Download Ancient Temple Matte-Painting Assets

Download ancient temple matte-painting assets here

We have uncovered a collection of ancient structure assets for your VFX and matte-painting projects.

With several different lighting angles, such as overcast and sunny. These effects are built to match your footage without any hassle!

All of our Free users can access these high-quality graphics, which all have been built with scalability in mind, so whether it’s a tight shot or a wide angle, your VFX will blend in realistically. Pro users can download these at full-resolution (4K)!

You can combine these with our apocalyptic overhanging-vine and destruction graphics to blend the temple into your scenery, giving the appearance that the abandoned temple has been left there for centuries.

If you’re interested in creating your own, we have a special new category of 3D ancient structure assets! These are perfect for your game level designs, 3D renders and VFX! But we’ll get into the full power of these 3D assets in a future article.

Want to know more about our GraphicsCrate library of thousands of matte-painting VFX goodies? Check out our apocalypse effects!

Destroy a Plane Wing with VFX!

In just two minutes, this quick video will take you through the steps we took to create an epic plane breakup shot!

Whether you’re producing a disaster movie, or want to try to create your own CG viral video, now you’ll know where to start when creating these effects.

The tools we used included 3ds Max and Adobe After Effects, though you can reproduce all of the steps in any other 3D/compositing program of your choice, whether that is Blender or Hitfilm.

For this Davesplanation, we made use of:

Enjoy!

 

 

Building the best computer for VFX Work

In my day-to-day, I interact with many different types of artists, who have vastly different technological needs. They constantly ask “How can I best configure my personal computer for VFX like the one I have at work?”

Here’s a quick guide to figuring out what kind of computer you really need to edit and render visual effects, so your personal system is as powerful as your work setup.

Q: I love Apple, I think it’s great for creative work. Which Mac do you recommend?

A: Yes, Macs are powerful. Do you have $18k for a brand new, fully loaded iMac Pro? The last time the Apple Mac Pro line was updated was seven years ago in 2012.  That lack of refresh support does not bode well for cutting edge approaches.

I love Apple, but it’s hard to recommend putting so much money down when you can get equivalent or better processing power elsewhere. For maximum power, scalability and most reasonable price you’ll want to look into a stable and upgradable Windows 10 machine. (I see you Linux folks, but that’s another article.)

Q: Okay, Windows 10. What about a beefy Windows laptop? Would that work?

A: Those Microsoft Surface Pro commercials are misleading. Unless you are exclusively doing still image, environment or 2D Character design work, you might find your laptop struggling to do more complex operations. If touchscreen with pen capability is essential, look at a tablet/screen combo from Wacom, or if you’re more adventurous try the Chinese made XP-PEN. If a laptop is a must, look into an Alienware, but beware the limitations of render power on laptops.

Q: I just want to buy a computer. What should I look for?

If you want tried and true with good support, go with a Dell or HP configuration. You can buy them with parts replacement and warranty, which will definitely come in handy.

When shopping, look for the following specifications:

  • Window 10 Professional
  • An Intel i9 processor (3.5Ghz or higher) with 8, 16 or 32 cores
  • A decent GPU accelerated video card (more on this later)
  • Minimum of 32 GB of ram
  • A primary SSD, and secondary SSD for render scratch something like an M.2 NVMe. I recommend the Samsung 970 EVO. Having an NVMe is especially useful if you’re doing high-resolution texture work and are baking textures in Substance Painter or a similar program.

What Computer Hardware do I need for my VFX Workstation?

Q: When do I need a specialized video card? How do I best render?

The Million Dollar question! Off the shelf video cards will not do the heavy lifting you need them to do. Even a beefed up desktop with lots of CPU still can struggle with rendering. A specialized video card that uses an onboard GPU (graphics processing unit) is required to best take advantage of the ability to render large files quickly.

