Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the transporter effect, part of After Effects Artist in Action: Eran Stern's Personal Transporter.
Are you ready to being transported? [00:00:0.77] Great, because in this movie, we will create a data transporter effect itself. We'll use couple of After Effects basic effects to disassemble the actor to some tiny particles. Then we'll need to time it with the animation that we already have. [00:00:2.46] I'm working in the same project. I've open up Composition number 14, the Transporter effect, under the folder Match and Transport.
Let's place our timeline indicator over here. Press Spacebar, so we can see what we've been able to achieve until this point. So, Yuval is grabbing the ring, throwing it. And then, a couple of them are landing back on top of him. Now, you can see that the actor, himself, is actually disappearing, and we do get a nice effect from the light. If you want to keep this effect longer, you can always select the spotlight, press U, and just drag the last keyframe, so we will get a little bit more maybe of a glowing atmosphere before they will fade away.
But for now, don't worry about it. We will also create a particle ending transition in the next movie. So, I'm just going to maybe drag it a little bit backward. But I do want to fix the issue here, where the actor is actually disappearing. The easiest way to achieve this in After Effects is to select the layer, and then go under Layer, Time, and Enable Time Remapping for this layer. Now, we want to keep the last frame of him as is.
We don't wish to actually change the timing of the layer, just to freeze this frame. So, just make sure that your playhead is on top of this frame, and record a keyframe that will hold this information in place. Then, go to the Edit menu, and copy this, bcause After Effects already selected the last value. And then, just grab the end of the clip all the way until the end of the composition. Go ahead and place the current time indicator here, at the end, and press Command+V in order to paste the same keyframe data.
And this way, we basically froze the time, just for the end frame of this video. This will give us a lot more freedom, now that we want to add some effects to this shot. So, let's go the beginning of this shot, and let's add a bunch of effects. I first want to turn off the visibility for the Motion blur to the composition, just so this will speed up the render time. And, since I want to apply several effects, I will press Command+5 or Ctrl+5, and this will call the Effects & Presets panel, and will allow me a quick search using the index method here, inside After Effects.
The first effect that I want to apply is actually a Transformation effect. So, you can either drag it on the layer, or if the layer is selected, just double-click on it, and it will apply itself to the stack. Now, we have the Levels effect from before, where we did the matching of the color. And now, under the Transform effect, I want to dismiss the uniform scale, and just scale this layer on its height. But the anchor point that is used in order to scale this is not correct.
In this case, I want to make sure that the scale will start actually from the bottom of the composition. Now, I know the dimension of my composition is 1280x720, so I just need to plug the vertical number to both the Anchor Point and the Position. So, let's change this one to 720, and tap our way to the Position, and change it as well, to 720. This will actually place this little point, and this is the Anchor Point of the effect itself, so it would appear like we change the gravity holes inside those circles, and squish the person, and basically make him disappear.
Okay, so let's find out more or less where this is starting to happen. A good place, I think, is maybe around this area, where we want to maybe start to squish him, so maybe around 14 frames, in this case. I'm going to record a keyframe for the Scale Height, and move forward, maybe just 15 frames or so, and change the scale height to a higher value. Now, at the same time that this happens, we want to actually scatter him all over the place.
For that, we actually have an effect named Scatterize. So, let's just start to type the beginning of the word, and this is the effect that I was referring this. I'm going to drag it over here. And, this basically will allow you to scatter the person to pieces, or actually any given pixels that you will give this layer. And by the way, a nice way to know what each and every effect does in After Effects is just to press on the About button. This will tell you that this effect scatters layer pixels with streaks. Wonderful! Okay, so let's just time it more or less to the same keyframes that we already have. I'm going to select my layer, maybe open up the Transform, or just . . .
You know what? We can also press U, in order to see the keyframes, and close the masks, so we can just see what we already have. So, let's go to the beginning here, maybe around 14 seconds, record a keyframe for the Scatter value at 0, and then, we'll forward to the same location. And, once again, you just have to scrub it, and see how much of this you want to give. So, I'm going to maybe end it around 65; I think that this is a good value.
Of course, you can always return to those values later, and just modify them. So, I zoomed in, just to see how this looks right now. And, in order to merge those tiny pixels those particles, we are going to use the same trick as before, which means we are going to apply an instance of Vector Blur. So, at the first point here, I'm going to set the Amount value to 0. And then, let's move forward, and maybe change it to 5.
Now, in order to sell the illusion that it is really a transition, we actually need to wipe away our actor during all of those action that we've created. Let's go back to the Effects & Preset. And this time, I'm going to start to type linear, just in order to isolate the Linear Wipe effect, which is actually a transition. Okay, I'm just going to grab it, and make sure that the layer is selected, and drag it at the bottom of this stack.
Let's just collapse the ones that we ended with. And, I'm just going to scroll down to see where I should start the transition. So, I think that basically over here, where everything is starting to take its shape, let's change first the Wipe Angle to 0. And, this will allow us actually to wipe away the image. Now, we do need to give it a generous amount of feather. So, I would suggest at least 200 pixels, just to make the transition a little bit more easy on the eye.
Okay, let's start over here. Create a keyframe, move forward -- maybe over there, just before the end action of the scatter effect, -- and just slide this value. You can basically go up to 100. Let's go back and press Spacebar, just so we can see everything in action. Okay, it looks kind of nice, but there is still work to do in terms of timing. And also, I think that we are missing some element that will help to merge all the effects that we've added, just together, one on top of the other. And also, create some kind of a high-energy feel and light inside those rings.
The best candidate for this work, or for this task, will be the Glow effect. It helped us before; there is no reason why we shouldn't ask it to help us again. So, let's drag the Glow effect. Let's first design the glow itself. I think that we are actually going to walk with the threshold here, in terms of key framing. So, the animation will be driven from the thresholds of the pixels. But I want to change the colors of the glow. So, instead of using the original colors, let's set it to A and B, and let's just try to sample the bright tint of cyan that we have here.
And so, this to me looks much more natural, and I'll remind you that this is how it's going to look over time. So let's animate this. Let's go from 100, and this time, let's start the glow even before the rings are landing. So, maybe around 12 seconds, or even a little bit later. So, just as the first ring is starting to appear, I'm going to record a keyframe for the Glow Threshold, after changing its value to 100%.
So now, the glow basically have no impact whatsoever. And then, over time -- around 14 seconds and maybe three frames, where the action is in its full glory, -- I'm going to reduce the Glow Threshold to its minimum of 0. So, this will create a burning effect. And then, everything will disappear. Now, as I told you before, I suggest that you press U in order to see all the keyframes. And then, just basically play with the timing. And also, maybe with the end of the animation in terms of how linear you want it to be.
So, a good approach is actually to lasso around all the last keyframes that we've created -- maybe also the glow as well, -- and press F9 in order to easy ease the animation. Now, at this point, you need to play with the keyframes and the timing; just nudge them to the places that you think might work. Go back in time, create quick RAM previews, and see that it is working as you planned.
And so, this is how you combine several effects in order to disassemble the actor into tiny particles, and then, wipe it away from the shot.
- Reviewing, choosing, and preparing footage
- Removing noise
- Separating the actor from the background
- Tracking the actor's hands
- Adding paint and particle effects
- Parenting the tracking data
- Inserting sound effects and music