The strangeness that is the end of the year has everyone writing up reviews, but thanks to some lucky coincidence I can mostly escape having to write some dull comments. If you still must have my view: While there have been some bright spots with Alegria and that Jean-Michel Jarre concert, this year simply has been shit due to the unraveling of my illness with all its bad effects and also constantly maneuvering at the edge of being broke despite working 14 hour days at times. It’s simply one to forget. But then again I said that last year and the year before and instead of getting better, things got worse. Will the next one turn the tide? Hard to say. Well, anyway, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

It’s almost weird how some forum questions seem to resolve thmeselves if only you wait a moment. That has been true for the previously mentioned unwrapping cylinder thing and now it seems you can work with MIDI files in After Effects, after all. Not in the way that that person imagined (by tying them live to expression sliders), but this may still provide something workable in combination with a sequencing program by recording whatever inputs to a file and then importing it. David has also updated his Python plug-in and released it free. Speaking of updates, last time I forgot to mention that Mathias also has updated his iExpressions package. I still swear by my own hand-crafted concoctions, though, and I’m just as skeptical about giving people a nuclear bomb (in a manner of speaking) when they don’t know which buttons to push.

Well, at least those people have plenty of tools to choose from, from lame lensflares with marketing fluff attached (don’t get me wrong, the rest of the suite is okay, but the flare effect is just ridiculous) to perhaps not so awful flares to genuinely cool things like Plexus. There’s als been a major update to Trapcode Form and Shapeshifter and FreeForm Pro have seen the light of day. Some interesting stuff for you to buy all round. The one thing we haven’t seen yet other than a few pictures every now and then is Element, but well, there’s always next year, isn’t there?

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