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The first step on a long road!... Posted over 8 years ago by N/A - Posted in Tutorials

Hello!
 
My name is Adam Knight and I do the graphics and web design for AV3 Software. I have been firmly based in the two dimensional static design world for over 10 years and have now decided to try and learn a little bit more about the third dimension and motion graphics.
 
Over the next year I am aiming to gather the skills to be able to upload a show reel to creativecow.net and hopefully not be laughed off the site. So here goes this is my first attempt at an effect.
 
There is an awesome site I urge anyone who likes making really cool effects to go and see videocopilot.net, they have both very excellent tutorials and their own products which can help you learn. I’ve been through a few different tutorials and have decided to start with an energy ball!!!
 
Thanks to Paul for the loan of his camera, we shot about 15 seconds of me creating and then shooting an imaginary energy ball from between my hands. I’ve found with all my playing around so far it is a massive time saver to really plan through what you are going to do before you even think about picking up a camera.
 
For the purpose of my learning, I’m not going in to the techie side of doing stuff for film or television but the theory in creating effects. Plus my laptop is rubbish and dies if you try anything over a web video.
With the short clip encoded into FLV format, and imported in to After Effects CS4 I set about applying the supporting effects to the actual video instance. A Ripple effect is added to where the energy ball will appear to look like some visual distortion from the energy then the Lightburst effect is applied to the video at the point the energy ball will ‘fire’ to show the power in the action.
 
The energy ball is a composition made up of line masks on a solid with the Vegas effect applied, the solid with the line masks then has the Polar Coordinates ‘Rect to Polar’ setting applied at 100% which pulls the rectangle around into a circle. This combined with the offset effect gives the lines their ‘energy’.
 
This composition of lines is duplicated numerous times and these new layers are moved in 3D space to create a ball. Two solid circles one on top of the other with a feather applied to create a bright energy source in the centre of the ‘ball’ to finish off and there we go.
 
Advanced Lightning is used to shoot from both of my hands in to the creation point of the ball. The decay setting is used here to go from 100% decay to 0%, to create the expanding and the reverse, to contract it back again. Trapcode shine is applied to the lightening to give it some more depth and strength. I then place the ball composition on to the main video and it’s starting to take shape.
 
I create another solid and turn it in to a cylinder and create a new light to try and give a realistic light effect on me from the ball. I’m sure as I learn more there is a better way to do this but for now it’ll do! Anyway with a few minor tweaks here and there mostly adding in some keyframes to fine tune the motion of the ball when it shoots off and we’re done.
 
It looks pretty cool, it’s just a start remember so try not to laugh to hard but I’m fairly pleased with myself!
 
Next week I will mostly be trying to create a meteorite strike and crater!
 
So for now be excellent to each other.
 
Adam

 

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