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Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?

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Kate Slovich
Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:45:21 pm

I'm designing a video/still projection for a live theatrical play. Here's what I'm hoping to do:

Create a cubist-inspired background of colored rectangles. I want these rectangles to pulse or waver slightly. On top of that background, I'll be projecting separate video/still files throughout the show, so they look like they are flashing up in place of certain rectangles.

I hope this adequately explains what I'm trying to do. My question is, what program is most appropriate for creating this? My first though was Photoshop & After Effects. I'm not familar at all with After Effects, though. Someone else also suggested Flash or Motion.

The overall theme of the show is mental instability. So think Eternal Sunshine, Requiem for a Dream, etc.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:56:31 pm

At first blush, it sounds like you'll need a lot of carpentry, projectors and computer control. Not very much After Effects, if any at all.

You might want to post your query on the COW's Live & Stage Events forum:
http://forums.creativecow.net/livestageevents


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


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Kate Slovich
Re: Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 6:58:38 pm

We have all of that. What I don't have is a pulsing images made up of individual rectangles. And that is what I'm looking for advice on. Clearly, it has to be created with some design and animation software.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:12:36 pm

[Kate Slovich] " Clearly, it has to be created with some design and animation software."

...OR with variable-intensity projectors controlled by computers.

That's a far cry from design and animation software that create prerecorded animations, typically in a limited range of resolutions and aspect ratios.

Hence, my recommendation above. They know more about staged events than we do, and those folks may have far more effective ways to do it. Oh, they may recommend using something like After Effects for a couple of things, but their approach to a problem is much different than a bunch of people who are primarily involved in TV & film.

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


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Kate Slovich
Re: Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 16, 2010 at 7:49:55 pm

If the theater had this option, perhaps that's what I'd be working with. They have only the most basic consumer projectors. As it stands, this has to be created in an effects program, turned into a quicktime file and run through a computer to the projectors. If anyone out there has advice as to WHICH PROGRAM is most appropriate to create this pulsing image & effect, please let me know.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 17, 2010 at 3:05:10 am

After Effects can do what you're asking (assuming I understand what you're about).

- 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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Dave LaRonde
Re: Need to create pulsing image. Is After Effects the program I should use?
on Mar 17, 2010 at 2:49:53 pm

Hmmm....

My first impression was that the lady was building a set with rectangles that needed to be lit, with video and animations occasionally projected on them as well. After a re-read, I guess there will be no such set, and so I'd agree with you.

The trick then becomes timing -- there will be the the etched-in-stone animation durations played against the much more variable live performance timings.

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


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