Battle Axe Support

A lot of the things that get asked about sales, tools and learning.
Still need help? support@battleaxe.co

General/Sales - RubberHose - Overlord

 

General/Sales

Missing license key/download

Head to gumroad.com/library or look through your email for the original receipt email for the download link. Can’t find your download? Email support@battleaxe.co with your download email.

Refunds

Just send your purchasing email to support@battleaxe.co. Everyone has different ways of working and if one of these tools doesn’t work for you it’s better to find something that does.

Trial versions

It’s a little difficult for one person to manage updates on full and limited versions so there are no free trials. If a tool doesn’t work for you then just ask for a refund. Happy to get that for you.

Can I have an invoice?

Upon completion of the purchase, you will receive a receipt email with a link to generate an invoice. It will be from gumroad.com and their emails sometimes get flagged as spam. If you can’t find that, email support@battleaxe.co.

VAT refund

Gumroad is the company who does the credit card processing and has to charge VAT but will issue a refund. Article here.

Gumroad wont take my payment

Stripe supports certain countries but if your’s isn’t on the list try paying directly through PayPal and email support@battleaxe.co for a download code. This gets you in the system to be notified about future updates but skips the Gumroad payment screen.

Install on 2 machines

Similar to the Creative Cloud license, you may install on two machines that are being used by a single user.

Payment issues

Unfortunately, all payment issues are handled directly by Gumroad and I don’t have much access to individual payment info. Reach out to support@gumroad.com. They're usually really quick to respond.

End User License Agreement

Overlord EULA
RubberHose 2 EULA


RubberHose

CC2019 errors

Adobe updated the expression engine in Ae in CC2019 and RubberHose needs to be updated (v2.10) in order to remove errors. New hoses will be error free and existing rigs may be upgraded.

It’s also a good idea to reset the script after updating the script to ensure that the style files on disk are using the newest expressions. Be sure to backup your custom style files before resetting.

Can’t find RubberHose in Ae

Be sure that the RubberHose2.jsxbin is placed within the Scripts/ScriptUI Panels folder. More installation tips here.

Where is my license key?

RubberHose doesn't actually require a license key. Just click the box that says you paid for it and get to work. One less thing to worry about.

3D Hoses

RubberHose draws shapes based on the 2D positions of the controllers, but that doesn't mean they cannot be in 3D space. Be sure to leave the hose layer as 2D, but you can set controllers 3D layers and the hoses will draw lines between these points within the comp. For hoses crossing over one another, you'll have to rely on 2D compositing and layering to make that look right.

Here's an example shot of a baby on a roomba vacuum that uses the 3D controller technique.

Controllers offset from hose

Check that your comp isn’t a non-square pixel aspect ratio. CMD/Ctrl+K to set that to square to get controllers and hoses to line up. If you need to export in a non-square pixel aspect I recommend nesting your work comp in a render comp. Working at square aspect is a much more natural way to work anyway.

RubberPin controllers offset from art layers

Puppet pins need absolute x,y coordinates to bend. Because of this, pinning shape layers is not recommended (the nature of vector graphics is that they are constantly redrawing). Instead, precomp the shape layers so the they are now treated like footage. Note: be sure Continuously Rasterize (the little ☼ icon) is turned off. Enabling this means it will redraw the art ever frame so that there will never be coordinates to stick to.

If you need your art at a much higher resolution I recommend precomposing it, adjusting the size of the precomp to 5 times larger, scaling the art in the precomp up 5 times larger, enabling Continuous Rasterize in this precomp, then scaling down the precomp in the main comp to 20% to compensate for the size increase.

RubberPin art all tangled up

Pins are sorted from comp top to bottom (rather than based on creation order or selection order). So avoid arms that go straight out horizontally or bend upward. Put at least a slight downward angle on those limbs. More available here.

RubberPin rigs aren’t smooth

AE recently introduced a new puppet pin method that introduces that bulge in the middle of a rig. Select the art layer and set the Puppet Engine from Advanced to Legacy and it will go back to the smooth bend. The Advanced method is supposed to be smoother but doesn't work well for something like this. Explore in the triangle count on the mesh to smooth the edges

Bodymovin/Lottie

The good news is that Bodymovin can export for playback on web. Bad news is that Android and iOS don't have a shape similar enough to what RubberHose uses to support Lottie on device. RubberHose predated Lottie and Ae being able to control a path with expressions.

Tapered Hoses - Sad to report, browsers have a limited set of support for Ae shape effects, and Merge Paths that is used in tapered hoses are not supported

New features are coming, but for now, the best way to work is to use RubberHose to define the animation, then trace a simple path on a new layer to match what the RH layer is doing. This way you can export the basic path instead of the hose layer. It's I bit of an involved workaround but it does work.

Script missing after Ae update

There's a bit of confusion when Adobe says it's updating After Effects. It's actually installing a new application, which means scripts need to be installed for this new app. Copy the RubberHose2.jsxbin from the old version of Ae to the new version's Scripts/ScriptUI Panels folder and restart AE.

