More Particle Shadows in NY

What’s up internet! Yesterday I made a post discussing the idea of dynamic shadows from Particles in After Effects and went on to explore render times and some pros & cons for each solution.

We got a few thoughtful comments which I felt misunderstood the intention of the post and the potential uses for casting shadows with Particular. My intention wasn’t to try and replicate what a 3D program can do like ray-tracing, but instead explore the benefits of quality shadows from a particle system.

Here are a few more examples with various particle types using my dynamic shadow technique. Now, if you look at the smoke example above, notice how the shadow is darker when the stream is closer to the ground and softer as it moves up into the sky. This technique bases the shadows softness and density on the distance from the ground, just like real shadows. Plus you can control the density and softness of the shadows to fit your likings.

The example with the hollow balls was just to show a particle type that didn’t have reflectivity so people would stop calling me out saying the particles don’t reflect each other :)

Just like with any technique, always be thinking of ways to adapt it to your needs and explore creative uses and benefits.

See High Resolution
See Particles with no background

Stay tuned for the tutorial.

POSTED:
4 years ago
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125 Comments

Ravens666
4 years ago
@Vin
yeah man...but you didn't post the link...I can't find that on youtube...U SOB (...just joking;p)
Moin Shahid
4 years ago
Really Man !!! You're Awesome..........
4 years ago
is Awesome , maybbe you can get more quality using Vray as render in 3ds max
4 years ago
In the smoke trail example, what was done to create the optical flare of the trail?
DizzyD2
4 years ago
Would this particular technique work with Particular 1.5? (see what I did there?)
Ulises
4 years ago
NEW TUTORIAL: Particle Shadows, 1 hour ago? 404 error
Alex
4 years ago
Do be do be do.......Hmm. Must be some serious technical difficulties, then?
4 years ago
@_@ I can't wait anymore!
Alex
4 years ago
Oh ok. Thanks Andrew. Can't wait to see it!
4 years ago
We had some technical difficulties, the tutorial will be online shortly.
Agustin
4 years ago
I watched the complete tutorial and need to see it again, but it dissapeared!
Alex
4 years ago
Hey wait a minute....did anyone else notice that the tutorial was online for about 5 minutes and then both the blog post announcing it's arrival and the actual tutorial are removed? Was there an uploading problem?
Salomon
4 years ago
On which camera did you make the shot?
Vin
4 years ago
@Ravens666 I did that and I uploading the footage it right now to YouTube thanks for the help! :) jk!
Dariel
4 years ago
heyyy Niceee imageee
Ravens666
4 years ago
@Vin
Not sure if you can do this only within AE buddy...looks like FumeFX plugin for Autodesk 3ds Max...maybe with the same technique used in green smoke tut but with lots of particular layers...and spending much time with "unnecessary" adjustment..if you really want it to look hyper-realistic and and want to avoid the 3d...burn your house or barn and take a camshot...in this case share it after..thx:)
Vin
4 years ago
Hey Andrew I was looking on YouTube and I found this dude that I guess made this stuff, can you give a more in-depth tutorial on how to do this type stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdI1f81hFqE&feature=related
Mike Park
4 years ago
@OlympiaLogger

Thanks. Not sure I was going for Matzah Balls, but thanks.
4 years ago
Can't wait for the tutorial!
Ravens666
4 years ago
Will be there a tut...just joking;p
Ravens666
4 years ago
Hmm...I think that some people should read first and than ask..but we're not living in perfect world do we?
philjohnson
4 years ago
@Gio

You can find them on www.redgiantsofware.com

@ Andrew Kramer

Cool stuff man! Can't wait for the tut
Brandon
4 years ago
tutorial on how to make those hollow balls? i think its necessary ;)
Nilo Santiago
4 years ago
Hi Andrew,

I would like to thank you for your comments and tutorials, they are very helpful and turn us more passionate with After Effects.

Question for you:
When you do your tutorial most of the videos has 15 seconds or less, so I would like to know if you create a motion graphic presentation with 2 minutes do you split the video in small parts and put them together with some software or you just do one video with the hole thing ?

