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TUTORIAL AUGUST 11, 2000
Simulating a Video Look with After Effects
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Step 3: Now let's create the TV scan lines (even and odd fields). In photoshop, create a new document. This document must be the same size of your comp or a little bit larger. Fill the background with white. Create thin black horizontal lines until you have an interlaced image. Duplicate this document, and invert the colors of the second one. Save the first file as "even" and the second one as "odd." In After Effects, import these documents as separate layers. Drag them into the"Video Look comp." Duplicate the "csc" layer, and place "odd" on top of the first "csc" layer and "even" on top of the duplicated one. Now we have the following layer order: (from bottom to top) "csc" - "odd" - "csc*" - "even." Let's apply a luma matte for both the "csc" and the "csc*" layers. For the first one choose "odd" as the luma matte, and for the second one choose "even" as the luma matte. Don't forget to turn off the visibility for the matte layers. Since you won't edit the matte layers anymore, you can lock them. Now apply Distort/Offset to one of the"csc" layers. Offset the image horizontally to create a field distortion. If you have created real thin lines in your PS document, the effect will look nice, otherwise you're going to have to redraw everything you have already done.

Well, part of the effect is done. Select all layers and pre-compose them. Name the new pre-comp "03 - Final comp." But the image doesn't look very interlaced since you moved one of the scan lines. To repair this, you can re-import one of the scan line layers ("even" or "odd") and place it on top of the uppermost layer. Change its mode to multiply, and set its opacity value to something between 15 and 30. To increase the contrast, create a new adjustment layer and repeat the first step, as described earlier.

Step 4: If you want to tint the layer, create a new solid, and change its mode to multiply, color or hue. If you decide to apply an effect, don't forget to pre-compose the layer first.

Considerations
That's it! We have simulated a very realistic video look. If you need a more professional approach, use displacement map and time displacement (both Production Bundle plugins). The first one can be used to shift the scan lines instead of Offset. And the second one can be used to create image distortions. You can also apply Gaussian Blur (horizontal) to the "odd" and/or "even" layers and animate their values. If you have the PB version of After Effects, consider applying Scatter to the "even" and "odd" layers. To enhance the contrast of a layer you can create an adjustment layer and apply a filter or create a gray solid (192,192,192) and change its mode to color burn. If you don't have photoshop, you can make the "even" and "odd" layers inside After Effects. Create a white comp. Apply a black solid to it and change its vertical scale until you have a real thin line. Now duplicate this layer a few (hundred) times and pre-compose it. You will waste a lot of time, but what can we do??!!

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