After Effects Template: The Conspiracy Theorist – Infographic/Intro

The Conspiracy Theorist: Conspiracy Cork Board After Effects Template

So… since last time’s conspiracy-themed After Effects template, I realized how much of its potential was wasted on a campy intro. Sure, it looks cool and all, but if you want something serious-er, it doesn’t quite work. So I decided to make a “serious” version, inspired by those those opening sequences at the beginning of conspiracy-themed films and tv series like the X-Files, Phenomenon: The Lost Archives, Fringe and others. It wasn’t just the fact that I love conspiracies and paranormal stuff, it was the fact that I really liked how that 3D effect could be accomplished inside After Effects without any 3rd party plugins and it’d still look good. So I devised a plan to create the entire template INSIDE AE. At first I wasn’t even sure it’d even work. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if it was possible to make it work AND be editable, so this was a “background process” in my head for days until I finally cracked it; From the right angle and the right speed, this thing could totally work! I’ve been using this technique for every single template I’ve done so far, although not for anything like this, but still, could it work?
So basically what I’m rambling about is the thumbtacks. Clearly it’s the most obvious protruding object in this picture. If the thumbtacks don’t work, the whole After Effects template falls apart. So I made a few tests and it worked. This was the green light. The thumbtacks were the linchpin around which everything else was revolving around, so naturally, when THAT worked, everything else fell into place.

After over 70 AE templates done, this one is, judging by the entire length and complexity of the composition, one of the most compact I’ve ever done. With only 40Mb of asset files and no third-party plugins needed.

Hit the break to watch it in action!

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After Effects Templates: Mystery Files, Abduction, I see you and More!

After Effects Templates: Mystery Files, Abduction, I see you and More!

So it’s been awhile! What have I been up to, you might ask? Well… You might say it’s a Mystery! See what I did there? Get it? ‘Cause it’s the name of the After Effects template? Nothing? Ok… (._.)’

So anyway, I’ve been working on a series of really cool AE templates that, like Voltron, they all assemble together to form this one even bigger and more awesome template called “Mystery Files”. And what it is, is this 50’s/60’s style Sci-Fi kind of TV show intro that not only is mostly accomplished inside After Effects but it’s also modular! Meaning that you can move around the individual parts of this After Effects template and re-arrange them to create your own combination. And like I said, all of the elements inside this template are either rendered INSIDE After Effects or pre-rendered, which means that you don’t need any third party plugins to render this project! And yes, even though the file-size was a huge limiter for what we could get away with in this template in terms of editability, the parts that you can’t edit right away in this After Effects template are available with their own individual control panels in other templates. This is due to the fact that I couldn’t get away with cramming all of it into a single template because the combined file-size would’ve exceeded the maximum allowed in the template sites.

Hit the break and watch this and a few other NEW templates in action!

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After Effects Template: Anatomically Correct Eye Looking Around!

After Effects Template: Anatomically Correct Eye Looking Around!

YES! In case you didn’t hear enough bad puns in the last After Effects template post, here’s another one! AWWW YISSS!!! And I know what you’re saying, “this one is ALREADY contained in Mystery Files, why the heck did you bother with another post!?” Well, let me tell you, dear reader! The amount of work that went into this AE template is just too much to go unnoticed, so I thought it deserves its own post, ’cause reasons!
And for starters, this After Effects template is fully rendered within After Effects. No. I am not kidding. This is 100% rendered inside AE. No plugins needed, no fancy schwancy programs, just good ‘ol After Effects native plugins and expressions.

And it was no easy endeavor either. A whole lot more than you think went into making this thing. In fact, I had to undergo days of carefully studying eye anatomy to make this After Effects template work. Simple things that we take for granted had to be engineered from scratch inside After Effects to be procedural, for example: Have you noticed how the eye is not perfectly spherical and the cornea is actually bumpy? Well, when you move your eyeball to look around, that bumpy thing displaces your eyelids. And… that red thing where your tears come out of? It’s called a “Lacrimal Caruncle” , I didn’t even know that before I started working on this After Effects template! And have you noticed that your eyeball pulls and stretches the membrana conjuntiva around your lacrimal caruncle when you look to the side!? If you’re wondering, yeah, that has also been procedurally animated in this template, so all you have to do is move around a null and your eye will realistically (or as realistically as possible in After Effects) look around!