English is my second language, so sorry about any mistake!
Martin3ds
4 years ago
the broken glass tutorial should....never come...
OlympiaLogger
4 years ago
Mike Park,
Your falling Matzah Balls look terrific!
Wonder how the shadows would look falling into a bowl of chicken broth!?!!
4 years ago
hey hey....Thank you Andrew...Awesome
AntonyBanderos
4 years ago
Hi, Andrew! That about Final Gather, Global Illumination and Ambient Occlusion in AE? :))
Sreekanth
4 years ago
Hi Andrew Kramer. U r work is superb

U know i am a big fan of u and u r work

when i have visited u r website that day on words i don`t have single day without VIDEO COPILOT.net

thq sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for tutorials and u r support thq thq
4 years ago
oh and ppl stop asking him to put this up there. he has the smoke trails tutorial. take what you make move it on a different background and replace the particles. there is your tutorial. =)
4 years ago
kmkenpo has a point although it would all depend on the material the "balls" were made out of. if they're some sort of plastic then its all good =)
Vince
4 years ago
This is going to be an awesome Tut!
Can you do a tut on this plzzzzzzzz this is EPIC!!!!!!
4 years ago
One has to be a total genius to figure out stuff in After Effects like you do Kramer. You manage to surprise your fans every time. Totally amazing!
4 years ago
Thank you Andrew... I hope that this is coz of my comments =D (I reaaally hope) ;D

Still, I believe that this would be a better example of what the tutorial can be used for. That other example... wasn't good, well by the standards around here, it wasn't... if you took it to a completely new site like... www.finecg.com (not advertising, it's a lame site) it would be good =D
4 years ago
@JIK Thank you for the clarification of your post and how it applied to me.
Have a blessed day,
-kmkenpo
Quite awesome
4 years ago
Quite cool! I really like that smoke! Tutorial please...
PKNM
4 years ago
Hi Andrew, thanks for your fabulous tutorials! Can you show us, how to make this hollow balls please ? On 3D studio max i think ?
Mike Park
4 years ago
Not exactly sure what approach AK took...will be interested to find out. Here is a clip of the result of my approach:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVYlggRiHv0
I was interested in the concept and had to give it a go.
hamadatoon
4 years ago
but I dont see eny reflection on the Car.
so what's up to this solution ???
Ben
4 years ago
Those spheres look like the personality spheres from the Portal/Portal 2.
Manoj(The Friend)
4 years ago
Great work, please upload this tute. thanks Andrew
JIK
4 years ago
@kmkenpo Well, I just like to follow the discussion on these blogs, and as I said, I just pointed out that this post was about 'dynamic shadows' and Andrew specifically made this post because people started arguing over reflections in his last blog post. I remember a while back when he posted his light casting tutorial, everybody started pointing out unnecessary things. And sorry for 'ripping you a new one', if you got the impression of me being a 14 year old punching the keyboard and yelling at the screen, that wasn't my intention :p
Agastaya
4 years ago
Hey R U Posting a tutorial on this post...... and what about advace time freez tutorial.....
cadmus
4 years ago
So, from looking at the balls, it now seems like you can use a 3D particle, and Particular will actually rotate it? I didn't know that. What form does the particle have to take then?

Or, have you got a number of the ball images at different rotations and used those in a staggered-layer pre-comp?

And nice job. It's good to see that you also think of something you want to be able to do, and then work at it until you find how to do it. Pity there's no site like Video CoPilot for Andrew Kramer to get most of his answers from like the rest of us!
myles
4 years ago
hey everyone this might not be the best place to ask this, but here goes; how do i set up scene like the particles with no background, as in, have a floor to cast shadows on, and still have "walls" the same color? i know theres the set up andrew uses for the text in 3ds max and cinema4d but what if i want to do a 360 turn, that wont, work.. i basically need half a sphere with a flat bottom?
Daniel
4 years ago
@Mystic7
hahaha didnt know they had cameras that good in 1967.
Mystic7
4 years ago
Um, no. Sorry. I've lived in NY all my life and I've never seen balls fall from the sky that looked like those. Except back in '67, as those of us who were there can tell you.
Steve
4 years ago
Nice. the lighting on the smoke looks good...you should use that example in the tutorial. Looking forward to it!
4 years ago
The particles don't reflect each other!
4 years ago
whass up?? by the way i am destroing a house with after effects (action essential 2) and i will show you the results :D
Daniel
4 years ago
Hey! The car is not reflecting the elements!
:) Just kidding. Awesome job.
jordanupnorth
4 years ago
how come that dude walking on the sidewalk isn't even phased by the trail of smoke rushing down the street? that guy is hard core
oasisvader
4 years ago
@everyone who keeps asking for tutorials on everything.
Look through Andrew's previous tutorials, there's a lot of information there. If he hasn't already posted it, take the time to figure it out yourself. Andrew has already done a ton for us, appreciate him a little more.

