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Ultimate Home Safety

Creating a laser fence in Adobe After Effects By Stephen Schleicher

There are a number of ways to use the Fractal Noise effect in Adobe After Effects Pro.  One simple yet effective way to employ the effect is to create dust particles floating through the air.  In this After Effects 6.5 Pro tutorial, well use Fractal Noise to create a laser fence around our property to protect us from the neer-do-wells of the world.

Well begin with a background plate.  You can shoot your own, or use the one I have provided at the end of the article.

Step 1:  Launch After Effects and import your footage by pressing Command+I on the Mac or Control+I on the PC.

Step 2:  As I have outlined many times in the past, one of the easiest ways to create a composition that is the same size and duration of your footage is to drag the item to the Create New Composition icon in the Project Window.

Step 3:  Create a New Layer (Command+Y on the Mac or Control+Y on the PC).  For this particular background plate, I am going to use a size of 720x125.  Later on your own project, you can use a different size or use a mask to get it to fit.  While most will associate the color red for a laser, you can certainly use any color you wish.  For this exercise I will be using a Lime Green color for my wall of death.

Step 4:  If we are going to create multiple beams for our laser fence, one might think the best way to do this would be to have multiple layers to get the effect.  However, as I have pointed out in a previous After Effects tutorial, the Venetian Blind effect, is perfect for making evenly spaced parallel lines.

Apply the effect to the Laser layer.  In the Effect Control Panel, set the Transition Completion to 75% and the Direction to 90%.  Depending on your shot, the Width Amount will vary.  For this project, set the Width to 5 pixels.

Step 5:  At this point the green lines sit right in the middle of the yard, and dont look too threatening.  They also look completely flat.  While you could turn this layer into a 3D layer and position it to match the angle of the yard, a much simpler solution would be to use the Basic 3D effect.

Applied to the Laser Layer with a Swivel amount of 15 degrees, and a layer Position of 161, 275, gives the following result:

There is still something not quite right about this shot.  If this were a true beam of light waiting to fry the unwitting trespasser, the beam would be invisible except when dust or dirt interfered.


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Related Keywords:adobe after effects, laser fence, fractal noise, schleicher, tutorial, ae pro, production bundle

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