With the Creative Cloud set to release in June and none of my much wished for changes coming and After Effects just remaining the same old lady for a while longer, developers’ gluteal cramps seem to relax and they start releasing a few more things that should/ will be compatible to CS7 as well. Yee-ha! I still don’t get people’s obsession about timeline folders, but well, what do I know… In any case, there’s another such hacky workaround available called, rather unimaginatively, Layer Groups. If you can live with the limitations like the tool usurping layer marker comments and adding custom characters to the names (which for many of my expression setups would be a problem), you can always try.
Another thing that will be absent from CS7 and Cinema 4D Lite are the dynamics available in the “big” versions. That can now be somewhat mitigated by another 3D-ish dynamics plug-in called Toy Bricks. The demos look confusing, as apparently the developer is not an artist, but if you have ever used a Bullet Physics based system in any 3D program a lot of it will look familiar. And there’s of course still Newton when you just want to work in 2D and need other options.
One of the tools that I probably should buy one of those days is Slim Expression Controls that provides a more elegant way to employ the old PresetEffects.xml hack. Too bad it has no option to just convert already existing effects stacks. Converting some of my setups that have manually would take forever with their literally hundred or so controls, so I’ll put that off for another time.
Finally, while I rarely have the need for it and our somewhat chaotic “corporate porn” productions mostly consist of shooting scripts that we have to just make work somehow, other people of course tend to work a bit more organized. Script writing seems to be not only one of Stu‘s favorite obsessions, so everybody’s favorite Frenchman, Sébastien, created a script that can lay out the script as timed layers for storyboarding and placeholder work for rough cuts, shooting prep, FX tests and all that good stuff they do in Hollywood.
All of the above can be bought for your pleasure on AEScripts, and no, I didn’t get free copies, there’s just not much else to write and being stuck with my infection I’ve been too lazy to work on my own stuff. ;-)