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How to do this cool edge effect

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Spencer Watson
How to do this cool edge effect
on May 27, 2011 at 9:55:03 pm

I'm struggling to find a good name or even description for this effect, but I've seen it in several movies and shows. The last place I saw it was in "Advantage" (AKA Advantage Satan), a horror short currently playing on IFC. Towards the end when they show these creepy kids in white, you can see their shoulders and hair are wavy and distorted, but moving in an upwards directing, almost like white fire, or like they're steaming or evaporating slightly. And I don't think it's just an overlayed animation, since it distorts their fabric and hair as it moves/ripples/whatever.

I've seen this effect applied to glowing eyes as well in cheap sci-fi shows.

Does anyone know what this is called, or how I might go about figuring it out?

Thanks!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: How to do this cool edge effect
on May 27, 2011 at 10:02:44 pm

I think the Distortion Map effect would do the trick:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c11...

And make darned sure you check out the resources mentioned within.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Spencer Watson
Re: How to do this cool edge effect
on May 27, 2011 at 10:20:35 pm

Thanks for the links. From those I guess I'm looking at needing animated displacement maps key framed to the edges of my subject. This would give me the motion I need, but would it be able to warp and distort the edges enough to give the shape of fire or steam?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: How to do this cool edge effect
on May 31, 2011 at 3:07:09 pm

[Spencer Watson] "...would it be able to warp and distort the edges enough to give the shape of fire or steam?"

That's a matter of personal taste: what's "enough" for me may not be "enough" for you. However, you can experiment with the effect and find out if it's enough for your taste.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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