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Need suggestion on casting parallel light ray/beam

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Hiro OberNeed suggestion on casting parallel light ray/beam
by on Mar 22, 2012 at 6:23:36 pm

The effects I'm after is very similar to trapcode shine, the only problem is Shine is always casting the light from a point, but I really need parallel light...

I can't make a light beam and then duplicate them and position them, coz this would be casting from animated light sources.

Trying to explain this better, here's some images:
1.I created a solid and throw a fractal noise on it, animate the noise a bit,then put a colorama to change the white part to cyan. After that I mask it off for a certain shape.


2.I put trapcode shine on it, its way of lighting the cyan part is just what I want.


3.Now the only problem is I need all the light that casting from Shine to be parallel, but Shine is always from a point...Yes I can make the source point some distance away from where it is now, but it's never gonna be really parallel. So the red line is what I want to achieve...


Any suggestion on how to get them parallel? Maybe any way around besides Shine? I uploaded my file so you can just check it out.
3883_parallelshineeffect.aep.zip

Thanks in advance.


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John CuevasRe: Need suggestion on casting parallel light ray/beam
by on Mar 22, 2012 at 8:06:42 pm

I made some adjustments to your project based on this tutorial, but you have 9.0 and I'm CS5 so I'm not sure if you will be able to see my final project.

Gobo Light Tutorial

First I deleted the masks in your Mask comp and added Keying -> Luma Key and changed the threshold to 22.

In comp, I deleted "layer 3 Mask" comp and I added a thin mask to the remaning fractal "mask" layer(vertical mask, few pixels wide) and enabled 3d.

Add a null layer and enable 3D switch. I moved the null to directly behind the fractal mask layer and really far back in Z space, 1510, 501, 3091(numbers work for my project). Parent the null to the fractal mask layer and rotate "mask" layer, for me it was x = -58 y = 0 z = -19

Add adjusment layer and add trapcode shine and add expression to source point: src = thisComp.layer("Null 1"); src.toComp(src.anchorPoint)

Change the shine transfer mode to Normal and Base on to Alpha. I cranked up the boost light to 400. Once you get to this point you can start to move the null around and play with other settings to improve the look. Moving the null farther away in z space will make the lights appear to be straighter up, but will also make them diminish in intensity. This isn't going to ever get every light 100% straight, but i think it's closer than where you were.

I uploaded my work file, not sure if you have a way of opening it. I think I covered all my step.
3885_shineupdated.aep.zip

Also a picture of my final settings:
3887_shinesettings.jpg.zip

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Hiro OberRe: Need suggestion on casting parallel light ray/beam
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 9:33:33 am

Thanks Sooooooooooooo much John! Thank you for the adjustment! It's definitely getting much closer than what I had last night! I'd follow your way and get my project tweaked.

Well, I will be happier if I can get them real parallel to each other, if anybody has other idea, I'd be glad to know it:)

Thank you again John!


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John CuevasRe: Need suggestion on casting parallel light ray/beam
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:54:23 pm

I noticed one more thing, if you change the project color depth from 8bit to 16 bit it looks a lot nicer. 32 doesn't work at all though.

Anyway, I'm glad I was able to help.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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