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Shapeable bulge distortion

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David Larsen
Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 4, 2012 at 3:49:03 pm

I'm trying to make a glass-like distortion, like you would see by looking through any solid piece of glass. Pretty much excactly like the bulge effect, but I need to be able to control the shape of the bulge with a mask or map. I tried the displacement map effect, but I can't figure out how to make it bulge the same way way as the bulge effect.
Any ideas?


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 4, 2012 at 4:31:26 pm

You can build a displacement map using a Shape Layer. Draw a white shape that matches the object you need on a black shape that matches the frame and use blur to feather the edges of the white shape to get the bulging effect. You can use FreeForm to displace in 3d or FreeForm Pro to do the same and add reflections for a glass look.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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David Larsen
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 4, 2012 at 5:09:56 pm

Thanks for the reply. I made a map like that, but the displacement effect only displaces in one direction, so I don't get the bulge effect where it bulges out and then back again. There might be a way by combining multiple maps, but I I'm really hoping I can find a smarter solution.


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 4, 2012 at 6:47:33 pm

David

Have a look at this tutorial:







Instead of a circle you can use our own required shape and also can animate it by using a mask on it.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Darby Edelen
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 5, 2012 at 12:27:35 am

This would be an awesome time to revive one of the creepiest examples I ever used in a post:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/2/919521

Basically, you can generate an approximation of a normal map from a grayscale height map to use with the displacement map effect.

Darby Edelen


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Walter Soyka
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 5, 2012 at 2:22:00 pm

[David Larsen] "I'm trying to make a glass-like distortion, like you would see by looking through any solid piece of glass. Pretty much excactly like the bulge effect, but I need to be able to control the shape of the bulge with a mask or map. I tried the displacement map effect, but I can't figure out how to make it bulge the same way way as the bulge effect. Any ideas?"

This is not a direct answer to your question, but with Ae CS6, you could use the ray-tracing renderer to get realistic refraction. Creating the right glass shape may be a bit challenging, though, as you can only extrude and bevel shape layers or bend image layers.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Darby Edelen
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 5, 2012 at 7:22:26 pm

I took some time to make a project that shows the "normal map" workflow I like to use. Note that what I'm doing in this project is not creating an accurate normal map, just approximating one to drive the displacement map effect.

4914_normalfromheight.zip

Also this project file uses the Emboss effect, which is not 32bpc capable. You can emulate the Emboss effect in 32bpc using 2 instances of the same layer*, but I haven't done that here. The results aren't bad with Emboss :)

If you increase the 'height' value too high on the normal_control null you may need to increase the 'smooth' value to accommodate the change. Take a look at all the layers to get a sense of what's going on here.

You can move the bottom "Normal" and "Normal_Blurry" layers in the Distortion composition to get live updates of the distortion.

*Set the top layer to 50% opacity with the Invert effect applied, offset both layers in X or Y position the same amount (i.e -5 x on top layer +5 x on bottom layer)

Darby Edelen


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Darby Edelen
Re: Shapeable bulge distortion
on Nov 6, 2012 at 5:52:15 pm

I'll also add that the Stylize > CC Glass effect will use a height map directly to produce the kind of distortion you're looking for. Unfortunately that effect is not 32bpc capable so I may use my previously detailed displacement map technique depending on the needs of the project.

Darby Edelen


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