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Lightning as light source

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Joe McKinney
Lightning as light source
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:14:29 pm

Hey guys,
I'm creating a composition where I want to use the Advanced Lightning effect as the light source. Can anyone give me an idea on how this can be achieved? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Joe


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Lightning as light source
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:27:46 pm

That's not much to go on. Is this supposed to look photorealistic? Stylized? 2D? 3D?

If you provide a more elaborate explanation of what you want the viewer to see, we might be able to offer some constructive suggestions.

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


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Lightning as light source
on Feb 21, 2011 at 6:59:11 pm

I second all that Dave said, and ad one more question: do you want the scene to look like it receives light from the lightning and you plan on shooting that after you get some answers, or you have footage that you need to make it look like it's lit by ligtning?

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Joe McKinney
Re: Lightning as light source
on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:32:38 pm

Thanks for the quick replies, guys. I should have mentioned that this is a basic motion graphics piece, so photorealism isn't a priority. I essentially have a textured background that I'd like to 'accept lights', and then use the lightning strike to provide the illumination. I hope this is a little more clear!


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Kevin Camp
Re: Lightning as light source
on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:44:33 pm

you might try a simple random() or wiggle() expression on the light's intensity property....

something like random(80,100) would make it flicker, which might be enough to make it seem like the lightning was the light source.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Lightning as light source
on Feb 21, 2011 at 10:49:30 pm

[Joe McKinney] "I essentially have a textured background that I'd like to 'accept lights', and then use the lightning strike to provide the illumination."

Well, Advanced Lightning doesn't function like a light layer; it's an effect. But I'm pretty sure you can fake it:
  • Get your lightning layer working the way you want, then duplicate it and precomp it.
  • In the new precomp, add a solid. Put it below the lightining layer, and use the lightning layer as an Luma or Luma inverted map to make an animated, lightning-shaped area of transparency.

You can now shine a light aimed at your background through the precomp (set it to "Transmit Light", I think). You'll have to play around with it, but I think it ought to work.

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


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Lightning as light source
on Feb 22, 2011 at 3:27:56 pm

I was gonna suggest precomping your lightning effect and putting duplicates of it in your comp with all the layers (except for one) blurred and set to various transfer modes such as Add, Screen and/or Overlay.

- 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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