Join Angie Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Flickering glow with five-dimension wiggle, part of After Effects: Creating Project Templates.
- In this movie, we're going to have a look at different ways of creating a flickering glow effect. Now I've got the glow intensity open on this layer. I have a color and a glow effect on here. I'm going to alt click on the stopwatch to add an expression. The first thing we're going to have a look at is the wiggle expression. Now I can pretty much guarantee that most of you have used wiggle and basically you type in the world wiggle. Open parenthesis, type in a number for frequency, so say I want it to flicker ten times per second, I would put in ten.
Comma, amplitude. So the amplitude would be, you know, how much do you want it to wiggle? Now this is intensity value of the glow effect. It likes very small numbers so I'm going to go with a maximum value of one. Close parenthesis and then we have our flickering value. Now most of you will have used that with frequency and amplitude, but did you know that there are three other values that you can enter into wiggle? Now let's have a look first of all at the wiggle we've created. Let's go to the graph editor, select the glow intensity value, and select the post-expression graph button, and we can see we've got ten or so wiggles per second.
There's one, two, three, four, five, six. So we get these random values as a couple of really small ones in there as well. Okay, let's see what happens if we change those values. Now if you go into the expression language menu and go into property and look at wiggle, you'll see that there are three other values that you can put in here. Octaves, amp mult, and time. So let's have a look at what those do. If we go into our expression, let's take this value back down to a slightly smaller value.
Let's take it down to five per second and then have a look. Okay, so this is our graph at the moment. Now what we can do is add in a third number, so let's add in the number one, okay? And go back to the graph. And nothing changes, okay? So value of one in octaves will just return the same value. But watch what happens if I change that value to ten. Okay, you'll see it's basically wiggling the wiggle. So each wiggle has its own little wiggle on top.
And it has ten wiggles or ten changes to that wiggled wiggle if you like. It's basically using fractals to work this out, so it's giving it a kind of sub intensity of ten if you think of it like that. Think of it like the sub settings in fractal noise. Okay, and then the next value we can add, and again, if you go back to here, you can see that the next value is amp mult.
Bit more difficult to explain this, but basically the default value is point five, so each iteration if you like of the noise will be intensified by point five, so each one will go up by point five. If I change that to one, we'll get quite a big change. Watch what happens here. If I put that up to one and we go back, you'll see that the sub noise is actually bigger than the original noise now.
So a value of one is too much in this case. So we could go back here and we could say "Alright, one is too much, point five wasn't enough. "So let's try putting point six in," okay? And now we go back and have a look and you'll see that point six gives us slightly more exaggerated sub noise on our noise. Okay, if we're thinking in terms of noise. Let's go to point seven. Okay, go back to here and we can see that's giving us even more.
The great thing about the live preview is we can actually see the changes update as well while we're looking at the graph editor. Okay, so we can now get an idea of what those values do. Now you'll notice that each time I increase that multiplying value, it's actually increasing my minimum maximum values, so I'm going above one in intensity now, which is a little bit too much. So sometimes I need to just go in here and just make slight adjustments until I get it exactly how I want it.
And if I want to keep the iterations high but want to reduce the full amount, the full result of the wiggle, what I can do is go back to the maximum value that I selected for amplitude. So I could make that maybe point eight. And then go back to my graph and we'll see that's reduced the peaks a little bit. Let's go down a bit further, let's go down to point six. Okay, and we're now close to a maximum value of one.
So I'm quite happy with that. So you can see that these values, they're giving me a lot more control over my wiggle. Now what if I'm really happy with that shape but I just want to slow the whole thing down? I don't want to move the number of wiggles per second, but I just want to slow the whole wiggle down. Well that's where the fifth value comes in. And if I put in a comma after point seven and then type in time, that won't make any difference, okay? So it's still going to be exactly the same.
But if I say time divided by two and then go back and have a look, you'll see it's basically slowing down that whole wiggle. So I'm now getting exactly the same wiggle, the same graph if you like, but just slowed down. So having time in there allows me to speed up or slow down the flicker once I have it exactly how I want it. So that's a little bit about the five different dimensions of wiggle that you have available in After Effects.
- Coming up with project ideas
- Planning projects
- Building backgrounds and graphical animated elements
- Formatting text
- Structuring the project with controller layers
- Working with color
- Optimizing projects
- Making templates easy for others to use
- Packaging your template project
- Selling your project