Meet Mark Simpson
Creative COW Web Writer, Contributing Editor
: Mark Simpson
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.
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
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."
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.
Articles by Mark Simpson
Adobe After Effects|
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.
Adobe 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.
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.
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.
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.