Join Ran Ben Avraham for an in-depth discussion in this video Design and animate the basic lava flow, part of Creating Fire and Brimstone Type Animation Motion Graphics in After Effects.
- [Voiceover] Next I would like to design and animate the basic lava flow texture. We will first start by creating a new composition, Control + N. And we'll call this new composition Lava_Flow. And we want to make it 1280 in the width and we want to make it 300 in the height. 25 frames per second. And duration of 20 should be sufficient. We'll hit OK. And this shape will work great for our purpose, since the overall shape of the lava flow is sort of a long river.
We'll create a new solid by hitting Control + Y. The color doesn't really matter. We want to make sure it's the comp size, 1280 x 300. And hit OK. We will call this new layer Lava. And we'll add a Fractal Noise for it. I would like to set the Fractal Noise type to Dynamic. And if we play around with the Evolution, we can see we get sort of a lava boiling sort of animation.
Which is very nice. Let's hit Control + Z here. And I would like to animate this evolution, but I would like to avoid using keyframes, simply because I'm not sure how long of a duration I would need, and to avoid having to come back and change the keyframes' location, I will use an expression. So let's Alt + click on the Evolution stopwatch. And we'll type in a time expression, so that will be time, times, let's say 100. And let's run a quick preview to see how it looks.
This looks like just about the right speed. And next let's see how we can enhance this effect. First of all, let's play a bit with the contrast. We can add a bit more contrast here. Let's say all the way to 150. OK, and we can bright this just a little bit, let's go to seven, or maybe even eight. This looks about right. But next I would like to add a flowing animation. Right now the lava is boiling up, which is very nice, but we want to it to also flow in some direction.
So that would be either from left to right or right to left. To do that we'll need to switch to the Transform. And if we switch to the Offset Turbulence, it will animate either the X or Y, we can see we can animate the position. And this is exactly what we are after. Go hit Control + Z here. Now, again, I would like to avoid having to use keyframes, so again we will use an expression. First, let's Alt + click on the stopwatch next to the Offset Turbulence.
I would like to add my expression only to the X, and not to the Y. So first we need to separate the X and Y here. So I'll hold down the Pick Whip, and drag it to the X. Let's make some room here to see what's going on. We'll need to set this Temp to X. Now let's copy this entire line. Hit Enter to create a new line, and paste it. We'll call the second line Y.
Now the first line ends with zero, which refers to X, and the second line should end with one, which refers to Y. And we'll set these two temps to X and Y. OK, so basically the expression we have created here tells After Effects that X should look at the X value, and Y should look at the Y value. So basically we have created no changes here. But the main change here is that we can now apply different expression to the X and to the Y, or no expression to the X and the Y.
So here's how we're going to do it. Let's select the X. And instead of X equals basically X, we will erase everything here, and we'll type in a time expression once again. So that will be Time. And we don't want to have too much of a fast flow here, let's try 15, and semicolon to end the expression. Let's preview it.
So, OK, all in all this flow might be OK for our purposes. But I think we can even slow it down a bit more. Let's try 10. OK, this is much better. However, right now the lava flow is from left to right, and I would like it to flow from right to left. So I will need to hit a minus in front of the time. And now, if we preview it, we can see it flows from right to left.
Wonderful. We can tweak the lava a bit more. Let's see, first let's uncheck the Uniform Scaling. Set the Scale Width, right now it's set to 100, let's lower that, say about 70 or 75, something of this width. And the Scale Height to be even lower than that. Something of this sort should be fine.
So now we've got a lot smaller texture of a lava. Let's run a quick preview to see how it looks. So I'm pretty happy with the result we've got here. We've got a nice lava flow, it's bubbling and flowing in just the right speed. To sum this up, we have created a new layer and applied Fractal Noise to it.
And by playing a bit with its values and adding some simple expressions, we have managed to get a very nice flowing lava.
In this course, you'll learn to take advantage of these powerful features. The first half of this course uses AE as if it were true 3D software, producing a unique 3D landscape—a volcano spouting fire and brimstone—rendered into several image sequence passes. In the second half, author Ran Ben Avraham shows how to use AE's powerful compositing abilities to combine the render passes, add environment particles, build 3D text, and use a few post-production tricks to produce this "volcanic" scene.
Like all of our project-based learning experiences, each step of the process is rich with object lessons that are applicable to scenarios the motion design artist will face in real-world productions.
- Working with the FreeForm Pro plugin
- Modeling the volcano
- Adding lava flow to the color and displacement maps
- Animating the camera in the scene
- Filling in gaps with FreeForm Pro
- Lighting the scene
- Rendering multiple passes
- Compositing the render passes
- Creating a smoke particle system
- Building 3D text
- Adding effects
- Time remapping