After Effects: Extended Vignette Techniques

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
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After Effects: Extended Vignette Techniques
Video duration: 0s 46m 34s Intermediate


After Effects: Extended Vignette Techniques was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the Online Training Library®.

Vignetting is a classic photography technique involving darkening areas of an image in order to focus the viewer’s attention on a desired point of interest. In After Effects: Extended Vignette Techniques, Chris Meyer shows how vignettes can also be leveraged in video. Multiple applications are demonstrated, including framing a subject better, fixing a poorly composed shot, giving a vintage feel, creating "quiet areas" to overlay text and other graphics, and blending an image over a new background. Vignettes can be created using masking, shape layers, and gradients. This course also includes advanced techniques unique to After Effects, using the CC Circle effect and 3D lights, and employing motion stabilization to center the desired action within the vignette. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Vignetting with feathered masks, gradients, or paint
  • Blending layers with masks and paint
  • Lighting in 3D
  • Using motion stabilization
  • Using blending modes and adjustment layers
After Effects


- Hi, I'm Chris Meyer of Chrish Design, and I'd like to show you another core motion graphics technique. Namely, creating a vignette. Taking part of your image and focusing on it while darkening or treating other parts you don't want to focus on. This is an effect you might associate with old footage that just naturally was darker around the edges. And there are indeed many other plug-ins, like Magic Bullet Looks, which are good for applying this to overall footage. However, this general concept of focusing the viewer's attention on one part of the frame, and either darkening, colorizing, treating, or replacing other parts of the frame, is a core idea you're gonna use over and over again to correct bad footage, focus the viewer, create quiet or dark areas to put text, et cetera.

We're going to start out by covering several different basic ways of creating a vignette, and we're going to extend those techniques to colorize, treat, and blend footage. Finally, I'm going to show you a trick in After Effects to stabilize footage to make sure it stays nicely inside your vignetted zone. So, let's dive in and have some fun.

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