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vfx for cloud of smoke/fog and human brain

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Gigi Marzo
vfx for cloud of smoke/fog and human brain
on Feb 18, 2015 at 6:28:39 am

I am a student of art at the University. Let me ask you a sort of "collaboration" for my video for my thesis. A sort of creative crowdfunding. I need for a part of the video of a kind of continuous cloud of smoke/fog but very slow movement, it's really important that the shape of fog/smoke it's similar at the human brain.
For this scene (filmed in slow motion) I was inspired by this famous painting by Michelangelo: . And that's why I really need a "smoke/fog brain" to incorporate into my scene in after effects.
I hope that you will accept this young help request. Time is short, I sincerely hope you can give me a hand.

I have tried to film a some real ink on a white screen, in hi-quality, and use these rush as animated textures on sprites particles in After Effect. Then I emit particle from a brain shape I draw and after I play with the particles, changing size, etc... but the result is really horrible.
After I have tried to do it in AfterEffects, using Particular, to emit particles like a brain, but I couldn't have some pretty nice results, rather the best result looked very fakeā€¦

I need something similar like this: but without this hard movement,

So, Im looking for something less dense, but more like the smoke or fog or cloud. Then it should not move so much, but much much less (I need this for slow motion), just as the wafts of mist that move really slow. Finally the shape of the brain must always be recognizable. So few and slow movements that keep always so that the shape.
An example of movement and density like the fog in this movie

In short, the characters in the video I shot (green screen) must be between the fog / smoke, fog / smoke in the shape of the brain.

I hope you can help me, because Im in deep trouble.

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Kevin Reiner
Re: vfx for cloud of smoke/fog and human brain
on Feb 18, 2015 at 2:35:42 pm

Perhaps as simple as fractal noise with a brain-shaped feathered mask. (Set to Dynamic Twist and Spline, then play with complexity, scale, brightness and contrast, and then animate evolution). Animating the mask path and feather might give you the effect you're looking for.

More complex would be Trapcode form, which shares a lot of parameters with particular. I'd suggest a tutorial as I can't go into detail here.

Anything extremely realistic means heading to a 3D app.

As far as timing issues, remember that you can always precomp such effects and then use time remapping to tweek the timing. Slow it down, speed it up, ramp it, reverse it. Lots of control.

Good luck.

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