10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2008 8:54 AM by Todd_Kopriva

    Create steam in AEFX.  How?

    shooternz Level 6
      I have regular need to add simple steam fx to food shots.

      Anyone able to recommend method/technique/software which will create steam fx .

      (I have looked at Trapcode Particular already).

      BTW: Video Copilot has excellent breath mist effect tutorial but that uses Trapcode.
        • 1. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
          Ko Maruyama User Group Manager
          Has Jim Tierney released the SPEEDSIX plugin for After Effects yet? It has true fluid dynamics in it... steamy.

          alt: shoot it. (see artbeats: http://www.artbeats.com maybe some cloud chamber stuff?)
          • 2. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
            shooternz Level 6
            I will reshoot some steam in 16:9 to replace the SD media I was using previously .

            Will checkout SPEEDSIX
            • 3. Create steam in AEFX. How?
              Level 1
              Craig Howard wrote:
              > I have regular need to add simple steam fx to food shots.
              >
              > Anyone able to recommend method/technique/software which will create steam fx .
              >
              > (I have looked at Trapcode Particular already).
              >
              > BTW: Video Copilot has excellent breath mist effect tutorial but that uses Trapcode.

              www.detonationfilms.com

              They have a wide variety of smoke and fog effects which might be easily
              adapted to this use.
              • 4. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
                It's just not that difficult to create something that will resemble steam with any of the several particle systems you already have.
                Creating "realistic" steam, that's a different issue.

                I'd shoot it against black with varying levels of backlight and bottom lighting. We used to do this regularly, Glass table, black card with a hole in it, light under the table. Glass bowl, pour in some boiling water. Shoot from different angles. Small bowl, large glass pan, small cup. Fanning the steam is fun and creates interesting vortex effects. Blow through a straw for more control.
                We also used pyerx glass lab hardware and gas burners to create all kinds of vapor effects. A very tall flask (forget what it's called, Erlemyer?) created a lovely vertical column. Tea kettles and other valved or gated orifices create jets.

                We have also used white latex pain in a cloud tank to simulate smoke and steam.

                bogiesan
                • 5. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                  Level 1
                  If you want to use something like particular to create steam effects for food you should first look carefully at how steam is emitted from food. It has been my experience shooting lots of food in the past that the steam comes from several points. To recreate this you'll need several instances of a steam effect (that means multiple layers) which are screened or blended over the shot.

                  I'm with David on shooting. It's by far the fastest way to get a realistic effect if you have access to a camera, a light, and a place to shoot. I've got hours of footage we shot of steam and smoke. We used exactly the same techniques that you'd use with a particle system. Multiple copies strategically placed using screen or add blending modes.
                  • 6. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                    shooternz Level 6
                    In the past I have used my 'steam reel' to overlay steam. Unfortunately my "steam" is now out dated because it is all SD 4:3.

                    I will shoot more in 16:9 but kind of like the idea of being able to use "particles" to do the job because I have used 'Motion' and got some good results very quickly and easily.

                    I have the trial of Trapcode Particular which I am now "trialing".
                    • 7. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                      Depending on the softness of the steam, you can also get some very good results by simply bending a Fractal Noise layer (with extreme stretch in one direction) using Bezier Warp, Reshape, Luiquify and other distortion effects. There also used to be a tutorial on the Digital Anarchy site about using their Hairlines plugin for cigarette smoke...

                      Mylenium
                      • 8. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                        David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
                        This was from XSI (3D particles with built-in compositing program), but I'm thinking it might be achievable with AE particles and blur. Probably better with Particular..

                        http://www.vishka.biz/?p=74

                        Anyone know what a Quartic Blur is? ("what is the Quartic Blur doing exactly. The docs say it's a constant time blur. What does this mean in noob terms?")

                        http://community.softimage.com/showthread.php?t=1215
                        • 9. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                          shooternz Level 6
                          Interesting that FX and particles are always to do with "smoke".

                          Never seen "steam" referenced.
                          • 10. Re: Create steam in AEFX.  How?
                            Todd_Kopriva Level 8
                            > Anyone know what a Quartic Blur is? ("what is the
                            > Quartic Blur doing exactly.

                            A quartic blur is a higher-order blur than a box blur. It's a fourth-order blur, to be exact.

                            A blur operation calculates the value of each pixel by taking an average of its neighboring pixel values. There are lots of kinds of averages that can be used. The simplest is an unweighted average, which is what most people think of when they hear the word 'average', and this is what a box blur uses. It takes the sum of the pixel values and divides it by the number of pixels in the sample. A Gaussian blur uses a complex mathematical formula to give more weight to the pixels near the center of the sample area. Quadratic and quartic blurs are alternatives to the Gaussian blur that use formulae that involve raising numbers to the second and fourth powers, respectively. All of these higher-order blur types give less weight to the pixels farther from the center of the sample area; the higher the order, the less weight the far pixels get, but the greater the processing time.

                            From the reading I've done, quartic blurs are most often used for the very localized blurring of anti-aliasing.

                            > The docs say it's a constant time blur. What does this mean
                            > in noob terms?

                            When someone says that an operation is a "constant time" operation, they mean that it takes the same amount of time to process regardless of the magnitude of some parameter.

                            In contrast, the time to process most blur operations increases as you involve a larger number of pixels in the calculation of the blur for each pixel.

                            I raise my eyebrows questioningly at the use of the phrase 'constant time' in the context of a notoriously processing-intensive higher-order blur. Maybe they mean that it's constant with respect to the parameter that determines blurriness, as opposed to parameter that determines the blur radius. But, hey, I don't know XSI. Maybe somebody should ask on an XSI forum.