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Water displacement

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Bob LeathersWater displacement
by on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:26:06 pm

I'm used to using node-based software, but in order for me to land this particular gig I need to learn AE in a few days. So, I've been recreating some comps I've done in the past as practice.

This particular one was initially easy to do, it took around 10 minutes, if that. However, since I'm new to the AE workflow, it has been taking me a few hours of trying to figure out how to do these effects.

I'm putting a logo at the bottom of a pool. After modifying the LL text the way I wanted, I grayscaled and contrasted the video to create a matte and "Set Matte" to the LL logo. Next what I need to do is use the inverse of that matte to warp parts of the logo to add a water displacement effect. However, that is where I am stumped... How would I go about doing that?

Here is the comp so far.


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Tom DaigonRe: Water displacement
by on Sep 21, 2012 at 11:52:28 pm

Learning AE in just a few days. Thats very ambitious. :D

Maybe this will help you reach your goal.

Tom Daigon
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Bob LeathersRe: Water displacement
by on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:11:27 am

Hah hah, yeah, it has been quite the headache so far. Every time I troubleshoot I keep thinking, "oh, I'll just do this and this and... oh wait, different workflow."

Thanks for the link. However, I don't want to create new ripple effects through the logo but use the pre-existing ones in the video so the logo matches perfectly with the ripples in the water.

I want to pretty much recreate this.

EDIT: Bleh, I thought that link would direct to the specific part on the timeline. 1:14


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Darby EdelenRe: Water displacement
by on Sep 22, 2012 at 12:18:55 am

The Distort > Displacement Map effect is a good one for creating distortions based on a source layer. This effect will probably be somewhat familiar. Apply the effect to your LL layer and point the Displacement Map Layer at your source footage, then you can set horizontal and vertical displacement values (in pixels). 50% gray in the selected displacement layer's channel will not displace at all, full black displaces in the negative and full white displaces in the positive.

It's often good practice to pre-comp your source video footage and use some color correction to get your channels looking good for the Displacement Map effect.

You could also use the Distort > Turbulent Displace effect to create distortion without any input footage.

Darby Edelen

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Bob LeathersRe: Water displacement
by on Sep 22, 2012 at 2:16:23 am

Sweeeeeeeet, this is exactly what I was aiming for. Thanks man!

On to the next practice comp.


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