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Creating the Egg: Part 5 of the Golden COW by Serge Hamad

COW Library : Adobe After Effects Tutorials : Serge Hamad : Creating the Egg: Part 5 of the Golden COW by Serge Hamad
Creating the Egg: Part 5 of the Golden COW by Serge Hamad

A CreativeCOW Adobe After Effects Tutorial


Creating the Egg: Part 5 of the Golden COW by Serge Hamad
Serge Hamad Serge Hamad,
New York City, New York, USA



Article Focus:
Many of you have seen Serge Hamad's various animations in the After Effects forum at CreativeCOW. In this 5-part tutorial, Serge demonstrates the steps involved in re-creating his "Golden COW." In this tutorial, you will be creating the egg. This is the final step in this animation.



Download Movie Project file: sit Project file: zip Go to Part One

Preparation


Hi everyone,

We are finally coming to an end with this animation. We will in this tutorial implement the egg you see in the movie using Invigorator (An old recipe btw.) and add a few other effects and tricks to simulate 3D. I would suggest you to use the solo switch to view only the most important layers you need to work with as this project is by now pretty much loaded with effects that may tremendously slow your workflow. Also viewing at half resolution could help here.

I would suggest you to use the solo switch to view only the most important layers you need to work with as this project is by now pretty much loaded with effects that may tremendously slow your workflow. Also viewing at half resolution could help here.

-Start by opening the SciFi_4 project and saving it as SciFi_5. You should open your own project of course if you followed all the precedent tutorials.

Creating an Egg


--First switch the solo icon for Cage Front and the Nebula & Aura.mov (layer # 9) as you don’t need the rest.

-Create a solid layer first at (11:27) name it Egg and place it right on top of the Cage Back layer using the Invigorator camera for this. This way the layer would start right before the shattering of your Red Giant planet.

-Apply now Invigorator to the Egg layer to create a sphere or simply the Sphere favorite I advised you to save in the SciFi_2 tutorial.

-Using the Manipulator Tools place your sphere right in the center and so it is hidden behind the red Giant planet.

Depending on the way you used Shatter you should see something like this at (12:07):



Now an egg doesn’t look like this unless you live near an Atom Reactor of some kind so let us stretch it so it looks like a healthy “Supermarket” egg.

-Best is to go to the Invigorator Set-Up window by clicking on Option or the red button to make the changes described in this movie.

-Before you leave the Set-Up window make sure you uncheck the Front and Back faces of your object to avoids having a small spot flying around later on.


Creating The Eggshell


Before we start creating the necessary maps I want you to understand their purpose. One Transparency Map will generate the flying egg shell so it has to eliminate the entire egg but the shell. The other Transparency Map applied to a duplicate of your Invigorator layer will show you the rest of the egg with of course a crack/hole in it.

-Start first by duplicating your Invigorator layer but make sure that you really like the position as well as the lighting of your egg before you do so.

-Name your duplicated layer Shell.

-Notice that you could duplicate your Invigorator effect in the same layer but then you have to check Composite on Original for the second Invigorator instance to see your egg. For now let us stick with the layer duplicating method.

-Create a new composition in your Maps folder, name it Egg_Shell_Map and add to it a white solid layer named Shell.

-Now import this comp into the Shockwaves comp at (11:27) and switch off its eye icon.

-Apply your Egg_Shell_Map comp now as a Layer Map in the Scene Preview window of the Invigorator layer you named Shell.

-Go to your Set-Up window and apply your layer map to your object in the Transparency pop-up menu. Leave the value at (0). While you are there change the color of your object to a different one so you can distinguish your objects from one another what will make things easier for you to shape and animate your shell.

-Make sure the solo icon is switched on only for your Shell layer to accelerate your RAM preview and also that the layer quality switch is set to best so you can see your map.

-Open the Egg_Shell_Map composition in a separate window and draw a mask with the Pen Tool to create your shell.



-To avoid any seam set the Mask Expansion value to something like (10.0)

-Move and adjust your mask always verifying how your shape looks like in the Shockwaves composition window until you are satisfied. Don’t make your shell too big though and BTW if you click on the Inverted Check Box right to your mask Transfer Mode pop up menu you will see the counterpart of your shell.

-Once you are done just duplicate the Egg_Shell_Map comp in your Maps folder and name it Egg_Map.

-Drop this new comp to your TimeLine, switch off its eye icon, assign it as a Layer Map to the Egg Invigorator layer and apply it as a Transparency Map as usual in the Set Up window.

-Now just open the Egg_Map comp, change the mask Expansion value back to (0) and invert the mask’s Transfer Mode as I already explained before to unveil your egg. Of course you must switch on the solo icon for your Egg layer first to see something.




Animation

This part is a little tricky if you are new to AE, so try to follow me. If you would animate your Egg Shell to fly out of view like in the movie you would notice that the cage layer will obstruct the shell as it is located on top of it. This is something you generally should think of when you are planning your animation before you even open AE. Some sketch drawing may help here.

