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OLD CRT shutoff FX

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Jon DoughtieOLD CRT shutoff FX
by on Dec 4, 2014 at 3:18:35 pm

I have a spot client looking for a particular close to the commercial. Here the quote from their email:

"Also in the last segment, is there any way to mimic the shut down feel of an old CRT, going to a black screen (shutters to vertical line in center and compresses left to right to center) and then leaving a small robot eye in the middle? Think cylon eye from Battlestar or some such--maybe shutter-like."

I'm a fairly basic After Effects user. If you would offer some direction to help me get started on delivering this, I'd certainly appreciate it!

We have full screen video with graphics key for the backtag of the spot. Easy enough to set up as a pre-comp to bring into the final comp.

Your assistance and feedback is appreciated!

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Dave LaRondeRe: OLD CRT shutoff FX
by on Dec 4, 2014 at 3:30:56 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Dec 4, 2014 at 3:38:26 pm

You'll appreciate the simplicity of this:

  • Work with 2D layers -- no 3D.
  • Put the video to be turned off on a single layer, using a black solid for a background layer at the bottom of the layer stack in the timeline.
  • Animate the video's Y scale to a thin line in the middle, animate x scale to a point, then animate opacity from 100 to 0. Timing is up to your taste.

Other cool stuff you can do with this layer: Animate noise, the glow effect, and maybe play with tint or shutter wipe, too.

Now, if you're so lucky as to be able to have an old TV set or CRT handy, you could shoot the screen as it turns off and use it as a reference. It'll take place almost in the blink of an eye, and the look will vary in relationship to the age of the device... i.e. there's nothing standard about this effect.

There's a lot of trial and error in such an effect, and getting it the way you want it to look may be time-consuming, but at least it isn't difficult. And the completed effect may not be what the client saw in his/her mind's eye.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: OLD CRT shutoff FX
by on Dec 4, 2014 at 4:04:52 pm

Other things you may be able to use:
Before compressing the image to a line in the middle you may want to use the Bad TV preset from AE to have a few frames of noisy distorted image.
On the black solid that Dave mentioned apply a noise effect, monochromatic and not too intense.
Look for references on YouTube though and send them to your client to get a better idea of what they envisioned for this. As Dave said, it may be different from what we think they want.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Jon DoughtieRe: OLD CRT shutoff FX
by on Dec 4, 2014 at 8:11:03 pm

Thanks gents - you guys know, of course, how painfully simple that was. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I was waaaaaayyyy over-thinking it.

I have a look now I am pretty confident the client will be very happy with and it took oh, at least 5 minutes to create and render.

I'm going to have to adjust my medication levels, I think. ;~)

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