Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Last week we tried to enter the Speed Force by creating this smearing look with the help of the CC Radial Blur effect. Now I never been to the Speed Force myself, but from what I understood from a recent call with The Flash himself, the entrance would probably look like this, with some striking lights everywhere. So in this tip, I'll show you how to add graphical beams that will push this rider to speed up even faster. And we'll do all of that with a combination of an audio effect and some motion tracking. So I'll switch back to this composition where I only have the smearing effect, and for now I'm going to switch off the visibility of this adjustment layer. We'll switch it on later. I'll select a main clip here, and I'll start by going to the effect menu and under the generate category, I'll apply the audio spectrum effect. Now this effect will display the frequency spectrum of some selected audio layer. Now it happens to be that I have this Doppler underscore FX sound effect here in the timeline. So I'm just going to switch on momentarily the speaker for it, and then preview it so you can hear how this sounds. (pulsating whooshes) So nothing special, but at least we have some frequencies that we can sample. For now I'm going to switch off the audio for it, return to the audio spectrum effect, and I'm going to tell it to use this layer. So over here, we should start to see those lines starting to form. Now I'm going to change it to use polar path and later, I'm going to marry this start point to a motion-tracking data that we will track from the scooter. But for now, let's work on the effect itself. So I'm going to change some values that I know will work nicely here. I'll start with the start frequency, and set it to 1,000, and then for the end frequency, I'll go with the minimum which is one. I'll change the frequency bent, meaning how many lines we'll have, to 24. And then I'll tab to the maximum height and set it to its maximum value, which is 32,000. Now we can see something happening on the screen. So this is something that we can use. I'm going to return to the effect, change the audio duration to 30, and then change the audio offset to 360. And I came up with these numbers by trial and error. So if you are working with me and you're trying to create the same effect, you can go with your own values here. For the thickness anyhow, I'm going to type in eight and to create some colorizing, I'm going to change the U interpolation from zero to 180. And this will create this effect. Now just as a temporary step, I'll click on composite on original. This way, we can see the clip underneath, and we can also click on the start point target and just place it where we want it to be. So this is where I'm going with it. Now because this scooter is moving all around the place in this clip, remember the clip was stabilized but he's still moving, the best practice here would be to track the motion of it and then marry it to the effect. And this is also the name of this week's theme. Applying tracking to an effect point. So to do so, I'll select this layer in the timeline, right-click on it, and choose open, open layer. And this is going to open it in the layer viewer over here. This means that I can now edit, under the animation, track motion, and this is going to open the tracking panel and switch the viewer of this layer to the motion tracker points. I'm going to go to the end of this clip, and then I'll zoom into this shot by pressing period, and space bar drag to pan this and make sure to take this tracker with the double-headed arrow. This is very important, because we want to take all the three ingredients of the tracker, the attach point, the region area, and the search area, and move them on top of this headlight. I'm going to expand the search area, maybe also the region area, and then I'll click on the options for the tracker and tell it to adapt the feature on every frame. This means that it will try to adapt to the changes that it will see underneath. All right, let's give it a try. Since I'm at the end frame, I'm going to analyze backward and see if After Effects is managing to keep up with this clip and it's actually working quite nicely. Now, I'll click on the edit target button and instead of applying this tracking data to a layer or to a null object, I'll chose the effect point control. And the motion tracker will automatically recognize the effects that were applied to this layer. So this is the condition, you must apply the effect to the layer that you are tracking. And then everywhere that it sees this target, it will allow you to attach the tracking data, and in this case we're only interested in the start point. So I'm just going to leave it at its default and click okay. And next, I'm going to click apply to apply the motion tracking data for both X and Y dimensions. I'm going to click okay, and After Effects will jump me back to the composition panel where I can just hit the play button and check how this data is being applied to the effect. And it's actually working quite nicely, but I want to improve it just a touch. So I'll say goodbye to the tracker panel by closing this. I'm also going to close the layer panel just to clean up the unnecessary windows. And then I'll collapse the motion tracker as well as the layer itself, and I'm going to select this and duplicate this layer and I'll name the upper copy Lines. I'll change the blending mode of this layer to ed. I'll make sure that this version is not going to composite on top of the original, and then I'll reselect the original layer and switch off the effects for it. So this way, we are isolating the effect and merging it nicely to this footage. Now it's a little bit too much. It's actually blocking the scooter completely. So to bring back this guy with his scooter, I'm going to go to the effect menu and under generate, I'll apply the circle effect. And this is going to draw a circle on the screen, but you can also use this as a matte. Because this effect has a special blending mode called Stencil Alpha, which is practically going to create a cookie cutter hole into whatever it sees above it. So the only thing that we need to worry about is placing the center exactly at the same coordinates that we've just collected for the start point. So I'll double-click on the start point, and this is going to expose it here in the timeline. I'm also going to press tilde to bring the timeline to full frame. Then I'm going to drill open the circle effect and I need to also see my parent and link column. So I'll right-click anywhere over here, and under columns I'll choose parent and link. And this is going to show me this effect center and this starting point, and I want to connect between both of them. So I'll take this P-Quip, which is also known as the property P-Quip, and I'll connect it to the start point. And After Effects is going to write the necessary code for us, so we don't need to worry about it. You just need to select the values that you want to connect together. All right, so let's press tilde again to bring back the entire interface. Let's collapse the audio spectrum effect, and let's raise the radius for the circle to 200 to see a bit more of what we've created upstairs with the audio spectral, as well as open up the feather properties and change it to, say, 100%. Now we are still seeing the outcome of the circle effect, but actually what I want to see is the opposite. So here I'll check the invert circle option and this is going to flip the matte and punch a hole with transparency only for the lines layer. So this is how it looks on its own, and since we've connected it using the same tracking data with the audio spectrum effect, everything is working nicely together. Now we can return to the beginning. We can enable the adjustment layer that also has all the smearing effect, and then let's go back to the start, maximize the viewer, and create the final preview. And this is our final warp speed smearing effect with some colorful striking lights. I think it looks super cool and super speedy, all thanks to the audio spectrum and the circle effect, with a combination of some motion tracking here inside After Effects.