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crystal effect

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Aslan Tamekcrystal effect
by on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:08:57 pm

hi everybody
i am currently working on some effect to generate the feeling of looking through a crystal glass. some thing similar to the madonna 4 minutes video clip, where it seems that a transparent crystal layer moves in front of the screen...

i made an adjustment layer, and applied a bump map looking like crystals to it, and applied cc-glass... but it does not make those reflections, and it looks far from what i saw in that video clip!

please help if you know any work through, thanks in advance:)

Architect & Animator


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Andrew SomersRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 20, 2012 at 6:45:39 am

The "real" way to make an effect as if you are looking though glass or crystal is to create it as a 3D object and use raytracing to render it.

But there are ways to cheat the effect using reflection maps and various warps or 3D layer positioning with masks.

But kind of hard to guide without a reference - do you have an image you are trying to emulate?


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Aslan TamekRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 20, 2012 at 2:24:53 pm

yep, as i mentioned, it looks like the effect in Madonna's "4 Minutes" video clip...

Architect & Animator


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Andrew SomersRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 20, 2012 at 8:13:56 pm

...Which would be useful if I watched madonna video clips...

You are coming to this free forum to ask a question, it's not too much to ask that you post a link and or image that is quite specific of what it is you are trying to do. If there is a specific video, l=then link to it and state the specific time in the video that the effect occurs.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 20, 2012 at 8:19:49 pm

I agree with Andrew- post a link and specify the time we should look at.
That being said, you can simulate that by using FreeForm Pro and your clip as a Reflection Map.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Aslan TamekRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 8:20:12 am

i am sorry for not posting the link, thank you for reminding me,
so, here is the link to that video :







and i mean effect in time : 00:16 , and time : 00:30 to 00:35

thanks for your attention...

Architect & Animator


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 22, 2012 at 6:11:56 pm

FreeForm Pro can definitely do that. Create the animated displacement map using Fractal Noise- there's a preset that can create triangular shapes. I pushed and exaggerated the displacement, but in the clip below that's how it started:






Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Aslan TamekRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 8:19:42 am

wow, thank you Tudor, that was great! i tweaked the settings in fractal noise but i couldn't get it to produce triangles... how should i do that?

Architect & Animator


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 9:27:14 am

My bad, I forgot I used Generate/Cell Pattern.
Use Crystals with a low contrast 45 and under. Disperse 1.5.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Aslan TamekRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 10:01:49 am

thank you Tudor, i made the triangles, easy! is there any tutorials to use freeform pro ? i searched the cow tutorials, there are some tuts, but they seem irrelevant..

Architect & Animator


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Aslan TamekRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 12:34:28 pm

ok , i figured it out some how ! this is how i did it :

. i made a solid, comp size
. i precomped this solid and named it MAP, and turned off visibility
. i applied generate/cells : crystals, low contrast
. i made a solid, comp size and applied a spot light on it
. on this solid, i applied Freeform Pro, and MAP as displacement map
. i precomped all of this as DISTORT and turned off visibility
. i applied CC GLASS on an adjustment layer with DISTORT as the bump map and placed this adjustment layer above my footage...

but its still kind far from that effect in the video... how can i push it further? the result is not convincing..

Architect & Animator


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: crystal effect
by on Feb 23, 2012 at 4:29:58 pm

Use the footage as a reflection map in FreeForm Pro.

As far as tutorials for FF Pro, I did a couple:

http://library.creativecow.net/jelescu_tudor/AE-3D-tunnels-FreeForm-Pro-1/1

http://library.creativecow.net/jelescu_tudor/AE-3D-tunnels-FreeForm-Pro-2/1

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Aslan TamekRe: crystal effect
by on Mar 25, 2012 at 8:31:27 pm

hi, i know this topic is some how out of date, but i jaust wanted to ask where should actually apply the freeform pro plug in? i bought it, and now when i apply it to my footage it just seems to be a freezed frame wich is scaled up to a high degree and blured and nothing moves! i made a displacement map and i chose my footage as the reflection map in freeform pro. but nothing happens, everything turns to black !

Architect & Animator


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