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Shiny/Glassy looking background

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Sara Jean
Shiny/Glassy looking background
on Jul 22, 2010 at 6:21:28 pm

Hey Guys,

I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction on how to make a shiny black background in AE. Here's the low down:

I've got an illustrator file from a designer that I need to use for my background. It's black with a hexagonal grid pattern made from a hundred tiny little black hexagon all fitted together. The .5 stroke on each hexagon is creating the grid looking pattern (Imagine tiny bathroom tile or a pair of fishnet stockings.)

They want it to look like a light is sweeping across the background, illuminating the tiles in a realistic way. I've been trying a bunch of stuff (cc glass, shine, putting an individual gradient on each tile, lights) but nothing is giving me that glassy tile look and It's really tough to effect a black background.

Any ideas? Sorry for the long winded request. Wish I knew how to post a picture on this forum.

Sara Jean




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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Shiny/Glassy looking background
on Jul 22, 2010 at 7:10:07 pm

To get the impression of a reflection you need contrast. Create a mask that corresponds to the lines that outline the tiles- use that to keep the space in between tiles flat (no gloss). Reverse that mask to get a mask for the tiles- use that combined with an animated gradient ( hot core, short fades on sides). Play with color in the gradient, use dark indigo to a lighter tone. To add more interesting highlights comp the layer on top of all the others using an animated tile mask ( use the initial tile mask - render it out- you will get white tiles with black "grout"; comp that over black and animate a mask that cuts the white tile shapes in the same way the light sweeps = an animated mask of the tiles that are highlighted) Apply a bevel alpha filter and play with comp modes. Hope you can understand what I am thinking- it wasn't easy writing it down, although it seemed pretty clear in my mind...

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania
http://www.ennstudio.ro


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Sara Jean
Re: Shiny/Glassy looking background
on Jul 22, 2010 at 7:45:36 pm

Thanks Ted,

I think I'll have to reread this a few times to fully understand but I think I get it:) Is there an easy way to make that kind of a mask or would I just have to draw around every hexagon?

Sara Jean


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Shiny/Glassy looking background
on Jul 22, 2010 at 9:11:45 pm

Use the illustrator file you got. Select all hexagons, turn the fill to white and the outline to black and add a black solid under the whole image. You end up with a matte for the tiles. Turn the fill of the hexagons black and the outline white, and turn the solid underneath to white as well and you get the matte for the space between the tiles. You can export a tiff file of both straight from Illustrator and use that for the matte in AE.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania
http://www.ennstudio.ro


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Sara Jean
Re: Shiny/Glassy looking background
on Jul 23, 2010 at 2:58:48 pm

Awesome!!! Thank you so much! I never think to create mattes. That's such great advice!!


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