After Effects CS3 Effects
Illustration by Don Barnett

Glow effect


After Effects CS3 Effects

with Chad Perkins

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Video: Glow effect

The Glow effect in the Stylize category is one of the most commonly used After Efects effects period and it's one of the ones that gives life to motion graphics the most often. Unfortunately, a lot of us have been poisoned by kind of growing up with Photoshop as Photoshop was kind coming into its own and we have kind of associated Glow with like a kind of cheesy outer glow. Well, glows can be so much more than that as the Glow here that we are going to cover in these movie shows. It does add a kind of cool glow and we will see that in example next, but one of the things that it does that's really cool too is it adds a glow to the inherent colors in the layer. So let's go ahead and add Glow to this lava.
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  1. 6m 15s
    1. Welcome
      1m 14s
    2. How to use this title
      1m 22s
    3. What about third-party effects?
      1m 43s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 56s
  2. 29m 28s
    1. About 3D Channel effects
      6m 2s
    2. 3D Channel Extract effect
      5m 53s
    3. Depth Matte effect
      3m 18s
    4. Depth of Field effect
      4m 46s
    5. Fog 3D effect
      5m 31s
    6. ID Matte effect
      3m 58s
  3. 31m 37s
    1. About Audio effects
      1m 59s
    2. Backwards effect
      1m 50s
    3. Bass & Treble effect
      1m 53s
    4. Delay effect
      2m 56s
    5. Flange & Chorus effect
      5m 46s
    6. High-Low Pass effect
      2m 48s
    7. Modulator effect
      2m 21s
    8. Parametric EQ effect
      4m 4s
    9. Reverb effect
      2m 47s
    10. Stereo Mixer effect
      3m 2s
    11. Tone effect
      2m 11s
  4. 36m 42s
    1. About Blur & Sharpen effects
      2m 8s
    2. Box Blur effect
      2m 2s
    3. Channel Blur effect
      4m 25s
    4. Compound Blur effect
      3m 1s
    5. Directional Blur effect
      2m 32s
    6. Fast Blur effect
      3m 15s
    7. Gaussian Blur effect
      2m 34s
    8. Lens Blur effect
      3m 27s
    9. Radial Blur effect
      4m 42s
    10. Reduce Interlace Flicker effect
      1m 2s
    11. Sharpen effect
      1m 38s
    12. Smart Blur effect
      3m 15s
    13. Unsharp Mask effect
      2m 41s
  5. 40m 59s
    1. About Channel effects
      2m 46s
    2. Alpha Levels effect
      2m 1s
    3. Arithmetic effect
      2m 0s
    4. Blend effect
      3m 10s
    5. Calculations effect
      4m 10s
    6. Channel Combiner effect
      4m 18s
    7. Compound Arithmetic effect
      2m 35s
    8. Invert effect
      1m 42s
    9. Minimax effect
      5m 9s
    10. Remove Color Matting effect
      1m 57s
    11. Set Channels effect
      3m 14s
    12. Set Matte effect
      3m 6s
    13. Shift Channels effect
      4m 2s
    14. Solid Composite effect
  6. 1h 40m
    1. About Color Correction effects
      3m 58s
    2. Auto Color effect
      4m 28s
    3. Auto Contrast effect
      1m 37s
    4. Auto Levels effect
      2m 32s
    5. Brightness & Contrast effect
      2m 14s
    6. Broadcast Colors effect
      3m 51s
    7. Change Color effect
      4m 17s
    8. Change to Color effect
      2m 53s
    9. Channel Mixer effect
      7m 18s
    10. Color Balance effect
      6m 49s
    11. Color Balance (HLS) effect
      1m 14s
    12. Color Link effect
      1m 43s
    13. Color Stabilizer effect
      4m 29s
    14. Colorama effect
      11m 58s
    15. Curves effect
      5m 39s
    16. Equalize effect
      2m 37s
    17. Exposure effect
      5m 42s
    18. Gamma/Pedestal/Gain effect
      1m 39s
    19. Hue/Saturation effect
      6m 36s
    20. Leave Color effect
      2m 29s
    21. Levels effect
      4m 19s
    22. Levels (Individual Controls) effect
    23. Photo Filter effect
      2m 57s
    24. PS Arbitrary Map effect
      2m 23s
    25. Shadow/Highlight effect
      2m 44s
    26. Tint effect
      1m 49s
    27. Tritone effect
      2m 8s
  7. 1h 15m
    1. About Distort effects
      3m 21s
    2. Bezier Warp effect
      2m 19s
    3. Bulge effect
      3m 31s
    4. Corner Pin effect
      2m 34s
    5. Displacement Map effect
      6m 20s
    6. Liquify effect
      5m 13s
    7. Magnify effect
      2m 31s
    8. Mesh Warp effect
      4m 3s
    9. Mirror effect
      2m 32s
    10. Offset effect
      2m 28s
    11. Optics Compensation effect
      3m 3s
    12. Polar Coordinates effect
      3m 7s
    13. Puppet effect
      1m 16s
    14. Reshape effect
      6m 47s
    15. Ripple effect
      3m 40s
    16. Smear effect
      2m 53s
    17. Spherize effect
      1m 9s
    18. Transform effect
      4m 10s
    19. Turbulent Displace effect
      3m 48s
    20. Twirl effect
      3m 4s
    21. Warp effect
      2m 4s
    22. Wave Warp effect
      5m 20s
  8. 4m 47s
    1. About Expression Controls effects
      4m 47s
  9. 1h 33m
    1. About Generate effects
      2m 25s
    2. 4-Color Gradient effect
      3m 9s
