2 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2016 11:08 AM by Rick Gerard

    Flowing hair

    ernestserrano1966 Level 1

      I'm new to After Effects so please bare with me.

      I have a question regarding effects work. I'm working on a horror film where I need to animate someone's long hair to move like tentacles or flow like water. I have two editing platforms Adobe After Effects/Premiere and Hitfilm 4 Pro. I have only limited experience in both programs but I'm a fast learner. I really need help in this so any information is welcome. Example of effect: in 47 ronin the evil lady that turns into a dragon, the way her hair moves is what I'm looking on doing.

      Please help.


        • 1. Re: Flowing hair
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          That's more than just a matter of mangling an existing photo/ video. Most of that stuff is simply 3D animation blended on top of actual shots and even if it could be done with just compositing using distortion effects, it's nothing you slap together easily, especially since by your own admission you are an inexperienced beginner. If the shot wasn't done suitably e.g. using greenscreen, you simply won't be able to pull it off without it just looking all kinds of awful. This is even more the case, since, to put it mildly, AE's stock distortion effects are seriously limited. That's the simple harsh truth. In any case, without seeing your shot or a better idea of what you want to achieve nobody can advise specifically. There may be some ways to do it, but whatever you are after, be prepared that it's going to take a lot of work.



          • 2. Re: Flowing hair
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            This kind of thing starts with careful pre-production planning. If you are stuck with AE then you need to shoot the shot with a locked down camera, learn about tracking and rotoscope, create hair strands on a bunch of layers and use the puppet pin to animate the movement of the strands, layer the whole thing and then tie the animated hair to the composition with corner pin tracking using the face. If I were teaching this shot as a college course to a beginning student I would say we would get to the actual compositing part of the project after about 2 weeks of lab work in class and 2 hours homework per night. This kind of thing isn't easy.


            Start with something simple. Shoot an actor with a locked down camera, Learn how to track the planes of the face in Mocha, learn how to add elements to the face. Create a strand of hair in Photoshop, animate that strand using puppet pin, composite the animated hair comp to the actor using mocha to position the hair. Color grade to make the shot look like it is real, and then duplicate the procedure for every strand you hair you want to animate.


            If you were expert in 3D modeling I'd use something like Photo Scan to create a 3D model of your actress, animate the 3D model and add the hair, export the 3D to AE, motion track the shot of your actress to match the 3D model, then composite the entire thing. If this were a job for my studio and it needed to be done in a week I'd assign 3 or 4 experienced 3D artists to work on it full time, one visual effects supervisor, schedule a day for motion capture in a studio and then put 2 or 3 composites and AE artists on the project for the last 3 days to create a 10 second shot like the one you describe.