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A specific effect, assistance request

Feb 6, 2013 2:46 AM



I am back to testing and proofing some effects that we might want to use, and today, I am investigating ways to make a nice scanner burst.


Lets say we have a scene with someone holding a scanner, and he presses a button and a "ring" displaces out from him in 3d space - growing larger and more transparent as it goes by, till it dissapears in the distance.  Did that make sense? (it does in my head at least!)


I have tried a few things, and by using "Radio Waves" on a solid, blurring it a little and using it as a track matte with some coloured solids, then adding Fractal noise etc, I get a pretty nice looking scanner burst. My question is, "Am I missing something easier?". If I have learned one thing from After Effects over the past year, is that there are always 1000 ways of doing any effect, and most of the times, someone has come up with an easier way than me!


Here is a clip of what I made.


Please note!: This is the very first time I have ever attempted to make a clip available online. Yes, my first YouTube upload. SO, whatever glaring mistakes I have made - well, tell me and Ill probably try to make it better (but dont hold your breath - this is just an example!)


Once again, thanks for your time, and I look forward to finding out if there is an easier way to do this.




PS - If you need to see project files for this to make sense, um, tell me how to make them available and I will.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 2:55 AM   in reply to Pierre Devereux

    In the past I created a couple of those "disk shockwaves" they use in "Star Trek"/ "Star Wars" a lot. Usually just some large solid with a couple of Circle effects and the occasional dose of Roughen Edges and blurs here and there, all tied to some global expression controls. Since it happens all in one layer this has the advantage that it can be easily duplicated without ever having to pre-compose and you can even have it have "volume" by adding an adjustment layer on top of it with abnother Roughen Edges or some blur that stretches out teh edges perpendicular to the 3D layer. For a scanner effect I'd use pretty much the same approach, just with adjusted parameters and perhaps a Displacement effect so the ring/ beam deforms when it "hits" an object.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 4:43 AM   in reply to Pierre Devereux

    Hi Pierre


    Watch this free episode of Broadcast Design on how to make a Shockwave Displacement:




    This may help to enhance the final result. This is quite similar to using a displacement map.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 6:55 AM   in reply to Vishesh Arora

    This article collects several alternatives for such results: ects-2/

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