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Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?

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Stephen Pickering
Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 8:22:20 am

Hi there,

We're working on an effect for a haunted tour. We have some of the AtmosFX ghost projections:



but there is one scene we would like to create using our own actress. We shot it and keyed it, but for the life of me I can't figure out how to get the rippling, flowing, smoke, energy, etc. to border the keyed layer. I played around with Particular and CC Vector Blur and got some neat results, but the way I'm using Particular is that it's using the keyed layer for the particals, which means the black hair isn't going to have a glow around it. I attached a snip of my results:

I found a tutorial that shows how to add some skulls to the clip, but I don't think I have time to work on that. I do need to work on the glow, but I've never understood AE's glow effect. Right now I'm using Red Giant's Universe Glow Highlights to some success- but not quite right.

Can anyone give me some ideas on how to make the "energy" around the actress more liquid like and flowing (up)? I would really like to have it flowing behind her hair so that we can see her hair.

Thanks!

-Stephen



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 9:40:38 am
Last Edited By Roei Tzoref on Sep 27, 2016 at 10:08:09 am

[Stephen Pickering] "Can anyone give me some ideas on how to make the "energy" around the actress more liquid like and flowing (up)? I would really like to have it flowing behind her hair so that we can see her hair.
"


You should be thinking in Layers and not try to get all in one effect. it's easier to understand an effect if you break it down to different parts. you already have a keyed footage, you can use a duplicate of that as a matte for any other effect or look, one time or many times.

there are many effects that allow this rippling type edge. one effect that comes to mind is turbulent noise. just animate the evolution and you got a rippling edge. for the smoky feel you can try to construct it yourself with something like Turbulent Noise or Fractal Noise or Displacement Map or use a stock footage of smoke. you can try to get fancier with something like Trapcode Mir: https://www.redgiant.com/products/trapcode-mir/ or Trapcode Shine.

here's a little something I assembled in a few minutes with combination of many of the effects and technique that I suggested:



Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 2:37:46 pm

Ok... so I spent HOURS last night trying to do that. Literally, I was up until 4 am. We're using this in a "haunted tour" which we have rehearsals for today.

Each project I learn a new technique, but this one I just can't grasp. I'm going to play around with it right now. Do you mind telling me which of the techniques you used so that I know what I can achieve with what I have? I do see some rays coming from the highlights. But I don't own Shine and would prefer not to purchase it just for this, if there's a way to simulate.

Is the top layer set with a blend mode to allow the turbulence layer below show through?

Is there any chance you would be willing to upload your project file for me to see how you're doing each of the layers?

You've helped me out tremendously already with the suggestions. Thank you!

-Stephen



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 2:59:34 pm

[Stephen Pickering] "Is there any chance you would be willing to upload your project file for me to see how you're doing each of the layers?"

I got into the habit of saving certain project from forums but this one was pretty quick so I didn't. I could try this later and show a breakdown send it if I have the time but have to go... I did use shine and mir. this could be done in many ways. many good help is in this forum just wait a while and another will pitch in :)

[Stephen Pickering] "or are you just using the term generally"

a general use of the term. meaning I just apply and effect on a duplicate of the footage and colorize it.

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 3:07:40 pm

Thank you! I'm actually so burned out on this project (it's a "passion project" for a non-profit that wasn't supposed to take this much time), that I just might buy some plugins to get this thing done. I'll check those out.

I tried the turbulence noise on the keyed layer, but I can't get the edges to distort.

I assume it's a displacement of sorts, but I also can't grasp how I could do that. Yours also has the upward flow/movement that I've been trying to replicate for a few days now!

Thank you again,

-Stephen



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Blaise Douros
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 28, 2016 at 12:05:24 am

You're so close! Take your key layer, duplicate it, and apply a blur. Maybe bump the size of the layer up to 105%. You want to expand the edges of the key behind the actor. Then, use the new key with blurred edges to key in your Turbulent Noise behind your actor. Presto.

Add some Glow over the top on an adjustment layer, keep the blue color wash that you've already made, and you're done.


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 4:41:29 pm

Trapcode Mir looks pretty neat, and I imagine I would use it in the future, so I downloaded the trial and would be happy to purchase it. However, I can't seam to get it to affect a matte of any kind. I found a million tutorials on creating mountains and abstract objects with Mir, but nothing leading me to understand how to contain it within a matte or shape (but I'm guessing my terminology is off too). Since I installed the trial of Mir, I also installed Shine. I'm hoping to just use RG Universe Glow instead of buying shine, but I'm so tired of this project!

So, if anyone gets a moment to give some input, I ready to buy these and get the project done :)

Thank you again for your time!

-Stephen



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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 2:47:29 pm

Also, when you say to use the keyed layer as a matte, do you mean a Track Matte, or are you just using the term generally (I know some effects have "matte" options that allow us to select layers).

Thanks!



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 27, 2016 at 10:28:39 pm

o.k I created something new without Mir but with Shine. though you could do this without it.



here's a breakdown:
10628_ghost.mp4.zip

here's the project:

10627_ghostfolder.rar.zip

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 28, 2016 at 4:04:37 am

Thanks so much! I'll look at it right now.



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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 28, 2016 at 4:48:35 am

This works really well. Thank you again. Now that I've been playing around with Mir, I'm really intrigued with what it can do. If you happen to have a few moments again and wouldn't mind showing me how (or directing me to a tutorial that explains) how Mir works with masks, I would love to see how that works. I'm guessing it's just a combination of "fabric" or liquid effect (I found a few tuts about that) combined with the a "texture" layer.

Your example has helped a ton. I might purchase shine, but might also play around with a glow effect combined with radial blur.

Thank you again!
-Stephen



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Sep 28, 2016 at 11:12:07 am

[Stephen Pickering] " mind showing me how (or directing me to a tutorial that explains) how Mir works with masks, I would love to see how that works."

believe it or not but I have never actually used it :)
here's a breakdown:

here's the project file:
10629_ghost2.aep.zip

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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Stephen Pickering
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:49:06 am

So, here's what I ended up going with. I'm still not totally happy with it, but it got the effect close enough... and I learned some new tools that I have to justify using in the future (using Mir and Shine and a few other stock effects).







Thank you all again for your help with this!

-Stephen



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Roei Tzoref
Re: Ghost look with energy, rippling, glowing edges?
on Oct 20, 2016 at 1:10:20 am

Great. the backdrop looks a bit sharp to my taste. looks too CGI I think. I would try a bit more shine or something to blur it out a bit. this is fun stuff you are doing, I had horror aspirations in the past. I even got into screamfest L.A film festival with a crappy 5 minute zombie move... but I have forsaken them... maybe on day I will get a chance to do something again with this genre... Goodluck!

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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