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Christmas tree lights lighting up.

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anita sanchaChristmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 5:49:04 pm

Any ideas of how to make a Christmas tree light up, the effect I want is the shop display of the xmas tree by day and by night illuminated.

I have a still image of a decorated tree with lights taken in the day time, which I could darken. I can duplicate the layer and use something to keep the lightest parts brightest as an overlay maybe, or adjust the photo i.e in photoshop, but also how can I get that sparkle and color of the lights flickering. I cant go and film it either at night.

Thanks Anita

Thanks for all your help
Anita Sancha.

http://www.anitasancha.co.uk


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Dave LaRondeRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:36:42 pm

[anita sancha] "I have a still image of a decorated tree with lights taken in the day time, which I could darken... how can I get that sparkle and color of the lights flickering."

There's more to this than you're considering. A LOT more.

In the daytime, lights come from different sources. Those shiny Christmas tree bulbs reflect a lot: you'll see walls, shop counters, the sky, etc. on their surfaces.

At night, the colored lights dominate. You don't see the same things in the reflections as you do during the day. They reflect off all those shiny surface. That flimsy tinsel moves around, creating its own reflections. You can only fake such things in AE; you won't be able to make it look realistic.

The techniques to replicate all those refelections faithfully are referred to as ray tracing, they're done in 3D applications and not AE, and they take forever to render and animate.





[anita sancha] "I cant go and film it either at night. "

That's too bad. I fear you're stuck with something that's going to look very fake, and the viewer will be able to spot it a mile away. As long as what you have is going to look fake anyway, why not just make it totally fake and build something that you can work with in Illustrator and spare yourself the grief?

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


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anita sanchaRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 10:07:37 pm

Thanks Dave..

Actually I don't think I will mind a "cartoony" effect. I spent 15 years touring Europe with old animated mechanical hand painted magic lantern slides that dissolved through many layers using 5 different lenses projecting at the same time. It's that effect of a gradual dissolve from day to night that I am looking for, with a bit of "gizmos". But I am aware it would be technically "shit". It's just in the background, so I want sort of twinkles here and there, like diamond sparkles on a ring would be and then colored, as if a gel were superimposed. All this whilst one of the illuminated crap shop signs of a sledge and father Christmas flies by. Actally now I write it this does sound really awful.

Still maybe I can experiment ..how best can I make a sparkle like on a diamond ring? and then I will just drop that in on some of the candles as I fade it. Give it some "bling!!!"

Thanks for all your help
Anita Sancha.

http://www.anitasancha.co.uk


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Dave LaRondeRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 10:28:40 pm

I don't have to deal with sparkles or twinkles a whole lot, but I bet you might find a few useful ideas in the COW's AE tutorials. There may also be some handy presets in any particle effect you might have in your copy of AE.

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


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anita sanchaRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 20, 2009 at 8:29:40 pm

Thanks Dave... I will try there.


Thanks for all your help
Anita Sancha.

http://www.anitasancha.co.uk


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cowcowcowcowcow
Kevin CampRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 20, 2009 at 9:26:22 pm

if you are color adjusting the tree photo to the point of black for everything except the lights, you may be able to use that layer with a blending mode of lighten, screen or add (probably screen or add) over a less darkened image of the tree.

then you could try a layer with animated fractal noise on it as a track matte for the lights to get a bit of twinkle to the lights.

but a particle system could work too. in particular, you'd use a layer shaped like the tree as your 'emitter' and you'd probably need a custom particle that would a nested comp of the individual lights (a handful cut from the tree). velocity would be zero, and then you could animate the particles to appear all at once and you'd have an animated opacity for the particles (either in the particle precomp or in the particle settings>opacity over life). this way the lights would be in the same place. or, you could have the life span be short and have the opacity fade up then down over it's life. this way is simpler, but the light placement will be random appearing all over the tree....

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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anita sanchaRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 20, 2009 at 9:46:57 pm

Gee thanks loads to experiment with.

Thanks for all your help
Anita Sancha.

http://www.anitasancha.co.uk


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Chris WrightRe: Christmas tree lights lighting up.
by on Nov 21, 2009 at 10:37:04 pm

don't forget the effect Glow. It's perfect for the hdr bulbs. Get some inspiration from some actual twinkle footage, and play around with wiggle expressions on brightness, glow, reflections, distortions, bloom presets. The fractal effect is a really good idea too, that's how our own sky twinkles.

Should be fun.


p.s.
here's a random twinkle code
Jumpy Wiggle 1 makes wiggle skip and hold rather than move fluidly.
// Jumpy Wiggle 1 (moves at a random FPS)
v=wiggle(5,50);
if(v < 50)v=0;
if(v > 50)v=100;
v


http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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