Video Production And Programming

I missed out on the big YouTube gathering on 07/07/2007 which appears to have been a lot of fun. I was made really sad by this because I could have meet a lot of my online friends that I’ve grown to known. These are very entertaining people that together form the sort of vibrant, fun, creative community that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. My real life community is so lame that they don’t even have an online forum or bulletin board system for the exchange of ideas. There is far less of a sense of community in my town than there is in the online community. However, I may be going to the National Book Festival in Washington DC on September 29th and I’m trying to get my online friends interested in meeting me there.

On 07/07/2007 I spent 14 hours straight studying just one chapter in my After Effects book, a long chapter on Masking. Im kind of bummed that I had to spend that much time just to cover one chapter but there were many examples to try out and I took extensive notes. Today I learned how to use JavaScript to script After Effects parameters, a feature known as After Effects Expressions. This allows you to use scripting instead of keyframes to animate objects. I also learned that you can script After Effects to automate the application using JavaScript. I was not aware of this capability because my book does not mention it. However it makes it possible to do some pretty neat things like programmatically create a large number of animated objects for some visual effects that would be extremely tedious to design.

I’m very interested in putting my programming skills to use in video production. So far I have only used the Stickam, LiveVideo, and YouTube APIs to create some minor things like web parts and portal widgets. But I would like to do some programming to automate the actual process of video production. After Effects appears to have greater potential for this then I realized.

I hope to take a certification exam on After Effects. That would really help me professionally because few programmers have an Adobe Certification. Of course, I would be better off passing an exam on Photoshop but After Effects is kind of like Photoshop for video and it has some of the same features. Being Adobe certified in video production could also lead to a more interesting line of work in the film industry.

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