RH1 projects wont import into CC2018

Version 1 came out in 2015 and needs a bugfix to allow hoses to be created in CC2018. Adobe updated their Ae code and now RH1 projects won't import into CC2018 🙄. One solution is to OPEN (not import) the old file in CC2018, and upgrade it to RH2 with the upgrade button, then save that file out and try importing again. The fallback is to re-download CC2017 and finish the project in there, or try the open-upgrade-save-import routine again in CC2017.

Note: RH1 will not support CC2019 and above because Adobe changed their expression engine. If you don't already have RH2, email support@battleaxe.co for a discount code.

RubberHose tutorials

There is a tutorial project and full online manual available. Additional tutorials that are pretty great are available here.

RubberHose is kinda slow

There’s a lot of math happening on each frame for each hose to make all this happen. I’m constantly looking for new ways to optimize, but for now, remember some of the old-school AE techniques when render-time meant a lunch break:

  • Solo layers to what you're trying to work on

  • Reduce the quality of the scene

  • Use a region of interest

  • Prerender whatever you can

  • (RH specific) save your complex hose styles to a file, apply the basic hose to nail down animation, then re-apply the complex hose

  • (RH specific) utilize the hose baking system to reduce the amount of math being done on each frame


Overlord

Empty panel

Some machines don't like the way files are loaded with the auto-update system. If you're missing icons or getting errors, then your computer is one of these. With the download, there is a Stable version included in the download folder. Uninstall the current version and install Overlord-Stable.zxp.

Right click the panel and open Settings look in the bottom right for Stable next to the version number. If you don’t see that, ALT-click Check for update to open the support files. Delete the Overlord folder. Re-enter your license key.

Note: By using the stable version, you'll have to manually download and install future updates.

Ae resizes

Some Windows systems have a problem with the whole After Effects window resizing when switching between apps. Full-screening Ae with Ctrl+\ or dragging the edges of the app instead of dragging the window to the top of screen fixes the problem. If that doesn't fix the problem for you, there's a preference in Settings to disable the app switch for AE.

Deauthorize license on computer

Right-click the Overlord panel, then ALT-click Check for update to open the support files. Delete the Overlord folder. This will remove the key from the computer and another user will need to add their own key to use it. You could also jump back into ZXP Installer and uninstall the whole extension so it doesn't show up in the Window>Extensions menu, but that’s for bonus points.

Gradients offset or a solid color

Sorry for the trouble. There is a lot of matrix math is going on in Ai to figure out the position of gradient endpoints and if a shape is repositioned and rotated then Overlord gets confused. Select the shape, press G and redraw the gradient after transforming and then transfer.

Video tutorial

Colors looks wrong

(1) Double check that the Ai file is not CMYK. Ae only supports RGB color and cannot accurately replicate the color the way Ai does with its print emulation. The best it can do is mathematically convert the colors. The way around it in Ai, change to File>Document Color Mode>RGB Color.

(2) Yes, Ai is RGB but color is still still wrong. In Ae, open File>Project Settings, and the Color tab. Be sure this is set based on the intended output medium. For going to computer screens use sRGB.

Imported footage has its own color management profile but shape layers are managed with the project settings. More about color spaces.

Overlord missing from Window>Extensions

Extensions can sometimes be problematic to install even if you do everything right. The fallback is doing a manual installation.

Mixed text styles or multiple fonts not transferring

It's not possible to set stylistic options on a per-character basis. But what you can do, is copy/paste with font styling preserved. 

Transfer like normal, then highlight the text in Ai, copy, highlight the text in Ae and paste. It's a little bit of a workaround, but you should get the layer positioning from Overlord, then be able to re-apply the text and styling.

Rotated text

Ai doesn't use an anchor point so it's not really possible to find the origin of the rotation. The best bet is to duplicate the rotated text, expand it and send the paths to Ae, the line up the live text layer.

Unsupported elements

Overlord is limited by what After Effects can draw with shape layers. There are a bunch of elements that Ai uses that Ae does not have an equivalent. These will be skipped during transfer.

  • Tapered strokes

  • Gradient meshes

  • Freeform gradients

  • Patterns

You are going to want to import that layer with the traditional Ai import method. I often still use Ai layers for background layers and more complex elements that will be animated as a whole layer. The old and new ways work pretty well together.

Update Shapes

That process for updating shapes is a little particular and uses the same Push/Pull buttons but detects what's selected. You have to select the path or the path group itself to replace shapes. Without a path/rectangle/ellipse selected, Push and Pull will create a new layer. 

Video tutorial

Update multiple shapes: Sadly, because of the hierarchy differences between apps and the lack of identification for shape elements, it's not possible to intelligently update multiple shapes at a time. Until IDs get added to all the elements in Ae, we’re stuck with updating one at a time.