@Andrew
This is really interesting work you've done here. It's great to see that this can be done inside of AE, though it's still probably best to be done in a real 3D app. Thanks for posting your discoveries!
Olivier-Mauritius
4 years ago
Nice technique.. just hope its not a complicated technique
Christian
4 years ago
wow, awesome, thrilling never seen something like that before....! *sighs* Andrews work ist really good (bows head) but not every piece of it is always "awesome".
do me a favour guys lower your absolute superlatives just a little bit. otherwise you people will run out of words sooner or later.
chris
4 years ago
Hey andrew can you please release that awesome ball object, as a .obj file for us cause that looks awesome!
anxs220
4 years ago
thats a new level!
joe
4 years ago
this is awesome
check out this video my friends made
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7lEAnQQSzc
4 years ago
@JIK... Where do you get off ripping me a new one?!?! If you bothered to read MY post, you would have seen that I was politely pointing something out, NOT trying to rip on something. Please, get over yourself and take another Valium. What part of "I think it is a really great render, but as much detail as you pay to things…" confuses you? Goodness, way to ruin a picnic there JIK. Amazing that in this day and age you can't say a crit about something, without someone feeling like their Cheerios were peed in... stinking politically correct garbage of a society. Grumble, mumble... grrrrrrr.
Marc.F.Rosbach
4 years ago
Wow! is there gonna be a tutorial?
peter
4 years ago
i think i know that trick now. not as perfect and pretty as andrews but...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0LYGiRYw2A
Alioune
4 years ago
this is juste Amazin Again Andrew your simpli the best
Nicolas
4 years ago
Hi andrew and guys!
interesting discussion. but my visit is for another reason.
I just want to show you this comp I made for my job.
I wasn´t aware of what puppet tool was capable of, but I started testing and here is the result... every animal of this comp was animated using that tool.

Greetings from argentina!!!!
Vamooooooo la albicelesteeee a pesar de que nos quedamos afuera del mundial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR79qZSLM6w
4 years ago
I hope nobody got hurt, those balls look kind of dangerous...
4 years ago
------> too hard to do http://vimeo.com/12374986?hd=1

by the way i think that you should use after effects for 3d things 3d max takes time but it is better resolution don't you agree??
Next Level Designs
4 years ago
hey, im seeing all these shadow casting posts here andrew and im wondering ... after effects isnt a full 3d program but it does hand sum basic amount ... is there any way we can use a light to cast a shadow but take off the light and leave the casted shadow? also ... cant we use the plug in from video copilot VC Reflect and play around with that using sum curves adjustments and so forth and make a dynamic shadow based on movement? wouldnt that be easier to do and faster to render with maybe even nicer results based on the customization?
Anthony
4 years ago
Thank you Andrew. I did understand what you meant from the last post but do enjoy seeing more examples :)
Armando Gomez
4 years ago
Thanks again! thats awesome Andrew! cool cool stuff.
Max
4 years ago
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!
Can't wait for the tutorial
4 years ago
Looks fantastic. Great idea to use AE and Particular for this kind of work... Looking forward for the tutorial :-)

