Glowing Book with Practical Effects

Here is an example of using practical effects with post production to achieve realistic lighting.

In the second slide you can see the before image of Shannah opening the book and you’ll notice the on-set light that seems to emit from the book. In the bottom image you’ll notice the light is off at this point. Then by using a piece of cardboard, we covered up the secondary light and slowing uncovered it as the book opened for a more realistic effect.

To be more specific, a piece of reflective cloth was laid on the talent’s lap and the light from above was reflected off it.

You’ll also notice her hair is slightly displaced from a perfectly timed industrial fan. How perfectly timed? Think about this; light travels faster than air so we had start the fan before the book was even opened so that it would all happen at the right time, then as the book opened the light was revealed with a touch of magical air. Sure it took more than one take but man… I”m glad I don’t pay by the hour.

Thanks Shannah for helping out!

Dustin James
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:02 am
looks good...

shanna looks like she isn't so thrilled about that magical year book...
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:02 am
I like these Blog post the best. Tips and Tricks along with everyday things to think about before you start filming. Product updates are awesome though, just love seeing these as well.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:11 am
looking good, very practical. just goes to show that there is more to think about to make an effect look that little bit better!

cheers andrew!
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:23 am
deem, it looks nice, really realistic!
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:26 am
It's a astronomy book...
    September 21st, 2011 @ 3:42 am
    Hi Andrew, do you have any tutorial on this glow effect mentioned above? I am making a short film where I need to use this similar Harry Potter style glow effect. Please help.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:29 am
Coool....., thanks Andrew, and, Shanna so beautiful ..... :D
December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:33 am
Hi Andrew (or maybe some other reader here), I had a question for you:

I´m thinking about shooting with markers that are easy to get rid of, since rotoscoping isn´t too much fun.
So: Have you ever tried shooting with a green screen together with bluescreen-colored markers?
That´s the best I came up with so far.

If you ever tried it, please let me know the results (if any).

Thanks alot!

And that´s a nice little tip with the lighting in the book. I tend to think about such things in postpro for the first time instead of helping myself with a little precog (Minority Report, get it?).

December 3rd, 2007 @ 12:33 am
That explains the Magical glow ... I guess...
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:01 am
harry potter style ;-)
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:02 am
Nice one AK. The only thing I would say is she may have needed a little powder on here forehead. JD
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:30 am
Neat Technique..

Cheers Ak
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:49 am
this is cool, she looks kinda hot :)
December 3rd, 2007 @ 2:24 am
The use of practical effects along with After Effects is something Stu Maschwitz at The Orphanage has been emphasizing for quite a while.

He's got a nice blog post on the subject which relates to Andrew's...
December 3rd, 2007 @ 4:18 am
w00t 14th post, very nice I love these little tips n' tricks posts to help u get started.

also shanna is kinda hot
December 3rd, 2007 @ 4:19 am
Looks cool, but shouldn't the shadow on the wall have changed with the new light source as well?
December 3rd, 2007 @ 5:37 am
Hey Andrew, and everybody enjoying Andrew's work,
Nothing related to this post, but i was looking to an NBA game Portland / San Antonio.
And here are some pictures of an advertising about next Protland games :

I'm sur those flourishes comes from Evolution !!
Am i right ?
Did you know about this using ?
Flim By Tim Productions.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 6:02 am
Woah Andrew YOUR FAMOUS I think they should make another indiana jones movie and you should be indy and u should edit the whole movie togethar and you could make MILLIONS :D :D then come to my house and show me how to make amazing movies and I could work for you and you could pay me and we could be best friends with sam and the crew and it would be AWESOME.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 6:55 am
Nice tip Andrew! any chance we can see the final shoot? or any of your work not related with videocopilot?
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:10 am
nice girl , whats her number? :D
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:28 am
Awesome, will this be a future tutorial?
Andre Prior
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:33 am
omg She is so beautiful! Married yet? :D
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:42 am
yea, this wuld be great for a tutorial ;)
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:59 am
Cool. Nice effect
Moca MX
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:59 am
This is great!
Tips and Tricks are greatest, you should post them every 2 days.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:59 am
I'd say Trapcode Shine was used for the light ray effect. Don't think it would be too hard to figure out how to do it. Use what Andrew has thought us already people!!
December 3rd, 2007 @ 8:00 am
This would be neat for a religious movie.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 8:04 am
It may have been better to actually stick the practical light in her lap. The shadows on her face are being cast in the wrong direction and, for me, take away from the effect greatly.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 8:17 am
Check out this

At the end, it seems a lot like your Earth Zoom tutorial... Quite a lot ;)
Some Guy
December 3rd, 2007 @ 8:29 am
Well, the shadows are caused by a light that comes from above and not from the book. That doesn't sell the effect. But maybe it looks better when it's moving...

