Please preview the project files and movie before beginning this tutorial. Download movie and project files from the orange bar above.
This tutorial is built on a simple principle. After Effects sometimes needs footage to really make it cook. In this way we can look at using Photoshop stills as the catalyst to make an original animation.
The recipe consists of creating a large X in Photoshop and using it to create a firey background in After Effects.
Remember...we're artists, this job is supposed to be fun...so get in there and don't be afraid to get messy!
|CREATING THE FIRE BACKGROUND: PHOTOSHOP
PLEASE REVIEW THE FIRE BKG ANIMATION BEFORE BEGINNING THIS PROJECT .
1. Open Photoshop and create a new document with the following settings.
2. Type a capital X using a thin sans serif font...I used Avant Garde Bk Bt
3. Stretch the X to fit the screen
4. Press the create new channel mask.
5. With the channel mask highlighted in the layer pallette select the gradient tool and create a circular gradient starting from the center of the X and ending at the end of the X.
Click here to view instructions 4 and 5 with image.
6.Save the file as BigX.psd
|CREATING THE FIRE BACKGROUND: AFTER EFFECTS
7. Open After Effects and import the BigX.psd as a composition with cropped layers. By selecting cropped layers you will ensure that none of the footage gets cropped.
8. Double click on the composition icon to open the time line change the compositions
9. Change the document resolution to a quarter so that the program moves faster.
10. Delete the Background layer duration.
Click here to view instructions 8,9, and 10 with image.
11. Duplicate the X layer 9 times so that you have a total of 10 layers and convert all layers to 3D.
12. Set Position and Rotation keyframes for the 10 X layers at the beginning of the timeline to the following settings.
13. Set Position and Rotation keyframes for the 10 X layers at the end of the timeline to the following settings.
Start of timeline.
End of timeline.
14. Right click on the top of the switches and modes pallette and open the parent column.
15. Select layer and create a new null object at the beginning of the time line that will control all of the X layers.
16. Select all of the X layers and parent the 10 X layers to the Null 1 layer by clicking on the none box to the right of the layers. The Null layer will now be able to control all of the layers. Change the null layer to 3D
Click here to view instruction 16 with image.
17. Set position and rotation keyframes for the null in the beginning of the timeline.
18. Set position and rotation keyframes for the null at the end of the timeline.
|Start of timeline
||End of timeline
19. Set position keyframes for the X layers Z positioning to help separate the Xs to look more like an explosion.
20. Change the opacity for all X layers to 50% to better accept the color correction that will be added later on.
Click here to view instructions 19 and 20 with image.
21. Click on the double time stretch arrows and slow down the X layers so that their movement seems more random. Click on stretch percentage to open time stretch settings box.
Click here to view instruction 21 with image.
|Start of time line
||End of time line
22. Render the animation out at this point at full resolution with no alpha channel. Then re-import it as footage into the project bin. This will save you render time on the final output. Render it out as BigXrotate.
23. Select composition / new composition and create a new composition with the following settings
24. Bring in the BigXrotate animation onto the timeline and duplicate it 4 times. Give them the following scales, rotations and blending modes.
25. Slow down the BigXrotate layers so that their movement seems more random.
26. Create 3 new solids with the following RGB settings
Click on the graphic above to view larger image.
27. Give the solids the following blend modes. This will create a tri-tone color effect.
Tip: When using solid colors to color correct tint it is best to have many shades of gray in the animation as white and black will not accept color changes. This is why we rendered the Xs at 50% opacity.
28. Select layer / new / adjustment layer.
29. Select effect / blur & sharpen / vector blur. The adjustment layer will allow you to effect all of the layers underneath it.
30. Change the Amount, Ridge Smoothness, and Map Softness. This will create a fiery effect for our background.
31. Save the file as FireBKG
32. Render the file out as FireBKG
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