And hey, your next AE Plug-In will be a particle system á la Video Copilot? I would love to see it!
peter
4 years ago
so how did you create these amazing shadows? is it a big secret for the next tutorial? :)
GreedOra
4 years ago
Wow ... thats breathtaking ....
4 years ago
I can't wait for the TUT, because this technique will be a REAL alternative to a 3D rendering. Of course it won't be as accurate as a 3D render setup, but so often neither the production time nor the budget allow us to do it in the most accurate way.
Andrew, you are simply awsome!!! Best greetings from Germany
Dan
4 years ago
looks sick man! the reflection on the car sort of gives it away tho, see if you can incorporate that in some way, but lookin great good job mate!
andi
4 years ago
if i have lots of flying sheep can it still make shadows for them?
Rafael
4 years ago
Really Andrew, this is really interesting. I remember in one of the posts you made last week, you made it quite clear the difficulty of rendering a 3D image, in programs like 3D Max, and personally I agree with you because even for those who don't have a VGA good enough that process becomes terribly boring :D. Without doubt apply the shadow effect dynamics give a very realistic tone to the footage, and with the ease of rendering in AE some projects may be conducted with much more harmony, and of course for those who have more affinity with After going to leave happy with this new technique. Congratulations for the post Andrew!
drobins
4 years ago
I'm thinking about the use of the 3d features in Photoshop with this technique and thinking there are some rather exciting ways to use this.
romain
4 years ago
i love the color of your street !!
isi123
4 years ago
Great stuff! Really looking forward to this.

Ohh and when is the glass shatter from Payment Plan tutorial being released?
Amarjit Singh
4 years ago
Andrew, its awesome plz upload the tutorial asap
4 years ago
Yep, I'm (still) a hobbyist. Got to start somewhere, and this seems like a gooood place :-)

Thank you mr. Kramer for all the work you have done for us. You, and videocopilot.net, are an amazing example of knowledge-sharing by internet. Wish more people like you would stand up.
Oliver
4 years ago
Is there a chamce for a Plug In / Preset?
Best Regards!
Marc
4 years ago
hey Andrew. looks amazing and totally real. when comes the tutorial for it? i can't wait to learn it ;) and thousands of other people too ;)
DOGS
4 years ago
I like how barely anyone in these comments can actually do any work themselves, all they use is tutorials. I hope they're hobbyists and are not actually on the payroll somewhere.
Jussi
4 years ago
I had to give it a go too :D

I even applied some directional shadows for good measure. I am not sure if this is anywhere close to how Andrew made his shadows, but seems to work ok.

http://www.jkemppainen.com/up/particleshadows4.mov

(If you look at the right side of the frame, you can see the shadows clipping off. That's the edge of the shadow map and should give you a clue how these shadows are made.)
Ravens666
4 years ago
@AK and folks:
Also, you like that kind of people, who don't even bothering to read AK's posts or other comments, have so many annoying questions, like: "Is this a coming tutorial?", "where did you get the street footage?" and the worst "How do we do the smoke in the top pic of new york.". It's a website people! With pictures, videos and great tutorials for those who can't read, or are just dull. Measure twice, cut once...It's a wise saw in my country(Czech Rep.)

P.s.: @AK u r great just stay in this way. Thank's for feeding us with this stuff. Looking forward for upcomming tut. And...get some rest man (after posting new tut naturally)!

U r fan
oras
4 years ago
HEY ANDREW ITS REALLY A NICE ONE HERE. the colour correction is cool. thanks hope a tutotial come out of this. Oras from....NIGERIA
Gee
4 years ago
Outstanding!! I can't wait for the tutorial!
Aleksander
4 years ago
Andrew, i was wondering, when you upload the Particle Shadows tutorial, will you use the blue or the hollow particles? Or something way different? I'd like the hollow, or maybe both types?
what are you exspecting to use?
Vladimir
4 years ago
Hahah :) I don't want to be mean, but I have impression that at least 1/3 of people are not reading the articles at all before commenting :) That's how we have comments like "Wow, what a shiny car you have on this shot" :))

Very good and useful technique Andrew. I can't wait to see the tutorial!
Bjarke
4 years ago
NOW DO THE TUTORIAL AND LET US KNOW!
THIS IS TOO COOL :D
4 years ago
as it has been said above, the smoke monster from Lost...only now i NYC...it's the new spin off series from ABC! Smokie solving crime in the streets of NYC:P
Arilla
4 years ago
A M A Z I N G, you don't stop amazing me =)
Roxar
4 years ago
The smoke in the second pic looks like smokey from LOST lol =D Nice job atlhough...
4 years ago
Particle shadows are great, but they are so much better in New York!!! LMAO!

