Sunsets, Cities and Sea Drift
March 30, 2010 practice

Assignment due: October 4th, 2011 by 10 p.m.

  1. The assignment is based upon the following: Creative Cow tutorial on Sunsets...

  2. Your assignment will have a UNIQUE building skyline. You can use different colors for the water if you wish too.

  3. Your assignment is required to have some text effect that shows you are the producer of the movie. My example above is fine, in that is shows the name and the date. So show YOUR NAME and the DATE you did the assignment would be good.

  4. See Lesson 4: After Effects Apprentice textbook. Transparent areas are creating using 3 approaches: Masks, Track Mattes and Stencils.
  5. MASKING = "I want to see only the area inside this shape; make the outside transparent."
    Lesson 4 - Page 88 of After Effects Apprentice book.
  6. Shape tools are used to create mask paths. Select the layer 1st, apply or use the SHAPE tool 2nd.

    Note: If no layer is selected, the shape tool will create a brand new SHAPE LAYER. If a layer is pre-selected, then a SHAPE tool will create a mask path.

  7. Masks only effect the layer immediately underneath the layer, i.e. the layer the mask is applied to. The mask either hides or reveals the layer it is applied to. It has no effect on other layers.
  8. The BUILDINGS layer in the SUNSET tutorial uses masking and mask feathering.
    1. The BUILDINGS SHADOWS layer is a duplicate of the BUILDINGS layer. Edit menu, DUPLICATE command.
    2. It uses the same making and feathering by duplicating them, but changing the SCALE from (100%, 100%) to (100%, -100%) for the duplicated layer.
    3. Buildings - Reflection Layer also changes the Opacity to 75%. The shadows need to be more subtle than the actual building as they dance on the water's waves.
    4. It then applies a Linear Wipe effect with Wipe Angle of 180 degrees, Transition 50% complete and Feather of 150.0. This softens the shadows of the buildings as they are reflected in the water.
    5. We did NOT get to the WAVE WARP effect for the BUILDINGS - REFLECTION layer during the 03/31/Wednesday class.
  9. Effect menu > Distort submen group > Wave Warp command. Wave Warp is in the DISTORT group of EFFECTS.
  10.     Wave Height  5 
        Wave Width   100
        Wave Speed   0.3
        Pinning      All Edges
    The Wave Warp effect is applied to the Buildings - Reflection layer. What does this do? Why is it applied to BUILDINGS, or rather why do we want to apply it to buildings shadows? Since when do buildings have waves?

  11. Effect > Generate > Ramp. The RAMP effect is applied to the SKY layer. The SKY layer is again just another black solid. Layer menu > New > Solid... is the command, but I always use the Control+Y shortcut when I need a new SOLID layer. The RAMP fx is used with all of its settings at the default values.
  12. Effect > Color Correction > CC Toner is used again. CC Toner is the next effect that is applied to the SKY layer. Highlights are WHITE, Midtones are a medium pale ORANGE, and the Shadows are set to YELLOW.
  13. Here comes the Sun layer - Richie Havens. Photosynthesis! Effect > Generate > Fill is applied as the fx to the Sun layer. The Sun layer is a solid with a circular shaped MASK applied to it. The MASK has a FEATHER or mask feather set to 10.

URL of Creative Cow tutorial: