In this example, add a lighting effect to a photo composite from Adobe Stock. The author thanks the Adobe Stock team for granting written permission to include the watermarked images with this course. The elements in the example image were separated in Photoshop so you can "burst" the light in After Effects.
- [Instructor] In this example, we'll be adding a lighting effect to a photo composite that I got from Adobe Stock. And before I continue, I would like to thank the Stock team for giving me permission to include this watermarked image in this course. Now I've separated these elements out in Photoshop, so before we continue I'd like to show you the Photoshop file before we import it into After Effects. So here in Photoshop, I want to take a look at the file that we're going to be importing into After Effects. Now you don't have to open this, but I just want to show you what's in here so we can understand how After Effects will convert this into its own structure.
So, in the Layers panel inside of Photoshop I have two layer groups. One that contains all of the text groups, one that contains the hand, which I've silhouetted out. If I get the Move Tool I can move this around. Then I've also created two white layers. One in the shape of the text, which is this layer here, and one in the shape of the hand, which is this layer here, which also has a layer mask on it. So what we're going to be doing is applying the light burst effect to both of these white layers. And this will give us that beautiful volumetric lighting effect, because the lighting effect will be applied to all of the nontransparent pixels.
And anytime the light bursts through a pixel, finds negative space and then hits another pixel, it's going to compound that light, again giving us that sort of volumetric effect. And then we have a layer group down at the bottom as well. So each of the layer groups in Photoshop are going to be converted to compositions inside of After Effects. So this will be the first time that we've seen nested compositions inside of After Effects. And so now that we've seen the structure of the Photoshop file we're going to be importing, let's go back to After Effects, let's create a new project, and then let's go to the File menu, come down and choose Import, choose File, and let's find the file called hand.psd in folder three of the chapter one folder of the Exercise Files.
And then as we discussed in the introduction videos, when we import a Photoshop file with multiple layers, we'll be presented with a couple of import options. So what we're going to choose is under Import Kind is Composition, and then let's come down and check the checkbox here that says Merge Layer Styles into footage. With these two selected, let's click OK. And then we'll see in the Project panel a new composition and a layer group. If we open up the layer group or the project group, we can see all of the compositions that correspond to the different layer groups we had inside of Photoshop, as well as all of the individual layers.
So let's close that, and what we're going to do is come over here and just double-click on the hand composition, and that will open up the composition in the Composition panel. I'll change my magnification to Fit. And then if we scroll down and look at the Timeline panel, we'll see that the main timeline panel, or the main composition, matches the exact structure we had inside of Photoshop. So we see our two compositions at the top, our two white layers for the text and the hand, and our background group. So now with this in place, let's go to our Effects & Presets, and let's come in here and search for the word burst.
So B-U-R-S-T. We're looking for CC Light Burst 2.5 in the Generate group. And now what we want to do is apply the light burst to the white text layer. If we were to simply drag this from the Effects & Presets, it would be applied to the top layer, which would be the text layers composition. So to do this, let's go back to the Effects & Presets, let's click on CC Light Burst. Click and drag, and let's drag it into the Timeline panel and drop it on top of the white text layer.
And then there's two ways you'll know if you've applied it to the right layer. First is on the white text layer you'll see the effect icon showing up here on this layer. And the more obvious way is if you see this effect showing up here, where the light burst is being applied to that white text. So now with this being applied, let's go to our Effect Controls. Let's come in here and let's first adjust the center point. So the center point if we start moving some of these around will show as a registration mark on the composition, so you can click and drag this.
And so this is a really great effect because we can drag this anywhere, and this will affect all of the pixels on that text layer as if they were being bursted with light. So to make this look more realistic, let's come in here and set the center point to the middle of the moon, which is where all of the rest of the lighting in this composition is being set from. So we'll put this right about here. Next, over in the Effect Controls, let's come in here and increase the length of the rays. Right now the default is 50.
Let's just drag this up, and the larger you make this, the longer the rays are from the burst. So I'll come in here and set this to about 160. There's a couple of different burst options here. Fade is the one that looks the most realistic. However, if you come in here and choose Straight, you'll see what happens here. The rays will not fade away, they'll just sort of stay on forever. And then if we come down to Center, they will sort of bend and wrap around on themselves. What's really happening is the rays are ending, so they're just sort of curving back.
Let's come in here and choose Fade. Now the intensity is actually applied to the color. So let's come in here and check the checkbox for Set Color. And the intensity is basically how much the light affects the color. It's almost like the color is a gel. So let's come in here and reduce the intensity down to zero so we get the full color of the swatch. Then let's click on the swatch and let's change the light to a very light blue, so it just sort of matches some of the other lighting in the composition.
So I'll bring this to about right here. We don't need to make it too dark, but just a little bit of a blue tint. And then once you like the effect, we need to apply this to the white hand layer as well. So in the Effect Controls, let's select the light burst. Hit Command or Control + C to copy that. Then let's come down to the timeline panel, select the white hand layer, and then hit Command or Control + V, and this will paste all of the effects onto the hand layer as well. Now since the hand is behind the type, what I want to do is move the center point just a little bit, so all of the light rays aren't matching exactly.
And so I'll come back here to the center point, and I'm going to increase the value of the Y axis, which will push the center point down just a little bit, and that will give us a slight variation between the burst on the text and the hand. And so now you can continue to experiment with different settings, and you can also apply the light burst to any layer. You don't have to create white silhouette layers in order for this to work. However, to get some of that volumetric effect, I've found that creating those white layers first and applying the burst to those will give me a much more realistic effect.
- Getting comfortable with the After Effects interface
- Importing and exporting files
- Adding a sunset, a burst of light, and a rippled reflection
- Creating a double exposure effect on a portrait
- Using colorizing techniques
- Repeating, blending, and texturizing patterns
- Using the Roughen Edges effect to create a wide range of edges