Now with all the boasting out of the way, allow me to tell you all you can do with this After Effects template: For starters you can control the eye; Where it looks, what it looks at, how fast it moves, etc Not to mention the creepy factor! But say it looks too irritated or not enough, no problem! You can control the amount of veins and irritation. Not your eye color? NO PROBLEM! You can give it ANY eye color you want, it’s all procedural! Not enough neurosis? Pfffftttt! Make that eye twitch like it’s sending Morse code messages! And that’s not even half of it. This template has enough options to turn this eye into a character of its own!

Hit the break to watch the eye in action!

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After Effects Template: Procedural Shattered Glass Template

After Effects Template: Procedural Shattered Glass template

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t we have enough crappy procedural shattered glass templates? Like… After Effects Does this automatically, right?!”
Well, yes. But look again. Notice anything strange? Yup. Exactly. This is not your typical Shatter Plugin template. In fact, I want you to pay attention to the borders of those glass shards. As you can see, they are molded to the shattered glass texture. In other words, there’s a custom-made shatter map. Meaning that someone (Namely your’s truly) sat there for hours making the shatter map by hand. So what is the whole point of this? Well, for starters, flexibility. What this means to you as the user of this After Effects template, is that you have 100% control over how that glass breaks. Maybe not in the immediate control panel, as this template was designed for that that specific logo stinger. But if you are savvy enough with After Effects you can turn this shattered glass template into basically ANYTHING involving breaking glass, since this is a 3D effect.

Hit the break to watch it in action!

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After Effects Template: Doomsday Device – Futuristic Action Intro

After Effects Template: Doomsday Device - Futuristic Action Intro

This is a project I’ve been working on for literally months now and I finally got to finish and upload this After Effects template. There’s so much I wanted to add and so little I was able to get away with, since I needed to make the file size manageable and the editability simple enough to follow and play around with. One of my biggest regrets with this project was the fact that I wasn’t able to add more realistic effects such as sparks, explosions and smoke and I had to go with what Particular had to offer. And Don’t get me wrong, Particular is a such great plugin and the results are fantastic, but if you want realistic sparks, there’s nothing like the real thing and for that I did not have neither the rights nor permission to distribute Video Copilot’s assets so I had to generate my own. As a short digression, YES I do plan to make my own set of stock footage special effects elements but that’s still way in the future.
Now, where were we? Ahh yes, the After Effects template. Well, the visuals were heavily inspired by films and games like The Matrix, Wolfenstein and Fallout, with an interesting combination between Dieselpunk and Cyberpunk with a slightly apocalyptic Sci-Fi flare. The intention was to make it look like part of an Action/Science Fiction adventure film, showcasing the awesome MacGuffin at the end.

The editability on this one isn’t bad at all either! You can change the color of the fill light, the content on the screens, the color of the screens, the logo and the fact that a camera was included allows you to overlap your own stock special effects assets, text or even 3D or other additional elements, making this After Effects template flexible enough to delve in any other genre by changing the color scheme or lighting sceme.

The soundtrack is very much in the vein of Hans Zimmer and was specifically made for this project, I wanted something adventurous and exciting so I spent literally HOURS perfecting it it.

Hit the break to watch the template in action and let me know what you think in the comments down below!

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Logo Reveal After Effects Template: Optical Scanner – Logo Stinger

Optical Scanner - Logo Reveal After Effects Template

For those Folks following my logo reveal After Effects template, this time I decided to do something radically different and it’s actually hidden in plain sight. This may seem to you like any other AE template but in fact it’s really not, you see, this whole template, except for the pre-rendered particles and  lens flare, is 100% rendered inside After Effects! Which may not sound like a big deal to you but in reality, this gives you the flexibility to extend it for as long as you want or change most animations to suit your needs, provided that you have the music to go with the new length, as every single element in this logo reveal After Effects template (except for the lens flare) reacts to After Effects’ native depth of field and lighting system.

The caveat, of course is that the specular effects on the textures are accomplished through the CC Glass plugin which, yes, is native to After Effects, but unfortunately it’s pre-composed in every “Texture” and has to be dealt with manually for each element if you want to change the animation.

One of the biggest challenges with this template was that lens on the optical scanner, which doesn’t look out of the ordinary, but it will actually render simulated reflections! And the way this is accomplished in this logo reveal After Effects template is by duplicating the assets in a pre-composition and positioning them in such a way that it looks like they are reflected.

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