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After Effects Project: Squiddies

Using Wave Warp to add a swishing tail. By Stephen Schleicher
In this After Effects Production Bundle exercise, well be making some microphones ?swim through our shot. To pull this off, well use an older effect from the Production Bundle Wave Warp.

In this piece we will have a series of hand held microphones swim across the screen in a fashion that Freud would find interesting. To be honest I have forgotten where I first saw this effect; it could have been a Comedy Central show open, a print ad, or maybe even one of those weird dreams. Where ever I pulled this effect out of the ether, you will be able to create a similar effect for your own projects.

I captured the microphone and the mic cord by laying them on a sheet of foam core and shooting them with my Canon Powershot G2. For the purposes of this exercise, I wasnt too concerned with room lighting, background, or shadows; I was able to remove the background and shadows in Adobe Photoshop saving the file with an Alpha Channel.

After some fast work with the Eraser Tool and some edge feathering, the modified mic is ready for a tail.

For the tail of the mic, I shot a small portion of the cable, and then cloned that portion along a straight line. Instead of cropping the image around the cable, I made sure to leave plenty of room for movement and distortion that will be handled in After Effects.

With the two images ready to go, launch your After Effects Production Bundle, and import the two files.

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