Flowing Title Effects using Adobe After Effects
Creating a Flowing Title Effect
by George Polevoy, TEKOFILMS, Moscow, Russia
with additional editing and graphics layout by Kathlyn Lindeboom
© George Polevoy and CreativeCOW.net. All rights are reserved.
George Polevoy explores a method of creating a flowing title effect in Adobe After Effects. With this technique, you can add a variety of effects, such as smoke or fire, as well as an abstract 'flowing' for a visual element.
Please note: This is an Advanced level tutorial and may take a few tries to get it right. This is normal due to the complexity of the technique and the subject matter. And it uses Production Bundle filters...
Download the project files here:
Mac ae project files
Windows archive folder
Windows ae project files
Comp One: FXSubject
Create a comp of appropriate size and duration and call it FXSubject.
In this comp, create your title. It doesn't have to be a title; it can be any small visual element that you wish to draw attention to. Make the comp large enough to include the potential size of the flowing elements.
I usually add an adjustment layer and apply a ramp with just one color to discard color information of the artwork in the layer to just keep old alpha and new solid color.
COMP TWO: FXMatte
Create a new comp the same size and duration as FXSubject and call it FXMatte. This will be an intermediate image, used to locate the effect action over the initial image.
Add a new solid the size of the comp. Create an oval mask of a size that will cover your artwork. Choose the add setting for the mask. Feather the mask. (Mine is 150 pixels horizontal and 50 pixels vertical --experiment to see what works best for you.)
Add Effect>Cult Effects>CE Noise Turbulent. Animate the Evolution. Start with -1x and end with +2x. Experiment with the timing here, You can also duplicate this layer and offset the second layer to increase the "flowiness."
Note: It is not necessary to use CE plug-in, you just need any kind of stochastic motion, like a time-lapse clouds shot, or just a pre-composition of moving black and white spots. The last is even preferable, because you can tune the effect more precisely if you create each spot individually.
Animate the position of the mask layer so that it moves across the screen. You can also animate the layer's opacity so that it will appear at the beginning and disappear at the end of it's motion.
The mask and position animation is used to reveal the actual, undistorted image in animation. You may also wish to apply Levels effect in this comp and set the red channels Output Black value to 128. Click here if you'd like to see the effects palette for this comp.
COMP THREE: FXDisplacement
Create a new comp, 500 X 200. Add a new solid, size of the comp,
This gray layer is needed for the Displacement Map, because gray value means zero displacement.
Add the comp FXMatte to the timeline. It should be above the gray layer.
FXDisplacement includes FXMatte as a layer. It is different from FXMatte only in that it is includes a 50%-gray layer as a background.
COMP FOUR: FXBlur
Create a full size comp. (Mine is 768 X 576, 25 fps and 10 seconds long.)
Add the FXMatte comp. Create a new adjustment layer.
Call this layer Luminosity Bounce.
Apply Effect>Adjust> Curves to this layer with these settings: black color turns to white, gray color turns to black, white color to white. The RBG curve should look like upturned triangle. (see below) This is done to avoid blurring undistorted areas.
FINAL COMP: FLOW
- Create the final comp, the same size and duration as FXBlur.Add, in this order, FXBlur, FXDisplacement and FXSubject. Turn off the visibility for both the FXDisplacement and FXBlur layers.
- To the FXSubject layer:
- Apply >Effect >Blur&Sharpen >Compound Blur. Set the Blur layer to FXBlur. Maximum blur = 200. Check the box "stretch map to fit."
- Apply> Effect> Distort> Displacement Map Effects. To the Displacement Map, specify the FXDisplacement layer as the map layer. Tune the controls of the displacement map to achieve the effect you need.
- Animate the opacity value for the FXSubject layer if necessary.
- Also, you may wish to animate the opacity value of the spots in FXMatte layer.
Use the Levels and Glow or whatever you want to control final image of the flow. With these two, you can color your flow look like fire, smoke or something unreal. You can also add additional graphic elements to create further interesting effects. Experiment. Click here if you'd like to see the effects palette for this comp.
- Render the movie -- and experiment.
To view the movie click the image below:
George Polevoy is a frequent visitor to the Adobe After Effects Creative COW. Drop by and discuss this or other effects.
The Adobe After Effects Creative COW is a part of CreativeCOW.net -- online Creative Communities of the World. This tutorial is for the use of Creative COW members and visitors and may not be reproduced without permission by the author and CreativeCOW.net.
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