Here’s a review of Newton 3 by Lewis McGregor
To some extent, Newton 3 reminds me of an open-world video game where the player’s choices can alter what will happen at any given time. While there’s usually a direct start and endpoint for many effects within After Effects, with Newton 3, you can obtain a new result, and thus a new animation, on an infinite scale. I don’t try to be stubborn with my reviews, but I most definitely won’t gloss over the downfalls of a product.
But with Newton 3? I’m just not seeing it. To import several shapes, apply real-world physic simulations with a click of a button, and then render them within a few seconds is a game changer for me. I can’t picture when I wouldn’t use this plugin for most future animations. I’ve had Newton bookmarked for so long that the original bookmark refers to the older version of the plugin. I can only wonder how great my previous videos could have been if I had purchased the plugin sooner.
You can read the full review here: https://www.rocketstock.com/blog/newton-3-ultimate-ae-plugin-review/
Lewis also did a great tutorial: “10 Minute Crash Course: Newton 3 After Effects Plugin” of Premiumbeat.
You may know that you can use Adobe Illustrator files with Newton for Adobe After Effects. You can do this by using different techniques like converting them into shape layers.
It’s important to know that the more your objects are complex, the slower your simulation will be.
Also, you won’t get better results if you use complex objects in your simulation. And by complex, we mean plenty of path vertices and detailed Bezier curves.
So, what are the best practices?
Use a mask
You can apply a mask to your Illustrator layer so Newton can interpret its outline correctly.
You can also use the auto-trace function of Adobe After Effects.
If you copy/paste the path from Illustrator, you should use before the “Simplify” and “Cleanup” function in Illustrator to have the most optimized shape.
Note that here, what’s inside the robot has been removed since we don’t need it for the simulation. The mask only cover the outline of the artwork.
Converting your Ai files to shape layers
You can convert your Ai file to shape layers.
But be sure to ONLY send to Newton what’s needed. You can simply hide the path or the groups that you don’t want to use in Newton and unhide them after the simulation is complete.
In this example, mouth and eyes are not needed for the simulation and will be unhidden after the simulation is complete.
Also, always try to simplify the transformation applied to your shapes. In most cases it is recommended to have the inner transform of a shape (transform properties of groups for example) set to the default values and use layer’s transform instead.
Watch for self-intersecting shapes!
Newton prevents to load shapes and masks that have self-intersecting path or orphan vertex. It will warn you if one of the paths cannot be correctly interpreted. You’ll then have to manually modify it.
Be careful when working with paths created using tools like the cutter tool in Ai!
Creating proxy version
of your objects
Best pratice to use complex Ai vectors is to replace them by a less complex version of them and simply parent them to the original ones.
Just like in this breakdown.
So, you have upgraded to the last version of macOS 10.5 Catalina. But suddenly when you launch After Effects you get that message that tells you that you cannot run Newton.
Now, the bad news: support has been dropped for Newton2.
The good news, you can still use it with macOS 10.5 Catalina, here’s how!
→You can use aescripts manager to install it and register
→Or you can go to your security preferences into macOS to allow Newton2 to run it (more info here):
– You have to launch Adobe After Effects and macOS will say that Newton2 is not signed.
-Go to your security preference.
-MacOS will ask you if you want to run Newton2.
-Click Open Anyway
Note that if you have the same message with Newton3, you just need to download and update to the last version.
Or you can upgrade Newton and get up-to-date features!
Remember the amazing “Textless” short by Gareth Smith & Jenny Lee?
Well, here’s our own tutorial that recreates the workflow to achieve this amazing effect where the content of a sign is falling drove by physics.
We are going to use Adobe After Effects, Mocha AE to track the sign and Newton3 for the physic simulation. Adobe Illustrator to vectorize the artwork and Adobe Photoshop to clean up the sign using the content aware tool.
That’s a lot of tools for an amazing result. But don’t worry, everything is going to be quite easy to do.
“Textless” by Gareth Smith & Jenny
If you need more in depth about the tracking with Mocha AE, check the great tutorial of Mark Christiansen at School Of Motion:
Link to the video used in this tutorial .