    3. Advanced Lightning effect
      9m 40s
    4. Audio Spectrum effect
      3m 28s
    5. Audio Waveform effect
      2m 24s
    6. Beam effect
      4m 27s
    7. Cell Pattern effect
      4m 56s
    8. Checkerboard effect
      3m 14s
    9. Circle effect
      2m 2s
    10. Ellipse effect
      2m 47s
    11. Eyedropper Fill effect
      2m 14s
    12. Fill effect
      2m 13s
    13. Fractal effect
      2m 12s
    14. Grid effect
      2m 33s
    15. Lens Flare effect
      4m 42s
    16. Lightning effect
      3m 40s
    17. Paint Bucket effect
      4m 14s
    18. Radio Waves effect
      7m 53s
    19. Ramp effect
      3m 0s
    20. Scribble effect
      2m 41s
    21. Stroke effect
      4m 0s
    22. Vegas effect
      5m 20s
    23. Write-on effect
      10m 34s
  10. 34m 12s
    1. About Keying effects
      6m 26s
    2. Color Difference Key effect
      7m 47s
    3. Color Key effect
      1m 18s
    4. Color Range effect
      3m 33s
    5. Difference Matte effect
      2m 22s
    6. Extract effect
      2m 43s
    7. Inner/Outer Key effect
      3m 1s
    8. Linear Color Key effect
      2m 37s
    9. Luma Key effect
      2m 5s
    10. Spill Suppressor effect
      2m 20s
  11. 9m 56s
    1. About Matte effects
      1m 17s
    2. Matte Choker effect
      4m 57s
    3. Simple Choker effect
      3m 42s
  12. 50m 16s
    1. About Noise & Grain effects
      3m 53s
    2. Add Grain effect
      7m 56s
    3. Dust & Scratches effect
      3m 7s
    4. Fractal Noise effect
      13m 28s
    5. Match Grain effect
      3m 10s
    6. Median effect
      1m 25s
    7. Noise effect
      3m 25s
    8. Noise Alpha effect
      4m 43s
    9. Noise HLS effect
      2m 16s
    10. Noise HLS Auto effect
    11. Remove Grain effect
      5m 56s
  13. 7m 42s
    1. About Paint effects
      1m 55s
    2. Paint effect
    3. Vector Paint effect
      4m 49s
  14. 14m 42s
    1. About Perspective effects
      1m 38s
    2. 3D Glasses effect
      1m 50s
    3. Basic 3D effect
      1m 14s
    4. Bevel Alpha effect
      2m 0s
    5. Bevel Edges effect
      1m 37s
    6. Drop Shadow effect
      2m 45s
    7. Radial Shadow effect
      3m 38s
  15. 54m 57s
    1. About Simulation effects
      2m 44s
    2. Card Dance effect
      4m 22s
    3. Caustics effect
      4m 38s
    4. Foam effect
      6m 30s
    5. Particle Playground effect
      21m 1s
    6. Shatter effect
      8m 38s
    7. Wave World effect
      7m 4s
  16. 37m 12s
    1. About Stylize effects
      2m 7s
    2. Brush Strokes effect
      1m 57s
    3. Color Emboss effect
      1m 45s
    4. Emboss effect
      1m 24s
    5. Find Edges effect
      2m 20s
    6. Glow effect
      6m 40s
    7. Mosaic effect
      1m 54s
    8. Motion Tile effect
      2m 32s
    9. Posterize effect
      2m 1s
    10. Roughen Edges effect
      4m 29s
    11. Scatter effect
      1m 2s
    12. Strobe Light effect
      3m 54s
    13. Texturize effect
      1m 13s
    14. Threshold effect
      3m 54s
  17. 21m 44s
    1. About Text effects
      1m 28s
    2. Basic Text effect
      2m 25s
    3. Numbers effect
      6m 50s
    4. Path Text effect
      8m 30s
    5. Timecode effect
      2m 31s
  18. 15m 21s
    1. About Time effects
      1m 32s
    2. Echo effect
      2m 34s
    3. Posterize Time effect
      1m 3s
    4. Time Difference effect
      3m 0s
    5. Time Displacement effect
      1m 57s
    6. Timewarp effect
      5m 15s
  19. 27m 17s
    1. About Transition effects
      1m 53s
    2. Block Dissolve effect
      2m 27s
    3. Card Wipe effect
      11m 28s
    4. Gradient Wipe effect
      4m 0s
    5. Iris Wipe effect
      2m 39s
    6. Linear Wipe effect
    7. Radial Wipe effect
      1m 48s
    8. Venetian Blinds effect
      2m 3s
  20. 16m 33s
    1. About Utility effects
      2m 39s
    2. Cineon Converter effect
      2m 34s
    3. Color Profile Converter effect
      3m 43s
    4. Grow Bounds effect
      2m 32s
    5. HDR Compander effect
      3m 59s
    6. HDR Highlight Compression effect
      1m 6s
  21. 22s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch After Effects CS3 Effects Tutorials
11h 51m Intermediate Mar 18, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In After Effects CS3 Effects, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explores the basic purposes and practical uses of each of the application's effects. He teaches in detail how to apply every native effect, covering 3D Channel effects, Blur & Sharpen effects, using channels for blending and reflections, color correction, distortion, particle systems, and keying. This training is essential for those who want to push After Effects CS3 to its limits. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Utilizing 3D Channel effects Making particle systems Creating synthetic objects from scratch Applying Color Correction effects Distorting layers with effects Working with expression controls Keying out a variety of backgrounds Recreating popular special effects
After Effects
Chad Perkins

