I want to simulate the effect of lasers with after effects. Basically just a bunch of moving dots that can change color, opacity, position, etc that will be projected into a hazed room. I'm new to after effects, and don't know how this could be accomplished. Ideas?
And if you're new, why don't you avoid the temptation just to jump into AE, which means you get confused and frustrated? Wouldn't you rather take some time with the basics, get to know AE and really enjoy it?
Lasers are not "moving dots", so already I'm not sure how to help you because I'm not picturing what you are trying to achieve.
When I hear "laser", I think of the Beam effect.
As Dave points out, dozens of tutorials on lasers in AE are a mere Google search away. If none of them are what you are picturing, help us out by giving some more information (or some pictures for reference).
I also second Dave's suggestion to get a solid foundation in how to use AE. Skipping that step means lots of frustration down the road.
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