PS: I agree with Moca MX. ;-)
December 3rd, 2007 @ 9:57 am
looks like the book they sell at costco
Orc Master
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:05 pm
Nice stuff. The shadow is kinda off, but the overall effect looks awesome. I'd say you could do the post-production by putting a fractal-noised solid on there (maybe masked as a circle), substraction-roto-masking the shape of the book, applying a CC Radial Fast Blur with proper settings, changing the transfer mode to Add and color-correcting.

The practical effect tip, though, is awesome. Specially the fan thing. Maybe some particles shaped as stars would be nice, although maybe a bit cheesy...

Anyways, great stuff, Andrew ;)
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:24 pm
I agree with Conor. Take what you've learned and figure it out yourself. Being an FX artist is about teaching yourself and advancing through experimentation. You can't have Andrew teach you everything. Simple things like this shouldn't be tutorials.

And also, to Livedraz, those might be Andrew's flourishes, but you have to keep in mind that a lot of people have created flourishes over time so just because there is one doesn't necessarily mean it's Andrew's. Not to say that people don't use his stuff all the time, but whenever people say they saw an earth zoom or a flourish and they automatically assume that it's Andrew's, you have to realize that he didn't "INVENT" these ideas, he figured them out and created his own version.

Just a little insight. Sorry if I'm getting annoying.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 1:26 pm
I hope this is a future tutorial... Great work Andrew!
December 3rd, 2007 @ 2:27 pm
HOT STUFF! Sorry Sam but shannah is beautiful, keep using her.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 4:35 pm
wow andrew, got some nice hot friends there for a married guy... haha, nice effect. being 15 puts me on an extremely tight budget for me and my friends. stuff like this really help me make the best of what i have and i just wanted to an extra thanks for this. also, i've been trying really hard to but evolution but i keep running out of money... lost my cell had to buy a new one, broke the camera when shooting and action scene, and that took all my money, but the order will come soon enough!
December 3rd, 2007 @ 5:22 pm
I think it could benefit from another practical light on the back wall, and the edges of the couch. Cool stuff though. It always helps to do as much as you can before shooting, makes it a lot easier in post. (Especially with lighting)
Tim C.
December 3rd, 2007 @ 5:40 pm
Very Nice Look. would be interested in maybe seeing the finished product? I am sure you have some things up your sleeve, things that we can't see in the pictures. anyways. looks great. has given me an idea for something else. :)
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:36 pm
wow····· hope this is a future tutorial. shannah is nice girl, by the way,
When will you see the plug---TWITCH again i hope you can use it to do some nice tutorial
anyways, great stuff, Andrew
December 3rd, 2007 @ 7:45 pm
Twitch is going to be available Early next year. That is all I can say.
Dustin James
December 3rd, 2007 @ 9:46 pm
Speaking of Twitch... I wanted you to know that I am extremely impressed with all of the products that you are pushing out... pretty much quarterly now.. Excellent work Andrew and the rest of you guys working...
December 4th, 2007 @ 11:48 am
you can notice the reflective cloth reflecting light on her sleve in the first picture, and were do you go about getting reflective cloth? those new metallic jeans from old navy?lol
December 4th, 2007 @ 12:37 pm
I own one of those magic glowing books. I read it before I hit the beach.
December 4th, 2007 @ 3:37 pm
Great idea on how to use practical effects. The only problem with that practical is that the shadows are wrong. I see it all the time with stuff on tv and the shadows are what sell the effect.
December 4th, 2007 @ 4:15 pm
Awesome effect Andrew. May I ask how you find these people to shoot with?
December 6th, 2007 @ 4:35 am
hey guys

Im trying to get a little forum up and running for all us VCP fans

Let me know if someone is interested!

msn: motski @
mail: morten @
December 7th, 2007 @ 6:45 am
She needs some powder on her forehead. I've been discovering that it's really all about lighting. Good lighting equals good video, great lighting equals great video; but if your story stinks to begin with your lighting doesn't mean squat!
December 14th, 2007 @ 8:33 pm
hey greeting to everyone
i must say thats a very cool effect and hope to see a tutorial for it soon
hey Andrew Your the best!
keep up the good work i'm new here so expect more post from me
great job
God bless you man
December 16th, 2007 @ 2:35 pm
If it's MOS, screw the industrial fan and use a compressor with a spray nozzle for immediate air response... :) and reflect the light off of tinfoil inside the book for a better "source" light.

Next you'll have to do one with her getting sucked into the book which then falls to the floor.
December 17th, 2007 @ 3:41 am
hahaha cool c'est harry potter 2 god tu es vrément un magicine s_w ^^ @+
December 17th, 2007 @ 7:36 am
o~~~~so nice i also learn after effects . i must say it's so beautiful~~~~~~~!!!
November 19th, 2009 @ 6:44 am
I want tutorial
August 30th, 2010 @ 1:17 am
Hi andrew, amazing tutorials!
i need to create the effect of being sucked into a book.
any help would be appreciated.

thank you
November 28th, 2010 @ 10:30 am
Practical > Digital. Always.
koushik sarkar
March 7th, 2013 @ 10:47 am
dear sir,
plz upload video tutorial of this tutorial!!!!
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