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Handy for tradeshow fly-throughs

I need to render out a 3D image, but change out the texture content in After Effects. Time for a “ReMap UV” vs. “ft-UVPass” shootout:

ReMap UV and ft-UVPass essentially do the same thing, but for the premium price increase, ReMap UV also has some additional features that may be needed.

I was needing to control the television image on a 3D tv screen. This was super-annoying to do in Cinema 4D–and I never did figure out how to effectively get the audio working. Anyway, it wasn’t worth trying to do in C4D. Remapping the UVs in After Effects (which I was headed to for post anyway) was the way to go. Remapping allowed me to easily have a comp as my “screen source” with the bonus of making it easy for my client to dictate changes to the screen content.

Both products effectively re-map the UVs, but I ran into a problem. I was getting aliased edges on my tv-screen, when the anti-aliased UV color moved into a new object. That anti-aliasing was changing the color of the UV map on those edges, thereby designating different content. In short, it made chunky edges of the wrong color.  ReMap UV includes a couple parameters to help deal with this. One is an Edges Threshold which tries to identify and minimize these edges, and the other is MIP-mapping, which is related, but also helps control your overall image quality when it stretches away from the camera (just like you’d want to use in the 3D app with a texture map).

In short, if you need simple mapping, throw $30 at ft-UVPass on for making it possible. If you need fine-tuning control, get ReVisionFX: ReMap UV, which is around $150.

Correctly time a movie clip to a texture:

1. Create texture to hold movie clip

(1.5 Create a new Material to use as the texture. In the Material, click the Editor tab and turn on “Animate Preview” to see the texture update in the viewport)

2. Add movie clip to desired channel. In my case, I’m putting an image on a TV screen, so I’m clicking the little dots under Luminance>Texture and adding the movie file as the texture.

3. Click on the name of texture (or the dots), then select the Animation tab at the top of the Bitmap Shader

Click Calculate. This tells me how many frames I have. In this case, 2248.  “Timing” is used to tell the clip to start playing at a different time on the C4D timeline.  I know I want my clip to start when C4D is at frame 1260, so I put 1260 in Range Start.  If I want it to play one frame of movie for each frame of C4d, I have to do a little math:  I’m starting at 1260 in the timeline, my clip is 2248, so (1260+2248) my Range End needs to be set to 3508.

This assumes that C4D and my movie both have the same frame rate. (note that annoyingly, my 29.97 clip–effectively 30fps for simplicity) will read as simply “29”.

Update: When using an image sequence, select “NO” when it asks if I want to save the image to my texture folder. Otherwise, it will only show the first frame of the sequence.

To get the caps of an object connected to the hulls, select the object in the Object Manager, then choose Optimize. In R16, this is found at Mesh > Commands > Optimize.

You can also connect two objects by placing them under the Connect Object, which welds the objects together in a non-destructive way. The Tolerance level determines at what distance they’ll “snap” together. It’s good for snapping caps on extruded text, if you’re not needing any additional modeling, or if you feel like you don’t want to commit to the modifications you’re making.

In a text layer, add an expression to the Source Text:



Yeah. It’s really that easy.

Adding IK to an existing joint structure:

Add character tag: IK to top of chain (shoulder)
Drag End of chain to IK Tag’s “End” box.
In Tag, click Add goal. This will auto add a goal at the same place as the end.
In IK tag, Set solver for 3D (usually)
Animate the GOAL, not the joint.

f = 2; a = 10; 
wiggle(f, a);


Handy way to make Wiggle expression use hold keyframes. This is useful for making something randomly jump to a new random spot at specified intervals–like for that quantum mechanics animation you keep promising your wife.  Or something.

Taken from:

Transfer modes in After Effects are one of those things that I just have to play with to find the right one. Sure, I try Multiply or Overlay first usually, but I still take too much time playing around. Fortunately, I can use SHIFT + or SHIFT – to step through the different modes to quickly preview it.

Ever wish you could just sit down with someone at Starbucks and have them tell you everything you basically need to know for getting into iOS development using Flash? This is a great presentation from the 2012 Flash Gaming Summit that covers everything you’ll be doing.

Grab some coffee and enjoy the next 45 minutes.


2014.05 update:

Flash has officially drifted to it’s niche, from it’s place of “does everything” glory, but it’s completely not dead. There are a lot of high-performance websites that still need to use Flash, because it’s just ridiculously hard (read: not smart from a business perspective) to try to make it work in HTML. These are also sites that know that your best experience will be on a browser, not on your phone while you’re trying to drive.

For maximum viewability on all platforms, Adobe has begun to address this with Adobe Edge, which is a pretty cool and ever growing piece of software that uses a Flash-like interface to create the complicated HTML/Javascript/CSS code on the back side for you.

Ok, so I’ve sorted out the correct settings for bringing 16:9 After Effects projects into Adobe Encore for creating a widescreen standard-def DVD.

The problem: A typical 16:9 (square pixel) render from AE (mine was 1280×720) dropped into a “widescreen DVD” Encore timeline leaves slight black bars on the sides (pillaring). 

Solution: The outgoing file (Quicktime in my case) needs to be 720×480 (with a pixel aspect of 1.21), which is NOT exactly 16:9.  To do this, I dropped my comp (or my final render) into a new AE comp that was this size. There’s a preset you can use, it’s the “NTSC DV Widescreen” preset. Then I scaled my source down to fit the window. It won’t fit exactly (obviously. that’s why we’re having to do this.) I lose a slight bit that gets cropped out on the top and bottom, but it’s better looking than Encore adding black space at the sides to preserve the original height.

Does Encore have a preference to crop the incoming footage to fill the screen? This would save me this step in AE. I couldn’t find it (CS5). Please comment if it does.