Category: Video

After Effects: Fullscreen Preview

If you actually bother preemptively reading your software documentation, you may have already known this, but this is a huge time-saver over having to render test movies for my HDTV.

At work, I'm using a 27" 1080p monitor/television as my secondary monitor. We use a model that has a similar color profile for presentations, so using this screen as a preview screen is essential. Otherwise, we'd have to keep our presentation displays unpacked and hooked up to a computer, transfer files, and so on. I won't get into (more) details, but suffice to say it would be a royal pain.

You can stretch to the edges, but there's still a border.

Even with this setup, I've been rendering drafts to an mp4 file and running a video player fullscreen on the HDTV (which matches the production environment). This is still a step I'd rather not have to do, so finally today I did some searching.

'Lo, and behold! There is a way.

According to Adobe documentation, Ctrl+\ (+\ on Mac) does the following:

Resize application window or floating window to fit screen. (Press again to resize window so that contents fill the screen.)

Since my composition window is on the second monitor already, I pressed Ctrl+\ twice.

Ah, fullscreen goodness.


Get Trapcode Plugins to Show in CS4

Had a bit of an issue with After Effects CS4 not showing older Trapcode plugins. After installation, the Trapcode folder was simply not present. Specifically, I had issues with SoundKeys 1.12, Particular 1.5, and 3D Stroke 2.04.

Once you install these plugins, they will install to your Program Files\Trapcode. Copy 3D Stroke and Particular *.aex files into Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects CS4\Support Files\Plug-ins\Effects, and SoundKeys into the parent folder (Plug-ins). Restart After Effects.

For other Trapcode plugins, I haven't tried to install them yet, so I don't know.

I believe the newest versions of Trapcode plugins all install to the correct folder.

Update (2010-10-26): I'm probably late to the game on this, but older Trapcode plugins will not work in After Effects CS5. This version requires a 64-bit operating system and plugins, so you will now have to re-purchase your Trapcode plugins. Oh yeah, and Trapcode was bought by Red Giant, so you'll have to buy it from them.

I feel like Adobe just gave me the finger. I guess the assumption is that if you're working on video, you can afford it? Even with Photoshop I got a 32-bit version WITH the 64-bit (though I use the 64-bit one).


Adobe CS4 Issues and Mini-Review

Adobe has decided to make more of a commitment to customer support. They are teaming up with a global service provider, so I assume that means outsourced phone support. The best place to take your change requests is the Adobe Feature Request form.

This is a really, really long post. It's long both because the Adobe Creative Suite 4 is vast and encompasses many software packages, but also because I found a great deal of things to complain about. While complaining is nothing new for me, finding this many problems with a mature software product is.

In this post, first I will detail the problems I encountered using the CS4 products, some action items for Adobe, state a few positives, and an overall conclusion. I do not intend to review all of the new features (which are many).

Note that this post is about the Windows version. I believe many of these issues are not present on a Mac system, but I can't make any assumptions, because I do not own a Mac, nor have I used CS4 on a Mac.

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