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Meet Mark Simpson

COW Leaders : Mark Simpson
Creative COW Web Writer, Contributing Editor


Mark Simpson
Mark Simpson
JAM Digital
Mt. Lassen, California USA
Mt. Lassen, California USA

Mark is someone who is *really* into After Effects. He loves learning and passing along what he learns -- and he's one friendly guy while doing it. Much of what has become the COW's After Effects community finds its genesis in efforts that Mark built into the community in the early days of the COW. Mark's early tutorials were some of our first and he set the stage for what would come later.

Mark Simpson got started in all this when he did an electrical job (he's an electrician) for a video production company. He had long wanted a 3/4" machine for his home recording studio. (A hobby he's been trying to turn into more than a hobby for about 15 years -- always thwarted by not having the place to do it (sound control issues vs. neighbors)). So, he traded some work for a couple of JVC top loaders, and an old convergence editor.

He started doing an edit job for a local little league team, but he needed a HI-8 tape converted to VHS, so that he could get it on his machines, so he went to a friend to have him convert it. Their first NLE system (Quadra 840, Premiere 4.1, VideoVision Studio, CoSA After Effects, etc.) happened to be for sale and Mark ended up buying it. He started doing alot of free edit jobs for the youth ministry at the church in which he's involved but became frustrated at the long render times on that system.

So, in less than a year he was considering upgrading his machine. Instead Mark bought a new G3, a Digital 8 camcorder and also Adobe After Effects 4. The first day Mark loaded up AE 4.0 and did the beginning tutorial out of the manual, he was fully hooked. He found that all the restrictions he ran into in the audio world of trying to get creativity out of his head and onto tape were removed.

Mark says: "AE lets me move from imagination to reality almost at the snap of my fingers. I've become an AE Junkie and I hope to somehow, someday turn this addiction into my work at home career." When asked if he also edits video, he replied," Yes, but my passion (actually it's more like an obsession) is working with AE. It seems like I 'have' to do this. I just love it."

Mark Simpson Profile

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Articles by Mark Simpson

Cinema 4D
Mark Simpson demonstrates modelling arches

Mark Simpson demonstrates modelling arches

In this article Mark Simpson discusses a technique to to model arches using Cinema 4D.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Cinema 4D
Maxon Cinema 4D 7: A Workshop for 2D/3D Graphics ProsMaxon Cinema 4D 7: A Workshop for 2D/3D Graphics Pros

In this article, Mark Simpson thoroughly explores the book Maxon Cinema 4D 7:A Workshop for 2D/3D Graphics Pros by Arndt von Koenigsmarck of Vreel-3D. In his review Mark looks at reasons why he thinks the book published by Peachpit Press is of genuine value as a resource.

Review
Mark Simpson
Cinema 4D
Simulating Fluid Dynamics using the BhodiNUT Proximal Shader

Simulating Fluid Dynamics using the BhodiNUT Proximal Shader

In this article, Mark Simpson demonstrates how to use the BhodiNUT 'Proximal' shader in the displacement channel of a standard material to simulate the ripples created when an object is dropped into a body of water.This project requires Cinema 4D XL V7 or later (no external plug-ins are required).

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects
Revealing a Logo with a Sweeping Beam of Light

Revealing a Logo with a Sweeping Beam of Light

Mark Simpson uses The Foundry Tinderbox plug-in T_Beam filter to sweep a narrow beam across a logo, eventually widening the beam to reveal the entire logo.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects
Trapcode Shine: Write it with Light

Trapcode Shine: Write it with Light

Mark Simpson has written this tutorial in response to the many requests for info on a sample movie he posted in the Trapcode Forum using Shine in After Effects. This tutorial was done in AE4.1 using Filters from the Cult Effects Collection and the new Trapcode Plug-in Shine. Here's the rundown of how Mark creates the effect.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects
Simulating a Tornado in After Effects

Simulating a Tornado in After Effects

Mark Simpson uses the masking capabilities of After Effects along with some 3rd party plug-ins to simulate an animated Tornado. This tutorial is in response to the many requests about how to make a Tornado in After Effects. This simple tutorial uses the pen tool to create multiple masks in conjunction with the 'Turbulator' plug-in, to make a quick and dirty Tornado. It can't compete with the advanced particle emitters of a dedicated 3D app, but it is sure to be useful in some instances, where the lack of time or high end 3D tools required for a fully realistic tornado are not available.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Cinema 4D
Using the SplinMotion Plug-in to build an Animation Rig in Cinema 4D XL6

Using the SplinMotion Plug-in to build an Animation Rig in Cinema 4D XL6

This article will demonstrate how to set up the SplinMotion Plug-in to build an animation rig allowing you to animate a fire hose by moving only one null. The article will not focus on the modeling or texturing aspects of the project as they're really not important, but rather the rig used to animate the spline from which the firehose is formed. This principle can be used to animate any spline based model.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects
Using Cult Effects 'CE Lightning' & Evolution 'Foam' to grow a tree

Using Cult Effects 'CE Lightning' & Evolution 'Foam' to grow a tree

Mark Simpson uses Cult Effects 'CE Lightning', 'CE Radial Shadow' and Atomic Power Evolution 'Foam' effects to simulate a time-lapse like effect of tree being grown out of the ground and then leaves growing on the tree. This tutorial could easily be adapted to be used with the built-in plug-ins of AE 5.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects
Evolution 'Card Wipe': Simulating an LED Style Audio Meter

Evolution 'Card Wipe': Simulating an LED Style Audio Meter

Mark Simpson uses Atomic Power Evolution 'Card Wipe' effect and Adobe After Effects Production Bundle's 'Motion Math' to simulate an LED style Audio Meter.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe Illustrator
Creating mattes in Adobe Illustrator

Creating mattes in Adobe Illustrator

Mark Simpson shows users how to create mattes in Adobe Illustrator for use in Adobe After Effects. If you're trying to do Mark's tutorial 'Animating Skies and Writing Text With Light!' but don't know how to use Illustrator, then this little 'sub-tutorial' is for you. Even if you're not doing Mark's tutorial, this is a handy tip to know.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe Illustrator
Creating Text with Adobe Illustrator for After Effects

Creating Text with Adobe Illustrator for After Effects

This tutorial is in response to the many requests about how to use Adobe Illustrator to make the text files for the 'Animating Skies and Writing Text with Light' tutorial Mark Simpson wrote demonstrating the Foundry 'Tinderbox' set of Plug-ins for After Effects. This simple tutorial focuses on creating text for the aforementioned tutorial, but is useful for creating any text for use in AE.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects
Evolution 'Shatter': Blowing text off a page

Evolution 'Shatter': Blowing text off a page

Mark Simpson uses Atomic Power Evolution 'Shatter' effect and Adobe Illustrator to simulate text being blown off of a page. Evolution is built into After Effects 5.0. This tutorial should be easily adapted for use with AE 5.

Tutorial
Mark Simpson
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