Not that I need to remind anyone here of it, but obviously this is my first post in 2 weeks, so aside from the usual uneventfulness in the After Effects world, something more must be going on. and right you are, my friends! I’ve been sick at home for several weeks now with serious breathing problems, various infections, inflammations and swelling of internal organs and generally feeling rather beside myself. Tons of bloodwork later at least I could be sure I’m not suffering from HIV or any other viral infection, but still no clue as to what the cause of my ongoing suffering was. As it turned out, an x-ray of my lungs I had last week finally revealed the truth. Was it Cancer? Luckily not. Was it Tuberculosis? Nope. An allergy perhaps? Strike that! What’s left then?
Turns out I’m most likely having Sarcoidosis, an auto-immune illness whose specific cause is unclear, but definitely depends on a genetic predisposition. If you are interested in more depressing details, you can always check Wikipedia. I cannot yet be 100% certain, but I spent the last few days in hospital undergoing some additional examinations and once my tissue samples have been analyzed microscopically, I shall know the grim details with definite certainty. Now not only does this ruin my life for the next few months or even years including such things as not being able to do intense cycling as I used to, but this also means that it’s gonna stay quiet here for a while longer. I’m putting off most of the new and wonderful things I had planned for this site indefinitely until I’m feeling better. Still, this doesn’t mean you won’t see anything new, it will just keep running with the "old" infrastructure and layout. There’s definitely going to be some new error codes and there may even be some stuff in the download section. But then again, of course, I always say that and then get too busy with other things… ;-)
And while we’re on topic: There may generally be little movement in the After Effects world, but about once every 2 months it gives a beep on the heartbeat monitor with some interesting plug-in. One of them will be/ might be Newton, a 2D physics engine. The demos look awfully lame and are all too reminiscent of the equally lame stacks of cubes with balls and domino demos in 3D programs, but this may be useful, after all. I have to admit, though, that I think that aside from particle stuff dynamics are overrated. Many times it will take longer to get a simulation to look the way you want than keyframing it by hand, an experience I commonly encounter in 3D programs.
In slightly related news, there’s also a pretty cool plug-in for Illustrator as of late. Calling it Vector Scribe is lamer than lame (really people, you need to come up with some more creative names for you stuff), but don’t let that distract you from the fact, that it adds some of the most painfully absent features to the program – shape primitives that stay editable and equally editable path rounding and optimization tools. I’m really tempted to buy this at some point simply because of the cool factor, even if I use Illustrator far too rarely to rationally justify the investment.