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All right, here we are, ready to begin the compositing process. We're going to start off with shot 1 because it's the longest shot and what we're going to be doing in this video is using Photoshop elements and a little bit of Fractal Noise, which is an effect, to give our shot a little bit more character. So let's start off by opening up the composition for that and what I'm going to do is go to the Video and Audio folder CINEMA imports, and in the shot-001-render_END folder, I'm going to duplicate this composition. And let's go Command+D to duplicate it and let's call this one shot-001, just delete all the extra stuff off it.
I like to always keep an extra copy of my comp around just in case, and so I'm going to call this shot-001 and we want to move this into a new sub-folder. And let's enlarge our window here a little bit. And in the Working comps folder is where we're going to store this and let's go to shot-001 and drag it into the Working comps folder. Now we can double-click on this and open that up and you can see we've got our camera and we've got our original shark light, which we used. We're not going to be needing the shark light in this shot, so we can just turn it off. So now, what you see here in this composition are all of the multipass layers.
Now, we're actually not going to be using these in this shot, but I always like to render out the multipass layers just in case, and you never know during compositing process what layers you might need to work your magic on your composition. So I always render those out anyway. In this case, we're just going to need the rgba pass. So let's turn these all off, leaving a black comp. And then in our shot-001-render_END file, in the Special Passes folder, is our rgb pass. Let's go and drag that into the composition and we can scrub through and there's our sharks swimming through the scene.
It looks awesome, except that it really doesn't have a lot of character to it. It's very sort of flat, featureless landscape. We want to have a little bit more drama and intensity. So we're going to use some Photoshop elements to do that, along with some Fractal Noise. So let's go to the Production Elements folder and drag in brighter, darker and grain, and I'm going to drag those right into the top of the composition above our shot-001. Now, those coming at full Opacity and normal blending modes. Now before I mess around with the opacities on these, let's take a look at these images one at a time.
The brighter image, if I double-click on it, is simply a Photoshop file that I've used a paint brush on and I've brushed a little bit of a cyan color here, just kind of randomly around and I gave a little bit of brightness to the upper right-hand corner of the frame, and I actually generated these files during the storyboarding process and then saved them out as individual layers to be used here in After Effects. The darker element, when I double- click on that, it looks like black but I'll turn on the transparency grid and now you can see that it's sort of the opposite effect of the brighter.
It darkens up certain areas of the frame. And the grain layer is simply just a grain element that's going to sit on top of everything to kind of give a general noise pattern to the entire scene. So now here in the composition, let's go back to our Composition window, give myself a little bit more room to work here. We're going to make some changes to these blending modes and opacities. Now I'm going to be setting the brighter layer to a Screen blending mode and that's going to add a little bit of brightness to our scene and the screen can't really be seen right now because of all the stuff that's underneath it, but we're going to tweak these guys.
I'm going to turn off these other two layers just so you can see what happens when I adjust that brighter. So you can see that when I changed the blending mode from Normal to Screen, here it is on Normal and it's kind of sitting there, and when I change it to Screen, it doesn't look that different, but I'm going to adjust the scale on this just a bit, because it needs to come down to about 75% or so. I did mine at 69%. The important thing is that it's just outside the boundaries of the frame image and you can see that it's now blending in with the background. It's kind of brightening up this upper corner of our frame.
Now I'm going to take the grain layer and add this to the mix, and in the grain layer, we're going to leave it set on Normal. When I turn it on, you can see that it completely overwhelms the Screen, but when I set the Opacity, hit T on the keyboard to bring up the Opacity settings, I'm going to set the Opacity to be about 20%, and then adjust the Scale down a bit. Hit S on the keyboard to bring up the Scale. Let's bring the Scale to about 70% also. Let's zoom in on the frame just a bit. You can see I'm going to turn off the grain layer and then turn it back on again.
Let's back out one more layer, so now I've enlarged my window nice and big. So I'll turn off the grain layer and turn it back on again. You can see it gives a very subtle darkness overall to the image and adds a little bit of noise to everything and kind of takes away the computer-generated feel. We're going to save the darker layer for just a moment and we're going to be using that darker layer for another purpose. So let's leave it off for now and I'm going to create a new solid. Under the Layer menu, New > Solid, and the color doesn't really matter. We are going to call it, though, fractal noise.
And we want to make sure that it's the same size as the comp, so I'll hit OK. I'm going to add the Fractal Noise effect and it's here in the Noise & Grain Effects under Fractal Noise and when I add it to the frame, I get this noise pattern that replaces the gray that was my solid, and now I can change some settings on here. I'm going to change the Fractal Type from Basic to Turbulent Smooth. That's going to give a very different type of pattern here. That's got some light and dark values that I really like, and then I'm going to change the Noise Type from Soft Linear to Spline.
That really softens things up a lot. Next I'll adjust the Brightness up to about 20% or so, maybe 22 roughly. There we go, and that brightens up the image overall and now I'd like to change the Complexity. The noise pattern is really kind of dense right now and it has a lot of detail that I don't want. I'm going to set that Complexity down to be about 1.5 or so, and that really makes it a lot more simple and takes away all the extra detail. Now I can twirl open the Transform options and I'm going to set the Scale to be about 300%.
That's going to zoom in on the noise, so now it's just a very random sort of light and dark pattern here, and I think that's good for the settings. Now what I like to do is have that noise animate over the entire length of the shot. So if I change the Evolution, that has the effect of animating the noise pattern and I'm scrubbing through, just twirling this dial on the Evolution setting, and you can see how it changes the noise pattern over time and that's just what I want to do. So, I'm going to set this back to zero and at time zero I'm going to set a keyframe for Evolution.
So I click on the stopwatch. That sets the keyframe. Now I'm going to move to the end of the shot and at the end of the shot I'm going to set the Evolution to be about 250 or so. And over time, my noise pattern is now changing. So now that I've got my noise animated, I'm going to use the darker layer to kind of limit where that noise shows up on the screen. Let's back out of the composition a little bit and give ourselves some room to work with the layers and I'll just take the Fractal Noise pattern and move it down below the darker.
I'm going to set the darker layer to be the track matte for the Fractal Noise. So I'll click on the Track Matte options and do an Alpha Matte "darker.psd". So now it's using that darker layer as an Alpha Matte for the noise and you can see when I scrub through the file, I now have a light and dark pattern that's kind of moving across the surface of my scene, giving the water a murky feel. Now this noise pattern, it's kind of sitting on top and it's not really interacting with the footage below it. So I'd like to change the blending mode on the Fractal Noise. Let's change that to Overlay, which emphasizes the midtone in the image, and I'm going to go to Overlay and you can see now the dark values went away and we have midtones and a little bit of highlights in the scene and that's just how we want it.
So my Fractal Noise pattern is mixing in really well with the footage, but let's scale the darker layer down just a bit. I'm going to hit S on the keyboard, for the darker layer and just adjust the Scale down to about 70% again or so. You can see what happened was it scaled the PSD file down, so now we have a little better pattern for our Fractal Noise. These PSD files were generated oversized on purpose. so that I have a little bit of resolution to play with in case I wanted to scale them over time. So now the first step in the process for this shot is complete.
We've added a little bit of murkiness. We're going to be adding a little more character to the scene and creating our type elements in later movies.
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