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Jumbo Jillions Part 1

Custom Gradient Wipe for After Effects By Stephen Schleicher
After Effects typically isnt used to edit transitions, yet the program has some simple transitions built in. While you may not use the After Effects transitions as a transition between video clips, you may discover other uses for these effects; especially the Gradient Wipe.

In this two-part exercise, well create an animated lottery card for the Nagelgruppe GmbH Gambling Division that will be placed in a commercial for their new game. The client would like to have the winning prize under the scratch area revealed so it looks like someone has used a coin to rub the area.

Sounds like a complex task, but in reality there are two approaches you could take to creating this look. The first, and most simple, is to use the Vector Paint effect and animate the Eraser Tool revealing the area beneath the scratch goop. If we ended up using this method this exercise would be very short and you, dear reader, would feel jaded and bitter because that is the simple way out. Instead, well use the second method by creating our own custom gradient that can be used to reveal the winning prize. I want to use this method not just to show you how it can be used for this scratch effect, but also to let you know how you can create other custom wipes.

The second method requires that you launch Adobe Photoshop and create a custom brush that will change from white to black over a number of steps.

Open Photoshop and create a new image that is 800 x 600 pixels in size. If you like, you can make the background black so you can see what is going on, but if you are on a high-resolution monitor and have good eyes, you can set it to transparent (the method I prefer).

With the Paintbrush Tool selected, select the 19 pixel wide round hard brush from the brush selection area. Click on the right arrow of this panel to reveal the fly away panel, and select create New Brush. Name the brush something that you will remember, like Stephens Custom Gradient Wipe or something. By selecting the round hard brush first, Photoshop will use this information as the basis of our brush.

From the Brush Panel, make sure your custom brush is selected. Click on Brush Presets and change the diameter of the brush to 35 pixels.

Next turn on Color Dynamics for the brush. Set the Foreground/Background Jitter amount to 0 if it isnt already. Immediately below that you will see the Control selection box. Change this from Off to Fade. The Fade control allows you to change the color of the brush from the foreground color to the background over a number of steps. In our case we are going to create a gradient brush that goes from white to black as we paint across the canvas.

To determine the rate of change, you enter an amount in the Step dialogue box. This is a bit tricky to determine, because the rate of change is not only based on the diameter of the brush you have created, but also how fast you paint across the canvas. It took me several tries before I settled with a step amount of 3000.

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Related Keywords:schleicher, gradient wipe, custom, photoshop, after effects, adobe, lottery, wipe, nagelgruppe

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