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Digits Man by Eran Stern

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Joe Sullivan
Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 8:50:23 pm

Im new to after effects-

I would like to know if its possible to create a fireworks effect, fairy dust effect, gold glitter , aura etc. to show that an individual within the video is experiencing something magical-

I want to use existing you tube videos-thinking maybe I can overlay an existing effect over particular individual-

I now digits man was done with green screen and very elaborate-

I'm looking to do this simplistically - no green screen- just an existing you tube video and marking an individual within the video and showing within their body form that something magical is taking place

thanks- appreciate any help



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 10:08:04 pm

[Joe Sullivan] "I'm new to after effects- "

Yeah, no kidding. The remainder of your post is a dead giveaway.

The first thing you have to understand about AE is that it works NOTHING like any other multimedia application you've probably ever used. It was originally written in the days when just about the only people who had a copy were media professionals who did their homework.

AE is NOT the kind of application where you can easily pick up a couple of tricks. It's not like Microsoft word, where somebody can talk you through converting text separated by tabs into a cool-looking table. To pull off tricks in AE, you absolutely, positively have to know the basics. AE gives you too many ways to screw up if you don't know the basics.

So instead of us telling you about tricks, you should start here:
http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

...and good luck.

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


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 10:22:36 pm

Dave is very, very correct.
Even if we would be able to help you without you knowing the basics, you haven't asked for anything specific. Each of the things you mention (fireworks, fairy dust, gold glitter, aura, etc.) can be put over just a person in a video. HOWEVER, each effect is very different from the others and would be a tutorial in itself, but only AFTER you understand the basics of the program. AE is not a "quick-click = solution" program. Achieving good effects takes work and an understanding of the program.

I don't get paid as much as I do for doing something just anyone can pick up in a day. I produce good results under (at times) tight deadlines because I've spent years working with this complicated and versatile tool.

There are many ways you can get up to speed. Some, such as reading the manual, going to the link Dave mentioned and doing the tutorials here on the COW, are free. Other things like the books by Chris and Trish Meyer and Total Training's DVD set cost some money, but are totally worth it.

However, if you're determined to ignore the advice of the experts and you want to dive right in, try adding a layer and playing with Fractal Noise coupled with Tint and a feathered mask (with a blending mode on the layer) or try a layer with CC Particle World.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Joe Sullivan
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 10:49:47 pm

Thanks Michael-

I agree with both you and Dave on the complexities of the program and those who have spent years working with it to achieve the level of skill you both have.

I was not hoping to create anything incredible- rather as I replied to Dave I'm just looking for specific tutorials that address this specific question.

I am certainly listening to and respecting the advice from both of you-

I have found some tutorials on masking and masking with the pen tool and cloning that I feel I can try-
also looked at work done in trapcode particulars

not looking for perfection- and if I am at some point I would look to hire someone like you or Dave to work on the project-

thanks for your help- respect both of you guys taking the time to answer


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 11:13:49 pm

Since you're just looking to do this for fun, don't bother spending money on Trapcode Particular; you can use CC Particle World to do most everything you've asked about. (Although I still like the idea of using Fractal Noise to create an aura, you could do it in CC Particle World too.)

If we knew what effect - specifically - you were after, we might be able to point you towards tutorials or provide you with suggestions, but you've asked for such different things that it's hard to pin down what you're after.

If you want to really make it look good, you'll want to look into rotoscoping so you can make sparkles/fireworks/aura/whatever go around him.

Also, depending on how you've gotten this video off of YouTube, you might want to consider this advice about avoiding bizarre/frustrating issues:
Dave LaRonde's Stock Answer #1: If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, mp4, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.


- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Joe Sullivan
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 11:59:31 pm

Thanks Michael-

Great suggestions- I will spend some time looking into both you and Daves suggestions-

I viewed a bunch of AE reels and videos to look for effects that might be similar
I would be really happy if I could do what ben2050 did with aura
or what mutlee did with the particle madness- (you tube videos)links below
something to really show something magical is happening within and around a specific person in a scene











http://videohive.net/item/fireworks/18891






thanks Michael and like I said to Dave I have the utmost respect for the pros here- your right this is more about fun at this point and if I really want something professional I know I will need to have a professional work on it


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Michael Szalapski
Quick aura recipe
on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:34:04 am

You can make an aura like that relatively quickly once you have your person rotoscoped.
Create a highly contrasted fractal noise layer and animate the evolution, offset, or whatever looks good to you. You might need to use a levels or curves effect to really push the contrast if you're not getting what you like with just the Fractal Noise. You will probably want to use the invert checkbox on the fractal noise effect to get a somewhat more stringy look, but play around with it; it's your video.
Copy the mask of the person layer onto the Fractal Noise layer or use a duplicate of the person layer as a track matte for the Fractal Noise layer.
Set the blending mode to something like Add or Screen.
Duplicate the layer and add a radial blur.
Colorize both layers.
(Or, instead of duplicating the layer and messing with radial blurs, you could just use Trapcode's Shine, if you have it.)
You could also play with mesh warp and other distortion tools to make it appear to flow around the person.
Add an outer glow on the person layer.


Instead of using fractal noise, you could create the base image by shooting video of smoke blowing upward against a black background or water flowing by and fidgeting with the color correction to give it that high contrast. THEN apply the radial blur/Shine, coloring, etc.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Joe Sullivan
Re: Quick aura recipe
on Jan 22, 2010 at 3:07:46 am

Thanks again Michael-

I'm looking into all the info you guys gave me which I truly appreciate.

I'll let you know how this idea goes after I give some stuff a shot-

Rotoscoping Rocks!


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Joe Sullivan
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 10:35:55 pm

Thanks Dave-

I appreciate your suggestions-
I am very aware of the complexities of different software
All I hoped for in the post was to be pointed in as specific a help direction pertaining to my specific question as possible
Help videos or tutorials that address my specific question

In the last half hour I discovered via google videos video tutorials pertaining to masking, masking with the pen tool and cloning-

I'm also getting info from several who have created stuff using trapcode particular-

I think these better address my specific question than a basic tutorial using effects as you allude to-

thanks again



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 11:05:14 pm

Great. Perhaps I was wrong.

I'll assume then that you're aware of the dangers of temporally-compressed video, compressed audio, the futility of Open GL, How to optimize your computer for RAM preview, how to interpret footage, the differences in field order between, say 1080i and 720x480 and 720x576, how to conform the frame rate of an imported image sequence, the difference between render and exporting, when and when NOT to use compression in AE, the difference among Bezier, Linear, Continuous Bezier and hold keyframes, the fundamental differences among the Add, Multiply, Overlay and Screen Modes....

You know, all that basic stuff.

If you're satisfied with the info you get off YouTube, then more power to you. Have fun.

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


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Joe Sullivan
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 21, 2010 at 11:39:02 pm

Hi Dave-

Emails and text messages are great communication tools yet so much of communication is in what is not said-

I have the utmost respect for the professionals who work in this area like yourself-

That said I have shot with several different panasonic and sony mini dv cameras and done a bit of editing with Final Cut- also used many of the design programs so no need to impress upon me how complex stuff gets- I get it

I will look at the stuff you suggested-

I am only looking for video tutorials and answers that address my question so I can get a better idea of what is possible and who and how I can answer after I know whats possible-

thanks


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Digits Man by Eran Stern
on Jan 22, 2010 at 3:46:57 pm

some other getting-started resources:
"Getting started with After Effects"

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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