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Reflecting particles

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Tim van Helsdingen
Reflecting particles
on Nov 23, 2010 at 10:47:36 pm

Hey there.
Im working on a project, and i got some dandelon blossoms flying around in my scene. I want them to reflect on the ground, but havent been able to come up with a good solution. I am using Particular 2.1 Normally I just mirror a whole layer, but that doesn't work with particle, since my particles are being generated on a ajustment layer, and putting mirror on that will reflect my entire scene. Is there perhaps a plugin that would me make a reflective surface which you could use to reflect particles in 3d space?

What im using:
Adobe after effects cs4
Particular 2.1

Hope someone can help.

Screenshot of the scene:

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scott novasic
Re: Reflecting particles
on Nov 24, 2010 at 1:34:30 am

theres any number of ways for you to duplicate the effect layer...copy the comp and delete the other layers and render out just the effect with a matte and re import that movie and freely manipulate it as a reflection.. or am I missing something here...


Animation & Visual Effects
Scott Novasic
Los Angeles Ca

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Matt Ratcliffe
Re: Reflecting particles
on Nov 24, 2010 at 2:34:39 am

Here's method I use for relecting particles (especially with bounce): If your camera remains stationery, it could be easy for you to use if u want to get the reflection angle perfect. This is similar to Scott's method but would retain the correct reflection in the z depth:
• Copy your comp
• switch off all layers except your camera and particles
• move you cameras Y axis to the opposite height by adding the comp screen height (ie, in 720P, if you camera is at default dead center, it would be positioned at x:640 y:360 z:default, reposition Y to 360+720=1080). Keep the point of interest the same.
• In the original comp, add the new camera comp, unlink the scales and make Y -100, switch blend to screen or add, lower trans if needed.
• From this point I reposition by eye, When using bounce u just line up the bounce points and it looks perfect, but without bounce I would just find the balance between the height of the relefction plane and the real particles.

Good luck with which ever method you end up going with!!

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Reflecting particles
on Dec 1, 2010 at 4:44:40 pm

I know this is about a week old, but I figured I'd hop in for any forum searchers in the future or in case you're still working on it.
The easy way is a plugin! Zaxwerks makes a nice reflection one that works for particles too.
If you don't feel like spending money on a plugin, here is a tutorial you might like to follow that shows a great method that should get you some great results.

- 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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Tim van Helsdingen
Re: Reflecting particles
on Dec 1, 2010 at 4:55:04 pm

Thanks for all the usefull tips all.
The problem i first had was that I couldnt make a pre-comp with the particular ajustment layer in it, cause particular wont display if there isnt anything else in the comp.
The way I solved is was just to make a blue solid, put the effect on that and use keylight to key away the blue, then precomp that and mirror it. That did the trick :)

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