Glow effect

The Glow effect in the Stylize category is one of the most commonly used After Efects effects period and it's one of the ones that gives life to motion graphics the most often. Unfortunately, a lot of us have been poisoned by kind of growing up with Photoshop as Photoshop was kind coming into its own and we have kind of associated Glow with like a kind of cheesy outer glow. Well, glows can be so much more than that as the Glow here that we are going to cover in these movie shows. It does add a kind of cool glow and we will see that in example next, but one of the things that it does that's really cool too is it adds a glow to the inherent colors in the layer. So let's go ahead and add Glow to this lava.

You'll see instantly that it doesn't add a halo of outer glow, there is no alpha channel here, but it brings out the colors and enhances the contrast of what we are already seeing here. Now, the most important parameters in Glow are probably these top three right here; Glow Threshold, Radius and Intensity. Threshold basically determines what parts of the layer get glowed. And so I am going to take down Threshold, which allows more of the colors to have Glow applied to them. I will take this all the way up to 90 or so, we are really not getting too much glow at all.

So I am going to take this down quite a bit. And I realize this is really ridiculous. What I am going to do is take down the Glow Radius, which is basically the blur applied to the glow, so if I take this up a lot, it starts kind of getting so blurry, it's becoming like a haze, which can be helpful. But I want to take this down to something a little bit more modest, not all the way, a little bit like that. But now the problem is that the areas that it's blurring are good and the amount of blur good, it's just a little bit too bright. Well, that's where Glow Intensity comes in.

And you see that's a pretty fragile effect because it's already down to 1 by its default and that glow is a lot. So I mean if this were like up to 100, then we would know that we have some wiggle in room, but it's really, really sensitive. So if we take this down to maybe, I don't know 0.5. Then now we are starting to have a pretty awesome little glow, maybe a little bit less. At 0.4, you see a little dab will do you. Just a 10th of 1 makes a big difference. So now we could see the before and the after. Look at the life that this is brought to the image. It's just remarkable.

