UPDATED: CS3 project file is now available
If you are trying to make sense of the words above… have at it! Actually they are various layer styles in today’s free Project File.
Since they added Photoshop layer styles to After Effects, I pretty much never used it but I recently decided to spend a little time creating some clean titles to share with everyone here. I’ve even recorded a short tutorial to show you how to edit the project file along with some tips for customizing and adding textures. I’ll be on soon with more tutorial so until then… Enjoy!
Looks like we are having another free stock footage day that includes 15 new HD (720p) particle clips and a quick tutorial with some compositing tips & ideas. For tips on creating your own footage check out Flour Fusion show. Sweet Deal!!
FREE Particle Stock Footage:
Download Stock Footage (162 MBs)
Footage is in h.264 compressed MP4 files. Usage License. Enjoy!
I was experimenting with some interesting energy fields and I discovered a fun combination of effects. I used the standard fractal noise effect to create a basic turbulent map and then applied a Find Edges effect on top. I added some color correction and a glow to give it more punch and even animated the evolution settings. Feel free to play around with the fractal noise settings with the Find Edges effect applied and see what other interesting looks you can discover.
The project file is only cs5 because I don’t have CS4 on my laptop right now but I took a screen shot of the settings so that should help.
Holy Monday batman! I decided to release the Tron-Pilot Project file created in After Effects with a short video walk-through. I talk about creating the 3D text and building a few expressions. It doesn’t demonstrate every little detail but it should be enough to help you through the project file. For the background blur, try using a photo of a city with the After Effects lens blur.
In our recent tutorial we created glowing lights for a 3D title but I wanted to recreate the effect with particles instead. The idea is having bright glowing particles that emit light onto the surface as they hit without having to hand animate the interactions.
In the end, I used the shadow technique from our particle shadows tutorial using a copy of the particles from the top view to simulate the shadow, only here I used the copy as colored light.
Project File (CS4+ Particular 2)
I know it’s been quiet on the blog lately but we are working hard behind the scenes on many new things. A new website revision is launching soon along with a couple new tutorials and even a full-length blog show.
Until then, here is a cool project file using some elements from the Free stock package. Everything is put together in After Effects including the title and particles so you should be able to modify and customize. I may have used a couple of Optical Flares as well.
I was playing around with the text animators in floating point color (32-bpc), and created some interesting results. With a high floating point color, the text creates a more vibrant result. Check out the 3D Sparks Tutorial for more information on the subject.
With a little more work, I could probably even make them suck a bit less. That’s called confidence!
One of the many uses for a particle system plug-in like Particular is the ability ‘visualize’ music through the formation of particles. I’ve seen some amazing examples over the last few months and this is one of my experiments called Red Smoke.
Download Project (CS4 & Particular 2 required)
About this Project:
After I extracted the keyframes from the audio amplitude, with this technique, I linked the particle birth and the velocity to the sound intensity with expressions. This made the bursts of particles shoot out farther for the louder notes and tighter for quiet parts.
The original comp was actually black with colorful particles (See sample) but I wanted to create something a bit more unique so I inverted the luminance and colorized part of it so it would be more dramatic Red on Black.
To get away from the sandy look of small particles I used a vector blur set to “Perpendicular” to blend it more naturally.
There are about a 2 million particles per frame so the render took about 4 hours but I lowered the rate while working to speed things up. I also offset the final audio a few frames to match the visual since the birth causes a slight delay.
Side Note: Harry Frank did a pretty in-depth tutorial at RGTV.
If you have any questions, post them!
Using the Audio Waveform plug-in I’ve built several comps with interesting looks, including many with 3D space. I linked some of the waveform settings to a control layer to offset multiple copies. You can swap out your own audio and make changes to the control layer.
If you want to make some more serious changes, delete all of the copies except for one. Then make changes to the settings and then duplicate it a dozen times or so.
