9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 14, 2014 3:45 PM by bogiesan

    how to stack the advanced lightning effect

    Ninjo X Level 1

      I am very new to after effects... in fact this is only my day 2 on the 30 day trial version... I came up with an idea to add a bit of flare to a short video I'm making where i would point in several directions, have lightning leap from my fingers and create many different colored letters out of the lightning effect in the frame, I can't seem to get it to work however, I am placing each lightning in it's own layer, but only the first one seems to have any movement and I also seem to be trapped into only altering the color of one bolt instead of several... I realize this is likely a very unusual question, but I actually have big plans for it down the road and would appreciate any advice or tricks that I could employ to make this work? (while typing this I thought of potentially layering each lightning bolt in different compositions then combining them in premiere or after effects... I realize this would be very time consumptive, but is it possible? If not would there be some other way??)

        • 1. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Use many layers and animate the start and end points of the lightning.

          • 2. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Ninjo X wrote:

             

            I actually have big plans for it down the road and would appreciate any advice or tricks that I could employ to make this work?

            My advice is to start here: Getting started with After Effects

            Seriously.

            You should not be messing with the Advanced Lightning effect on your second day with AE. That is a ticket to frustration. AE is way too powerful of a program to just jump into. You must get a solid foundation in how it works. You have to learn to walk before you learn to run.  And you have to learn to crawl before you can walk.

            • 3. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
              Ninjo X Level 1

              Guys... I know i didn't mention above but even though I am new to the software I have been studying various tutorials the last few months in anticipation of these last few days... I understand the basics... but I am at the end of my rope with this effect... I NEED at least 2 lightning effects to make this work... but every time I add the second lightning bolt in inanimateness them both and becomes a still image... I simply cannot figure out what I'm doing wrong... I start with the video image, use Ctrl D (I am on windows) to duplicate the layer twice, then on the two top layers I use the advanced lightning effect to put in the lightning, change it to strike and by the time the second is in, they are both stationary. I actually would like the lightning to stay in place for this effect, but I'm now wondering if I don't have to add a little movement to make it work? I don't know what I'm doing wrong... this should be working...

              • 4. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                You have to have something animate to get motion. Either use expressions to add a wiggle to the start point or end point and put a time() expression on the conductivity state or animate one or all of those properties with keyframes.

                • 6. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
                  Ninjo X Level 1

                  I'm pretty sure I actually stumbled upon my mistake on my own... I think it was because I was duplicating the layer instead of creating new solid layers, also there's another type of lightning... thanks for the advice guys but I think I might have solved my own problem.

                  • 7. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
                    Derjis Level 2

                    Not sure if this is what you're asking, but you can dupe the Advanced Lightning effect on the same layer as many times as you like. If you've created a solid and apply AL to it, it'll turn the sold transparent, and generate the lightning with an alpha. If you duplicate the effect, or add another instance of it to the same solid, the second effect will override the original effect, giving you only one lightning bolt. However, if you click the "Composite on Original" box on the second effect, and on any subsequent instances of the effect, they'll stack.

                     

                    Untitled-2.jpg

                    • 8. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
                      Ninjo X Level 1

                      Turns out I was trying to animate the first key frame, instead of adding others and then animating and rendering for each one accordingly... I feel kind of silly now, thanks everybody for your prompt and helpful responses

                      • 9. Re: how to stack the advanced lightning effect
                        bogiesan Level 4

                        Ninjo X wrote:

                         

                        Turns out I was trying to animate the first key frame, instead of adding others and then animating and rendering for each one accordingly... I feel kind of silly now, thanks everybody for your prompt and helpful responses

                        A gracious follow-up. Hardly anyone ever does that around here and no one will ever admit they were doing something incorrectly. AE is hard. Really hard. And a bit confusing. Welcome to the family, you'll do well.