Computer Graphics World

March/April 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 51

n n n n Trends & Technologies This article contains excerpts from the abridged version of "CoSA Lives" (the afterword of Chris and Trish Meyer's Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects). D uring the past 20 years, the visual effects industry has evolved dramatically. From classic monster movies to action thrillers, visual effects and motion graphics have added magic to filmmaking and the viewer experience. It's been quite a journey for film technology, with constantly changing formats, a rapid hardware release cycle, and a turbulent business climate, but one tool has weathered the change and has evolved into a staple of creativity in postproduction: Adobe After Effects. The evolution of After Effects has mirrored the progress of the rapidly expanding visual effects industry, inspiring many movie creators and catapulting careers of those working in visual effects, motion graphics, and animation. After Effects is used by Hollywood's elite VFX artists, including Rob Legato, Ben Grossman, Stephen Lawes, Andrew Kramer, Paul Graff, and many others. This year, After Effects celebrates its 20th anniversary. Every anniversary provides an opportunity to look back and reflect on accomplishments and to make bold plans for years to come. To this end, David Simons will help us take a look back at the developments in visual effects, while Steve Forde makes predictions about where he envisions the industry is heading. The Beginning: CoSA Twenty years ago, four young and ambitious Brown University graduates – Greg Deocampo, David Foster, David Herbstman, and I, David Simons – sat down with lawyers to incorporate The Company of Science and Art (CoSA), a small start-up in Providence, Rhode Island. The master plan was for CoSA to become a world-class content provider for the new electronic age. The basic premise of CoSA's business plan was to have artists and programmers working side-by-side to produce multimedia content. CD-ROM production was the first task. Since Macintosh computers were the most advanced multimedia platform at the time, we planned out a system for authoring electronic magazines using Apple's HyperCard and custom plug-ins. Microsoft Word RTF documents with hyperlink information were "flowed" into a multipage, multicolumn layout, with space for in-line advertisements. We decided to display our first CD-ROM, Connections: The CoSA Journal, at MacWorld Expo in Boston in order to showcase what the software could do. However, Connections was not a big success. As we later discovered, its abysmal performance was mainly caused by a certain extremely slow brand of CD-ROM drive we happened to use. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the slowness of the animations After Effects was used for the animated adaptation of Graham Chapman's memoir, Monty Python: A Liar's Autobiography – Monkeys video, animated by Mrs. & Mrs. 42 March/April 2013 CGW0313-T&T Adobepfin.indd 42 3/14/13 12:52 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - March/April 2013