Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects Plug-in Development Course on

I’m happy to announce, that this term I’m teaching plug-in development for Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects on fxphd. I’ll be covering the basics of C/C++ and Adobe After Effects SDK in a bit more detail, as well as GPU acceleration for Premiere. All these will be illustrated with a simple vignette effect that we are going to create during the course with the students. Believe it or not, any similarities to the very first effect that I wrote are coincidental.

I must admit that it is a bit of a challenge for me, as so far I have only done courses for post-production tools and concepts, and this is the first one which deals with actual programming. On top of that, this is not just simple JavaScript or Python, but a hard-core C and C++, which have its own share of tricky issues. I do have to really delve deep into my knowledge base, and at the same time I’m remembering and learning a lot myself.

I’m proud, and at the same time a bit scared, but the response has been very positive so far on several fronts. I’m on the edge of my comfort zone, and I definitely feel I’m growing. For this course I decided to forego my usual way – elaborating on my notes – and went for a full-fledged script. And it most definitely works, it’s not as unnatural as I was afraid it would be, and at the same time, not being a native speaker, I can’t imagine doing it the other way – the intricacies and subtlety of what I want to convey would have gotten lost in all my umms and unfinished sentences.

Interestingly, the number of edits I’m making when I put the recording together has not gone down much compared to my non-scripted courses and tutorials. And I constantly have to remind myself to slow down when reading. Well, there’s always room to grow, isn’t there?

As a side note, I absolutely love what is becoming with C++ in its C++11 and C++14 iterations. There are so many great ways to make your code readable and more effective, avoiding using the confusing constructs – the language becomes almost as easy to use as JavaScript. Of course, Adobe’s SDK sandbox is still mostly C and old C++, but I feel like I’m falling in love with C++ again.

Another interesting finding: when I was recording the 301 level Premiere Pro course for fxphd over two years ago, I did it mostly on OS X using IShowU. However, this time – since I love Visual Studio so much – I had to do some extensive search for a decent screen recording software on Windows. I tested five or six solutions, none of which was robust enough, and the only one which seemed to offer everything what I needed – and more – was Camtasia. However, the $250 price tag seemed a bit too excessive for my needs. Thankfully, just minutes before the final decision to shell out the required amount, I found Open Broadcaster Software, which turned out to be an Open Source cross-platform software giving me all I wanted, and even supporting nVidia-based hardware H.264 encoder. This really made my day, and I’m happy to say, that if you are in need for a screen recording software, be sure to check it out. It is now my default go-to tool on Windows. On OS X I use the system screen recording software supplied with QuickTime.

To wrap up this self-serving, narcissistic and introspective post, here’s the SYS204 course curriculum link again. The first classes are already out, but you can enrol anytime before April (though I hope the interest will be there for reruns or maybe even on-demand access). I also recommend checking other courses that fxphd has to offer, as I can without any hesitation say, that they have been my gateway into the world of visual effects. It’s an honour to be part of the great panel of instructors and to give back to this community.

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13 Responses to Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects Plug-in Development Course on

  1. Jan Riedel says:

    Hey Bart,
    how difficult is it to code a plugin in Pr CC which enables a Mackie Midi Controller to control the Lumetri Effects?!
    I would bet a bunch of people would say “Whooo!” if they where able to use a simple Midi Controller like the X-touch mini for grading…
    I would give it a try but last time I was coding in C was decades ago… :-/
    Best regards from Germany,
    PS: There is a plugin for Lightroom MIDI2Lr which rather does the same for pictures. I asked the developer if it’s possible in Pr also:!topic/midi2lr/CDA7QeIxamg

    • BartW says:

      Currently it’s impossible. Control surfaces plugins are at the moment available only for audio automation.

  2. Christiaan says:

    Zac Lam from Adobe wrote me today that it Can be done in C and C++ but it is not an easy task.

  3. BartW says:

    Terrific. Looks like some changes to SDK that have not yet been published.

  4. Christiaan says:

    I just got this from the adobe website:

    Control Surface Support for Lumetri Color

    Lumetri panel grading controls can now be mapped to control surface devices (such as Tangent Devices – Elements/Wave/Ripple).

    Third-party control surfaces are also supported by installing a plug-in from third-party websites.

  5. Christiaan says:

    So… Do you know anyone willing to build the Adobe Premiere Pro Communitiy a plugin that accepts standard midi interfaces and sends it to Lumetri?
    The Behringer X Touch Mini looks great to work with…

    • BartW says:

      I know you have somebody in mind 😉 Unfortunately, I am buried up to my ears in work, and this is not even on my radar for the next half a year. You might consider asking on the Adobe Premiere SDK forum, if you have not already.

  6. Mrigendra Sharma says:

    Hey Bart,
    I am thinking of creating a plugin for after effects in my final year project.
    I am new to plugin development and gonna start my plugin very soon.
    I have experience in C and C++ and know after effects well and have downloaded the sdk and envision it to be like a Lightning Plugin.
    I want to know whether the sdk and your tutorial videos would be sufficient enough to create a plugin of my own within 3 months?
    And is choosing plugin development a wise topic to choose for project since i am doing it alone?

    • BartW says:

      Yes, the fxphd course will let you get up to speed relatively quickly. The only thing missing from the Lighting plugin would be a custom UI, which might take a moment to grasp. FWIW, I was also alone when I started writing my own plugin, so I don’t think you need a team for these simple tools.

  7. Chris B says:

    Hey, we just shot on the RED Epic Weapon and had issues with “spanned clips”. We ended up stitching longer shots together in post production. Not fun. Do you know if they have fixed this?
    Capitola Media LLC
    901 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
    Video Production San Francisco

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