Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding glow, part of Trapcode Particular Essential Training (2012).
In this tutorial, we are going to look at ways to make your particles glow and some other ways to make them pop off the screen a little bit. I have here some glows kind of floating passes background here. I kind of wanted to make it look like kind of dust particles in the air and maybe little embers in the air, but in order to see the glow, I had to make them bigger than they should be, so this is kind of unattractive, because particle size should be down to maybe three or so maybe even smaller. But again, just so we could see everything I am going to leave this pretty big maybe about eight or ten or so.
Now we already have a little bit of a soft edge because of this sphere feather value. So I could actually increase this to a hundred to feather that edge a little bit more and again the opposite I could take it down to zero to get a hard edge around that. I take it back to its default 50. Now you'll notice that, if we go down here there is actually a glow section, but it's not selectable. The only particle types that allow you to adjust the glow are Glow Sphere and Star.
So if I choose Glow Sphere, this becomes active and our particles automatically have an outer glow applied to them. And same type thing, we have a feather here as well, sphere feather or speather if you combine those two words together, and then in the Glow section, we can increase the size of the glow. We could increase the Opacity of the glow and we could also increase the Feather of the glow. By default it's at a 100 but we can take that down if we wanted to.
But putting these together, you can get some really interesting effects, just to kind of have this kind of burn out look to them which is rather interesting and again we also get these same glow controls where we choose the star. Notice that these stars are made up of these sharp points and we can't adjust those at all, but we can adjust the glow around them. So I might take down the Size. As you could see the points aren't changing size, but that glow around them is changing size. So if we want just kind of like a little kind of cross in the middle, we can make these glows really big or if we just wanted to make mostly the cross of the star, we can just have this be a small little thing in the back.
Now another thing that we could do, I am actually going to take this to Sphere. If we like our particles the way they are, we can apply glow on the same layer, the glow effect, After Effects effect, just go ahead an apply that here. We could apply that to our particles or we could also create a new Adjustment layer, by going to the Layer menu and choosing New Adjustment Layer. And the difference here is that if you apply to that layer, it's going to add glow to those particles.
If you add it to the Adjustment layer, it's going to glow the entire scene which can make things seem a little bit more cohesive and pull together. So again if I apply glow to this, I might need to take down the Glow Threshold, so you could really see what's going on here. But now you see that the blue and the orange lights on the sides are getting lit up as well as the particles. So not much control over glowing the particles as opposed to the background, but again if I were to increase the Radius here and take this glow intensity down to maybe 0.2 then, everything has like a universal glow applied to it before and after and again it kind of helps to make things seem more cohesive sometimes.
In this case I really don't like it actually so I am just going to select that and delete it and same here. I am just going to select the glow on this layer and delete it. Now another thing that we can do to make our particles really pop is by playing with transfer modes. Now we have transfer modes down here in the timeline panel, but that controls the transfer of the Particular layer of the particles with the layers beneath that. So it's all of the particles blending with all the layers beneath that.
Now if you want to blend these particles into the layer that Particular is applied to, then you could go in to the Rendering section and change the transfer mode here, but again this Transfer Mode control sets the blending of all particles with the current layer, we'll actually look at example with this in the next movie. Now in this case, that's not what I want, I want to go to the Transfer Mode drop down in the Particle category and what this does is, it controls how the particles blend in with each other which is very cool.
So I am going to increase sizings for example and I'll just zoom in a little bit here and right now these particles tend to just kind of like morph together. It's not very attractive unless you are going for that kind of blobby look. If you want to make it look like film was burning or something like that then this could be really cool, you might not want to play with the Blend modes, but as we make these bigger and these particles overlap, what we could do is change the Transfer mode to something like Add. And now as these particles overlap in their brightest points they turn white, which looks very cool and also if we take down the Opacity a little bit, we still have a little bit of burning in there as well.
It's a very cool look. It's great for glows and things that are burning in on fire, even smoke sometimes can benefit from adjusting the transfer mode. It adds a little bit too intense for you to take that down to screen, screen is too intense for you take that down to lighten and then we kind of create these weird self patterned looks sometimes. But what I want to do is just leave it on add and again if we make this really big we start to see big differences here with the way these particles overlap one another and again the Transfer Mode here in rendering will not get you there, and the Transfer Mode dropdown in the layer will not get you this result because this is again controlling how the particles overlap one another.
Now this is really offending my eyes, it looks terrible in this case, I am going to take this down to normal and take this size back down to say three like where I wanted them and maybe take this down to Glow Sphere and increase the size of the glow a little bit and take down the opacity of the glow, feather that all the way. Maybe you can take this down to say two and we have these nice little particles just kind of float through the air, and again maybe even two is too big.
It's looking a little large, but choose one and now we start these beautiful little specs that flow through the air and that glow kind of helps them pop out from the background just a little bit. Again working with these different ways of making particles glow and feathering their edges and blending them as transfer modes these are the type of things that can really sell a shot and make your particles look amazing.
- Understanding the Particular paradigm
- Working with different emitter types
- Understanding the curve-drawing interface
- Animating the emitter's position
- Adjusting the particles' life span
- Using custom particles
- Using Particular's auxiliary particles
- Integrating the After Effects lights and cameras
- Using a motion path
- Working with gravity and wind
- Using movies as particles