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Creattive says

that’s the problem I see here too: what you see in preview is rendered, if you actually work with these interfaces they are neither smooth nor realtime, if your customer has enabled fast preview it gets pixelated or wireframed.

Use the machine power of your customers for rendering and previewing your actual project, not for having a fancy soso-working UI.

it does look stunning in prerendered preview, but that’s all I guess…

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davidossahdez says


Thanks for some insight guys. I actually wanted to ask about davidossahdez’s control panel, as I thought that IronykDesign’s control panel was like his (saw only picture on iPad, now I watched video and realized that I actually did similar thing in one of my own projects.) But davidossahdez’s is something totally different.
LOL :) You’re right. What David did is really impressive and is far beyond my knowledge :) I don’t know a thing about C + + and codes :) I actually played with the expressions and just tried to make the project more friendly for the buyers. It was really funny, but it took a lot of time and, as Ben said “It won’t make your file any more saleable, because that’s not what VH customers react to. Just make a great looking project, then make a great user guide…” Totally agree now :) BTW, I love your project David! You really did an amazing job!

Actually I think that everyone is miss-understanding what I did. The Control Panel is a bunch of layers INSIDE a comp in AE. The video preview show it like a real-time app for customizing the project but it is just a RAM preview of the comp itself. Everyone should know at this moment how to do that. It isn’t OUT OF THIS WORLD C codes and something like that. Take a look to this video and maybe you’ll understand how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_mLGzxEl7M

Let me rewind this a little bit. The Control Panel in its first version is a comp inside AE and only works as a User Interface for controlling all the parameters and the MAIN options of my template. The original idea was quite different, this method of linking expression is the fastest one. Forever and ever! Actually what @Felt said is pretty important also. This doesn’t make the project more saleable. BUT that isn’t the goal, at least for me. The Control Panel only provides a better way to customize the project for NOVICE users, if more projects implement it, think in the new customers that our marketplace will have. New people that until today think that modify parameters and going inside hundreds of layers are a nightmare.
I’m not a beginner but I find pretty difficult to understand the thousand of different ways that all the authors uses to customize their templates. Also, the AE controllers are ugly. You can’t beat a well designed UI with that sliders and checkboxes. Never.


Ah… okay – I found your control panel.

Looks good. I stick by what I said about it probably being rather superfluous effort in terms of gaining extra sales.

But I am interested to know how you did it. I couldn’t tell from the preview if it’s a comp inside Ae that’s steering everything or whether you’re controlling from outside, via xml or similar. What puzzles me is that you show real-time changes to an animating project. This is something that After Effects is famously not capable of (any changes need to be rendered through into RAM before previewing in real-time). As far as I’m aware, what you show in your preview is something that neither expressions, scripting nor the SDK are capable of.

Is that for real? :-)

Edit: I’m just reading back through this post in light of the preview I just saw.

From what I understand, your control panel is a slick expressions interface onto your main project that exists in After Effects itself, that uses on screen controls in the comp, instead of Expression Effects to control the various things, and the real-time control-panel in your preview is more of how it would work in an ideal world, rather than how it actually does work.

I fear it will never work like it does in the preview though. After Effects is not a real-time solution. Not yet.

You are right. AE itself is not capable of do that. Out there are a lot of solutions to make this possible but all of them looks like are to time consuming. My initial idea was to use the user computer’s power of processing to make a great looking UI and real time preview. THIS IS A CONCEPT. No the final product. Also, it looks like a lot of effort for one person. I was hoping to find someone to collaborate and look for a good solution. That’s all.

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felt_tips Moderator says

I think it’s a laudable thing to have done – and it does look good, but I still think users are after great looking end products rather than great looking user interfaces.

Also, don’t overlook this fact: a great many of the novices who buy Ae templates are actually rather keen to learn more about how After Effects works, and are keen to acquaint themselves with its ugly interface. :-) For all its good looks, your control panel by-passes that desire somewhat.

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davidossahdez says

Also, don’t overlook this fact: a great many of the novices who buy Ae templates are actually rather keen to learn more about how After Effects works, and are keen to acquaint themselves with its ugly interface. :-) For all its good looks, your control panel by-passes that desire somewhat.

Good point. Also if you see a kick-ass animation and really needs that project, you buy it. No matter how you will customize it later (yourself or work with a freelance)
By the moment I think that I will keep using this Control Panel. For me, the custom UI is pretty easy to make just because I made a template. Copy and paste and that’s all. Hopefully someday this idea can be developed a little further. I keep saying that in such a big marketplace we need to find creative ways to stand out the crowd. Mostly the newer authors like me

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GhosTeam says


Also, don’t overlook this fact: a great many of the novices who buy Ae templates are actually rather keen to learn more about how After Effects works, and are keen to acquaint themselves with its ugly interface. :-) For all its good looks, your control panel by-passes that desire somewhat.
Good point. Also if you see a kick-ass animation and really needs that project, you buy it. No matter how you will customize it later (yourself or work with a freelance)
By the moment I think that I will keep using this Control Panel. For me, the custom UI is pretty easy to make just because I made a template. Copy and paste and that’s all. Hopefully someday this idea can be developed a little further. I keep saying that in such a big marketplace we need to find creative ways to stand out the crowd. Mostly the newer authors like me

+1 here…I like your idea too ! It brought back some high-school math equations :P and Felt helped!
For the sliders, I linked the xPosition value to the HLS (xPos value of X-to X+360 turns into -100 to 100 for saturation for example)
Tell me, did you ran into the problem of dragging the slider far left (beyond its region, even though it stays still) and then having a delay when you drag it back to the right?

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davidossahdez says

+1 here…I like your idea too ! It brought back some high-school math equations :P and Felt helped!
For the sliders, I linked the xPosition value to the HLS (xPos value of X-to X+360 turns into -100 to 100 for saturation for example)
Tell me, did you ran into the problem of dragging the slider far left (beyond its region, even though it stays still) and then having a delay when you drag it back to the right?

Yes it happens. I’m looking for a workaround for this but at the moment anything seems to work.
If you found something let me know :)

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GhosTeam says


+1 here…I like your idea too ! It brought back some high-school math equations :P and Felt helped!
For the sliders, I linked the xPosition value to the HLS (xPos value of X-to X+360 turns into -100 to 100 for saturation for example)
Tell me, did you ran into the problem of dragging the slider far left (beyond its region, even though it stays still) and then having a delay when you drag it back to the right?
Yes it happens. I’m looking for a workaround for this but at the moment anything seems to work.
If you found something let me know :)

Cool, thanks!
Gladly, I think most users won’t try to drag the slider this way..it’s just me :)

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ICEDigitalStudios says

I should try to get something done in C# since I know the language very well. I guess I’ll have to come back to the good old programming days! Great info!

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