This effect is so amazing Andrew! I cant wait until you make a tutorial about this. I will never understand how one person breaks so much ground in After Effects! :D
shuva
4 years ago
Hi Andrew it's awesome you are a realy genius person.
4 years ago
Hey , what's up Andrew and hi for everybody who follows videocopilot.net . you said that "how the shadow is darker when the stream is closer to the ground " But at the same time the cloud also be darker when the stream is closer to the ground. I think it's not seems like real. Can we make same cloud light or homogeneous cloud and darker shadow for closer stream. I think seems more real that way.
May be my feelings wrong but near the center,mid of stream , the streem seems to stay under shadow. Doesn't it. :)
universeman
4 years ago
Gorgeous shots!! Incredibly effective teq and will likely save loads of time for all of us interested in learning. Keepn my eye peeled for the tut release
post script: I wonder if those spheres are capable of reaching zero pt gravity! Happy Indy Day!
JIK
4 years ago
@kmkenpo My god! This argument is in every vfx tutorial Andrew posts. This is a post that basically just says that this is an example of the dynamic shadows and not anything else, and now people don't even bother to read.
4 years ago
hey Andrew... is there any way you can get a better price for the Particular plug-in trough ur website??

Thanx for ur great tutorials...
4 years ago
...but shadows is great! Can't wait! =)
VE
4 years ago
Hey, looking forward to the smoke technique!
Amey Adchule
4 years ago
Awesome...!
i need a tut 4 the smoke trails..i know that there is already a tut. but this one looks so much different and aesome...plz Andrew,post a tutorial 4 this,or just a quick tip...!

plz!!
AB
4 years ago
Hi Andrew,
I hear what you are saying regarding the technique which you have employed to achieve this result. Thank you for exploring and sharing.
Alex
4 years ago
Oh No the smoke monster from Lost!!!!!!! It's Real!
4 years ago
Andrew! your awesome, thanks for showing us that you dont know everything, that you learn it just like the rest of us! (your human! for a second there I thought you might be the AE God..I still think you may be, and are just trying to trick us into thinking you dont know everything..hmmmmmm I will have to run some tests)

/signed

Andrew Kramer Revolution
ayed zach
4 years ago
cant wait to watch the tutorial...
well done andrew.
4 years ago
On the hollow balls picture / render... wouldn't there be a reflection of the balls on the 3 cars in the front (darker cars on the left and right, as well as red one in center )? I think it is a really great render, but as much detail as you pay to things... odd that it may have slipped by. Have a blessed day, -kmkenpo
4 years ago
Some really interesting R&D work there Andrew. Nice work!
4 years ago
can you upload these amaizing pics from newyork, everytime i look at it i feel itchy to make something ,please.
4 years ago
Yep the tutorial for the smoke is called smoke trails and I used the same smoke element. I did turn on self shading in Particular 2 for better results.
j
4 years ago
ohBeone --- Theres already a tutorial of that XD
OhBeOne
4 years ago
How do we do the smoke in the top pic of new york. That would be an awesome tut
Marcus
4 years ago
I'm guessing New York?
4 years ago
where did you get the street footage?
4 years ago
stop teasing and lets make somthing.
Jeo
4 years ago
great!! Is this a coming tutorial?
4 years ago
Hey hey andrew hey hey andrew could you upload the hollow balls project please??????????
4 years ago
Awesome!!! I cant w8 for the tutorial
4 years ago
Great examples, Andrew. The smoke looks great, are the same particles from your previous Smoke Trails tutorial?
Eduardo Ubarra
4 years ago
:O awesome! is it a tutorial about this coming soon?
DoctorWhoFan
4 years ago
Those hollow balls look great!
Chris
4 years ago
AWESOME to put it lightly. I love you Andrew Kramer. In a non gay way. According to the court.
Gio
4 years ago
COOL! where can i find these particle plugins?
Tutorials
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Use the new Metropolitan with Element 3D to create a realistic city title
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