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Shields Up

Part 3: Adding visual disruptions By Stephen Schleicher

In Part 2 we added an energy field that utilized a displacement map to create a visual distortion of the image whenever something strikes the protective shell.  In this lesson, well continue to build the energy field, this time creating a glowing ripple that spreads across the force field.

NOTE:  This lesson continues where Part 2 left off.  If you have not completed the previous exercise, it is suggested you do so.

Step 1:  Begin by duplicating (Command+D or Control+D) the Displacement Map comp we created in the last lesson.  Rename this composition Bubble and open it in the Timeline.

Step 2:  We are going to use the same Fractal Noise and CC Sphere effect on this layer that we did previously, but we need to make a few adjustments to give the comp some color and glow.  Begin by deleting the Gray Solid Layer that we used to diffuse the distortion effect.

Step 3:  Open the Effect Controls panel, and twirl down the Shading controls for the CC Sphere Effect.  Since this comp will represent the electric field (light), there is no need for shadows.  So, increase the Ambient Light amount to 100.

Step 4:  We can add a range of blue color to the fractal pattern by applying the CC Toner effect to the layer.  The Shadow color can remain black, but change the Highlights color to a light blue (206, 222, 249), and the Midtones to a darker blue (34, 89, 191).


Step 5:  Because of the CC Sphere effect, any mask we apply to the Map layer now will not be accurately placed on the layer.

This image shows the error that can occur when applying a mask to an effected layer.

Like we have done before, select the Map layer and Pre-Compose it.

Step 6:  The bottom half of the composition needs to be cropped to match the shape of your energy field.

Step 7:  Add the Bubble Comp to the Final project Timeline and place it at the top of the layer stack. 

Step 8:  Apply the Glow effect to the Bubble Comp layer.  Increase the Glow Radius to 25 and the Glow Intensity to 1.5 (or whatever setting you like for taste).

Step 9:  This looks really cool, but doesnt convey the sense of being something transparent (especially with those ugly black splotches popping up here and there in the animation).  Change the Transfer Mode for the Bubble Comp layer to Add to solve that problem.


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Related Keywords:after effects tutorial, after effects lesson, after effects exercise, disruption, force field, shield, displacement map, radio waves, schleicher, compositing


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