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The Making of TANK

3461 ratings | 77659 views
Putting aside current 3D modeling techniques, Red Giant’s Chief Creative Officer Stu Maschwitz looked to the past and built a visual homage to vector arcade games of the 80’s entirely in Adobe After Effects, using math, code, and hundreds of hours of painstaking animation work. TANK tells the story of a team of pilots that must take on a weapon of mass destruction in a battle to save their world. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEdQ3mwyrQ4
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Text Comments (281)
You are absolutely crazy! And Tank is absolutely gorgeous !!!
Will Kozushko (7 days ago)
Mind. Blown. This is so wildly awesome that I can't decide if I should be inspired or discouraged. ;P What I can certainly relate to is the persistent need to "birth" things (or find ways to birth things) that are begging to get out of one's head.
Trance1999 (21 days ago)
Oh also.. in your VectorKit why did you decide to switch from the beam effect to shape layers?
Trance1999 (21 days ago)
Stu.. love the work on this. I'm really curious about your pull toy physics and how you did the expressions for that. You should build a sample project and stick it out on the proloststore. I'd pay for that.
Goodnight Rock (23 days ago)
This has to be one of the most insane, brilliant, and jaw dropping thing I have ever seen. This story needs to be in the motion graphic history books. A new level of respect has just been earned.
Gameweasel (1 month ago)
Stu, great job on this. I wish I had found this a month ago before I worked out my own version of the vector video game look for a video I did. For future projects I'll for sure be trying to learn some of these techniques. Lots of amazing techniques in here. Ignore the subject matter if you disagree and just look at the graphics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiZ8xwwycXA I created my 2d vector shapes in illustrator, brought those in to ae and converted them to shape layers. Then used the trim path to draw on and off the shapes. I also duplicated the layer and used trim paths with an expression to make the lines look continuiously drawing. The dots at the ends of the lines on mine were actual dots that I added on another layer with an add composite mode. And of course glows etc all around, and tweaking the opacity of each layer to tune it in. The dot art was designed in PS, autotraced in AE, and then revealed using gradients, fractal noise, mosaic, and limit effects.
Chan Kin (1 month ago)
This is Awesome!
HEROmation (1 month ago)
Yup, crazy... but the good kind of crazy that inspires us all. Well done Stu!
John Griffith (1 month ago)
Will you be my best friend?.....Also where did you get the sound effects?
Patrick Custo-Blanch (1 month ago)
I had no Idea that this level of aftereffects skill even existed ..... o.o I'm minddd blowwnnn
lDroxyy (1 month ago)
having a decent understanding of after effects, watching this is absolutely mind blowing. i can't begin to comprehend the struggle and difficulty of this project. this takes some real intelligence. so major props to you stu
Smokedoutmotions (1 month ago)
such a dope video
UNIRock2 (1 month ago)
i really like this, and hope i can do something like it someday. i try...
CallMeLum (1 month ago)
Holy shit! I've been using After Effects for YEARS and this is just... I hate this guy
mknayman (1 month ago)
I REALLY need more info on your 'booty delay' expression rig for the airplane flying. That is blowing my mind, and want to build something similar.
StanSmith (2 months ago)
Now i know how looks the True God of Adobe AE!
Christian Filippone (2 months ago)
This is way out of my league but its so impressive & inspirational to watch a master at work! Thanks for sharing Sir Stu Maschwitz.
eugene kerekere (2 months ago)
The sinking feeling of realising that I really don't know anything at all in After effects.
Never knew after effects had this much potential. I am just blown away. Holy moly. It takes a whole 1 day for my laptop to render out a simple animation.
Troy Guerrero (2 months ago)
EposVox (2 months ago)
Vasim Shaikh (3 months ago)
This is crazy, can only imagine what you could do without all these self imposed limitations.
cem gul (3 months ago)
what's that control surface above the keyboard?
Daniel DS (3 months ago)
I always thought I was the first to come up with 3D vectors for AE based on the .toComp expression and the beam effect. Has anyone used this to create curved surfaces? You're a rigging genius, BTW, and I have no idea how you managed to construct a 3D IK rig (I've tried). The film looks gorgeous and it's a helluva[n] achievement. Congratz!
