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Water effect

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Charlie JohnsonWater effect
by on Dec 13, 2012 at 2:34:41 pm

Hi all, I'm looking to create an effect that will suggest that the camera is underwater, looking out to a person on land. The actor reaches down to touch the water and the camera is looking up from beneath the surface. Does that make sense? I'd like to give it a murky, underwater look to distort the actor.
Are there any good plugins that replicate this effect? I've been trying to overlay shots of water on the image with high opacity and so far, it hasn't looked too convincing. Any ideas? Thanks for your help,


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Water effect
by on Dec 13, 2012 at 2:51:02 pm

Psunami is the one you're looking for - it has both surface and under-water effects, and is a Red Giant product:

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Ridley WalkerRe: Water effect
by on Dec 13, 2012 at 3:57:56 pm

You could try making a displacement map with Wave World then apply Caustics using the rendered displacement map to generate the underwater distortion on the image.

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Vishesh AroraRe: Water effect
by on Dec 14, 2012 at 6:44:48 am


Psunami is good for creating underwater scenes but it takes a lot of time for rendering.

Here are some tutorials that may help:

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra


Demo Reel(3D):

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Water effect
by on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:12:34 am

Here's a AE only way of achieving the result:

create a solid, apply Fractal Noise and play with the settings to create a animated texture.
Use that texture as a displacement map for your shot.
Use the same duplicated texture with CC Light Rays to create soft rays of light that add to the murky water feel.
Use Particle World to create floating particles (precompose and Time remap the precomp for slow moving particles).
Also you may want to add a Camera Lens Blur to soften the image.
Lastly, a vignette may also help along with color grading the final to match the kind of water hue you are looking to replicate.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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