By Jeremiah Hall (doddleNEWS)
Animation Composer from developer Mister Horse is an add-on for Adobe After Effects. Is it worth your time? Let’s take a look.
When it comes to Adobe After Effects, plugins are a huge help. They let the animator speed up the time it takes to build an effect without having to re-invent the wheel every time. That’s why I get excited when a new plugin comes my way.
I downloaded Animation Composer, installed it, and opened it up in Adobe After Effects. Animation Composer doesn’t show up in the Effects panel of After Effects, rather it can be found in its own window, which is located under the Window menu. Clicking it under the Window menu opens a new window on the screen.
The window is divided into two areas.
On the left area are your transitions and effects, while on the left side are two tabs – one for effects, the other transitions. Transitions are divided into three submenus: 2D Layer Transformations, 2D Text, or 3D Layer Transformations. Effects are divided into 2D Layer Transformations, and 2D Text Motion. There are submenus in each one. For example, under Effects – 2D Layer Transformations there are submenus for Blur & Warp, Position & Rotate & Scale, Position & Scale, Position, Rotate, and Warp.
On the right is the area to drop your effects onto – instead of dropping them directly onto the selected clip in the timeline. There are three different areas in which to drop presets. Effects are added in via drag-and-drop from the menus on the left. In the top-right-hand corner is a small animation showing what each individual effect will look like.
There is an area for In Transitions, Out Transitions and Effects. These are fairly self-explanatory – In is for a transition at the beginning of a clip, Out is for a transitions at the end of a clip, and Effects are for effects handling part or all of a clip. Once added, an effect’s in and out times can be controlled by clicking open the effect’s submenu.
Artists can add multiple effects to layers via the Animation Composer window. Need to change the start-times for multiple effects? There is a small button in the bottom-left-corner for the Animation Shifter. It allows artists to quickly align transition ins and outs to the start, ending, or playhead, as well as shift the starting time. Working with the effects parameters are done in much the same way at any other effect. Artists can control the parameters via the Effects panel, the same way as any other effect.
Over a hundred presets come with Animation Composer built in. There are more preset packs available for sale. So far, there is a 2D text preset pack and what’s called The Most Handy Motion Presets. Both packs contain over a thousand presets each. Preset packs are available for $60.00 each.
Is it worth downloading? I’d have to say yes. It gives artists fast starting points to work from.
Take a look at it at here.