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Neon Sign Compositions

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Ellis Berman
Neon Sign Compositions
on Sep 10, 2011 at 11:37:13 pm

Hello Creative Cow community,
I'm fairly new to After Effects, so bear with me.
I'm trying to make a neon sign logo. I've been working with this tutorial: http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/motion-graphics/simulate-a-glowing-neon-li...

I'm able to do the tutorial no problem, but the logo I'm making has more than one color of light, unlike the one in the tutorial. My logo has about four colors that go with four separate sections of the logo. What I've done is put each section into its own composition. Each composition consist of color glow, color base, and neon tube effect compositions (I think they are pre-compositions).

In the tutorial, he uses controls to turn the lights on and off. He targets the controls to the elements of the sign (glow threshold, glow radius, etc). What I tried to do for my logo was move all the compositions into one big composition. However, once I did this, I no longer seem to have access to the effects within each composition. I guess what I could do is take out the per-compositions and move them into the final composition, but all those per-compositions would take up a lot of space and I'm sure it would be tricky to keep track of everything.

So what I'm wondering is what would be the best way to control all the compositions. I want all the logo elements to flicker at the same time, but in different colors. Do I have to divide the logo's elements or can I just use one image file and make certain sections different colors?

Sorry if I didn't explain this well enough.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Neon Sign Compositions
on Sep 11, 2011 at 7:49:18 pm

You can create an adjustment layer in the main comp and build a series of sliders in the effects panel that will control the parameters that you want to animate in each pre-comp. Lock the effects pannel and then go in each pre-comp and link the controls of each neon sign part to the designated sliders. Once you did this with all, you will be able to animate the whole sign as one unit.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Ellis Berman
Re: Neon Sign Compositions
on Sep 11, 2011 at 10:27:36 pm

The main comp, as in the one that has all the other comps in it?

I'll attach a few images to show you my set-up.

Here are the individual elements of the logo:






And here is the final composition, which contains the compositions listed above:



Notice how I don't have access to the effects of Glass Final, Lips Final, and Olive Final once they are put into FINAL NEON SIGN. I only seem to be able to access the 'transform' controls. Is there any way around this?

Do I have to add individual adjustment layers to Glass Final, Lips Final, and Olive Final, then drag them into FINAL NEON SIGN and animate them there?

or

Can I control/animate all of them by adding a single adjustment layer to FINAL NEON SIGN?

Sorry I'm so new to this. :S


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Neon Sign Compositions
on Sep 12, 2011 at 5:36:19 pm

Add an adjustment layer in your main comp (yes the one with all the other comps in). Lock the Effects panel where you add the sliders (lock icon at the top). Then you can open each individual comp and link from there.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Ellis Berman
Re: Neon Sign Compositions
on Sep 12, 2011 at 10:04:41 pm

Awesomesauce! Thank you so much! :D


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