If you try to import an After Effects project that uses the Prolost Presets into Premiere Pro, you'll get an annoying error. Here's the fix, which also happens to be the super cool workfflow for using After Effects compositions in Premiere.
Because the Prolost Presets use expressions, which Premiere doesn’t support, you can’t import your Prolost Burns, Boardo, Speedramp, or Handcrank compositions into Premiere. But you can link them, using Adobe Dynamic Link.
- After creating your sequence in After Effects using the Prolost Presets, save the project as usual.
- Then open Premiere, and choose File → Adobe Dynamic Link → Import After Effects Composition…
- Navigate to your After Effects project file in the Import window, and select it. You should see your After Effects compositions on the right. Choose the composition you want to import, and click OK.
- The selected After Effects composition will be added to your Premiere Pro project, and you can now edit it into your sequence.
The imported composition maintains a link to the After Effects project, so you can continue to make changes in After Effects, and they will update instantly in Premiere. But After Effects doesn’t have to be open when working with the imported composition in Premiere.
Or Skip the Import Dialog and Drag and Drop
Dan Wilk of Adobe helpfully pointed out that you can drag an After Effects composition right into an open Premiere Pro project:
Prolost Boardo is designed to work with any kind of storyboard images. There are some presets and templates for iPad drawing apps I like, but you can easily use it with any storyboard images from any source.
When drawing storyboards, it's useful to have some extra room around the frame guide, so that you can draw a little more of the scene than is strictly covered by the camera. This gives you a little extra room to draw your shot, and the extra drawing comes in handy when creating camera moves with Boardo.
Since any storyboard template could have a different amount of extra room around the frame guide, Boardo allows you to set up scale and position offsets, so that at the default settings, your shots will be properly framed.
Configuring Boardo to work with a storyboard template is as simple as adjusting these offsets so that the image within the frame guide is properly framed in the After Effects comp. The following are step-by-step instructions for customizing Boardo to work with your own storyboard template.
Draw With a Template
Let's say you want to draw your storyboards in Photoshop using a Wacom Cintiq. You create a template that is, say, 2,000 pixels wide, and 1,500 pixels tall. Centered within that, you draw your frame guide — a 16:9 (or whichever aspect ratio is appropriate for your project) rectangle on its own layer, slightly smaller than the 2,000-pixel width of the document. You'll draw your storyboards underneath that layer, and export them without the guide.
Tip: It doesn't matter where you draw your storyboards, but central to the design of Boardo is that you draw them using a framing guide that doesn't export with the drawings. So either choose a layered drawing app like Photoshop or Sketchbook Pro, or an app with a built-in template/custom paper feature, such as Noteshelf.
Export Your Template for Reference
You'll export your storyboard frames without the framing guide, but for setting up Boardo, you should export one image, at the same size as your storyboard frames, that includes the frame guide.
Import the Template Into After Effects
Import your template frame into After Effects and add it to a comp of the resolution you plan on using for your storyboards. See the User's Guide for a detailed list of recommended resolutions.
Apply Prolost Boardo to the Template Layer
The layer will change position and scale, but probably won't line up correctly yet.
Do not touch any of the Start or End Pan, Tilt, or Zoom controls. Leave them at their defaults.
Adjust the Setup Values to Fit the Template to the Comp
At the bottom of the Boardo controls, twirl open the Setup group. Here you'll find three controls: Scale Offset, Horizontal Offset, and Vertical Offset.
Use these to adjust the size and position of the layer, until the frame guide in your template lines up with the edges of the comp.
Tip: If your frame guide is centered, you can leave Horizontal Offset and Vertical Offset at zero. Scale Offset should be all you'll have to adjust.
Copy and Paste
Apply Boardo to all your shots. Copy the settings from the one you calibrated, and paste into the other shots.
That's it! Now all your shots are framed correctly, and you can start animating your board-o-matic.
No template is necessary to draw storyboards in Paper. Just draw in the upper part of the landscape canvas, leaving the tools exposed.
In Boardo, use one of the Paper Setup Presets. Boardo will automatically crop your image to roughly what you see above right. If you draw with this margin in mind, you'll find that your Paper boards look great in Boardo — and you can always tweak the framing using the Setup controls.
You can also draw in portrait orientation, and use Boardo to pan around the vertical composition.
Boardo also works with storyboards drawn in Paper on the iPad Pro.
Draw a customizable arrow on any layer using three expressions-driven Line effects.
Tip and End
Use these Point Controls to set the start and end points for the arrow.
Parent End to Tip
Turn this on and the arrow's position is controlled entirely by the Tip coordinates. Use End to set a relative end point that follows the tip. Great for tracking or animating the arrow position.
Line Thickness and Color
Controls the thickness and color of the lines used to draw the arrow.
Head Size and Length
Control the size and shape of the arrow head.
Easily animate a layer based on how many exact pixels you'd like it to move per frame. You set the starting position by manually moving the layer as usual. You can optionally force the layer Position and Anchor Point to snap to whole pixels.
X Pixels Per Frame
How many pixels the layer will move in X (horizontally) on each frame.
Y Pixels Per Frame
How many pixels the layer will move in Y (vertically) on each frame. Positive values move the layer down.
Force the layer's Position to snap to whole pixels.
Integer Anchor Point
Force the layer's Anchor Point to snap to whole pixels.
