I know this may be incredibly simple through a series of effects, but I'm stumped on how to create a dream sequence type of effect. I think it is a classic effect when a normal image or film suddenly starts to distort into a "dreamy" sequence and we are suddenly transported to an alternate part of the story. Wayne's World-like but not as cartoony. I'm actually thinking more along the lines of the start of Superman I when the prologue "dream-sequences" from the comic book page panel illustration of the Daily Planet into a "real" Daily Planet from where the camera zooms in and over towards the moon and beyond.
Can someone suggest to me a proper way to approach the dream effect? Thank you in advance!
[Tom Edison]"Can someone suggest to me a proper way to approach the dream effect?"
There is no proper way to approach a dream effect... Nobody knows what you see when you dream, it's up to you to decide what a 'dream effect' is in the context of your narrative.
If you just want it to look glowy and blown out, try creating an Adjustment Layer at the top of your timeline, apply a blur to it and set its blending mode to 'Add' or 'Screen.' If you want light to look like it's shining through the screen add a Radial Blur effect to that. If you want the colors to be saturated then saturate the colors, if you want them muted you can tint them.
It's really up to you to decide how you want something to look, I wouldn't presume to tell you the 'correct' dreamy effect... If you need help achieving the look you've decided on then we need more specific information on what that look is exactly.
Darby Edelen Lead Designer Left Coast Digital Santa Cruz, CA
You can do it with fractal noise and a displacement map. Create a solid layer and apply fractal noise effect to it. Animate the noise and precompose the layer. Then, use the pre-comp as you layer base within the displacement map effect, and you got it.
Check out the video tutorials: "Displacement Mapping", "Looping Fractal Noise" and "The Very, Very Basics of Fractal Noise" by Aharon Rabinowitz, here in the COW.