In the following video, at the very beginning, I found a nice variation to the standard black screen fade in offered by pretty much every editing software:
Basically it looks like the black fades from a specific point. It says in the comments that the author did it in AE through a layer mask. I'm really new at After Effects and I was wondering if someone could point towards the right direction on how to get a similar effect. Especially I like the idea of having a rather dark shot that fades in with its brightest elements (e.g. flames) appearing first.
to do the circle wipe, i'd probably use the circle effect. you can either set the blending mode to 'stencil alpha' to reveal the layer over a black background, or set the color to black, click the invert option and set the blending mode to normal.
the advantage of using the circle effect over animating a circular mask, is you can adjust the enter property separately from the radius after the animation... if you animated a mask, you'd need to change both mask keyframes if you wanted to adjust the placement.
as for a fade with highlights fading in first, look at the gradient wipe effect.
you can stack both on the same layer to combine them. if you set the circle effect blending mode to 'normal' you'll want gradient wipe on first, then the circle effect, if it is set to 'stencil alpha', then it won't matter.
I tried bothways, using the circle effect and using a mask. However, using the circle effect I could not get the fading happen with an elliptical shape, only with a perfectly round shape and it looks a bit awkward, as the sides of the screen take too long to fade in. Is there any way to change the circle to an ellipse? Am I missing something really simple?
However, the mask worked pretty well and the gradient wipe effect allowed me to do exactly what I wanted, with the highlights fading in first.
- Create a black solid over your footage
- Use the ellipse tool to create a mask over the part of the footage you want to appear first
- Set the mask to subtract
- Feather the mask to ~250 pixels (adjust to your taste)
- Decrease the value of the mask Expansion parameter until the mask is completely invisible (solid black)
- Set keyframe on mask expansion parameter
- Advance to time in composition that you want the fade to finish
- Change mask expansion value to 1000
- If there is still some black solid remaining, set an opacity keyframe of 100% on the solid at the beginning of the fade, and a keyframe of 0% at the end (you might want to set the first opacity keyframe at the halfway point of the fade.)