from an ordinary preset to make the preset friendlier to use? And even if it's not easy, is there a way at all?

       

      I thank you in advance and hope you can help me!

        • 1. Re: How to create a Custom Effect?
          Rick Gerard CommunityMVP

          After Effects Presets can include every Effect, Layer Style, and animation property on a single layer. I have a bunch of them that run in sets. There's one preset that I apply to a null called SlideShowController, then another preset that I apply to every layer in a slide show comp called 3DSlideshow. My 3D Slideshow includes 4 effects, expressions that set the start and end position of the layer based on the controllers, the opacity of the layer to set up transitions, a couple of layer styles, and some other effects to deal with color and other issues. Two applications of a pre-set and I can have a slideshow with hundreds of images ready to render.  This is only an example. You can setup a preset to pull a key, apply a texture to a text layer, extrude type, create a light wrap for nice compositing. The only limitation to a Preset is that it can only be created from a single layer.

           

          Scripting can combine all of these elements plus add the null layer to the slide show so you only have to apply one script to a project full of still images. The creating a slideshow example is just one of many of the typical projects that I set up that use both Animation Presets and Scripts.

           

          Creating a true plug-in requires knowledge of programming and a good understanding of the AE SDK (Software Development Kit). You'll also need a compiler to crunch your developed plug-in into something that can be used by AE as a plug-in. I think you're looking for some help with scripts, which can look like a plug-in. Some more details about your project will be helpful. You can also visit the After Effects Scripting forum. The link is at the top right of the page.

          • 2. Re: How to create a Custom Effect?
            Mylenium CommunityMVP
            (maybe because it actually was written for AE CS4).

             

            Unlikely. It's more likely a language isue, if you run AE in German or even an English AE on a German system. Aside from that, it seems you are confusing terminology here. As Rick already mentioned, you can store a ton of things in a simple animation preset, so whether or not you turn them into "custom" effects is not of much consequence in the end. Doing so in a manner similar to what some of the bundled presets do in any case only works locally and at that point it becomes a pointless exercise, if you ask me - at latest when someone else opens your project or applies the preset all he will evert see are the expanded effects that make up the "custom effect". I really should think that users have better things to do than waste their time with such toyish stuff, but well, I guess some have too much time to spare...

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: How to create a Custom Effect?
              J0hj0h Community Member

              (As always: Sorry for mistakes! )

              Rick Gerard schrieb:

               

              [...] Creating a true plug-in requires knowledge of programming and a good understanding of the AE SDK (Software Development Kit). [...] I think you're looking for some help with scripts, which can look like a plug-in. Some more details about your project will be helpful. [...]

               

              Mylenium schrieb:

               


              [...] You can store  a ton of things in a simple animation preset, so whether or not you  turn them into "custom" effects is not of much consequence in the end. [...]

               

              I might have asked my question badly so I want to say some more things about it:

               

              I do not want to create a real plug-in like Andrew Kramer's "Action Essentials" for example. Something like his little presets you can download with his projects like the first lightsaber "plug-in" he made was what I thought about. (It might actually be a bad example, because it could have involved some serious programming, but I'm refering more to the way, it is customized than the way it functions.)

              I just want to have one panel (like each individual built-in effect) that controls the effects. I find it really annoying and messy to have to change the values from sliders that are all in their own panel. So I'm not looking to programming any plug-in, just to organizing a preset in a way, it becomes more comfortable to use.

               

              Mylenium schrieb:

               

              [...] It's more likely a language isue. [...]

               

              That's really bad, because that tutorial trained exactly what I wanted! But thank you for the advice!

               

              Mylenium schrieb:

               

              [...] I really should think that users have better things to do than waste their time with such toyish stuff, but well, I guess some have too much time to spare... [...]

               

              You're right, it's a waste of time to make things more comfortable to use! Imagine After Effects would have a nice interface which by the way also looks kind of cool!

              • 4. Re: How to create a Custom Effect?
                J0hj0h Community Member

                I just found a great tutorial and tried it out. It worked!

                Although it gave me the same error message after I tried it out following this tutorial I tried out BatchFrame's "Pseudo Effects Creator" and suprisingly it worked! Maybe it had to do with the mutated vowel which I removed after trying out different ways unsuccessfully.

                 

                A little German explanation about what I found out concerning the mutated vowels:

                DEUTSCH (GERMAN):

                 

                Ich habe mithilfe diesen Tutorials noch einmal versucht einen Custom Effect zu erstellen. Obwohl es erst nicht funktioniert hat, habe ich den "Pseudo Effects Creator" probiert, mit dessen Hilfe es dann geklappt hat.

                Womöglich unterstützt After Effects keine Umlaute. Ich habe versucht es als UTF-8 zu speichern und den Code für die Buchstaben zu benutzen, aber entweder zeigt AE nur ein Fragezeichen an, oder lässt das "Importieren" des Effekts beim Benutzen des HTML-Codes gar nicht zu.

                Scheinbar können Umlaute überhaput nicht verwendet werden. Sollte jemand einen Weg finden, es doch zu bewerkstelligen, bitte ich um Erklärung!