I'm about to make a visual to a cocktailbar with the subject Tikibar - so the idea is to make a composite in AE of a sunset at a exotic beach and some palms in the foreground. The whole video is estimated to an hour or so and then to repeat it self or maybe pass over to the night with the moon and stars, if its gonna be so then its estimated to two hours. Also maybe add in some birds and bugs.
The thing is that i'm worried about the outcome. Ex. how is the changing light gonna effect the water, beach and palms - and what about movement in water and palms?
Is this a better thing to do in a 3D program?? Hope not - aint good at it! And the render time!
Water and sky you can do really well with Aurora Sky and Aurora Water.Red Giant Psunami does water really well. As far as the palm trees you may be able to create some loops palm branches blown by the wind (also animate light) using Zaxwerks 3d flag. You'll have to do a few different branches an a few palm trunks and then assemble them together and comp them in on a beach over the sky and water. Since you have a really long shot (1hr) you should animate things at a higher speed in a shorter comp and then do a time remap to stretch the finished animation.
You don't have to use 3rd party plugins to do what you want; although some of them (like Psunami) are ideal for your situation.
Creating a sunset sky with a few lazy clouds floating past is very possible with AE's built-in tools.
There are tons of ways to do it.
One way is to use a few different layers at varying opacities with Ramp applied. Animate them all very slowly. Then put an adjustment layer with Colorama over the top of it. Change the color (there's a sunset preset you might want to look at). Adjust to taste.
Use fractal noise for some clouds. There are tons of tutorials out there for this.
Palm trees can easily be drawn in After Effects, since they're just going to be silhouettes against the sky. You can use the puppet tool to animate some gentle waving motion. Or, you don't even need the puppet tool, just some basic animation should do you alright. This little tidbit might come in handy.
Make sure you blur them so you have some of that sunlight wrapping around them or put another adjustment layer with a glow effect over the top.
For the water, you can use fractal noise again. I believe this tutorial mentions how to do that, but I can't access it at the moment to double-check.
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