Answer two key questions:

  • What is your primary artist application and use? Are you creating and manipulating 3D objects In Maya (or other similar program) that will be animated? Are you creating simulations in Houdini? Are you comping in Nuke?
  • What render engine do you want to use with that program? You’ll want to consider what rendering engine (v-ray, redshift, etc.) Each render engine has pros and cons so read-up and find out what makes sense for what you are trying to do.

Q: Great, now I know which programs I’m working in, and I know what render engine I’d like to use. So, which GPU accelerated video card should I get?

After you decide which render engine you are using, now is time to select an appropriate video card.

The first place to start is always the manufacturer website. They almost always have lists of tested and supported video hardware. For example, Maya’s “Certified Graphics Hardware” lists will give a break down for every version of Maya. Remember, if the video card is not listed, then it is not supported.  

An open secret in VFX is that sometimes you can use a powerful consumer video card marketed towards gamers. The Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Ti, is billed as a card for 4k gaming, but it’s actually a reasonable choice for GPU acceleration without the premium price tag.

Now that you have a better idea of what you need, go out there and put together something awesome!

 

Crate’s Free Text Animator script for After Effects! (Download)

Download the Crate’s Text Animator script for After Effects here

All ProductionCrate members can now download the exciting Text Animation script for free!

This exciting addition to the range of tools gives you the power to create fun animations for your text – with a single click.

With 25 hand-made presets to choose from, you’ll never run out of a fresh way to liven up your videos, commercials or presentations! The presets include glitches, fly-ins, slides, spins and more.

Without the script, to create a text animation graphic in After Effects, you may spend hours manually adjusting countless keyframes and meticulously modifying their speed, opacity, motion blur and many other parameters. This script puts an end to the suffering, doing all of the work for you within seconds!

To give you even more control, our script creates a Null object that contains adjustable parameters, so you can tweak your design to perfection even after generation.

Let’s take a look at the After Effects script:

Free Crate's Text Animator script for After Effects! (Download)

 

 

Choose Animation – This opens up the range of presets that you can choose from.

Eye Icon – Generate a preview that helps you see what the animation looks like.

Text – Enter what you want to be displayed!

Preset Parameters – Once you’ve selected a template, a number of sliders will appear that lets you customize each preset to meet your expectations. These are also accessible through the Null object that is generated with the preset.

Create New Comp – Enabling this creates the new text in a new composition. Disabling will generate the text in your selected composition.

Preview All – A handy tool that creates a grid previewing all the available presets

Create – Once you’re happy with your settings, hit this and let the script make your text come to life!

 

 

The script has been built to balance simplicity with function, so whether you’re a Vlogger wanting to spice up your editing skills, or are building a title card for a blockbuster movie, this script is for you!

Crate's Text Animator script for After Effects! (Download)

To install the script, extract the files from the download, and drop both the “Crate’s Text Animator.jsx” and “images” folder into your After Effects > Scripts folder. You then can run the script by heading through File -> Scripts -> Crate’s Callout Script.jsx.

We’re excited to see what you create with this script! If you’re interested in our other After Effects scripts, extensions and plugins, check out this page here. 

 

Pro Showcase – Carlos Milite

Welcome to the Newsroom Carlos! What can you tell us about yourself and the work you do?

I’ve been making short films since I was 14. I love what I’m doing and I do it with passion. My love for art is what keeps me going. I’m as fascinated as frightened by the world I narrate. I’ve recently become a self-taught VFX artist, I’ve studied visual effects to be able to cover as many roles as possible inside of a movie production since I always try making new short films without the backing of sponsorship and with little to no budget.

As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, maybe a firefighter, perhaps a pilot… basically what every other kid wanted too! As teenager I thought about being a medic, or a policeman or even a lawyer: but then, a sudden flash of inspiration – I understood that none of those jobs would have fitted me, I liked all of them, but all in the same way, I realized I didn’t like the jobs themselves but rather, the way movies depict them. I understood that I would have been satisfied only by bringing to life all of these jobs, all of those ideas and thoughts, nothing would have fitted me more than the job that creates it all.