Get Rift for Adobe After Effects: https://aescripts.com/rift/
Music: Otis McDonald.
Want to ask something? Contact us!
Our friends from Motion Café invited us on their show to talk about our history, our products and do some demos. Finally, we had so much to say that we did 2 shows!
In the first we talked a lot about our history and Newton. Valentin was able to come back to the genesis of this product, show a little moment of history with the first video made with it and also the first version of our tool. We also have show more technical things as well as tips.
(Video is in french but you can use the subtitles option to translate it)
You can find these videos on the Motion Café Youtube channel.
- Fixed conflict with some Mocha-related extra plug-ins
- Fixed numerous bugs with shape layers (including anchor point issues, incorrect interpretation of rotated shape)
- Fixed bug with layers having 0%-scale at t=0
- Fixed bug with Desired Length property of spring joint
- Completely rewritten shape layers code (shape transform properties are now correctly interpreted)
- Adjusted GUI appearance to better match latest AE versions
- Updated internal GUI library (from Qt4.8 to Qt5.6)
- Tabbed docks/panels can now be moved by group (when multiple docks are nested)
- UI Theme option removed (in prefs dialog)
- Added new preference for Comp Bounds color
- Added warning message when the scene contains a lot of polygons (> 2000), that suggests to use the Use Convex Hull option
- Replaced all dashed lines in the preview with solid lines (selected bodies and joints, gravity tool)
- Added an informative message above the preview to inform the user when Newton is loading settings
- Updated documentation
- Added CC 2015, CC 2015.3 compatibility
Dropped support for AE CS5 and AE CS5.5
System requirements: mostly the same as the system requirements for AE CS6.
CS6 being the oldest supported version. On Mac: OSX 10.7 and later. On Windows: Windows 7 and later
Platform Specific Changes
Mac OS X
- Dropped support for OSX 10.6. OSX 10.7 or later is required.
- Added a setup for installing the plug-in and all required components
This update is FREE, you can download it from aescripts.com/newton
We are happy to announce that we’ve updated Newton to version 2.1!
- Settings are not tight to a composition anymore! We added a Load Settings dialog that allows you to choose between layerID (AE internal identifier, comp specific), layer index or layer name, when importing settings file. In previous versions only layerID was used.
- Randomizer: Allows you to randomize the value of mostly any settings in Newton.
- Copy/Paste body settings
- Copy/Paste joint settings
- Loads of bug fixes
The complete list of change can be found on Newton2’s product page on aescripts “version history”.
You can download the update from aescripts.com/newton
Tutorial : Balloons with Newton2
The final product:
Music: “Against My Will” by The Fisherman
You can download the AEP with Newton2’s settings (CS6 and above) here.
In this example, I wanted to illustrate the Gravity Scale feature in Newton2, and how we can use it to simulate flying balloons that interact with their environment.
Gravity Scale allows you to set a custom gravity per body.
I’ve used Connect Layers to represent the ropes attached to the balloons.
There’s no “Flying in the air” option in Newton, but you can somehow make objects fly if you use a negative Gravity Scale value!
You need to tweak some parameters to make it look correct: for instance, balloons have lower density and higher bounciness coefficient. I’ve also increased the Linear Damping value to fake air resistance.
To add a sense of depth in the animation, I’ve used the Collision Group feature: the pink and green balloons collide with each other, but ignore the orange balloon. The little squares that simulate the ropes can only collide with the walls.
I’ve animated the hand graphics using AE’s Motion Sketch. I wanted the ropes to start from a unique point, but animated freely when the hand releases them. I’ve simply parented the start point of 2 ropes to the animated one. Then in Newton, I’ve chosen the Kinematic body type for all start points. At the end of keyframes animation, when bodies become dynamic, ropes move independently!
Creating the ropes was made easy by the use of the Rope feature of Connect Layers. You just need to select the reference objects, and hit Rope.
One common mistake is to forget to place the anchor point of your objects to the desire place, where the rope must pass through. You usually think about this after creating the keyframes in Newton. To solve this, create a null object, place it appropriately, and parent it to the reference object. Then choose the null instead of the reference object for creating the rope.