Preparing a News Open: Arc Highlight & Arc Flare
Preparing a News Open: Arc Highlight & Arc Flare

Creating a News Open: part four

by Kurt Murphy, Paws For Effect, Amherst, New York USA

©2001 Kurt Murphy. All Rights Reserved. Used at by kind permission of the author.
This edition ©2001 All rights reserved.

Kurt Murphy Article Focus:
Join noted broadcast designer Kurt Murphy as he continues his exploration of the process of re-creating the on-air identity of a local broadcast affiliate in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. In part four of the series, Kurt adds some highlights to his design components.
First the Arc Highlight:

I wanted the leading edge of the arc to have a highlight running through it. This was accomplished by copying the animated arc from the layer and pasting it into a new comp of the same length (fig. 10). It was then duplicated so that I had 2 identical arcs. I then moved one of the arcs down 2 pixels (fig. 11). Make sure that the Timebar is on one of the Position keyframes and that both keyframes are selected before you move the arc; this ensures that the arc and it’s Position keyframes are moved together. With the arcs 2 pixels apart, I selected Alpha Inverted on the lower arc Trackmatte which gave me a thin edge where the 2 layers overlapped (fig. 12).


figure 11

figure 12

These 2 layers were pre-composed (Command-Shift-C) so that I could add a slight blur to them. I wanted the highlight to appear only on the front of the arc, so a mask is used (by double-clicking the layer and adding a rectangular mask) to isolate the leading edge as it animates downward (figs. 13 & 14).

figure 13

figure 14

Once again the original Reflections of Light background is used for the arc highlight. The Levels were pumped up to bring out more of the highlights (fig. 15). This is positioned above the original arc with the arc highlight matte placed above that. This layer matte is then used as a Trackmatte for the pumped-up Reflections of Light layer which is exposed only through the thin edge (fig. 16 & 17). The highlights bleed a bit due to the blurred matte. As long as all the backgrounds start at the same moment in time the edge highlights will still match the background highlights.

figure 15

figure 16

figure 17

An Add Transfer Mode is used to make the highlights even hotter.

Next, The Arc Flare:

I wanted a lens flare to follow the arc edge as the arc swept down. To create the lens flare, the filter is applied to a black Solid (fig. 18). By changing the Transfer Mode of that Solid from Normal to Add, it drops out the black and adds the color values of both layers resulting in a brightened image (figs. 19).

Figure 18

Figure 19

I set keyframes for the start and end Center position of the flare, along with the flare size, brightness and opacity.

In a somewhat hidden feature, you can also adjust the path of an effect. By double-clicking the Flare Solid layer you call up the Layer window. The triangle to the right (where the Masks and Anchor Point are stored, fig 20) also reveals the animated path with bezier handles for the Flare center. This allows me to adjust the bezier tangents to give the appearance that the flare rides along the edge of the arc (fig. 21).

Figure 20

Figure 21

Back to Part Three: Creating the Background

Coming soon ... Part five: "Local Coverage".

©2001 Kurt Murphy. All Rights Reserved. Used at by kind permission of the author.
This edition ©2001 All rights reserved.

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