NEW TUTORIAL: Particle Shadows

In this EXCITING new tutorial we’ll learn a powerful method for casting realistic shadows with Particular. At first we will setup a simple scene using a custom sprite and then dive in to creating the Shadow illusion. I even included a quick demo showing you how I created the future balls in 3D Max.

This handy technique finally offers a simple way to create nice looking shadows for the things your already create with Particular with an added level of realism. The shadows are dynamic and fully customizable for hard or soft looking results. I hope this helps some of you out, I know it has been a great addition to my work.

The project file is available to download using AE CS4 & Particular 2.

Watch Tutorial

POSTED:
4 years ago
RECENT POSTS
Pixel Screen Experiment!
Here is a fun experiment I created to simulate cool LCD Pixel effects using built-in plug-ins only! It uses the Camera Lens Blur effect along with a depth map to create realistic DOF. Watch Breakdown on Youtube Download Project File (CS6) Sound FX Created with MotionPulse!
My After Effects World Conference Visit
I’m excited to tell you that I had a blast at this years After Effects World conference and met a lot of great people. I was also given an opportunity to do a keynote presentation which is much different than sitting behind a computer and demonstrating software. I talked about what motivates me, personal challenges […]
Element 3D V2: New Specular Model!
Of the many new features announced with Element 3D V2 (so far), there is one I am particularly excited about and that is the new specular highlight model. The new spec model takes advantage of the new physical shader system and features a natural light falloff  helps create more realistic shaders! You can even get the specular to […]
After Effects World Keynote!
  I’m very excited to participate in the  upcoming After Effects World Conference this month! I’ll be presenting the Saturday evening Keynote and hopefully hanging out with everyone afterwards! It should be even more exciting than trying to create this fake production stock photo! ** Let me just adjust this knob….** I’ll be along side many talented […]
97 Comments

Andrew
4 years ago
Question : Is there a workaround if your ground is not flat, like it's a dune or trash heap and the shadows need to follow that surface?
4 years ago
Awesome! I’d like to know you did the last zoom in the composition
Rob White
4 years ago
Hey guys, I am a new AE user, so this may be elementary - but I'm looking to soften the edges of a shadow - just feather them back maybe 15%. I have 2 flat images in Zspace, and the shadow behind a picture flying into the frame looks great, except for the hard edges. So I don't want to change my Point of Focus, Light intensity, Positiion, etc. Is there a transform I am missing in the light itself, or the asset that will not change the opacity of my shadow, but just feather back the edges, as if I were just diffusing the light with a skrim or net or something. I've tried changing the light type to parallel, but again I'm new in AE so I don't know. Preleminary thanks for the help! -rob
4 years ago
Thanks Andrew, this is an awesome solution. Maybe a plugin could be developed using this, as well.
Jadesion
4 years ago
Thanks man, you really create some rocking tutorials and that helps me to think outside the box!
antonio
4 years ago
Andrew ur so great man! keep doin
we love u!!!
UrbanGrafix
4 years ago
Thanks Mr AK-108 !!
Guess what's dat ?
Arun
4 years ago
hey thanks for the tut andrew

this was wat i was exactly seeking... great one bro
Job
4 years ago
nice job m8!
Hope to see more from you.
wef
4 years ago
en en maya particle
AB
4 years ago
Thank you Andrew for yet another brilliant tutorial. You are truly a brilliant artist.
Don
4 years ago
Thanks. Not just for this one but all of the tutorials. These really open up the mind to possibilities. As a guy just having fun with some software (TrapCode, Digital Juice, Adobe) they help me expand on what I thought I knew a lot about already.
Dante
4 years ago
HEY! Andrew!
thank you for another exciting tutorial!!!
Sem
4 years ago
I did everything well, the shadow turned out delicious. But when I tried to create a movement of the camera.., just cannot do it. Andrew, can you suggest something that made it work?
Sem from Chechnya.
P.S
I love all of your works Honestly, I learned to work in AE through your tutorials.
Thanks a lot!!!
Luca
4 years ago
Awesome! I'd like to know you did the last zoom in the composition (i mean with that depth of field really realistic). Ty ak ;)
Rutger
4 years ago
Once again you have fed us with incredible techniques with an awesome result. Thank you so much Andrew, you really are awesome! (I just wonder how often you hear that on a dag?:P)
luther
4 years ago
Come back to New York Andrew..
Erwin
4 years ago
Nice tutorial again ;)
I have a question.. In the suretarget 1 tutorial u gave it a 3d look. a client is asking for a 3d text with sure target BUT with CS5 you can create a 3d text and then import it into AE. Hope you can make a tutorial about it cause the render times are crazy!! And when i make this 3d text a 3d layer in AE it actually flattens it. What would be the best way to import the 3d text from photoshop and use it in a 3d invironment with the Suretarget plugin??

