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This course was created and produced by Chris Meyer. We are honored to host his material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
After Effects: Adding Lighting Effects in Post demonstrates how to use virtually any version of After Effects to easily add animated lighting effects to existing footage. Going beyond basic techniques, Chris Meyer shares his personal experience and uses many examples to teach the best way to select and fine-tune lighting clips to enhance a variety of underlying shots. He presents techniques for subtle enhancements that will help hold the viewer's attention while adding production value to virtually any shot. Chris also discusses how to create lighting clips from scratch, either with a camera or by using Fractal Noise.
In the previous movies we have been showing you how to select lighting clips that best compliment to your original underlying footage. In the next few movies, I'm going to show you how to further fine-tune those lighting clips through the use of transformations such as scale and rotate, through color correction, through improving contrast and using other effects such as Blur. Let's start with the transformations. Let's play around with some directional lighting for this trumpet player. Here is a nice strong diagonal from the upper right through the trumpet to the lower left. However, our light rays starts in the upper left, the wrong place.
So let's move it into position. So Add Mode, so I can see how it's interacting with the layer underneath. And one way to do it is to open up Scale, turn off the Constrain Proportion switch and flop just the X dimension. That will make it come from the upper right and go on down. However, there is another way of doing this that I prefer. There is an animation preset called Flop. What Flop does is flip your image around, so that it's coming from different angle without altering your Scale values. So you can still edit your scale without worrying about changing the flop, the direction it's coming from.
Okay, so now I have got the lights coming from the upper right but the angles don't line up with the trumpet. I'll press R to reveal Rotation, start rotating this footage until the light rays in it line up with the trumpet. Now I've got something that works much better with this shot. Finally, I'll type S to reveal the Scale again and start expanding out the clip to cover the entire frame. Now since this is a background layer, I'm not that worried about it being sharp. I don't mind scaling it past 100%, which is normally bad idea. If you want, you can even scale it disproportionally. I can go ahead and bring down the X to where it's just outside the frame, the Y is just outside the frame in another direction. Maybe go one more percent to be even. And now I have my rays complementing the angle of the trumpet.
Now I'll RAM Preview and see how it looks. I see he is raising the trumpet again. No problem. I'll go ahead and just put a little bit more Rotation on my shot and go ahead and expand my Scale. And now that works much better. It is as if it was shot this way with this lighting in the first place.
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