Erian Trotland (3 months ago)
Cristian Guzmàn (3 months ago)
That was amazing !! thank you so much for sharing this process !! It is very inspiring :D Keep it up please :)
Jeroen Rommelaars (3 months ago)
Oh man, this is quite amazing. I downloaded the tutorial, and while it is setup very neatly - after completing it (which was very straight forward) I still have no clue how you create this from scratch. I tried playing around with the beam effect, but couldnt create a segment from scratch, nor do I have any idea how to get 3D parents in the effects window etc. Without possibly giving too much away, is there any chance you could enlighten us on how the very beginning of this was created? Like, a segment with its options?
FireDragon04 (3 months ago)
I would die happy if we could get a detailed long tutorial explaining how to set up the rig at 11:50 - it's incredible! Every attempt I've made to replicate it in Ae is just not working at all.
B.L. Alley (3 months ago)
Very cool. You and I seem to share the same drawing ability, relying on mechanical rather than artistic techniques. I also understand how satisfying it can be to finally use something you imagined in your youth. In the early 80's I scratch-built a model from PVC pipe and random model parts. It included lighting and multiple mounting points for filming, but I was never able to shoot it (in 1984 that would have been a very different and limited process for me). The model had to go when I went off to college, but a few years ago I needed a capital ship for one of my novels and decided to base it on that old kit-bash. Using 3D modeling I recreated it virtually and used it for both descriptions and blocking action within the story. I even created some basic fly-bys, finally realizing my dream of seeing it travel through space. You're not the only one who took a long time to complete a project. Well done.
DanceManAlex (3 months ago)
This is absolutely inspiring! Incredible work!
MBUD (3 months ago)
Absolute mad lad
Looks beautiful... insane amount of effort and complexity involved though! Probably would have been 10x quicker and easier to actually create it on original hardware haha!
Carver (3 months ago)
This video does a great job of making me never want to touch After Effects again.
devilhimself1974 (3 months ago)
My head is spinning. The guy is a damn genius.
Y2Kvids (3 months ago)
128 GB RAM.
Mike Macklin (3 months ago)
Awesome work, Stu! I love the 80s vector aesthetic, and your method recreates it so faithfully! Automated vehicle rigs are definitely pretty fun to make (I used maya for mine, but I'm more at home in AE). Keep being awesome!
MadeyKaro (3 months ago)
Thanks to the people of Your kind (struggling on different fields) mankind can pursue its patch of evolution, the true spirit of life is in the most unexpected and somehow craziest turnpoints that we take and accomplish! Thank You for this elaborate work of art and the passion that it depicts Mr Stu Maschwitz! :)
directive0 (3 months ago)
This is the greatest BTS video I've ever seen. Thank you so much for this.
Geoffrey Oltmans (3 months ago)
Amazing! Great job.
Adin Allen (3 months ago)
Absolutely marvelous!!
Richard Groves (4 months ago)
I didn't even know AE was capable of such things. Insane. Brilliant.
Silver Spoon (4 months ago)
>zero budget you have a PC, a sono, a MDR-V6, that's your budget. from now it's just time.
Diogo Almeida (4 months ago)
This is AWESOME!
Edgars Sprogis (4 months ago)
10:23 WHAT IS THAT??? omg you are god.
VARA 2 (4 months ago)
u r Great..!😮
Kelkschiz (4 months ago)
~mind boggled~
iCrazyBlaze (4 months ago)
You contributed to Star Wars? You're a legend man. Never knew that AE could basically be turned into a game engine. Me: So what did he do? Make models in Blender and put them in HitFilm? Use an auto tracker? 4:27 Oh Jesus, why!?
Clima3_ Games (4 months ago)
WTF!!! And I thought I was good on editing. This guy is crazy. I would like to be like him some day XD
George Loch (4 months ago)
DV Rebel and now this. Stu is a special kind of creative.
Matchoman (4 months ago)
Hey this is amazing some crazy work. I want to set up a rig similar to the plane. I have the movement working but how do I link the rotation of the object to the movement of the camera?
Eros Zanchi (4 months ago)
Holy moly.
Axel Forsman (4 months ago)
I can't help but think that this would have taken much less time if composited in something like Blender.
Philipp Zakrzewski (4 months ago)
This is true art Stu! I'm lost for words.
Steven Ladd (4 months ago)
Okay, I've got AE open, let's see if I can do some of this ... uh-huh, ok ... *closes AE*
the Dody (4 months ago)
This guy is a genius! I can't imagine spending so much time and effort on such a project - that's pure passion
MarCuseusFX (4 months ago)
about as incredible as it is insane :)
BattleBiscuit (4 months ago)
Is there a way to make a model template for the speeder and tank? would've saved you a lot of time.^^
neuemage (4 months ago)
LOL YES!! Ive started 100's of projects and finished like half lol
Fran Nixon (4 months ago)
Great work
neoqueto (4 months ago)
This is true to how 3D-space vertices used to be defined in the past.
