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What effects / shapes / comps would you use to create a 3D tentacle effect?

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Clay Vernon
What effects / shapes / comps would you use to create a 3D tentacle effect?
on Jan 24, 2011 at 11:59:29 pm

I'm rather new to AE and need some more experienced users to help me with this one. I've searched through the effects list and nothing jumps out at me as being perfect for this particular project...

I want a tentacle to come through a door and grab an actor.

In general, what would you do to create this shot?

-Clay


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: What effects / shapes / comps would you use to create a 3D tentacle effect?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 2:28:52 am

If you want it to look real you'll need to do create the tentacle with a 3D program and then composite it. If you want it to look cartoony you could make it in illustrator or with the shape tools in AE. You'll need to hand animate it. A combination of AE/illustrator paths plus 3D stroke from red giant software might make this easier.

Cory

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Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: What effects / shapes / comps would you use to create a 3D tentacle effect?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 3:19:41 pm

You may want to check 3D Serpentine from Zaxwerks. Combined with Mesh Warp or puppet tool it may prove useful.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Walter Soyka
Re: What effects / shapes / comps would you use to create a 3D tentacle effect?
on Jan 25, 2011 at 4:50:03 pm

Like Cory mentioned, creating the tentacle is only half of the challenge -- you'll have to composite the tentacle into your shot, too. You'll need to direct your talent carefully to interact with an element that isn't there yet. You'll need a chroma key shoot, or a lot of rotoscoping on the door and the actor. You'll need to use a locked-down camera, or use motion tracking on your shot. You'll need to match your scene's lighting on the tentacle.

Since you mentioned you're new to After Effects, please let me add this note:

After Effects is both broad and deep, and I think you need to get a broad understanding of the package overall before you can really go deep on any one area. I'd recommend the following link, in which Adobe's Todd Kopriva pulls together some important introductory materials:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...

Andrew Kramer's "Video Copilot" tutorials deal very heavily with visual effects. He's a great teacher, and there's a lot you can learn from him, but spending some time to master the basics first will give you a strong foundation for understanding and generalizing the more advanced lessons, so that you can more easily apply them to the specific challenges you encounter with your own shots.

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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