4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 9, 2014 9:25 AM by Rick Gerard

    Pairing Advanced Lightning to Motion Sketch?

    Dbtzdbtz Level 1



      I am hoping to speed up my trial an error with any useful community tips.


      I am trying to create an Advanced lightning effect on a still image that moves across the image where I anchor the origin to the same position however move the destination across the image.  I'd like to avoid manually key framing this effect and was wondering what creative short cuts might be available to create these key frames faster.  I've tried pick whipping a motion sketch null object output to the solid with the advanced lightning effect however the result produced the origin moving across the screen albeit with the lightning dynamically changing.  I feel like I have almost figured it out, but I am still spending a lot of time spelunking trying to keep the origin anchored.  Anybody that can get me the last foot would be much appreciated.  Is there any way to copy the key frames to the destination only and keeping the origin static?



        • 1. Re: Pairing Advanced Lightning to Motion Sketch?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Your problems may be coming from a scaled or parented layer of from using the wrong type of lightning. Try this:

          1. Create a solid the size of your comp (Ctrl/Cmnd + Y) and name the solid Lightning
          2. Add Effect>Generate>Advanced Lightning
          3. Add a new null to the comp (Ctrl/Cmnd + Alt/Option + Shift + Y)
          4. With the null selected in the time line press the enter key and rename the null Origin
          5. Duplicate the null (Ctrl/Cmnd + D)
          6. With the duplicate selected in the timeline press Enter and rename the null Direction
          7. Select the Origin null, open the Motion Sketch panel and select start capture and draw a path
          8. Select the Direction null and repeat the motion sketch
          9. Select both nulls and reveal the position by pressing the 'p' key
          10. Select the Lightning layer, lock the Effects Control Panel and hold down the Alt/Option key and click on Origin to add an expression to the Origin property
          11. In the time line use the pickwhip to connect the Origin of Advanced Lightning to the Origin Null's position
          12. Repeat step 10 and 11 using the Direction property in the ECP
          13. Change the Lightning Type to strike
          14. Select the Position property in the timeline for the Origin null to select all of the position keyframes then hold down the Alt/Option key to retime the animation
          15. Repeat with the Origin null
          16. (Optional) Just to make sure that the lightning exactly follows the position of the nulls set all parameters below Conductivity state to zero or as low as they will go to create a straight beam
          17. Adjust the parameters of Advanced Lightning below Direction and change the Lightning type to suit your design.


          There you go. As long as the nulls and the Lightning layer have not been scaled your effect will work perfectly or parenting has not been applied to any of the layers your effect will work perfectly. If you have parenting involved then you need to add toWorld or toComp corrections to the expressions.


          Update: I thought that this would be a good candidate for one of my upcoming AE Basics tutorials so I threw together a first draft. Enjoy:

          • 2. Re: Pairing Advanced Lightning to Motion Sketch?
            Dbtzdbtz Level 1

            Awesome!  Thanks for the step by step... haven't tried it but i will in the next day and let you know how it turns out.  I am glad you created a little tutorial.  I was thinking this was a probably a common problem a lot of people would ask but I was unable to find anything on the web scouring various search parameters.  I was astonished that an effect like this was accomplished by most youtuber doing frame by frame key frames!  The thought of the tedium set me on the path to find a better way and given I am a relative 2 month noob to AE, I gave the community a shot.


            Thanks again!

            • 3. Re: Pairing Advanced Lightning to Motion Sketch?
              Dbtzdbtz Level 1

              So awesome... your tutorial did exactly what i was looking to do.  I posted what I was working on and have 1 follow up.  There are these odd white circle flashes at the destination portion of the lightning at various points.  Do you know what those are and how I would get rid of them?  This is just a sample of what I was working on I am going to clean up the placement of the lightning but these white circles keep showing up.  You'll see one on the left hand lightning destination at 33 seconds in.


              Thanks a bunch.

              • 4. Re: Pairing Advanced Lightning to Motion Sketch?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Those are flukes caused by the settings and advanced lightning. try turning things down just a little bit.