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DTwo22
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Need suggestions as to get 13 lights on an XMAS tree to randomly flash.

May 3, 2012 9:09 PM

I have a Christmas tree that has 13 lights (layers).   I can add a glow to them but would like to get them to randomly flash, without having  to change the opacity on and off on each individually.   Is there an effect that can do that?  I am a newbie at this so would prefer something simple if possible.  However, if there is nota simple solution to doing this, I am willing to install some code if given to me.  Will do just about anything to avoid dealing with opacity keyframes for 13 different layers.  I would like to find some kind of random on/off generator that can control a glow that will simulate a small light bulb flashing on and off.   Open to more than one kind approach.

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

 

Duane

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 9:12 PM   in reply to DTwo22

    Suggestion: Manually keyframe one light, and then copy and paste the keyframes to other layers but offset in time (by just having the current-time indicator in a different place for each paste operation).

     

    Solving simple problems like this is much easier if you have a good grasp of the basics. I recommend starting here to learn After Effects: http://adobe.ly/bjBT3P

     
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    May 3, 2012 10:40 PM   in reply to DTwo22

    Well, same old question: How random is random? I'm assuming you at least want some bit of fading on and off? In that case, you can't avoid adding some keyframes - 5 to be exact going from off to on, then hold for a while going from on to off a gain and another last keyframe to hold the off state. then you could use a simple loopOut("cycle") expression on the opacity and they will repeat. Using this same setup on multiple layers and staggering them in time will then allow you to control the timing. If you need anything otehr than that, you need to explain.

     

    Mylenium

     
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    May 4, 2012 7:27 AM   in reply to DTwo22

    In the olden days, I might do this with a matte. If the lights are all transparent objects on a single layer, they can act as windows onto a layer of noise, clouds or shapes. Moving the underlying or animating its generation parameters creates lights that come on and off in random seqwuence, for random amounts of itme and random levels. You then apply various colors and glows to the precomposition.

     
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    May 4, 2012 8:31 AM   in reply to DTwo22

    Do you know of any resources as in books or videos that I could reference to learn about expressions?

     

    The big 20 volume edition I have been planning to write for the last 5 years....?! Until I get round to it, the best you can learn is from the grand seigneur of expressions, Dan Ebberts, himself: http://www.motionscript.com/. I'm sure Todd will also have some pointers handy. And this being JavaScript, of course tutorials on Flash's ActionScript or even web-based JavaScript are relevant on some level.

     

    Mylenium

     
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    May 4, 2012 9:54 AM   in reply to Mylenium

    There are several good resources for expressions at the top of this page.

     
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    May 4, 2012 12:40 PM   in reply to DTwo22

    DTwo22 wrote:

    Thanks Bogiesan.  I remember the olden days, but I was not into this kind of video then.   I go back to the days of having my own darkroom and developing my own color pictures. 

    Duane

     

    I'll bet you were using film. Shoot, I used glass plates and fulminated mercury.

     

    After Effects is a blast. There are so many different ways to do anything. Try to enjoy it. 

     
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