Hope you'll take a look at it.
Cause importing 3d text and make it easy to use with suretarget would kick ass :P
Ravens666
4 years ago
During summer holiday me and my friends will be shooting a student short film with ghost theme..postproduction will be done in AE with some serious VFX...If we will satisfied with result I will post here a link for your critique folks.
Ravens666
4 years ago
Check my try to recreate AK's smoke trail with reflections too. The reflections use the same technique as shadows(without DOF and fading).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzFGmbcK1gE
Lasse
4 years ago
im gonna be honest and say that it have been a long time since i was exsited about a toturial here :P

give us something new and exciting.
i dont even know what to use this effect for
Max
4 years ago
Hey Andew great tutorial but I was wondering if you could do a Tutorial about how to make the balls that fly on the street because they are really awesome
Popov
4 years ago
yeah, thanks for the reply everybody.

- ANY TIMEEE
Jack
4 years ago
Hi

Is any one else having trouble with particals popping onto the screen. Iv tried the pre run setting but nothing happens.
They are born from the light as it moves but the particals need to be born before they get on the screen. ?
Chris
4 years ago
A tad bit off-topic, Andrew, but I'll ask anyway. I'm considering buying Particular 2 for CS5, but you said in an earlier post that you have three products under development. With your recent "Optical Flares" triumph, could one of those projects be a particle system? If so, I'll wait for yours!
Gee
4 years ago
Bloody brilliant!!
Steve
4 years ago
your tutorials are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mystic7
4 years ago
Damn, I was so close! But my grid got completely messed up so the shadows were no where near aligned with my balls. But I always get it on the second try.

At 55 I will probably never get good enough to get a job doing this, but it sure is fun and keeps the brain from going to waste. Cheers!
4 years ago
Nice tutorial!
Thanks to your website i made this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRz8VkwNwX8
Javed.A.Shah
4 years ago
Hi Andrew,

All I can say is that you are the best!!!

I have a request for a tutorial and I will give the website reference:

http://www.amteq-group.de/

http://www.amteq-group.de/


Please can you make a tutorial to make such particle animations???

Thank you.


Warm Regards,

Javed.A.Shah
Aleksander
4 years ago
That's great!
Btw maybe you could add like, sort of a mini-tutorial on creating those reflective balls in both AE and 3Ds?
That would be nice!
Big Mic
4 years ago
Cant wait to get on this one! Thanks Andrew!
Morten Enoksen
4 years ago
Would be nothing withut Video Copilot!
Check out my page :)
http://hadselvgs.com/martin
4 years ago
thanks Andrew :)
Aerandir
4 years ago
You do tutorials... LIKE A BOSS!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NisCkxU544c
4 years ago
Of course it's great... It always is.
4 years ago
definitely one of the best tutorials I've seen here :D (and I've seen 'em all)
Nosome
4 years ago
Very bad, Andrew!
Laws
4 years ago
Sick tutorial as always Andrew, was just wondering though how did you create the zoom effect with DOF in the example video during the tutorial, i think the example video was called ball_zoom. would be ace to know.

:D
4 years ago
This is absolutely superb, Andrew. This truly bridges the VFX and real worlds, for the small-operations/budgets, more tightly than, perhaps, ever ...
Nick
4 years ago
I am amazed by how much Helpful information Video Copilot has supplied me with in the 2 years I have been a visitor. Keep up the freakin awsome work.
Ahmed
4 years ago
Amazing tutorial as always from you Andrew am one of many fan's in Iraq that we like what you created and the best project that your site having its really Awesome man
and i have request if you can make us some thing amazing about the soccer World Cup in Africa some thing no one think about it plz

Thanks man you the best
4 years ago
i can never be the first to comment well what ever. WOW this is the best tutorial ever Andrew Kramer does it again thanks men really appreciate the hard work.
Dot
4 years ago
Thanx for the tutorial but what about the other tutorials you promissed like the Shatter glass and the 3D stereoscopic tutorial?
thanx again
Jason
4 years ago
Wow! i did not knw that was possible !!!!!!thanks Andrew Kramer thoese balls look like thoes roll up droides in the star wars episode I lol
Jonas W
4 years ago
Oh these future balls, always a problem! :D
Olivier
4 years ago
Woooooooooooooooooohoooooooooooooooo.... It came out finally... euh.. may I know when the tutorial on Payment plan is suppose to come please??
Popov
4 years ago
I don't know how to create "zoom and focus" thingy effect. I turn the BG in to 3D layer, accept shadows an all that to off, orient it to camera, but cant get it right?

I have to get the BG layer to 3D, right?
DJAyzed
4 years ago
Finally! :D Thx so much Andrew Kramer
4 years ago
Thanks Dan!
Nic
4 years ago
Stupid question: Trapcode effects have to be purchased right? Using CS5 and I don't see those other then those on the TC website. Sorry for asking.

Nic.
goldorachox
4 years ago
thank's Andrew come in brussel drink a beer with us ^-^
4 years ago
this is great tutorial ))!
4 years ago
hmmm...pretty advanced stuff Mr Kremer....this will take a couple of views to sick in.....you are a madddd Maddddd Mannnnnn.

