Lensfeed is now discontinued
The product has been in an unsatisfying state for a long time now. It was lacking
proper support for current camera APIs and was also lacking in terms of usability.
It has always been a hack into a program that does not support what this plugin tried to achieve.
The architectural changes in After Effects 2015 break this hack and it can't be fixed easily.
The idea for this plugin seemed like a good one at the time but was never implemented
with great enough care to be really successful. I do have some idea of what it should be like
and maybe some day I'll come around to do that. But I'll be in a process of consolidation
for some time.
If you are generally interested in an up to date modern version drop me a line so have an idea
if there is actually interested. This page will stay up until the eventual site redesign.
If there is any interested from people wanting to use the current version in older
After Effects versions let me know and I'll provide a version without demo watermarks.
What it does
Lensfeed shows a camera's live preview inside After Effects. No still frames but a moving live feed!
Lensfeed is implemented as regular After Effects filters so the livefeed is
displayed inside compositions and can can be treated like regular footage.
What it is good for
This tool comes in handy to optimize shots for compositions. Especially to adjust
green- or bluescreen scenes to existing footage.
Using Lensfeed you can match perspective and lighting to achieve believable setups.
And since all the effects can be applied to the live footage it's possible to optimize
it for the keying tools used. This helps creating higher quality footage and in
reducing the work on the actual composition later.
How it works
After Effects was not made with moving live footage in mind. So implementing it
was a bit tricky. Lensfeed consists of effect plugins that render the current image
from the camera to the composition and a general After Effects plugin that makes it animate.
This second plugin unfortunately only works in After Effects. So in other hosts there will
only be single non animated frames. Possibly there will be solutions for those in the future.
On set with a notebook attached to a DV camera
setting up the composition
Because of the fact that After Effects is not prepared for such a plugin there are
some issues. First of all the frame rate is lower than in other applications dealing
with live feeds or capturing. That will improve in the future however.
But it is good to fulfill it's purpose anyway.
And there are some problems that result from the compositing being permanently updated.
The cursor for instance does no longer change it's look when hovering
over gui elements. Or text effect prompts are closed as soon as they are being opened.
However, it does not really get in the way of how to use the plugin and
as soon as the feed is stopped everything is back to normal.
live and kicking
Lensfeed in action on a badly lit scene