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Background Creation Tips and Tricks: Starfield

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Background Creation Tips and Tricks: Starfield
A CreativeCOW Creating Background Elements Tutorial


Background Creation Tips and Tricks:Creating a Starfield

Dean Velez Dean Velez
The Anvel Motion Graphics Courseware for After Effects
Atlanta, Georgia

©2005 Dean Velez and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Article Focus:

There are many ways to create backgrounds in After Effects and many of us have our own special ways of doing this. Please join Dean Velez creator of ''The Anvel Training Program for Motion Graphics'' in a 5 part series as he shares some of his different methods. In this part three of the series, Dean uses cloud layers created in Photoshop and applies filters to create a starfield background.

movie Project files

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 4-6 different rendered cloud layers that are much bigger than the final output. Pick any 1 filter and add it to each layer with slightly different parameters and save.

Import those layers into After Effects and go nuts! Move them around, scale them, rotate them, add different effects to them until you're happy with what you have.

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 STARFIELD: PHOTOSHOP


Please review the starfield.psd and starfield.mov before starting



1. Choose file / new and create a new file 1000x1000 pixels, 72 dpi, RGB color mode with a black background

2. Turn the background color box black , and the foreground color box white in the tools pallette

3. Create 7 new layers

4. Choose layer 1

5. Choose filter / render / clouds

6. Do step 4 for layers 2 - 7

7. Choose layer 1

8. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 400

9. Check monochromatic

10. Choose layer 2

11. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 300

12. Set its mode to multiply

13. Choose layer 3

14. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 200

15. Set its mode to multiply

16. Choose layer 4

17. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 100

18. Set its mode to multiply

19. Choose layer 5

20. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 50

21. Set its mode to multiply

22. Choose layer 6

23. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 25

24. Set its mode to multiply

25. Choose layer 7

26. Choose filter / noise / add noise and set it to 10

27. Set its mode to multiply

28. If the starfield looks to sparse at this point, try turning off the eyeball on 1 or 2 layers starting from the top or adjusting

the transparency on 1 or 2 layers starting from the top

29. Choose layer / Flatten image

30.Choose image / adjustments / levels, set the input levels to

100 1.00 120



31. Name the layer starfield

32. Save the file as starfield.psd



CREATING THE STARFIELD: AFTER EFFECTS




1. Import the starfield.psd from the psd folder as a composition and double click on it

2. Choose composition / composition settings Rename the starfield.psd comp to renderout, resize it to the D1-NTSC

720x486 preset, and set the duration to 10:00

3. Switch the quality mode to best

4. Duplicate the starfield layer 2X

5. Rename all starfield layers starting from the top starfield1 - starfield3

6. Choose starfield1 and set its mode to add

7. Set position key frames IN 355x370 OUT 390x300

8. Set scale key frames IN 100x100 OUT 110x110

9. Set rotation key frames IN 50º OUT 60º

10. Choose starfield2 layer and set its mode to add

11. Set position key frames IN 355x140 OUT 410x140

12. Set scale key frames IN 90x90 OUT 105x105

13. Set rotation key frames IN 25º OUT 35º

14. Choose starfield3 layer

15. Set position key frames IN 440x90 OUT 425x140

16. Set scale key frames IN 80x80 OUT 85x85

17. Set rotation key frames IN 0º OUT 5º

18. Save file as starfield.aep

19. Render file a starfield, premultiplied with no alpha



Experiment with brightening the stars by layering the rendered stars and changing the blend modes to add.

The image below has 4 rendered layers with the top 3 layers set to an add mode.





Feel free to ask questions in the After Effects forum at Creativecow.net.

To subscribe to Dean's AE product, click on the logo to the right.



If you found this page from a direct link, please visit our forums or read other articles at CreativeCOW.net







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