I think we all used to create little cartoons in school by drawing on each page of your text books and flipping through them to animate. Well, lets all save a tree. In this tutorial we’ll be creating a similar looking animation in AE using Trapcode Particular’s Aux Particles. From there we’ll bring it over into Photoshop and learn a little bit about how to apply filters to video with the help of Filmstrip format.
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Start by creating a new composition with your settings. I made it 1280*720, 5 seconds long at 25Fps and called it Main.
Import your logo and bring it inside the composition.
Select the logo and precompose it. On Pre-compose dialog select "Leave all attributes in ‘Main’" so that the new composition would be the size of our logo. Call it Logo. Open it.
Now we need to think ahead a bit. We know that if we apply any filter in Photoshop to our logo, it’ll look the same on all frames because the color data remains the same. So we need to make it change for each frame.
Apply Brightness & Contrast effect to the logo. Set Contrast to 60. For Brightness, apply this expression : wiggle(25,50) which means that we’re shifting Brightness randomly for each frame.
As we preview, you can see it’s flickering really fast. For this particular effect we know it’s too rapid because the look we try to emulate usually involves around 15 frames per second. What can we do? We lower the frame rate down to 15 fps for this composition. You can do it by going in Composition Settings.
Next, we’ll create that thing growing behind the logo. Go into Main composition and create a new solid. Call it Particular. Apply Particular to it.
We’ll use Aux System so we need only few particles to be emitted.
Under Emitter, change Particles/sec to 300. Now set a keyframe for them at frame 0. Then move forward to frame 1 and lower Particles/sec to 0.
Set Velocity to 300 for faster burst. Preview and see the result.
Don’t change anything under Particle, go straight to Aux System. Change Emit to Continously. This will make trails of particles behind the initial ones.
To make them bigger and denser set Particles/sec to 30 and Size to 40. Change Life to 5 and Type to Cloudlet.
At last, open Color over Life pull-down and set it to White to Black gradient. Hit Flip to reverse the gradient.
Go to Physics>Air>Turbulence Field and set Affect Position to 100.
Now we can precompose our Particular layer. Call the composition Streaks. Drag it under Logo layer.
Go into Streaks Composition Settings and set its Frame Rate to 15 as previous.
Now the background itself. I’ll use a paper texture. Place your texture inside Main comp and call it BG. To give the texture more detail, apply Curves and crank up the contrast a bit. Then apply Brightness & Contrast effect and add wiggle(25,30) expression to Brightness.
We need to create one last element. In the Project panel, duplicate Streaks comp and call it Streak edges. On Particular layer, apply Find Edges effect.
Make a new White solid and put it under Particular as background.
Save. You’re almost ready to start exporting for Photoshop.
Now you can go into Main composition Settings and change its Frame Rate to 15 also.
You’ll have to render each element separately so that you have a lot more control on their look. Start with Logo. Go into its composition and do it from there.
For each element you’ll have to do two things – first, save a preview image by going to Composition>Save Frame As>File…
Second, render the whole animation as Filmstrip. You can do it by adding the animation to Render Queue and changing Output Module to Filmstrip by clicking on it.
Filmstrip is a format that saves the animation/video on a single image and also encodes their time data on it so you can later playback it on necessary software.
Hit Render. Do the same with Streaks, Streak edges, BG. To render BG separately, just solo it by enabling Solo switch.
Now you need to download and install this application – http://www.filterforge.com
It lets you to create and use all sorts of filters applying them through Photoshop.
At this point you should have rendered the following files: 4 Filmstrip files and 4 PSD’s for each element.
Open Logo_preview.psd through Photoshop.
Then, open Filter>Filter Forge>Filter Forge…
After application opens you can start browsing through presets. Go to Creative – Old Drawing .03. You can select one of the presets and then adjust their Settings.
See the screenshot for my settings.
Hit Apply. Now you can open Logo Filmstrip file. When ready, click on Filter Forge under Filters. This will automatically use those settings you used on the preview image. It’ll now apply them on each filmstrip frame so the whole process is pretty time consuming.
After filters are applied, save the new Filmstrip through Save As…
Repeat Step 11 and Step 12 with remaining elements changing filter settings on your own.
Bring the new Filmstrips inside After Effects. Take logo and background strips and place them accordingly in Main composition. I renamed them Logo strip and BG strip.
Open Streaks composition and bring in Streak_strip_2.fml. Place it under Particular and set its TrkMat to Luma so it would cut down the background.
Next, bring in Streak_edges_strip_2.flm and make a Black Solid under it. Set the solid’s TrkMat to Luma inverted.
Switch back to Main. Bring in Streaks comp (rename it to Streaks matte) and put it on top of Logo strip. Set Logo TrkMat to Alpha Matte.
Now select Streaks comp and offset it 1 second forward in timeline. When at 1 second mark, select Logo strip layer and duplicate it by pressing Ctrl + D. Then press Alt + [ to trim the front part.
Do some color correction and you’re done.