JT Burg (4 months ago)
Quadrosync is dead. whyyyyyyyyyyyyy
RobtheDrummer (4 months ago)
15:27 Sadly, it looks like Quadro is no more. Very interesting looking app.
Andrew Novitsky (4 months ago)
Cool movie, and huge work but I would do it in a week in 3ds max :D
Daniel Lindholm (4 months ago)
Would love to rescore this clip as an exercise, sir.
Adraw Design (4 months ago)
i was trying to find my way out with a short movies i have created ..trying import and export files fro one programme to an other ...but this one really inspired me man !!!! thank you !! it's not crazy idea tho
GreyFang9 (4 months ago)
All I can say is, *MY **_GOD!_*
Akpe ododoru (4 months ago)
Wow thanks a lot dude, now i have to go edit my CV from "know how to use After effects" to "Know Jack Diddly Squat About Ater Effects" :D :D :D
tignesboy (4 months ago)
in the 80's you could have used the Vectrex games console with animaction cart! see this for example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc-gNWo2NoU
majkyl76 (4 months ago)
You're an absolute inspiration
Alex Kozliayev (4 months ago)
mad lad
Lyubomir Ikonomov (4 months ago)
Awesome short! The feel of mass, space and structure was sublime. And obviously this painful limitation... helped a lot to purify the outcome! :)
XxamorOo (4 months ago)
wow, i thought Andrew from video co pilot knows After Effect
Shawn Miller (4 months ago)
Stu... you are INSANE. Mad props... mad, mad, props.
Sasuke Uchiha (4 months ago)
I did not know that you can code in AE....... let alone do this
impylse (4 months ago)
my fuckin god, im speachless
Lurker1979 (4 months ago)
Man your crazy! lol. Me I would go into Modo and render wireframes or some sort of shader trick using 3d geometry.
Brae Nic Keen (4 months ago)
Dude so much talent, master of a epic visual effect, simple but complex. looks awesome and congrats so very well executed
Jacob Santos (4 months ago)
E_T_31 (4 months ago)
Well, THAT is awesome!
This is so epic!
Aakash khatu (4 months ago)
too bad i cant make this cause i dont have an old crt tv xD
squid_meter (4 months ago)
Dreams become real
Pesterenan (4 months ago)
MarcVFX - Marcus A. (4 months ago)
hahaha olha quem eu acabei de achar kkkkk, eae renan
toxibeet (4 months ago)
This is SO inspiring!
Alan Crytex (4 months ago)
I can't imagine myself making a rig as I'm struggling hardly with Math itself and only capable using basic expressions at the time.
Michael Fokias (4 months ago)
Quadro unfortunately stopped their app you used. I'd never heard of it until now, sounds like they just needed this exposure to keep their business up.
PistolShrimps (4 months ago)
Truly amazing!
sam krolik (4 months ago)
could you make a tutorial of this 2:29 , please?
PixelStrike Games (4 months ago)
This is incredible. Inspired beyond words.
PixelStrike Games (4 months ago)
Would love to use your Vector Kit for some trailer work! Thank you VERY much for providing it!
Peter Petermann (4 months ago)
Some people might call you crazy, but in my eyes what you did there makes you a hero.
Wurminator (4 months ago)
I would say "Just use Blender!" but I get it ^^
Joel Turner (4 months ago)
holy crap! this is insane! i can honestly say...mind blown
kabongpope (4 months ago)
Amazing! Brings back all those Battlezone memories lol :)
Flesh Forge (4 months ago)
Really amazing that you did all of this in AE, you have something really really wrong with you ;) The end results seriously look fantastic, very well done!
Aug24th (4 months ago)
You are sick!
mike kuhn (4 months ago)
Paul C (4 months ago)
If there was a way to travel through time using After Effects, Stu Maschwitz would find it.
Futuredave (4 months ago)
Good lord, the effort. I'll never complain about a simple keyframe animation being tedious ever again...
Intruder Studio (4 months ago)
Stu you are one of the Masters !!!, Does anyone know what device is the one that is in front of the keyboard with a lot of knobs ar 0:15 ???
ljbursac (4 months ago)
TANK is absolutely brilliant!!! And thank you very much for making "The Making of TANK"!!! So wonderful, so inspiring!

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