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GhosTeam says

I just wanted to say that i am super impressed by the new ’’control panels’’ people include in their project, really steps up the quality of the files. Some of them are really amazing! :D Just wanted to share.

How is it done???

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FluxVFX Reviewer says

It’s very impressive! Here’s what I think is going on- lots of expression controls- color, checkbox. Parenting source text parameters between text layers (text that changes in the menu changes in the lower 3rd). It’s not too difficult to do, but you do need a different mindset to pull it off. I’ve been adopting this type of approach to my templates recently. I’d love to learn more about changing animation timing with markers, I haven’t tried that yet. Maybe this would be a good question to ask in the Expressions Thread or start a new thread so we can share tips, examples of menu building in AE. I agree, this will help customers out tremendously.

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Creattive says

I don’t think so, it is essentially the same as having slidercontrols, only that you have a good looking image of a sliderbutton you drag around. which also needs to be rendered, btw.

it looks better, yes. it might provide a better overview. but that’s it. I like to use the users machine power to deliver him a fast preview of the changes instead of using it for having a fancy ui.

and there are things that can’t be done with that, changing font for example.

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davidossahdez says

It’s very impressive! Here’s what I think is going on- lots of expression controls- color, checkbox. Parenting source text parameters between text layers (text that changes in the menu changes in the lower 3rd). It’s not too difficult to do, but you do need a different mindset to pull it off. I’ve been adopting this type of approach to my templates recently.

Well, that is exactly what I did. In my project “Digital Midnight” all the controls are parented and linked with their respective effects all over the place. They act in the same way as the After Effects sliders, but they are a little more eye catching. (I think that this is a benefit from a business POV. At the moment, it only gives a more professional look) Also, the text layers shares their source text property, as you guessed. This approach to develop this Control Panel took me only 4 or 5 days but it wasn’t my initial plan.

I did a little research and found pretty cool options to make an interactive UI. Also, each one has it own disadvantages. Take a look:
  1. Expressions inside After Effects: These are pretty easy to learn and doesn’t need any programming experience, with only drag and drop you are done. The problem is that are pretty slow in terms of performance and doesn’t let any complex customization. The After Effects sliders work with this method. My fist version of the Control Panel simply put a user-friendly user interface to really understand what are you moving and what each property affects in the final look.
  2. The ExtendScript Toolkit: These ones uses the ExtendScript language, are a little bit more complex but let you create more complex things as well. AEScripts.com are filled by a lot of cool scripts made in this “platform”. They are cross-platform so you only need to program one version. The bad news are that an “Installation” process needs to be made. The user should drop the script in the ScriptUI folder inside the After Effects application folders. Also, build a customized UI is pretty difficult. You need to use the After Effects predefined controls
  3. The After Effects API: This is the more powerful but also the more complex one. It uses the C language and it isn’t for beginners. Element 3D and Trapcode Particular are some examples of plugins using the After Effects API. They let you build your own custom UI and make whatever you want. The MAIN problem is that they aren’t cross-platform. So, you need to develop one for Windows and other quite different for Mac. Also, an Installer is needed and I don’t think that the user would like to install plugins of untrusted developers

I’ll try to develop a little further this idea of the Control Panel for my upcoming projects. My initial vision was a interactive UI (maybe a separate application) that let the user modify things on the fly and also preview them just before commit changes to the After Effects project. Maybe someone with more experience with this kind of things can share his thoughts about this. I would love to collaborate with someone to develop this concept a little further and make a quite powerful way to customize templates

EDIT: Someone opened a new thread about this, so maybe we can move this conversation to there and all the ideas can be collected in one place:
http://videohive.net/forums/thread/custom-project-panel-settings/89518

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johnnybd says

davidossahdez: Thanks for the useful information!

Here’s something that really intrigues me, by linking Source text properties only the actual text gets linked. Is there a way to link the font selection / kerning as well?

This always kept me away from linking Source text, once the user modified the kerning and font selection in one layer it would only “transfer” the actual text thus leaving the user in a “complex” situation incase he modified the font / kerning / paragraph properties .

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Creattive says

nope only source text can be linked


davidossahdez: Thanks for the useful information!

Here’s something that really intrigues me, by linking Source text properties only the actual text gets linked. Is there a way to link the font selection / kerning as well?

This always kept me away from linking Source text, once the user modified the kerning and font selection in one layer it would only “transfer” the actual text thus leaving the user in a “complex” situation incase he modified the font / kerning / paragraph properties .
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DsignProductions says

Hi guys,

I have a quick question for the name of my newest project.
I don’t know what the correct name is in English.
Is it: Unfolded Slideshow, Unfolding Slideshow or Unfold Slideshow.

Cheers!

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3Ddym says

Hi guys,

I have a quick question for the name of my newest project.
I don’t know what the correct name is in English.
Is it: Unfolded Slideshow, Unfolding Slideshow or Unfold Slideshow.

Cheers!

‘Unfold Slideshow’ is better :)

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DsignProductions says


Hi guys,

I have a quick question for the name of my newest project.
I don’t know what the correct name is in English.
Is it: Unfolded Slideshow, Unfolding Slideshow or Unfold Slideshow.

Cheers!
‘Unfold Slideshow’ is better :)

Ok, thank you. )

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DoubleX says

wow guys…I’m just shocked to see how improving 16 to 32 gigs of RAM helped with rendering on 8-core system and AE CS5. With 16GB I was unable to make all 8 cores 100% loaded no matter what settings I tried, but now it’s like in heaven!

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