Most of the concepts used to offset multiple copies can be found in this tutorial. You can also extract keyframes from audio with this animation tutorial. And, if you are new to audio in After Effects check this blog post too.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a free project file so here is one I’ve been messing with lately… It uses the CC Hair plug-in to create random moving fibers and then I used the Mirror plug-in to add a classic… well, mirror effect.
Download Project File CS4, just change the font to something you have.
So I’m still getting over a little cold but I wanted to make something shiny so here is a project file that uses 3D looking text with a billion layers to create depth and shadows. Everything was created with After Effect and there are no Lights in the scene.
Download CS4 Project File (I don’t have CS3 on my laptop)
What’s up! Anyone notice how sad particles look when they are played against slow piano music? Well here is a test I did using CC Particle World linked to a 3D NULL! I used several copies featuring different settings to serve as the smoke particles and the light debris. I think CC Particle World has great potential to create amazing particles but it may take a little more work when compared to Particular.
Another cool tip: Once I completed the particle animation, I put the comp in a new comp and slowed it down 200% so the particle movement is slower and also more depressing in a happy good way!
Now close your eyes… and imagine what it would like with some Optical Flares!
I was playing around with Particular 2 and came up with this particle swirl using a couple of smoke images as particles. I love that Particular 2 reacts to the lighting as well as fake shading to make the particle seem more volumetric.
Here is what I did, in Particular 2 custom particles are called Sprites, so once you select this as your particle type, the texture slot becomes available to use my smoke video that is included with the project download. I stretched the particle area and rotated the world transform to make it look like a twister. I added a couple of lights to give it coloring and a BG gradient.
Download Project CS4
(Sorry but I sometimes forget to use CS3 so more people can open it but the smoke element is inside the Footage folder for you to experiment. )
NOTE: To view blog posts that contain project files or free downloads, just click on the “Project Files” tab at the top.
You might also check out this free project from an earlier post.
When opportunity knocks, it helps to have a camera. OK, so this replica Oval Office may not be the real thing but it is a cool backdrop for something…
To fair, I have no idea what anyone is going to do with this but it just seemed cool to have a 180-degree view inside the home of the greatest US president.
Feel free to use for your projects but please refer to our License for usage.
I don’t post often but some people have wondered about our twitter page.
After Effects lights can be moved around in 3D space but a lens flare effect can only move in 2D space on the X and Y axis. So how can you add a 2d lens flare to a 3D moving light?
The secret is using a simple expression on the “Flare Center” of the lens effect.
1. Alt Click on Flare Center stop watch to add expression
2. Type this in the expression box:
NOTE: Just change “Light 1” to the name of your light.
This tip can be found in the bump map tutorial around 6:15 for those who would like to see it in action. View Tutorial
Dan Ebberts has an ever useful “3D Lens Flare” case study on his website that includes distance falloff. Check that out.
Here is an anamorphic lens flare project too.
Did you know that CC Particle World allows you to use an image (or texture) as a custom particle type? Just select the “Textured QuadPolygon” and a texture roll-out becomes available that allows you to choose a layer along with some other options.
Here is a fun project file that uses a custom particle type to create the image-based glowing lights.
Since creating the Earth Zoom tutorial back July 2007, I have always wanted the clouds to look more realistic. Although the fractal noise was a decent solution, nothing compares to the real thing. Recently on my travels, I was able to capture some images that might just be the solution to a better earth zoom. I actually shot them with the intention of sharing them here.
Obviously I travel by cape.
Use them professionally too! License
Sometimes it takes an idea to push the limits of After Effects. The title above is created entirely inside of After Effects using the same technique from the recent Ancient Titles tutorial.
I used multiple copies of the radial blur at different lengths to get a realistic shadow falloff. And although the title is not actually true 3D, it really holds up visually.
I wanted to create a free project file for the blog so I thought an underwater scene might be cool. I did a quick google search for some reference images of underwater scenery and then started to recreate one. It’s a bit slow to render but was an interesting experiment of using various effects for a specific reason. Have fun and remember everything is better under the sea!
By the way the only reason I’m linking to the Little Mermaid is because I have a daughter and NOT because it is my favorite movie : )
Download Project File AE CS3+