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First Look: Trapcode Lux

Volumetric lighting comes to After Effects By Stephen Schleicher
Turn on the television, and you are sure to see a commercial, television show, or trailer that is using a Trapcode After Effects plug-in in some shape or form; Starglow, Sound Keys, and the ever popular 3D Stroke, and Shine. Get ready to see more Trapcode magic in the near future, this time in the form of volumetric lights.

Since After Effects introduced 3D lighting in version 5.0, creativity and style of projects have had a huge jump. However, while the lighting effects were nice, they still lacked something namely the source of the light and in some cases a volumetric shaft of light coming from the source.

Trapcode has once again answered the call with the recent release of Lux. Trapcode Lux takes the information from the actual After Effects lights and renders a representation of the Point and Spot lights in your scene. Instantly your scene goes from Ho-Hum, to Oh-Boy!

How it works
On the surface, Lux is very simple to use. You begin by creating your scene as you normally would, placing lights and layers as normal. Then when you are ready, create a New Layer that is the size of the Composition, and apply the Trapcode Lux effect.

Any Point or Spot lights in your scene will instantly take on volumetric properties. Really, it is that simple.

While applying the default Lux look may work for you in many situations, you are also able to tweak the settings in the Effect Control Panel.

For example, working with a Spot light, we can further refine the look by adjusting a few controls. By default, Lux uses a natural light falloff, but changing the Light Model creates different looks for the Spot light cone.

With the Light Intensity Control, you can tell Lux to use the Intensity of the lights in the scene (giving you individual control of the lights) or to use the same value for all lights. The Intensity value itself does not control the intensity of the lights in the scene, but rather the intensity of the rendered Lux effect.

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Related Keywords:Trapcode, Lux, volumetric light, after effects, schleicher, fractal noise, smoke


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