When you pay using PayPal, you may see a scary message about pre-authorizing future payments. This is PayPal's confusingly-worded, but typical, way of working with online stores — in this case Gumroad, which powers the Prolost Store.
What it means is that if you choose to create a Gumroad account after your purchase, and choose to save your payment information in your Gumroad account, then the next time you buy something from Gumroad, you won't have to re-enter your PayPal login information.
One of the most useful and powerful expressions in After Effects is
wiggle(). It randomizes values according to a smooth Perlin noise function.
Prolost Wiggle Position is a handy preset that applies
wiggle() to the Position parameter of a layer, and gives you easy control over the expression.
Controls the speed of the random motion, also known as the frequency of the noise. You can think of this as "wiggles per second."
Controls the size of the motion, in pixels.
The Customize Group
Use Octaves to specify the complexity of the random motion. Higher values add more levels of smaller, detailed motion to the noise.
Seed controls the random seed used for the motion.
With Include Index in Seed off, the layer's random motion will be the same wherever you stack it. Turn it on and the wiggle will change when you re-sort the layer, which can be handy when applying the preset to multiple layers.
Apply this preset to a 2D layer. Choose a From Layer and a To Layer, and the layer will automatically be positioned, rotated, and optionally scaled to span between them.
Choose any 2D layer in the composition other than the Spanner layer or the To Layer. It's OK if this layer is parented under others.
Choose any 2D layer in the composition other than the Spanner layer or the From Layer. It's OK if this layer is parented under others.
Sets the orientation of the aiming. Chose Left to Right and the layer's right edge will aim at the To Layer. Chose Top to Bottom and the layer's bottom edge will aim at the To Layer.
Scale to Fit
Toggle this on and the layer will scale automatically to fit between the To Layer and the From Layer. Works best if you also check Automatic Pivot Point.
Scale Both Axes
If Scale to Fit is on, this setting determines if both X and Y axis are scaled, or just the one that corersponds with the Span setting.
Set this to Pinned to From and the position of the layer will match the From Layer. Set it to Centered, and the layer will be positioned in between the To Layer and the From Layer.
Automatic Pivot Point
Turn this on and the Anchor Point of the layer will be adjusted automatically. Leave it off to use the layer's Anchor Point settings.
In this group, you have controls for adding a transform offset to the layer. You can adjust Position Offset (X and Y), Scale Offset, and Rotation Offset.
The Prolost Store runs on an e-commerce platform called Gumroad. According to Gumroad's help article on the subject, VAT regulations require digital marketplaces such as theirs to collect VAT. Gumroad is the entity with which you are doing business, so they are responsible for collecting VAT, not Prolost.
If you do not have to pay VAT, Gumroad says you may request a VAT credit directly from them.
First, I love you for asking.
You may have noticed that your shopping cart empties every time you move from one page of the store to another. This is annoying, and Gumroad is working on it.
In the meantime, I’ve created one page with buttons for every item, so you can bundle several and check out just once.
This happens sometimes, but not often. I’m sorry it happened to you! You were always my favorite.
If your PayPal payment failed, here are some things to try:
- Reload the page and try again. Maybe wave a rubber chicken over the screen a few times.
- Try your purchase again in a different browser.
- Check with PayPal to make sure there's not a block on your account.
- Carrier pigeon.
If none of that works, visit the Prolost Gumroad page. There you can buy using PayPal without any of the overlay code I use here.
If that doesn't work, contact me directly.
Prolost Boardo is a set of Adobe After Effects presets that streamline the process of creating an animated storyboard, or board-o-matic. They work well with storyboards drawn in the Noteshelf iPad app, using these Custom Paper templates.
To install the templates, first visit this page on your iPad. Go ahead, email yourself the link, like an animal.
- Tap a link below to open the template image, then tap and hold, and choose Save Image to save the file to your iPad Camera Roll.
- Then open Noteshelf.
- Tap ⊕ to create a new Notebook.
- Tap Customize Notebook.
- Select Custom from the Paper Categories tabs (you may need to scroll the list horizontally).
- Tap the empty paper field. The photo browser will appear. Choose one of the template images from your Camera Roll.
- Name the 16:9 template Boardo HD, and the other one Boardo Scope.
- Now you can create a Notebook using your new Custom Paper.
- In the Notebook, tap the settings gear. Under Orientation Settings, choose Lock in Landscape Spine Up. Now you're ready to start drawing.
To learn how to export and animate storyboards created using these templates, consult the readme, or watch the video.
The playback and caching system introduced in After Effects CC 2015 sometimes freaks out with Handcrank’s expressions-driven retiming. One solution is to turn off audio on the layer(s) to which you’ve applied Prolost Handcrank.
Adobe seems to have resolved this issue in the CC 2015.3 update.
Yeah, this is a bummer.
When you delete the preset from a layer, you're actually only deleting the "pseudo-effect" containing the sliders and other controls. Often, there are expressions on the layer that are linked to these controls. You delete the effect, the expression can't find the controls, so they throw errors.
Here are two ways to completely remove a preset from a layer in After Effects:
If you apply a preset and then undo it, you'll be right back where you started, with no expressions.
Disable the Expressions Manually
After deleting the preset effect, select the layer and press EE (press E twice in rapid succession) to reveal all properties with expressions.
On each one, click the = equals sign button to turn the expression off: ≠