4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2017 6:41 AM by Foamboard

    How to:  retro style lo-fi graphics

    Foamboard Level 1

      Hi all…


      I'm a bit of a newbie in after effects so my apologies right off the bat if this is a simple/dumb question…


      How would I go about achieving the effects found in this music video? I am particularly interested in the white star graphic on the left side of the screen and the multicolor outline of the subject on the right side of the screen at 3:33 into the video.  Here is the link…


      The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Around The Bend - YouTube




        • 1. Re: How to:  retro style lo-fi graphics
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          There are dozens of effects in your sample. It would take a week to outline the steps required for all of them. Most are simply repeated graphics (shape layers), echo, and channel effects. None of them are one click wonders. They all require some procedure.


          The first step in breaking down an effect is to analyze the frame and see what is going on. Here's the frame:

          Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 8.11.46 PM.png

          The most obvious is that the actor is cut out of the background. The second is that there are different color channels trailing behind the actor as he moves. The third is the repeating star, the fourth is the vertical lines. The edges of the star and the vertical lines are interacting so there are some blend modes going on. Here's how I would start:

          1. Key out the actor or rotoscope (depends on how the footage was shot) and put that on the top layer
          2. Make a duplicate copy of the actor only layer and experiment use shift channels to isolate the RGB colors so you only have one color on the layer (colorama would also be an interesting thing to try)
          3. Duplicate the copy two more times and set to the other colors
          4. You might even want to experiment with the echo effect
          5. Move on to the star layer when you are close to being done with the actor
          6. Create a star shape layer and use a repeater to create and move the duplicates
          7. Add Venetian blinds to a light colored solid and set it up to give you the horizontal lines you want
          8. Start adding blurs and experimenting with the screen and add blend modes to copies of the star shape layer and the venetian blinds layer
          9. Start polishing the color grading of all the layers as needed

          There you go.. That's how to get started.

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to:  retro style lo-fi graphics
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            Straight to the point: Those appear to be effects based on GenArts Sapphire, a commercial third-party plug-in suite. There are plasma effects in there and a temporal echo/ feedback effect with color shifts. It would not be impossible to re-create them natively in AE, but to be honest "I'm a bit of a newbie" would make any elaborate explanation like pulling teeth because you won't understand much we are saying. For the colored contours you would have to start by isolating your talents and that alone would require studying some tutorials. You might want to start with those basics. Even if you had Sapphire (feel free to explore and exploit the time-limited demo), those prerequisites would still persist.



            • 3. Re: How to:  retro style lo-fi graphics
              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Mylenium gives some good advice. I was trying to point out in my explanation that this kind of stuff is not for the faint of heart or those not willing to spend some serious time figuring out how visual effects and compositing work. If learning to edit is like driving a car in the church parking lot on a Saturday afternoon with your mom giving you advice then visual effects and compositing can be like flying an F-18 off the deck of a career in a hurricane at night. You can do both efficiently and safely but one requires knowing where all the switches are and a bunch of practice. I'd say it would take most newbies about a week of dedicated study to just find most of the switches in AE. Pardon my plagiarism....

              man vs woman.jpg

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to:  retro style lo-fi graphics
                Foamboard Level 1

                Awesome. Thank you both for taking time to give a reply. I've been working with the Adobe creative suite programs (e.g. - photoshop, premiere, dreamweaver, etc) for quite some time, so I'm familiar with the "feel" of the Adobe programs. After Effects clearly has quite a steep learning curve, but the results are too fun not to attempt to climb it.