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Type Tricks in After Effects with Boris BCC Filters

By Jean Hauptman

I was pretty happy when a national TV show I freelance with gave us Boris BCC filters. On the surface, BCC filters are simple for fast turnaround,  but each filter has tons of options for custom effects that will have the anti-filter snob in the next cubicle eating his/her heart out. The four text effects we will cover were all made with BCC Glitter. Normally, BCC Glitter is used for twinkling stars, ala ET. Like Trapcode Starglow, it follows the alpha, which makes Glitter good for type effects.

BCC Glitter offers more animation controls than Trapcode Starglow (though I like the color qualities in Starglow). For example, BCC lets you pulsate stars on and off randomly, animate the angle, add an infinite number of radials, and alter the shape of the radials. But there is more to BCC Glitter than stars. A few tweaks, and your text morphs from Hollywood Glamour to Electric Action:

Electric Action Type Effect

The Tao of this effect is simply changing the star shapes to random horizontal flashes. 

1.  First, type out your text.

2.  Change text color to BLACK. This is important because Black text disappears when you add the Glitter filter.  (This is useful because we can put the glitter effect layer in add mode over a text layer and control each layer independently.) 

3.  Apply BCC Glitter

Check the settings below. Notice that:  

a.   Glitter Ray Counts is changed to 2   

b.   "Ray Width", "Ray Height", "Glitter Scale", and "Scale Aspect"  were changed.    

c.   Glitter Angle is set to 90 degrees.

4.   Add BCC Prism for the rainbow colors.

5.  Add a touch of Directional Blur at a 90 degree angle to smooth out any steppiness.

6.  Change the Blend Mode to "Add."  (layer setting, not within the filter)

7. Set a keyframe for "Glitter Pattern Seed.  Set the first frame to zero. Make another keyframe at around 7 seconds. Set this one to 72.50, or whatever you like.

Now we're ready to make another Glitter layer. This one is for hotspot flashes to give it punch.

8.  Duplicate the first Glitter Layer

9.  On the duplicated layer, remove the Prism effect, and the Directional Blur. Keep your Glitter keyframes intact. Keep the blend mode in "Add."

10.  Pull "Ray Height" way down

11.  Reduce "Glitter Scale"

Your second glitter layer should look something like this.

The hard part is over!


12.  duplicate the glitter layer again, and delete all effects so that only your text shows. Take it out of Add mode. Change the color of your text if you like. I used a layer of black text, and under that put a layer of blue text with glow. The opacity of text layers was strobed to react to the glitter flashes (I could have done a better job synchronizing the flashes). 

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