May 25, 2015
Introducing Digieffects Video Wall
by Chris Heuer
Place your footage in a comp or Pre-Comp, apply Video Wall, set your grid size (how many rows & columns), then fill the wall with the video in your comp. This can be done manually where you control exactly which screen in the wall each clip is placed or you can use one of two Auto-fill options.
Then tweak to your heart’s content with easy to use settings like Global Scale, Aspect Ratio of the screens in the wall, Gap between screens, Alignment, Transform and Frames & Borders. Many of these settings have a random slider control to help make duplicates less obvious.
The plug-in handles many video layers without slowing down performance. The layer with Video Wall applied can be promoted to 3D and works with AE cameras and lights.
All of your images need to be the same aspect ratio or they get squeezed to fit the aspect you select in the settings.
I would love to see 3D integrated within the plug-in so each screen in the wall could be transformed in true 3D space.
This plug in actually compares well against similar products. The script Layers2Grid creates a similar effect, but all of the layers/screens are still separate in AE. You’d need to parent them all to a null to move them as a group. The one benefit with that is each layer could be made 3D which give you more options when using lighting and cameras.
Pro Wall (for FCPX only) does very professional, complex, multiscreen animations and walls, but the setup is incredibly technical and one mistake results in video freezing. You also are stuck choosing from a list of Presets (no custom user setups). The final animations look great but you’d better like the presets because that’s what you get!
Similarly, Image Flow (for FCPX, Motion and AE) is a preset based system. This one is more flexible/tweakable because you can add movies, images and text to the preset. You can also mask layers with preset masks or import your own custom masks. For best performance, all of your images/video should be resized to something close to your projects dimensions which can require a separate batch processing step.
All three products can work, but all require a bit more time to learn how to use. Video Wall is fast and easy!