The pleasure of leaving beautiful and strong memories inside of people’s hearts is the thing that makes me want to tell my stories. Being an artist is a duty to the soul.

You’ve had quite a bit of experience in the past- what has been the most insane (or fun) project of your career?

I had so many fun experiences in my career but surely the most insane was the most recent one: my fantasy short film “Shine” shot with only 550 euros. That required 6 months of work.

I obviously used many ProductionCrate assets including the wizard magic VFX and skull clouds, lots of dust and particle effects such as lighting, fire etc and even some mountains from GraphicsCrate for matte painting. Matte painting is the thing I love to do the most.

There are basically no productions in Italy that would be willing to support and provide a decently high budget for sci-fi or fantasy movies, so I decided to make this short film to prove that there are many young artists out there who are able to work and produce high-quality content with a budget as low as 550 euros.

What software do you use most often in your projects?

I like After Effects a lot and it’s so sad that the cinema industry doesn’t use it very often for compositing.

I think that the tool doesn’t make the artist, after all, the final results are important, not how you get there, that’s why I think any artist should be allowed to use any program they may please. 🙂

How has ProductionCrate helped you in the past? Is there a favorite category you regularly visit?

ProductionCrate was a great discovery. It totally changed my workflow and spurred me into improving myself. Actually, I’ve been improving my VFX skills only recently, it’s been around 10 months now since I’ve started getting some actually good results and it’s also thanks to ProductionCrate that inspired me to do great stuff especially on matte paintings. ProductionCrate’s assets opened my mind. I like the GraphicsCrate category, but to be honest I like pretty much all of them.

Pro Showcase - Carlos Milite

If you had an unlimited budget and all the time in the world, what creative project would you embark on?

Like I said before I’ve always had very little budget for all my project but what I realized is that I am ready to direct a movie from start to finish and if I really had an unlimited budget I would direct More that one movie but they would all be sci-fi, because I want to re-evaluate science-fiction in my country; for some of them I already have the basic concept down.

Do you have any projects you are currently working on?

I recently completed my short film Shine. I plan on shooting a sci-fi almost entirely in CGI but for now, I haven’t done anything other than the script

I’ve been hired as VFX supervisor for a film here in Italy and for some time I will dedicate myself to that

Pro Showcase - Carlos Milite

Is there any advice you can give to VFX artists just starting there career?

Many ask me where I’ve studied and how much time does it take to master VFX skills. Less than a year ago I knew close to nothing about advanced compositing and 3D. I started studying the works of VFX artists who were much better than me, through tutorials on youtube and I didn’t attend any VFX school; I was simply lucky enough to be born in the internet era.

Only a year ago I didn’t even know the basic of camera tracking!

I spent days and nights practising, I was really close to losing my mind but in the end, I realized that the only way to improve oneself is to keep a curious and always very self-critical attitude. The advice I can give is to never give up even if everything seems difficult; study and apply what you have learned and don’t forget to use the program you are most comfortable with.

I think that in VFX you never stop discovering new things so you should never stop; For all of this, a passionate willing is needed.

Pro Showcase - Carlos Milite

 

What to do at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters)

Every industry has its yearly, go-to event, a time when the movers and shakers convene on the new-ness of talent or product.

In comics: Comicon. For VFX and computer graphics: Siggraph.  Gaming: E3. Consumer electronics: CES. I could go on — But have you ever heard of NAB?

The National Association of  Broadcasters trade show was once nothing more than a broadcast technology showcase for industry insiders. Now billed as “the ultimate event for media, entertainment and technology professionals looking for new and innovative ways to create, manage, deliver and monetize content on any platform,” NAB is all grown up.  

NAB has become a clearinghouse for technology ideas and an excellent venue to connect with peers on emerging video and film-related technologies. If you’ve never been, it’s actually something very special. For one lone April week in Las Vegas, Nevada, NAB becomes its own city, with an Olympic pavilion type feel throughout.