The easiest and sometimes only way in those cases is to create a transparent area in your “Top Layer” big enough to completely uncover the layer bellow for at least one frame. Using then AE’s editing abilities like layer splitting you would then be able to change the layer stacking order at the right time to simulate a 3D interaction. Now if you exactly followed the precedent tutorials then all the following animation steps should match perfectly if not then get the idea behind each step and animate owing to your own timing etc…

Let’s do it.

-First make sure that all values for Set 1 in the Shell Invigorator effect are set to null. (I am talking about the Shell layer here).

-At (11:27) set an Initial KF for the Y-Axis Rotation the move to (17:03) and change the value to (47.00) to make your Egg spin. Easy Ease your last KF (F9)

-Apply the same settings to your Egg layer at the only difference that you should change the Y-Axis Rotation value to (47:00) at (16:16).

-Go back to your Shell layer and Set 1 and set initial KFs at (14:21) for all properties but the Y-Axis Rotation and Depth Scale.

-Move now to (17:23) and click on the solo icon of the Cage Front layer so you can animate your shell object to look like this:



Remember it is important that you use the gap in the cage to completely reveal your shape.
Here are the values I used at (17:23):



-Before you split your layer make the final animation at (22:05) by changing the Z-Axis Position to get your shell out of view. I had this value (98.40)

To reach a smooth Z-Axis Position animation you should check your velocity graphic for Set 1 Z Position and move the last KF back and forth until the graphic shows a straight line then delete the middle Kf at (17:23)



-You could now apply a drop shadow to your egg shell to accentuate the realism. I used IL Real Shadows. It’s an extraordinary shadow plug-in.

You can position your shadow using the Custom Control like this:



-You need, of course, to make your shadow appear only when the egg shell starts detaching itself, so go to (14:21) to KF the opacity to (0.00%) and change it to about (75%) at (16:02) then copy this last KF and paste it at (17:15) move to about (17:22) and set the value to (0.00%) to make your shadow disappear as you don’t want to see one on your BG. Adjust the Softness to taste.

-While you are using this effect you could also apply it to your Cage_Front layer but make sure it looks very subtle by choosing a high Softness value.

-Move to (17:23) or wherever it worked out for you to have a free view of your shell and split your Shell layer (Ctrl+Shift+D).

-Move now your Shell layer to place it on top of the Cage_Front layer and remove the IL Real Shadows effect as you don’t need it in this layer.




Egg Texture


-Create a new composition in your Map folder and name it Egg_Texture.

-Create a new medium orange solid layer and apply the Noise HLS effect then choose Grain as a noise then alter the Grain Size to (8.00) and the Lightness value to about (9.0).

-Precompose your layer including all attributes; name your precomp Texturize if you want to then apply the Texturize effect using your precomp as a texture and with a maximum contrast value as well as a tillable texture placement to prevent any seam. All this should give you a subtle egg texture that you can apply as a layer map to your egg first.

-To get the white ring around the crack I added a Solid Layer in the Egg Texture composition, pasted the mask I used to create the shell / hole then applied the Stroke effect at a Brush Size value of about (10.0). I also animated the End property starting from (02:00) to (02:20) from (0.0%) to (100.0%).

-Add also the Roughen Edges effect and tweak to taste.

To texture your shell now just duplicate the Egg Texture composition in the Maps folder, get rid of the additional layer we used to create the stroke then apply this comp as a Layer Map texture to your shell object. Of course you must apply this map to both Shell layers.

-Once done you should see something like this: Click here to see the movie

I leave it up to you to put whatever you want inside of your egg. You could import a 3D object as I did with the cow that was created in Lightwave BTW and textured in Invigorator. Or just map a still or a movie to an object (Object must have the same aspect ratio then your clip / Still) that you insert in the egg.

If you want to check how I created the inside of the egg just open the AEP and check the following compositions: Crystal / Half_Egg / Inside_Egg_Map.

It’s self explanatory so I'll skip this part. Just make sure you are using the wireframe mode in your Set Up window so you can see the second egg (Egg Duplicate) that resides inside of the one we created together.

Last Things

Sindots Shader Effect is one of my favorites and above all it’s free. GET IT! (It's now available for Mac and Windows.)

I used it to create the shimmery light on top of the animation. Just open the AEP and play a little with the different parameters. I added Shine to it to color it.

You could experiment and combine this effect with IL Mirage, Turbulent Distortion etc… or just native AE’s plug-ins.

The stars in the BG were created using StarField from DigiEffects Beserk but there are many recipes on creating them using PS and AE in this forum.

I left the layers in the project for those who own the plug-in. If you don’t so just ignore the missing plug-in warning.

After rendering this final project to a movie with an alpha you could import your clip into a new project, add a solid layer bellow and apply a Lens Flare of your choice to highlight the BG.

I hope you had fun and in case you have any questions feel free to post them.
Salut.

Serge Hamad






Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four


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