10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2015 2:04 PM by Szalam

    Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?

    espr3ss0 Level 1

      Seen some interesting Liquid / Smoke logo animations, thing is any tutorial I find has the smoke animation imported. What I'm wanting to know is if it's possible to use only After Effects particle system to create a similar effect ?


      Ideally trying to make liquid Ink heading upward.

        • 1. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Depending on the look you are going for, you can achieve some pretty decent effects with AE alone. It will be a combination of effects and may require a lot of work to get it to look right. Do you have an example of what you're after? I mean, do you want ink bleeding into paper, ink flowing through water, smoke in the air all puffy, smoke tendrils (like from a cigarette), or something else? Also, do you have any third-party effects like Particular?


          Keep in mind, many of the effects I've seen (and probably the ones you're looking at) are actual footage. This is much more fun to do than creating it digitally. It just requires a fish tank with water, a white backdrop, some ink, and a camera (or a smoke machine/smoke grenade/cigarette, lights, a black background, and a camera).

          • 2. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
            espr3ss0 Level 1

            I was playing round in Photoshop a while back which has an Ink effect similar to what I'm wanting to do ...


            Personal-20131215-DSC04471-Edit copy.jpg

            • 3. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              That exact kind of look is extremely difficult to achieve unless you have access to or purchase a fluid simulation program. You can get close with Particular or Flow from Trapcode/Red Giant.


              But I have needed that kind of effect, let me rephrase, the last time I needed that kind of effect I put some water in a very large glass, taped a sheet of paper to the back side of the glass, set the glass on the patio table in the shade, pointed my iPhone 5s at the glass and dropped a couple of drops of India ink in the water by dropping them off a toothpick. Took me about 10 minutes, then I just brought the footage into AE and created a procedural Matt transparency and color grade the footage and I was done.

              • 4. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                As I said, and as Rick reinforced, doing it practically is faster, better, and more fun.


                However, sometimes you just need it to be digital (for whatever reason).


                Well, in addition to Rick's suggestions, you could probably get something similar using the Radio Waves effect with some clever displacement and maybe CC Vector Blur.

                Wait, did I just say you could get a similar effect with Radio Waves?!?!? Yes. Yes I did. Look at the example here: gutsblow: The Secret Menu of Radio Waves in After Effects You use that technique with some blobby shapes and use a few other effects on top and you could probably get something similar. Not nearly as much fun as doing it practically, but more customizable if you need it to form some specific shapes.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                  bogiesan Level 4

                  Szalam, thanks for that link. Remarkable stuff. All of Brian's old Atomic plugins are highly underutilized.

                  • 6. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                    espr3ss0 Level 1

                    Great answers so far thanks.  :-)


                    Have been playing with the Radio Waves plugin that comes with AE, tried to get hold of Trapcode but giving off some error, but anywho ...


                    Turned the frequency way high to get a smooth look instead of many lines, to start off looks promising. Trying to get the waves emitted to rise up the page looking as if they are floating up. Using "each frame" for producer point is not so friendly, is there some other driving forces that can accompany it ? Also looking at real Ink drops are made up of tiny clouds, at the moment using Radio Waves is one continuous movement, is there any way to multiply the preset ?


                    Any thoughts would be great, even bad ones.

                    • 7. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                      Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      Here's an example of what's possible with Trapcode Particular:





                      Lots of free ink drop footage around, even on YouTube, if you want to avoid the whole digital process.


                      ink drops site:youtube.com

                      • 8. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                        espr3ss0 Level 1

                        Thanks for the reply. I'm aware what Trapcode plugins can do, but they don't seem to work, maybe it's because of Yosemite.


                        Wanting to do the whole thing in digital, can alter / change it freely.

                        • 9. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                          espr3ss0 Level 1

                          Please let me know if this link doesn't work...

                          Coffee Grinder - Wave forms. | Facebook


                          If you can see the vid, any ideas what else I can do to the forms ? So far just change shape / position & twirl.

                          • 10. Re: Liquid / Smoke from Particles ?
                            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Turbulent Displace might help. Liquify might help.