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Create Ocean Sunset in After Effects

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Peter Leibold
Create Ocean Sunset in After Effects
on Mar 22, 2013 at 4:54:05 pm

Hi all,

I'm a theatrical lighting designer and new to After Effects, but I've been asked to do the video production for a show coming up.

Our director wants to have seven different variations of a sunset over the ocean in Florida, looking as real as possible, which will be projected at the back of a set as if out a window. I've managed to create several ocean effects that seem like they'll be feasible and have followed some tutorials to make sunlight on water. The thing I'm having the most trouble with is getting the sun to look realistic and have realistic light reflect off the water, light up clouds as it passes, and morph properly. I've been seeing many references to Optical Flares, Trapcode Particular, and Knoll Light Factory, but I believe those are plug-ins that I cannot afford.

I'm hoping someone can point me in the direction of a tutorial that I may have missed or suggestions of ways to approach this.

Thanks so much!


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John Cuevas
Re: Create Ocean Sunset in After Effects
on Mar 22, 2013 at 5:25:50 pm

One more product to consider, not cheap, but probably will do exactly what you want and save a ton of time:

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/psunami/

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Peter Leibold
Re: Create Ocean Sunset in After Effects
on Mar 22, 2013 at 5:30:01 pm

Thanks, John.

I looked at Psunami, and it seems like it would be great... If I only had the money.

I have a decent amount of time, just not much money.


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John Cuevas
Re: Create Ocean Sunset in After Effects
on Mar 22, 2013 at 5:51:53 pm

Here are some good reflection tutorials, #31 looks like it would be particularly appropriate.

Video Copilot Reflections

Also 3d Ocean

Couple of create your own Lens flare tutorials: Anamorphic Lens Flare in AE
How to Create an Anamorphic Lens Flare in After Effects

For lighting up the clouds, I'd probably create the lens flare and set it too add. Another method would be to create an adjustment layer over the clouds(mask the adjustment layer) with a levels effect that brightens the clouds. You could even put the flare above the adjustment layer and set the adjustment layers track matte to Luma...so that only where the flare is will the clouds get brighter.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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