2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2015 1:11 AM by Rick Gerard

    How can I make this scene in After Effects?


      The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug. Gandalf vs The Necromancer (Sauron) - YouTube

      I am making this scene in stop motion lego. How can I make this scene, the shield vs smoke and the flaming figure, including the shots that zoom into Sauron's mouth. How do I do these shots? I am new to after effects. I have done basic smoke before, but nothing like this. I've done snow and green screen and fire, but I'd just like some help. Thank you I have CS6

        • 1. Re: How can I make this scene in After Effects?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          How do I do these shots?


          Practice, practice, practice. Seriously, I'll never understand why people always get in over their heads and want to re-create shots that 50 people worked on when they don't even know basics in AE. It's not like there is a single button to push. The "light shield" could be simulated using layers of circles/ CC Sphere, the smoke could involve anything from moving Fractal Noise and displacement effects to complex particle simulations in a 3D program, the Droste zoom on Sauron some simple layering and scaling animation of multiple pre-comps. Well, whatever, this would keep even me busy for several days. Good luck!



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          • 2. Re: How can I make this scene in After Effects?
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            There is no plug-in or button, only careful planning based on knowledge of the process of combining layers of images into a final image. Every element in a composite is a separate layer. If you are new you need to do some basic research. There are lots of books out there that will show you the theory. Start on AMAZON or your public library. http://www.amazon.com/Effects-Visual-Compositing-Studio-Techniques/dp/0321934695/ref=sr_1_ 2?ie=UTF8&qid=1421914012&sr=8-… may be a good place to start. Once you get some knowledge you can start breaking down a shot like this:

            Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 12.56.28 AM.png

            Layers that I see in this shot in order.

            1. Vignette to darken the corners of the shot
            2. Foreground smoke
            3. Lighting effects on smoke
            4. Foreground branches
            5. Middle ground actor as a track matte or mask source for
            6. Middle ground smoke
            7. Middle ground lighting effects in the smoke
            8. Actor on rock
            9. Rock to act as a mask for background lighting effects and smoke
            10. Rock
            11. Background smoke and lighting effects
            12. Background


            If your original footage contained the background, the rock, the actor, and the branches then your first task would be to separate each of those to a separate layer. Then you would create or shoot the smoke and lighting effects and start building the layers. You then would modify the masks and effects on each layer to create the light wrap and look of the atmosphere using blend modes. Then you would add color grading effects or overlays to simulate the lighting in the shot. If you were really doing a shot like this you would probably add some lighting cues on the set to help sell the idea that a bunch of energy was lighting up the actors face. Like Mulenium said, there may have easily been fifty folks working on this shot for several days. It's completely unreasonable to expect that you can just add a plug-in and adjust some sliders to create the effect. Every composite requires you to separate elements into layers and then sandwich the elements you need to create and sell the effect you want to sell.