I need to create flood waters rushing in and over the course of about 6 or 7 seconds filling the entire screen so that the viewer is now looking through the water as if submerged. This is for a scene in a play and will be a projection onto a screen at the back of the stage. I've found some green screen effects but nothing that quite fits. I'd love to find something that could be modified and composited due to my limited knowledge of AE, but I'm also willing to build it if needed. I realize that the illusion will rely on adding caustics to sell the look. Thanks for any suggestions. I'm using the latest AE CC.
When you say "rushing in", could you describe it a bit more? Is there something else on the screen already that needs to look like it's flooded? Or do you just want to have water level rising on the screen?
If you need a room or something look like it's flooding, this tutorial might help get you heading in the right direction:
Action VFX has some splashes that might help sell it if there are things the water needs to interact with.
I did watch that tutorial and it wasn't quite the look I needed. It's a little tough to explain but the water simply rises. On stage just prior to the "flood" there are 2 benches and a statue. The projection screen will drop very quickly directly in front of the statue and benches and at the same time the projection will kick in. The only thing we'll see in the projection is a replica of the statue and benches in the exact same location, as well as a picket fence far off in the background. The water level rises (doesn't have to interact with anything on the set, but will probably need to be masked for some upstage scenery on the edges) to the top of the screen and those now digital benches will float up into the water, while behind the curtain the physical benches will be removed from the stage.
I ended up finding a decent water rising animation on a transparent background that seems to work in conjunction with some fractal noise and color grading.
While I do appreciate learning AE a little more in depth, I also appreciate a simple solution. Thanks for the feedback.