Jan 23, 2014

All About Expression Controls

Expression Controls are effects that don't seem to do anything to our compositions! But they work as UIs for expressions we create. In this post, we'll take a look at each individual control and see what it can do and how to make use of it.

Jan 15, 2014

Change Multiple Comps from a Single Master Composition with Expressions

Okay, here's the scenario, an editor has created promotional material for a few shows. The channel he's working on has specific graphics that I need to make. So, I need to make, for each show, a graphic that shows the name of the show and different versions that say "Tonight at [specific time]", "Next Week", "This Week", "Coming Soon" and so on. Here's how one of them looks:

The problem is there's 6 versions and 4 shows, 24 comps in total. I can't keep rendering, changing text, rendering; it is kinda tiresome and is more prone to mistakes!

This tutorial will take a look at how to set-up your project so all you have to do is change ONE composition and create all 6 variations per show in one go. So technically, I only have to change and render 4 times, as compared to 24.
As always, this technique can be used for anything that requires batch editing and rendering, so adjust it for your specific uses.

Sep 18, 2013

AE | Expression Driven Gauge - Part 2

In the first post, we looked at building the base and setting up the numbers, now we're gonna make the Master control and get the bar to change colors.

Sep 12, 2013

AE | Expression Driven Gauge - Part 1

Expressions!! Expressions can be used to control various properties of a layer but their use if quite situational. It really depends on how you intend to use your composition. This will affect the approach you take as well as whether it's necessary to use an expression at all. I think the best way to illustrate this is to use a real-world example: a gauge!

So, we're going to make a "Core Temp" gauge as in the header above. It's pretty simple, right, but we're mainly going to focus on the decisions we make about the expressions driving the different elements that make up the gauge, and how we're going to set up the entire composition to be 'expression-friendly'.

Jul 23, 2013

Free Cinema4D Plugins You Gotta See

Cinema 4D is a powerful application, and with some additional python scripting, objects can be 'supercharged' and effectors can be customized to have their own effects. Here's some free python plugins and presets for Cinema4D that you HAVE to try.

Contribute to the list by adding your favorites in the comments below

Try at your own risk


If you're using C4D and you don't know about Nitro, you're welcome!
Nitro features some VERY powerful plugins, some of the best out there, and they're mostly free (if not Name Your Price).
Some of the ones I use are MagicSymmetry, the shattering plugin Thrausi, the realtime rendering preview window MagicPreview, and the feature that NEEDS to be in C4D by default: Magic Solo.

Nitro does an amazing job at providing these things, especially for free. Donate a little something if you can.

Check out all of the plugins at http://nitro4d.com

Adaptive Cloner

One common problem with the C4D cloner is that the spacing between objects can get a bit annoying. Adding more clones to a Grid Array will have you tweaking the spacing again. Adaptive Cloner is the answer. It automatically adjust spacing between clones.

Check out the original post at CyborgDino for the download link.

Ocean Wave Effector

This is an awesome python effector developed by CreativeTools that creates waves based on the location of the effector. It takes a bit to get used to how it works but it's very powerful.

A great way to work with this is to add a null and drop the plane in a hyperNURBS. Set the subdivisions in editor to 0 and the subdivisions in renderer to 3. This will make the viewport light and easy to work with and make the final render (in Picture Viewer) a lot more detailed.

You can get more information and download the Ocean Wave Effector from their GitHub


MazeTrace is yet another plugin from CreativeTools. It creates a maze out of your geometry, which can then be converted to splines.

Check out their github for lots more.


Whether you're doing microscopic or medical work, or maybe you just need something to spice up your scene, microfloaties creates random drifting object simulating dust and stray hairs.

You can find the download and a good explanation on the product's page n Joelotron.com

Know of any plugins that should be on this list? Drop a comment below and I'll add it!