Never been to NAB? Here are the things you should do:

Go with purpose

The most effective NAB outings are missions in problem-solving. Why are you here? Remember mise en place? Now is a great time to plan for opportunities coming down the pike. Maybe your company needs to look at investing in a new studio space and gear for an emerging e-sports requirement, or maybe new cameras. Either way, you should seek out information to validate or disprove a workflow idea you may have about gear for your production.  And even though NAB is a trade show, it’s still a great time to talk to your peers about how they plan to do things, too! Speaking of…

NAB is an amazing networking opportunity

Through my years of attending NAB, I’ve come to meet and know people from throughout the US and the world.  Year after year, I am able to visit with artists, VPs of sales, to creative directors, to technology consultants, from all over

Looking for someone with a unique skillset? You’ll likely find someone who knows someone. Ask around. Be sure to bring business cards. Yes, it’s old school, but it’s really reliable and a tangible reminder for your new contacts of your meeting.

I recommend finding some of the more diverse organizations and their networking events. There are countless meetups both officially sanctioned and impromptu for every corner of our industry. Just google “NAB Meetup” to see.

If all else false, just strike up a conversation. Everyone is wearing their badge with their name and company. It’s amazing who you might see walking around if you pay close enough attention.

Evaluate gear / Demo the hype / Talk to the manufacturers

As with every trade show, there’s quite a bit of marketing hype. NAB is a time when manufacturers of cameras, storage, and workflow tools put out press releases about their latest offering. Marketing does not equal capability of a delivered product. NAB is often the very first public roll out of a new product. This means hands on time. If you are evaluating a specific piece of gear for your organization (say a video switcher for an e-sports broadcast) researching it at NAB is an excellent choice! You’ll see it set-up, you can observe it’s functionality in person versus reading a white paper (boring!)

There’s a high likelihood product managers, engineers, and designers are at the manufacturer booth to field specific questions. Bonus points if you email and schedule time ahead. After all, that’s why all these companies are here at this trade show. They have paid for the space and want to get you talking. They want to answer your specific questions and showcase their solutions. Take advantage. You’ll never get this much consultation in a single room in LA.

Do the conferences. Expand horizons and learn new techniques

Some people treat NAB as a time to learn exclusively. It all depends on the role you play in an organization. When the engineers and the IT guys wander the exhibition floor, the artists and creative directors might find a quiet place in a pavilion to talk workflow. Or maybe the production folks are here to see that big Hollywood director and his DP and the camera maker talk about how they made “that shot” for this year’s Oscar contender.

From content strategy to technology there really is a session for everyone. If you work in or touch any part of the funnel of video – there is a session for you.

Like this one for example, which we need more of (!) “Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: Fixing Post with Communication: Filmmaking is a team sport and communication is everything, yet departments within post tend to exist in “silos” with little effort spent or time permitted to understand the needs of others downstream.

What to do at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters)

Check out the competition

NAB is an excellent time to look at the way people are building their solutions. If you work in media production it is not surprising how quickly a new approach can change the game.

In the marketplace of ideas, it is always instructive to see how others are handling technology for a creative process. When a new technology hits, there are usually 3 or 4 players that are trying to sell the idea on “right way.” Go check everything out so you can make a truly informed decision before you invest time or money.

Bring Clients or potential clients, schedule to meet them on the floor!

You’d be surprised how much impact you can make by scheduling time for an in person meeting, in a different city, with someone you’d like to do business. Even if that person lives down the street. Without exaggeration, I have lived and worked 10 miles away from clients, but was only able to carve out the time and solution when we got together at NAB. People are busy. But when NAB comes around they literally clear the calendars for this entire week to explore business opportunity, meet and learn. Use this to your advantage; don’t just wander the exhibition floor aimlessly.

Plan for long days, schedule pillars, but know when to switch gears.

