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stage lighting

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Lisa Simonsonstage lighting
by on Sep 30, 2012 at 1:21:18 am

This is driving me nuts!
Having difficulty creating decent stage lighting. So far I've been able to somewhat fake a 3D lighting effect using nested comps and blending modes.
Is there a good tutorial anyone can recommend?


Scene is : Curtain opens, character steps into spotlight.

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Vishesh AroraRe: stage lighting
by on Sep 30, 2012 at 11:28:52 am

You can use Trapcode Lux to create good Spot light effect.

Here is the tutorial:

Its in different language but it will work.

Vishesh Arora
VFX and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra


Demo Reel(3D):

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Dave LaRondeRe: stage lighting
by on Sep 30, 2012 at 9:13:02 pm

I'll guess that you have several 3D planes going on: the closest is the curtain, followed by the stage floor, which is surrounded by the back stage wall and the wings. Into all of this walks the subject, presumably shot on chroma key.

If that's the situation, you may want to nest the stage layers in their own 3D comp, keeping the curtain and the subject in the main comp. As far as lighting everything goes, it's primarily a situation of doing it.

Chris Meyer, a gent who has been using AE since Version #1 -- the application created by CoSA and for which he and his wife have been writing training books for years -- says there's a secondary reason why there's a 3 in 3D in After Effects: it takes three times as long to work with things.

Could this be your predicament?

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Brian CharlesRe: stage lighting
by on Sep 30, 2012 at 11:34:13 pm

If you're trying to simulate volumetric lighting and don't have the budget for Trapcode Lux (an excellent product) you can use a script developed by Peter Torpey called "Volume Light".

Its free and available here:

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Lisa SimonsonRe: stage lighting
by on Oct 1, 2012 at 12:12:00 am

Thanks. I'll definitely give it a try!

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Lisa SimonsonRe: stage lighting
by on Oct 1, 2012 at 12:20:55 am

Thank you for the info Dave! No kidding, its taking 3 times as long, lol! I am nesting 3 separate 3D comps. One is the character with animated light, the other is the open curtain with its own spot light ( mimicking the position of the characters light ) then theres the stage floor lights which I've created using layers, masks and transfer modes. Sheesh.
Trapcode would be the perfect solution for this scene.

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