Background Creation Tips and Tricks:The RAGE Background
Background Creation Tips and Tricks:The RAGE Background
A CreativeCOW Creating Background Elements Tutorial


Background Creation Tips and Tricks:The RAGE Background

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 two, Dean uses cloud layers created in Photoshop and applies filters to create an interesting red and black, almost fiery look. He calls it Rage.

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!

MAKING THE RAGE BACKGROUND: PHOTOSHOP



1. Create a new photoshop document 2000x500 pixels

2. Create 3 new blank layers

3. Name the layers from top to bottom BKG1 - BKG4

4. Change the foreground and background color boxes on the tools palette to black and white

5. Select Filter / Render / Clouds for each layer



6. Select Filter / Render / Difference clouds for each layer


7. Select Filter / Blur / Motion Blur and set the angle to 90 and the distance to 500 for each layer


8. Select the bkg1 layer


9. Select Image / Adjust / Levels and drag the dark and light histogram arrows until you get a sharp contrasted image with hot white areas and a lot of pure black areas.


10. Repeat step 9 for the remaining layers



11. Select the bkg1 layer

12. Select Filter / Noise / Add Noise

13. Set the Amount to 15 the Distribution to Uniform and check monochromatic.

14. Add this effect to the remaining layers.

15. Select the bkg1 layer

16. Select Image / Adjust / Levels and drag light histogram arrows until you get some hot white areas that removes some of the grain.

17. Repeat step 16 for the remaining layers




18. Select the bkg1 layer and change its blend mode to Overlay

19. Select the bkg2 layer and change its blend mode to Multiply

20. Select the bkg3 layer and change its blend mode to Overlay


21. Create a new empty layer above the bkg1 layer

22. Select the single row marque tool

23. Click in the center of the layer and fill it white

24. Deselect the row

25. Duplicate the layer, switch to the move tool and move the new layer down 1 pixel using the arrow keys

26. Merge the 2 new layers and name it Line

27. Select Filter / Render / Fibers and set the Variance to 15 and the Strength to 10

28. Select Filter / Blur / Motion Blur and set the Angle to 0 and the distance to 15

29. Select Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur and set the blur to 1

30. Select Image / Adjust / Levels and drag the dark and light histogram arrows until you get a sharp contrasted image with hot white areas and pure black areas.

Single Row Marquee Tool


31. Duplicate the Line layer 3X

32. Rename the layers from top to bottom Line1 - Line4

33. Select Line1

34. Select Edit / Transform / Rotate and set the rotation to 25 and then click on the commit check box to apply the settings

35. Repeat step 34 for the remaining lines and increase the rotation by 25 for each layer. Ex. 50,75,100

36. Reposition the lines so that they are spread out on the document

37. Change the blend modes for each line to hard light


38. Create 3 new layers above the line layers and rename them from top to bottom Yellow, Orange and Red

39. Fill the Yellow layer with Yellow R 215, G 185, B 20

40. Fill the Orange layer with Orange R 140, G 80, B 5

41. Fill the Red layer with Red R 70, G 20, B 5

42. Change the blend mode to Softlight for the Yellow layer

43. Change the blend mode to Overlay for the Orange layer

44. Change the blend mode to Color for the Red layer



45. Save the file as RageBKG



MAKING THE RAGE BACKGROUND: AFTER EFFECTS




1.Select file / new / new project

2.Import the RageBkg.psd as a composition (Either use the one you just created or the one supplied in the project folder that you can download from the orange bar above.

3.Double click on the composition icon to open it

4.Select composition / composition settings

5.Change the preset to NTSC D1, 720x486 with a duration of 5:00

6.Change quality to best for all layers

7.Turn the eyeball off for all layers

8. Turn the eyeball on for the BKG4 layer

9. Set position keyframes IN and OUT to its current position

10. Marquee select both keyframes

11. Select window / the wiggler

12. Set noise type to jagged

13. Set Dimension to One Dimension X

14. Set frequency to 5

15. Set magnitude to 400 and apply

16. Lock this layer

18. Turn the eyeball on for the BKG3 layer

19. Repeat steps
9.-10. for this layer

20. In the wiggler set the magnitude to 300 and apply

21. Lock this layer

22. Turn the eyeball on for the BKG2 layer

23. Repeat steps
9.-10. for this layer

24. In the wiggler set the magnitude to 200 and apply

25. Lock this layer

26. Turn the eyeball on for the BKG1 layer

27. Repeat steps
9.-10. for this layer

28. In the wiggler set the magnitude to 100 and apply

29. Lock this layer

30. Turn the eyeball on for the Line4 layer

31. Set position, rotation and scale keyframes for their current IN and OUT. Marquee select both position keyframes

32. In the wiggler change the frequency to 15

33. Change the magnitude to 100 and apply

34. Apply these wiggler settings to the scale and rotation keyframes

35. Lock this layer

36. Turn the eyeball on for the Line3 layer

37. Repeat steps
31. And 34. for this layer

38. Lock this layer

39. Turn the eyeball on for the Line2 layer

40. Repeat steps
31. And 34. for this layer

41. Lock this layer

42. Turn the eyeball on for the Line1 layer. Repeat steps
31. And 34. for this layer

43. Lock and shy this layer

44. Close the wiggler window

45. Turn the eyeball on for the yellow, orange and red layers --
these 3 layers will create a tri-tone effect due to their color and transfer mode settings

46. Save the file as Ragebkg

47. Render the file as Ragebkg




Experiment with the speed of the animation to give it a quirky feeling

Click here to see another variation of the movie -- this one's in slow motion.


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

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