Sneakers, extra socks? Have a battery backup for your phone? Water? Great! Self-care is an extremely important part of getting the most out of your NAB. It might seem silly at first, but if you build an itinerary and schedule your morning you’ll be able to pace walking the entirety of two exhibition halls, and any meetings you might schedule.  Don’t stand for 18 hours if you don’t have to.

Connect with a technology consultant (like me!)

This is a lot of information and you don’t have to go it alone. It’s okay to delegate some of the information gathering and synthesis of next steps to a technology consultant who can introduce you and your team to more complex approaches while distilling down the noise. Ask your technology consultant to help you meet and connect with people at NAB, they likely have a rolodex of people from their time in the industry and can help you connect the dots and come up with solutions that work.  Be aware, some people charge for their time and connection. Be clear about what kind of engagement you need and what they are offering.

Make the Vegas nightlife work for you

There is a culture of working dinners at NAB.  Many continue their learning, exploration and work into the evening hours until work segues into nightlife. Las Vegas has a way of making all this seem glorious – but don’t over do it on night one –  I’ve seen countless brilliant panel members muddle through their Monday morning panels. Yeah it’s exciting and this is fun, but not if you have a migraine.

Ultimately NAB is an expansive event that has something for everyone in the industry. If you’ve never been, or it’s your tenth time, what are you waiting for?  NAB starts this Saturday! Take a look the schedule.

 

Create Callouts for Free in After Effects (Script Download)

Creating callouts for your video can often be a complicated and time-consuming process, though all that is about to change…

We’ve created a free powerful script for Adobe After Effects that can do all the work for you in seconds: Crate’s Callouts!

Download the Free Callout Script here.

 

Callouts are the small infographic labels that overlay a video, highlighting an important feature to inform the viewer of a name, statistic or the anatomy of a seal:

Create Callouts for Free in After Effects (Script Download)

The script is packed with a huge bundle of presets, all fully customizable and ready for you to composite onto your video. This means that if you work for an organization or run a YouTube channel, you will be able to match the branding by adjusting the colours of the templates with one click!

To get started, you’ll need to first use a Null object to mark the position of what you want to be featured by the callout. The best part about this script is that it can be completely animated, so if you need the callout to follow a moving subject then this is the script for you.

Create Callouts for Free in After Effects (Script Download)

For the next step, we’ll need to install our script. Extract the files from the download, and drop both the “Crate’s Callout Script.jsx” and “images” folder into your After Effects > Scripts folder You then can run the script by heading through File -> Scripts -> Crate’s Callout Script.jsx.

Now let’s take a look at what features we have at our disposal:

Create Callouts for Free in After Effects (Script Download)

 

 

 

 

 

Arrows: Navigate through the presets to find the one you want.

 

Track Layer: Select the Null object you want the callout pointer to follow.

Title + Subtitle: Here’s where you input the text you want to be displayed.

Animation direction: Which way would you like the callout to come in from?

Color tools: Adjust the look of the preset to match your brand.

Smart Color Change: This nifty feature will automatically adjust any other colours that can be controlled to match your theme.

In/Out: What period (in seconds) do you want the callout to be on screen?

Base Point/Outline: Control the shape of the feature mark.

 

F: Click this to open up the text composition after creation, so you can adjust the font manually.

 

Once you’re happy with all the settings, hit “Create”, and you’ll save hours of time while the script creates your dream callout card within seconds!

Each preset has been carefully designed animated to give it the most professional appearance possible, helping you increase your production value at no extra cost!

If you want to control and customise the callout card after it has been generated, that is no problem! There will be a control null generated in your main composition window, clicking on this will reveal all of the various colour settings that you can adjust instantly in the effects window.

We’re excited to see how you make use of these free After Effects callout presets. If you’re interested in how else you can boost your workflow, take a look at our Lower Thirds script.

Create Callouts for Free in After Effects (Script Download)