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Simple way to generate smoke effect?

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nick harambeeSimple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:55:42 am

Hi

I am looking for a simple way to generate a smoke effect in After Effects CS4. Maybe something like this:



I simply want to have white (or some other coloured) smoke on a transparent background, so that I can export it as a flash file and use as an overlay on a webpage i am designing (the smoke coming out of a test tube in a static image).

I would be grateful for any advice in creating this effect,

Many thanks

Nick


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Todd KoprivaRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:57:23 pm

Buying a stock footage clip of smoke costs very little money. Making convincing fake smoke in any software takes time. Time equals money. So, I always recommend just getting stock footage of things like smoke and fire.

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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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nick harambeeRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:59:14 pm

Thanks. Any recommended sites? And would I be able to get the smoke from the stock footage on a transparent background?

Nick


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Todd KoprivaRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:19:21 pm

> Any recommended sites?


My personal opinion is that Artbeats is great for all kinds of stock footage, and Detonation Films tends to have great deals on smoke, fire, and explosions. (I stress that this is my personal opinion, and I am not officially endorsing these companies as an employee of Adobe Systems, et cetera, et cetera.)

> And would I be able to get the smoke from the stock footage on a transparent background?


Usually, you get smoke footage on a black background. It's easy to knock the black background out with a luminance key and make it transparent. If you're compositing within After Effects, then you can use blending modes and track mattes, too. There are some links to resources about compositing smoke and mist here.

Oh, and please post back to the other forums where you asked this question. It's considered rude to cross-post a question to many forums and then not also cross-post the answers.

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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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If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:22:05 pm

Digital Juice has a product called "Compositor's Toolkit that includes smoke, fire and tons of other elements all with alpha channels (transparent background).
Artbeats (great advertiser here on the COW) has a ton of good stuff, you can purchase one clip at a time. (Also, check the banner add currently running at the top of the COW, FREE CLIP EVERY DAY!)
Revostock.com
Pond5

Even if the smoke doesn't come with an alpha channel, so long as it's white smoke on a black background, you can do it yourself.
You can use the footage as a luma matte for a light grey layer, use a luma key effect, or use Unmult (a free plugin).

- 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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nick harambeeRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 4:17:37 pm

Oops! Sorry for any rudeness. I will link my posts together. I only asked in both AE and flash forums as I wasn't sure which software was the best to use.

Having looked about a bit I like the idea of using stock footage.

Given that my goal is to create a movie with a small filesize and a transparent background to superimpose on top of a static image on a webpage, I am wondering what the best way to achieve this is.

I am presuming I will need to produce a flash file which would mean importing the mov file into flash or AE. But in terms
of filesize, quality and simplicity, what would the best software/method be to use?

Thanks

Nick


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Todd KoprivaRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:32:12 am

> I am presuming I will need to produce a flash file which would mean importing the mov file into flash or AE. But in terms
of filesize, quality and simplicity, what would the best software/method be to use?


Creating the alpha channel in After Effects and then rendering and exporting as an FLV file with an alpha channel (using the On2 VP6 codec) will give you something that you can play in Flash Player and composite over other elements.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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nick harambeeRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 7:45:22 pm

Thanks. I used unMult in AE to remove the black background from the stock footage and then rendered as an FLV file with an alpha channel, using the On2 VP6 codec. In AE I can see the transparent background, but in the resulting FLV file I still have a black background when I embed it in a webpage or play it in a Flash Player.

Nick


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Todd KoprivaRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:06:08 pm


"To include the alpha channel in the FLV output, use the On2 VP6 codec and select Encode Alpha Channel in the Video tab of the export settings dialog box." (from "Render and export a composition as an FLV or F4V file")

Did you do that?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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nick harambeeRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:07:52 pm

yes, i did this


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Todd KoprivaRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:23:18 pm

At that point, you're out of After Effects realm and into Flash. Assistance from this point would best come from a Flash expert.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


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nick harambeeRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:31:17 pm

Is flash the only way to go for creating a movie file with a transparent background, with a small file size that can be overlaid on other content in a webpage?

Essentially all I am trying to do is to get some smoke coming out of a tube (static PNG image).


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nick harambeeRe: Simple way to generate smoke effect?
by on Mar 8, 2010 at 8:38:14 am

I haven't had any reply from the folks over in the flash forum. I am presuming it must be possible to achieve the effect I am looking for, otherwise people on this forum wouldn't have put the time into helping me. Any other suggestions as to what I can try to get this working?

Thanks

Nick


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