4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2014 10:47 AM by bogiesan

    Creating Light Trails




      I am new to AE and video editing for that matter.


      I would like to know if the following is possible. I would like to film a scene at night that will progress from having just the empty background to having light trails, then the pushbike.


      I hope to dolly/track parallel to the road, following an imaginery bike (all we see is the BG). Then light trails from where the rear and front lights of a pushbike would be start to appear and track along with the camera, but the bike isn't yet visible, just the lights, as the scene unfolds the light trails continue but begin to merge with the pushbike and person cycling. The end of the shot is the night scene with the bike and a short light trail eminating from the bike before fading out.


      I hope this description is clear enough, in my head it is.


      Many thanks for any tips, tutorials that might make this possible.


      Many thanks.

        • 1. Re: Creating Light Trails
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          And what is the specific issue? This hasn't so much to do with AE at all but your shooting in the first place. Either you require to use a motion control system to create the two plates with and without the bike or you'd have to use elaborate rotoscoping to remove the bike after the fact. also the question is whether you want to shoot as real longtime-exposure to create the trails in camera or create them e.g. using Trapcode particular and tracking. In the latter case simply typing search terms into Googel will find you tons of tutorials. Still, again, I think you are worrying about postproduction when you have not yet a clear idea of how you are actually going to shoot it. As with all these things - 80% of the success come from the planning.



          • 2. Re: Creating Light Trails
            Daniella80 Level 1

            I have a rough idea as to how I will approach the filming. I won't be using motion control, this is a personal piece and budget is tight. Before I go into development I wanted to know if it is possible to achieve with AE. The way I planned shooting it would be to film the empty scene, then film the same scene with the bike going though. Then doing the rest of the work in post!?


            As I am new to AE, I've had the software for all of 24 hours I need to educate myself before going too far with the production and having to refilm or find out it isn't possible.


            Do you think it would be easier if the camera was fixed and not tracking the scene? I'll google Trapcode as you mentioned.


            Thanks again

            • 3. Re: Creating Light Trails
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              If you're new to AE, you should really start here. A solid foundation is critical to being able to work in AE.


              Is it possible for the bike to be filmed on a green screen? If so, you could shoot your plate with the intention of NOT seeing the wheels contacting the ground. If you've framed the shot in the right way, you will just see from the middle of the wheels up and you could just fade the bike into the shot without having to deal with the motion control rig issue.


              If the camera were fixed instead of tracking, that would be a lot easier and wouldn't need the green screen suggestion at all.

              • 4. Re: Creating Light Trails
                bogiesan Level 4

                You have a budget? Cool. Spend it wisely. Don't buy Trapcode unless you can figure out how to make it pay for itself a few times over.


                You don't need ANY effects sofware to do your project. You only need to know how to properly plan and execute the photography and simply layer the clips in FCP or Premiere. It's not going to look like INdustrial Light and Magic did it, true. But it's a start. 


                These fanatasy projects are far more easily realized by working within the constraints of your resources and knowledge or by using people who can expand your personal constraints. You need someone to ride the bike while you shoot it, obviously. You should find someone who already knows After Effects.


                It's easy to be an AE Elitist but, honestly, you don't just start using AE like a word processor. And creating content specifically for use in AE requires knowing how to thoroughly use the application first, not just how to push the record button on a camera.


                Create your script, do your storyboards, move from generalizations and specualtion to How We Gonna Do That? Rework your project based on what you know and who you can get to help you.


                Then let's talk about specifics.