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The Streak

Creating dynamic backgrounds with Fractal Noise By Stephen Schleicher

There are so many ways you can create motion backgrounds in After Effects.  One of my favorite ways is with Fractal Noise.  This Production Bundle effect is so versatile you can create everything from a murky fog all the way up to a fast paced streaky background.  In this exercise, well create such a background and show several ways it can be used.

When first using Fractal Noise, many people start with the preset, maybe change the noise type, and then animate the offset turbulence.  While it can create an interesting effect, it is pretty generic.

This animated title uses the basic Fractal Noise settings to create the smoky effect.

What many users fail to experiment with are the Scale and Sub Settings.  Because Fractal Noise uses fractal math to calculate the pattern, you can zoom in (or out) as far as you like without and degradation of the effect.

The background in this interstitial uses Fractal Noise to create a ?cream in the coffee effect.

While you can scale the effect uniformly, many more interesting results are achieved by scaling the fractal pattern on one axis only.

Step 1:  Create a New Composition (Command+N on the Mac, Control+N on the PC).

Step 2:  Create a New Layer (Command+Y on the Mac, Control+Y on the PC).  Make the size 1500x480.  While the end result in this exercise will work with a layer that is the same size as the Composition, you may want to make some modification (as shown at the end of this article) and a larger width will make that possible.  Set the color to black.

Image 1 The Streak Fractal Noise

Step 3:  Apply the Fractal Noise effect to the Solid Layer.  In the Effect Control Panel, twirl down the Transform Property and turn the Uniform Scale option off.  This breaks the link between width and height and allows you to adjust each parameter individually.

Increase the Scale Width to 3000, and decrease the Scale Width to 75.  This stretches the pattern horizontally to create a streaky effect.

Step 4:  With the Timeline Indicator at the beginning of the Timeline, click the Stop Watch icon for Offset Turbulence and change the X-axis value to a large negative number.  For this example, I used a value of -20000.

Press the End key on your keyboard to move the Timeline Indicator to the end of your composition.  Change the Offset Turbulence X-axis value to a large positive number.  In this exercise, I used a value of 100000.

Make a RAM preview and notice the effect looks pretty good. 

Incidentally, if you would like to make a moving curtain effect, you would need to increase the scale for Scale Height and decrease Scale Width.

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Related Keywords:after effects, motion graphics, fractal noise, colorama, adobe, tutorial, schleicher, background animation, interstitial, creative concepts


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