Thanks for sharing!!
4 years ago
Awesome tutorial Andrew! I created a demo similar to this a few months ago and posted it and the source files on the Trapcode site. Mine wasn't as cool as this though - I hadn't thought of using Depth of Field to soften shadows or fading them using the near fade options. Brilliant - you're a genius!
Oh - and if anyone's interested in my demo anim and project files (it does cast shadows on a 3 sided shape which is interesting I guess), you can see it here: http://www.digitaldistortion.net/rsrc_particularShadow.html
MrMaCHO
4 years ago
Andrew,
You look at things that don't exist and think how can I do that. This is a very special gift. Then you make that gift available to the world. Words fail to speak how special that is. Thank you for all that you do.
Mr.PeTeR
4 years ago
Awesome!

Keep it up!

I will support you anyway
tc
4 years ago
andrew you are so talented ...... i dont even know how you even figure this stuff out !! i wish i was as good as you haha . keep up the good work
Pavanrzx
4 years ago
awesome tutorial 8)

check out this video Andrew
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EJVa1RWXHw
Niklāvs
4 years ago
THANKS ANDREW!!!! THIS IS SO COOL!
You inspired me to download 3Ds Max :D
4 years ago
ahahah suupper good ..thnxx andre kramer for this great tutorial
Jack
4 years ago
Thanks Andrew.
I drew some inspiration and made this over the day.
Youtube is processing it now...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLVxtPSY5wc
Enjoy, feedback from anyone would be awesome.
illd
4 years ago
lol@ the white Larry Bird. Bird wasn´t white - He was half mustache half man!
MARUTHI
4 years ago
hi andrew....thank u very much for introducing action essential 2....with tat elements i did a short film ....it was selected for international short film festival...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j045yMp_eiM
man_sokpisey
4 years ago
full of creative techniques
form cambodia
AB
4 years ago
Thanks Andrew.
I can't wait to see it (as soon as I finish up my work here)
Max max
4 years ago
Thank you for the little 3D extra in 3DS max ^^
Júnior
4 years ago
Thanks, amazing =D
Andrew how much memory ram do you recommend for editing at 1920x1080? I'm having trouble about it, it becomes very slow.
would be a good tutorial on Integration of 3D objects in video using Boujou, for example.
Aung Ko Ko
4 years ago
Thanks Andrew! how about ur payment plan tutorial? long waiting.
Throck
4 years ago
You always come up with techniques we can actually use.

John over at Motionworks posted that terrible comment about how you're sabotaging the industry.

I think you're the best teacher a guy could ask for.
Tincho de la Fuente
4 years ago
Excelent! Thanks Andrew! Good Luck from Argentina! See you
Prateek Kumar
4 years ago
Hey Andrew, I had a quick question. Will you switch over to After Effects CS5 anytime soon because some people (like me) do not have a 64-bit operating system. If you could answer back that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Hammam
4 years ago
Well.
I think it's so much easier doing it on 3D max without much of time.

but you're the AE boy anderw. Thanx.
4 years ago
yes I'll watch it now
I love you man :)
Keninchina
4 years ago
what I like is the 3D Max tut as a bonus! Getting something awsome for free and finding out there's a bonus, you just made my week Mister Kramer!
nGAGE
4 years ago
Just Brilliant! Nice tut.
4 years ago
cool am gonna check it out now.
Highdefw
4 years ago
As always, much appreciated.
Next Level Designs
4 years ago
hey andrew, how are u doing. quick question ... if we used the idea of the relighting tutorial where u designed a 3d light source and it relighted the road surface ... can we not relight it as shadows as well ... like a darker light ... but then again ... it might take longer to render as well using that technique ... lol sorry for the waste of time good night and thanks
4 years ago
YES!!! Thank you Andrew! :D
4 years ago
This is cool, as are all of Andrew's tutorials. But what I really want to know is this, how did AT&T make the commercial with all of the huge silk rolls falling off of national monuments, buildings, etc.?
Abhu
4 years ago
awesome andrew
you never disappoint
check out this video that me and my friends made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7lEAnQQSzc
andi
4 years ago
what a load of balls
Wow dude! I Dig the Depth Of Field ;)
cody
4 years ago
awesome Andrew Kramer, thanks
Jolai
4 years ago
So f**king great!
Hicham
4 years ago
Love it, they keep getting better.
Jon
4 years ago
Wow this looks amazing, finally a 3D tutorial!
ANDREW
4 years ago
coooooooooooool thanks Andrew

Greetings from Egypt

P.S : my name is Andrew too
Serg
4 years ago
Very good Andrew! and if to start insects
Thanks for this tuts and idea
4 years ago
Pressing F5 in browser since morning!
Finally!
Thank you!
Daniel Harrison
4 years ago
wow, great thanks MR.Kramer
actually I would love to see more things like this..
ReddAnselmo
4 years ago
Nice technique mr. AK!
Jack
4 years ago
Awesome, thanks alot, really useful!
4 years ago
Great one Mr K!
adam
4 years ago
hmmmm, having trouble getting to the tutorial...
adam
4 years ago
YEAH! thanks for this!
Tutorials
135. Simulated Scopes
Use after effects to simulate a variety of optical scopes
144. Flight Control
Customize your own airline with JetStrike!
Plugins
Stock Footage