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Creating steam effect

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Piotr RaczkoCreating steam effect
by on Feb 4, 2013 at 10:04:24 am

Hi everyone,

I have a question on a particular effect. I need to achieve steam over a cup of coffee. I have the coffee cup rendered in Cinema 4D, there is liquid (coffee) pouring into the cup, filling it (that's made in RealFlow). And now I need steam. I asked about it on a Cinema 4D forum, and it seems overkill to do it in 3D. So the question is about post. Does anyone know how to achieve a fairly realistic steam in AE? I could try masks and blur them, but I'm not sure if it's the best and most realistic approach? Or else, perhaps I need to use a plugin or something, however I would prefer AE alone.

Appreciate all help.
Thanks.


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Piotr RaczkoRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 4, 2013 at 10:07:00 am

I forgot to mention that the camera in Cinema 4D is slightly above the cup at an angle, and then it travels slowly to in front of the cup. So perhaps the steam effect would have to be in 3D.(?)


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 4, 2013 at 2:57:20 pm

Here's a good jumping off point for Particlular - it's a free Steam preset:

http://people.redgiantsoftware.com/Explore/PresetDetail.aspx?PresetId=1940

It's not quite perfect for coffee steam (too thick, needs less opacity), but you can tweak that, and maybe play with opacity. As far as the camera move, if it's slow enough, you can animate a mask to clip the steam with the lip of the cup. It would be somewhat easier in 3D, since your cup will automatically clip the steam, but I'm a 3DS Max user, and don't know whether C4D's particle system can do steam (I would assume it can).

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Piotr RaczkoRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 6, 2013 at 9:18:21 am

Thanks Joe. The effect looks nice, but unfortunately I'm running AE CS3, and the preset won't open. I asked on a C4D forum and it seems steam is not really easily doable in C4D, one has to use a plugin such as TurbulenceFD or DPit Effex.

Cheers.


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 6, 2013 at 3:07:47 pm

One last thought...you could create some new solid layers in AE. make them tall and thin. Then use an animated distortion map to get them waving slowly and lightly. With a good bit of blur, and reduced opacity, you should be able to approximate steam. You might also want to make some wider layers, and put curved masks on them, giving you the wider wisps of steam you see rising from a cup. Longer to create, but it will expand your capabilities in AE. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Piotr RaczkoRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:46:37 am

Hi, thanks very much for the tip. I want to ask, how to apply the animated distortion map? Is it the same as a displacement map? If so, how do I actually animate it? I know how to apply a displacement map, but not animated.

Appreciate all help.
Cheers.


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 28, 2013 at 1:41:25 pm

Hi Piotr -

Sorry I missed your new question - the way I would do it is to create an animated noise layer, using Fractal Noise - something slow moving, and probably also musing upward, the way smoke or steam would, and rather large, in terms of the "noise scale".

Then apply a Compound Blur to it, using the noise layer, then a displacement map, using the same Fractal Noise layer.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Piotr RaczkoRe: Creating steam effect
by on Feb 28, 2013 at 2:28:32 pm

Hi, thanks for the explanation. I will get back to this project soon and then try out your tips.


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David GoodwinRe: Creating steam effect
by on Oct 29, 2013 at 1:05:04 am

I can't download it as need to register and cannot register. What is the point of a security check to fool machines that humans can't read either?


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