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Glitter

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Ryan John
Glitter
on Nov 23, 2010 at 7:45:53 pm

Hi, This is more of an open ended question than any direct "how to".

In a considerably increasing number of briefs I often get asked for sparkle (especially around the festive period) and lots of it, the OTT fireworks, stars and glitter balls seem to be popular.

I find CG can do a lot of the above however there is one effect I have never been able to master and that is glitter, not the type that gets blasted out of a cannon but the type you used as a kid where you would put glue on a piece of paper(and usually every other surface within arms reach) pour on a tub of glitter and shake off the excess.

Breaking what I seee down to its fundamentals what I am trying to recreate is; the sand paper like texture; the shimmer and assorted colour/shades as light passes over it; and finally you have an extension of the shimmer and that is the glare as individual flecks bounce light directly to the lens.

Im now trying to get my head around how I might do this in post production with After Effects, my first thought would be to use a bump map for the sand paper texture. Then to try and emulate the glare use 100's of tiny lens flares or for the shimmer some kind of clamped animated noise with a star filter applied, Im also wondering if particles may work better at the extreme end to recreate the 1000's of particles or the more sensible idea of using them to spawn in place of a sparkle.



Before I dive headlong into solving this effect, any thoughts or tips or even better any success with recreating glitter in AE?


...and Im talking proper classy glitter here, something you'd see on a high quality christmas advert and not the type you'd see on a cheesy tinkerbell .gif from 2001. All thoughts and suggestions welcome.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Glitter
on Nov 23, 2010 at 8:38:51 pm

I think you could get usable results from a number of different techniques. In any case, you'll probably want to add some glow and Starglow.

If you tweaked with the material settings on solids in AE, you might be able to make a metric crap-ton of them (using expressions to randomize their rotation, position, etc.) and then use Starglow on an adjustment layer over the top of it.

I could easily see doing this in Particular. It even has particles that respond to AE's 3d lights.

You could try a few instances of Card Dance.

Or mix all of the techniques together in a giant sparkle party!

- 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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Ryan John
Re: Glitter
on Nov 24, 2010 at 10:09:22 am

"I could easily see doing this in Particular. It even has particles that respond to AE's 3d lights."

-any more information available on this method? ....Im comfortable with particle systems in 3DSmax so I might be able to take some of that logic and apply it to particles in AE. Do you know if you can also have "camera facing" particles?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Glitter
on Nov 24, 2010 at 2:53:51 pm

[Ryan John] "any more information available on this method? ....Im comfortable with particle systems in 3DSmax so I might be able to take some of that logic and apply it to particles in AE. Do you know if you can also have "camera facing" particles?"

Trapcode Particular (distributed by Red Giant Software) is the most powerful particle system on the market for After Effects. You'll love it.

Most of Particular's particle types are camera-facing (including the three sprite types, which are good candidates for a glitter effect). The only type that is not automatically oriented to the camera is the textured polygon type.


[Ryan John] "Then to try and emulate the glare use 100's of tiny lens flares"

Optical Flares can track the luminance of a layer and generate flares on all the bright spots within a single instance of the plugin.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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