4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 20, 2013 1:49 PM by Rick Gerard

    Help turning shapes (& Text) to natural, fluid smoke

    mcarderw Level 1

      I'm working on a music video for a friend. It's just a live recording, nothing fancy. There's a lyric in his song that says: "The smoke always seems to spell out your first name". I noticed that during the footage of one of my takes, at that perfect moment, some gorgeous smoked hit the lights I set up just right and I just have to try and get that name in there.

       

      y0xl.png

       

      Now, of course this smoke is moving. I want to add the name but make it look natural. A mask would be a simple solution, but I could not make that look like free moving smoke. I'm looking for an effect similar to this:

       

       

      There are a lot of great tutorials on smoke text out there (from video copilot for example), but none have achieved the effect I am looking for.

       

      Can anyone point me in the right direction or offer some advice?

       

      Additinoal notes:

      -After Effects v11

      -I also have Trapcode particular on the machine I'm using if that helps & I'm open to looking into other plugins.

        • 1. Re: Help turning shapes (& Text) to natural, fluid smoke
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You probably won't make it with a single layer. You'll need to create a displacement map to distort the shapes then figure some way to use the distorted shapes generate an alpha chanel. If you want to use Particular you need to be very familiar with using a light as an emitter.

           

          There are text to smoke tutorials out there that will give you a starting point, but recreating the example precisely using just AE isn't going to be as good or as easy as using a 3D app.

          • 2. Re: Help turning shapes (& Text) to natural, fluid smoke
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            Create the text, apply Bezier Warp, Mesh Warp or Liquify on an adjustment layer on top, move the text and tweak the distortions in place until it looks right. Wobble it up with another bit of Turbulent Displace and make it frizzy with roughen edges. Just keep playing with this basic concept until it looks right....

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: Help turning shapes (& Text) to natural, fluid smoke
              mcarderw Level 1

              Thank you for the tip. Unfortunately, I'm not looking for a text effect

              • 4. Re: Help turning shapes (& Text) to natural, fluid smoke
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                mcarderw wrote:

                 

                Thank you for the tip. Unfortunately, I'm not looking for a text effect

                Thought you were trying to make text look like it was made out of smoke. What are you trying to do? If you're trying to take the smoke in the shot and morph it into 'the name' then you'll have to remove the smoke, put it on a separate layer, and then do the transform. Not an easy task.

                 

                If you are trying to make the text appear inside the smoke then you are faced with the same problem of creating layered smoke to put the text between.

                 

                The you posted show a ring and a ship made from smoke moving through the scene. That's exactly what both of our suggestions will give you. You start with text to get the shape, then you distort, wiggle, and roughen the shape and use it as a source or boundary for a smoke effect. You can create smoke with particles or with fractal noise. There is no single plug-in click to create solution here. I guess we don't understand what you are trying to accomplish.