Oftentimes what I will do when I have say like some Fractal Noise fire or something else that I kind of want to bring to life, I will add wiggle expressions to some of these Glow parameters so that it just kind of appears to bubble in intensity. Now probably the other really important part of glow is these Glow Colors. Right now and by default, Glow Colors are set to glow the Original Color. So when it comes over an orange area and it glows the orange area, there is an orange glow. We could also have it choose A and B color, which are these colors right here. So we could actually choose what colors we want to have in our glow and we will do that in our next example. But I want you to be aware of this, I am not going to cover this really. But you could also choose an Arbitrary Map and this is just like the PS Arbitrary Map effect and there is a whole history with like Curves in Photoshop and how to save an Arbitrary Map and all that stuff. And if you are interested in that, you can click on the Options bar to load or open an AMP file, and it need PS Arbitrary Map file, I believe it's in the Color Correction section in this title I cover what a PS Arbitrary Map is and how to save one and load it and all that kind of stuff, and the same applies here to Glow.

Anyway, enough of that. I am going to move on to the More Glow composition. And basically we have here some simple masks, like really nothing super complicated here, just a bunch of scrutiny lines and then I applied the Vegas effect and that's where these little things are coming from. The Vegas effect is in the Generate category. So you could learn about that in this title if you are interested. And as I scrub this, these little lines kind of pop up like so. And basically, there is kind of like a glow in the background because all I did is I just duplicated these Vegas layers, put them in the background and I added some directional blur and I just increased the blur length, that's all I did.

Also, if you want to learn more about directional blur, there is a movie about that in the Blur and Sharpen area and so there is a movie on that. The thing is and I am just going to click here yo deselect. As beautiful as this is, it's not that beautiful, it's just not that cool, there is just not that much life to it. And we could probably tint it with something or what have you, but it needs a little bit more than that, and that's where Glow comes in. Glow is the ultimate thing to come in and just apply it one time and add color and life and all sorts of light energy to whatever else you've got going on. That's why it's such a great asset for motion graphic design.

So I am going to select our Adjustment Layer. I made an Adjustment Layer overall of these layers of Vegas and Blur. And on our Adjustment Layer, I applied Glow. And here are the settings that I used. I changed the color to orange for Color A, red for Color B and I made sure to change Glow Colors from the Original Colors, which wouldn't help us much here as it would basically be a black and white glow, to A & B Color, so that it would use these two colors. I have also adjusted the Glow settings. I have taken down the glow Threshold quite a bit so that everything gets Glow applied to it.

I have also increased the Glow Radius a lot so that we have a big blurry glow that covers the whole scene. And I have also taken up the Glow Intensity quite a bit. And when we- let me zoom in here so you get the full effect. And when we turn on our Adjustment Layer that has only one instance of Glow applied, we get a whole face full of color. Look at that. Look at how these just appear to burn, glow and there are just tons of light in the background, it just really has filled our scene with light and even more than that, just an electricity and just all these shades of colors. This is just so natural and wonderful looking. So I am going to zoom out a little bit. I will take the resolution to half and let's just do a quick RAM Preview of what we have here.

RAM Preview, let's go. Awesome. Just spectacular. Look at how the light, and just the colors, just fill the entire scene. And again, by way of contrast, here's this same exact thing without glow. We will just take off the Glow effect. And look at the difference, how drab and sad. And then with Glow, it's just amazing. And I think it's actually in my opinion, the Glow effect that makes the Distort effects so cool and powerful.

And in the Distort effect chapter, we look at basically twisting and taking solids and just kind of bending them or whatever, and that's really not that cool until you take into consideration what Glow can do. So you just make a little tiny simple solid and twist it or Wave Warp it or whatever, add a little Glow to it and voila, you've got some instant great looking motion graphics. Never underestimate the power of the Glow effect.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CS3 Effects .

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Q: In the “Shatter Effect” chapter, most of the examples are performed using solids. Is it possible to shatter or reverse shatter a photograph?
A: A solid is used for demonstration  in the tutorial, because it's easier to see, but anything done to a solid can done with a photograph. For a good example, check out  the After Effects CS4 Essential Training  title, and the movie “Blowing stuff up with effects” in Chapter 7.
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