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Animated grunge textures

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Benjamin AusmithAnimated grunge textures
by on May 2, 2012 at 1:26:13 pm

Allo everybody. I'm working on abstractifying some video. In photoshop, I've done some cool things in the past where I've taken grunge textures (a quick google image search will let you know what I'm talking about) and applied them to other images using various blend modes to dirty up otherwise clean images.

Now I want to try that in After Effects, but I think a still grunge texture overlaid onto a video will look kind of boring. I want to have these textures animated, which I'm assuming means generating them myself from scratch.

So I was wondering of some nifty procedural ways to generate a grunge texture. What I've tried doing is taking animated fractal noise, colorized it with colorama, then adding grain, applying it to my image with hard light blend mode. The result is more murky than grungy. Anyone else have any ideas?

Benjamin Ausmith
Post-Production Assistant
Monadnock Media, inc.

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Animated grunge textures
by on May 2, 2012 at 1:49:38 pm

Sure - if you have your grunge textures in a single folder, import them into After Effects as a sequence of stills. Then overlay the sequence on your clean image. You might also want to mask it a bit in the center area, because the jumpy grunge you'll end up with can be a bit distracting. You can then loop your sequence to fit however long the clean image is.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Benjamin AusmithRe: Animated grunge textures
by on May 2, 2012 at 2:53:29 pm

That's not quite what I had in mind. An image sequence of various grunge filters will be just chaos. I want the grunge itself to animate. There seem to be elements such as dirt and scratches and mold and things like that. I guess animating stuff like that manually might be getting into some heavy Particular type stuff, which might be more hassle than I'm looking for.

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Kevin CampRe: Animated grunge textures
by on May 2, 2012 at 4:01:34 pm

you can do a lot with fractal noise, just keep playing with the settings...

basic dirt-on-film look can be achieved with by increasing the contrast and brightness to get the amount of dirt wanted, then adjusting scale of the noise. if you animate the evolutions rapidly, you can get a different dirt pattern on every frame.

you can get scratchy textures by drastically changing the noise scale... width: 10, height: 10000 will start to create a vertical streak look. adjusting the brightness and contrast will make them more like scratches. animating the offset value can make it more like scratches on film, animating the evolutions can get you cool results too.

if you want curved scratches, adding turbulent displace can help with that. with a few layers and offsetting the turbulent displace evolutions you can get good organic scratches.

cool light-leak effects can be created with fractal noise with the complexity set really low and the scale set fairly high, then animate the offset and/or evolutions. then add colorama set to the fire output preset (or similar).

also, for any keyed element, you can use roughen edges to grunge up, and of course it can be animated.

the old cc film burn can add dark smudgy spots, adding it to a white solid can allow you to key the film burn effect (just add invert, then unmult, and then invert again) and then you can add roughen edges to create some cool splotches.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Animated grunge textures
by on May 2, 2012 at 8:35:22 pm

OK - you didn't say that in your first post. Generally when grunge textures are used, they're used in a style that is quick cuts, jumpy moves, nervous energy, and the chaotic look of what I was talking about would fit it perfectly. Smooth grunge just doesn't bring much of anything to mind. Kind of like "easy-listening heavy metal".

If you take a look at some of Artbeats Film Clutter series, you can see examples of what Kevin is talking about. A great way to experiment with the fractal noise plugin is to apply it, choose several of the parameters, then use Brainstorm button - the thought balloon icon with the light bulb in it. It will give you more quick ideas than an hour's worth of twiddling with settings. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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