Learn about creating a heat wave effect by distorting a layer with Boris turbulence and blur.
- [Voiceover] We're now onto a different section of Boris FX and those are the ones that warp. You can warp images, or time, or both. In this case, we'll start with image warping. For example, we can warp this particular project in such a way that looks like there are heat waves in the foreground in front of this shovel. So I've gone back to an older project. This is one where we added the lens flare and the spotlight to make it look like it's later in the day. This is saved as three underscore one.
So let's add some heat waves to this. First thing I'll do is create a new composition. I want this to be the same size, frame rate, and resolution as my original one in this project. So, 1920 by 1080, 24 frames per second, and 96 frame duration. This'll come in as Comp 1. I'm going to drag Shovel, which is the original composition, into Comp 1 to nest it. The reason why I do that is, I want to treat this entire composition as a single layer.
Now in order to add some heat waves, I'm going to do an old trick where I just copy this layer upwards. With that layer selected, the nested layer, I'll go to edit, duplicate. On this top layer, I'm going to add a distortion effect. Here we're going to use ... Warp ... Turbulence. This is the Boris Turbulence effect. Now there is a standard turbulence effect that comes with After Effects. And they work in a similar fashion, although the Boris Effect has some unique controls.
Now as soon as I apply it, there is warping. If I look close, the shovel is all distorted. The way it works, is there's a procedural noise that's generated that warps the image. The pixels are pushed around based on the values inside the noise. High values, a lot of distortion. Low values, no distortion, or little. You can view that texture by clicking the View Texture check box. And there it is. You can change the scale right here with the scale ...
Property. Let's say for this, 100's pretty good. Now if I go ahead and play the timeline, I can see that it's static. You don't have to animate it, but you do have to change a property. I'm going to go down to animation, and increase the Flow Rate. Flow Rate is how quickly it moves. At zero, it's essentially off. It's static. We raise this up, say to 100, it's going to move. Now by default, it moves left to right. However, I can change the flow direction to zero, and then it'll go down to up, which is ideal in our situation.
Alright, I'll turn that back off. Now when I play it back, it'll start to flow upwards. Now, it's very intense. What I'd like to do is combine this with the original version, and mix the two together. Before I do that, though, I want to add another effect. Or maybe actually two effects, so it's not so clear. Now, before I do that, I'm going to add two more effects to adjust the quality of the heat wave version.
Right now it's too clear. A real heat wave would be difficult to see. It'd be kind of blurry, kind of hard to focus on it. So, I'm going to add a Blur effect. Once again, Fast Lens Blur. It's very strong by default, so I'm going to reduce the Iris Scale down to five, which controls the amount of blurriness. That's better. And then also, I'm going to apply a brightness and contrast and make it brighter. Much like a glow. There we go. Now, I don't want this heat wave to take over the entire image.
I want to blend it with the original. Now, here's a situation where I could, once again, return to the pixel chooser. Because I already have two layers, though, I'm going to use a older technique that I like. Which is simply to reduce the opacity of the top layer. Let's say down to 30. So the warped version is combined with the original. I play it back, you'll see the shimmer in the distortion on top.
Now it is everywhere. So, this has already gone this far with two layers, what I can do is add a mask. I use the rectangular mask that comes with the program. Draw a big, loose box over the bottom half. And create a large feather. Now it blends from heat wave to no heat wave by the time it gets to the sky. So that'll be better. Another thing I don't like is the fact that the lens flare is incorporated into this heat wave.
It looks kind of funny as being part of the wave. So, I'll go back to the original composition, Shovel, select that layer, and then cut out that effect, lens flare. You can use control- or command-x to cut. Go back to my Comp 1, select lower layer, and then control- or command-v to paste that effect. It's in the lower layer, so it's not shimmering. It's there. I kind of like it because it's softer because of the heat waves on top of it.
I think it looks more subtle. A little bit more realistic. Let's play it back now. There we go. It's hot. It's dusty. It's late in the day. If I was that guy driving that shovel, I'd want to go home. Alright. So I told you, you can use an image distortion tool, like the Boris Turbulence to create a heat effect, which is the foreground warping and shimmering. And you can combine that with some non-Boris techniques to make a more complex result.
VFX expert Lee Lanier begins by exploring shared Boris Continuum controls, and then shows how to apply stylistic effects. He explains how to work with the PixelChooser and Boris Lights, and discusses how to color grade and warp footage. He also takes you through using the Boris Chroma Key Studio and working with Mocha Pro for motion tracking, as well as how to add particles and work with 3D text.
- Overview of Boris Continuum
- After Effects preferences
- Applying stylistic effects
- Relighting with Boris Lights
- Adjusting colors
- Changing the time of day
- Warping footage
- Keying green screen
- Motion tracking
- Adding particles
- Working with 3D text