I'm new to after effects and I've really just been learning by looking at different videos on youtube and trying to replicate the effects. So in the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd learn some creepy effects. How would I go about creating something like what's shown in the first six seconds of this video? I tried playing around with the distortion effects like keyframing wave warp and I tried messing with the lighting of my sample video and it's not giving me the effect i'm looking for. Is this something that involves tweaking an already exisiting effect or do I have to build something up from scratch?
Here's the video I'm referring to.
New to a lot of these programs but really willing to learn.
After Effects comes with a lot of individual effects nodes (aka plug ins), each does something small and simple, but you can stack them on a layer or across multiple layers for creating just about any treatment you desire.
The video you posted seems to use just the standard effects, layered on top of each other.
It's not uncommon to have multiple layers of the same footage, with different effects and combining them with various transfer modes. I suggest working in 32 bit linear space, and you'll find ADD, MULTIPLY, and OVERLAY are very useful transfer modes.
My single favorite and most used plug in is LEVELS (or levels individual controls when I need keyframes). It is located under ColorCorrection. The other color correction plug ins I use a lot are Hue/Sat and Curves.
I use Gaussian Blur and Box Blur a lot.
So here's a quick example — if you want a glowing effect on your footage, duplicate the layer, and on the top copy, set it to ADD transfer mode, and put the gaussian blur plug in on it, and levels. Adjust the blur amount and the level to get a glowing effect. Put an adjustment layer above the footage layers with another LEVELS effect to adjust the overall brightness.
So in short:
• Learn about combining layers using different transfer modes such as ADD, Multiply, Overlay.
• Learn the important basic plug ins such as Levels, Hue/Sat, Curves, Gaussian Blur, Box Blur, Radial Blur, Displacement Map, Mesh Warp, Fractal Noise, etc.
• Learn about MASKS so you can selectively apply treatments to only portions of an image. And associated with this learn Mocha so that you can do tracking masks.