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How to make coins glow in AE?

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Ryan Atkins
How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 11, 2012 at 10:56:17 pm

I'm doing preparation work for a scene on a short film (has yet to be shot) which a little girl will become fascinated with coins that will eventually be special to her. They will need to be glowing both on the ground and in her hand when she picks them up.

I believe After Effects is the right software for this, but does anyone have suggestions as to how to create a glow on each coin? They will be shot live action with a DSLR - I don't really want to make CG coins in Maya.

I just received Trapcode Particular and GenArts Sapphire, but I am not sure which of these will do the trick, if any.

Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks!


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Andrew Somers
Re: How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 12, 2012 at 12:52:42 am

There are a few ways to handle this.

Since coins are flat discs, one way might be to use Mocha to track each coin with a mask, and then use those masks to select the coins on a dupe layer of the footage that had blur and exposure (boost) on it as effects. Adjust the feather of the masks for the amount of "glow", as an example.


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Ryan Atkins
Re: How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 12, 2012 at 5:54:01 pm

Thanks I'll try this out and see how it works.

I may be back with more questions, but we shall see.


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Kevin Camin
Re: How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 12, 2012 at 5:45:48 pm

This is off topic. But what about fastening a mini bulb on the side of the coin facing away from the camera? I think what is going to sell the shot is that the coin is an actual light source illuminating her hand in a realistic way, in addition to just glowing. You can remove the cord running to the bulb in post or find a way to hide it on the actor.

Best regards,

Kevin Camin


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 12, 2012 at 8:13:58 pm

To continue Kevin's suggestion, use a LED light- bet you can find a tiny one that runs of a small watch battery- no wires there, and nothing beats practical effects. Mocha or hand roto as it was suggested before should give you the mask for the coins - use that to apply glow. One thing to consider is working @32 bit in AE, this way your glows will look a lot better.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Andrew Somers
Re: How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 13, 2012 at 2:00:03 am

Yes, anytime you can use a practical effect to help sell something do! This is especially true when you want something in the scene to light up its immediate surroundings.

Doing this effectively in post requires a bit of work "such as creating 3D light catchers).


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Gary Oberbrunner
Re: How to make coins glow in AE?
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:39:20 pm

Sapphire should certainly be able to give you a nice glow on your coins; use S_Glow. It was used for Frodo's sword in LoTR, for instance. As long as the background is darker than the highlights on the coins, even a quick garbage mask around them ought to give you a good result.

-- Gary


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