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particle playground - layer map - 114 b&w images - problems

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jeff rusmossen
particle playground - layer map - 114 b&w images - problems
on Nov 28, 2011 at 4:01:51 pm

I am using particle playground to map multiple image particles to a single system. I put a black backround on the white images and rendered them as a .mov then dropped it into the comp and used layer map. It works except it shows the black background overlapping...ahhhhh. I have tried blending modes and can't find a proper tutorial anywhere help me please.

More precise details;
I have 114 white images (currently .png with alpha)and my background in my after efects comp is black.
I tried to render as a movie and this somewhat works but the images show up as a square and overlap each other.

What is the correct way to make a movie (for the layer map)to use these 114 images randomly as particles and not have the background show up. As far as i know you can't use alpha in a movie?
Does each image need a duration?


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Walter Soyka
Re: particle playground - layer map - 114 b&w images - problems
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:13:29 pm

I'd put all the images in a precomp and use that as the source for the layer map -- no need to render an intermediate.

But to answer your direct questions:

[jeff rusmossen] "As far as i know you can't use alpha in a movie?"

Sure you can! You just have to use a codec that supports alpha (like Animation or PNG). The default output module "Lossless" doesn't support alpha, but "Lossless with Alpha" does.


[jeff rusmossen] "I have 114 white images (currently .png with alpha)and my background in my after efects comp is black.
I tried to render as a movie and this somewhat works but the images show up as a square and overlap each other."


It sounds like you've positioned all the layers on top of each other. Select all the layers and press Alt-[ to mark their in-points, then immediately press Alt-] to mark an out-point at the same location. Now all the images are one frame long, but still stacked on top of each other.

With all the layers still selected, right-click one, then choose Keyframe Assistants from the context menu, then choose Sequence Layers... Do not set an overlap; just click Ok. AE will sequence each image for a single frame. Go to the last frame (at frame 113), press N to mark the end of the work area, then choose Composition > Trim Comp to Work Area. If your comp was shorter than 113 frames, open the Comp Settings dialog and change its duration.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeff Rasmussen
Re: particle playground - layer map - 114 b&w images - problems
on Nov 28, 2011 at 6:35:01 pm

the short...

1 take my white . png images with alpha channel.
2 make a composition
3 precomp...what does this mean. do i export as .mov/animation type.
My goal is to have a source for my layer map that randomly picks from the 114 options and uses them as the particles.

i am fairly new to AE.

Artist from sculpture to animation


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Walter Soyka
Re: particle playground - layer map - 114 b&w images - problems
on Nov 28, 2011 at 7:19:33 pm

[Jeff Rasmussen] "precomp...what does this mean. do i export as .mov/animation type"

No need to render to a movie. You can use a composition as if it were a footage item within another composition. This is what I've referred to as a precomp [link].

If you follow the instructions I gave, you'll get a 114-frame long composition with each image showing in sequence for a single frame.

If you're new to After Effects, I'd recommend the following link, in which Adobe's Todd Kopriva pulls together some important introductory materials:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...

I especially recommend the Video Copilot "Basic Training" series that Todd links to.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeff Rasmussen
Re: particle playground - layer map - 114 b&w images - problems
on Nov 28, 2011 at 9:15:45 pm

Thanks very much.

i had saved my .png files as greyscale and had put a black background. After deleting this backgound and changing them to rgb it will work fine once i get there. i foud that when i import multiple files and i drag them to the timeline it comes up with a duration option....wonderful. Thank you for the advice as well. I will do the tutorials asap. Cheers. Jeff

Artist from sculpture to animation


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