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Well, a million ways. The simplest and most cost effective is to use the Beam effect. Set its timing parameters so it gives a continuous beam and then adjust the thicknesses and opacity. Anotehr idea is to use the radial wipe transition - use the "Both sides" mode, adjust the transition percentage, use feather. if you wanan go fancy, you could use Trapcode Lux. It renders physically correct volumetric light effects based on 3D lights in your comp. Lastly, there's laso a searchlight/ light beacon effect in one of the Tinderbox collections. One tip: if you use the simpel tools that come with AE itself, don't play cheap and dirty. Getting a good-looking light beam will require multiple duplicates and some experimentation with color, opacity, blendmodes and additional effects such as blurs to soften everything.
re: Adding "Searchlights" to a 3D animation
Thanks so much!
I am now being asked by my client for samples of "searchlights" done with After Effects. Since I've never done one yet, are there any examples of the Beam effect/Tinderbox light beacon, etc. online, and can you please give me the urls or point me in the right direction to find these?
Trapcode has some movies showing how Lux works with AE's lights.
For the Tinderbox one, you can use their sample clip. For the rest you could create examples yourself. Should not be too difficult, considering that you will be using simple effects that render reasonably fast and are easy to control. A very basic example using the Radial Wipe effect is here on my website:
The streaks are "volume shadows" created using Trapcode Shine. You could infinitely refine this by adding more layers...
Thanks again to both of you.
You also can do this by shooting Shine through a small oval mask, but Lux is truly amazing.
> You also can do this by shooting Shine through a small oval mask, but Lux is truly amazing.
I accidentally discovered this property of Shine just recently. I
sometimes use it behind text because it creates a nice glow that gives
the text a dramatic effect, but I was using a font that has deliberate
cracks and breaks and discovered the Shine effect leaked through the
cracks like backlight coming through rips in a curtain into a dusty room.
That's funny,I sort of stumbled into it too, but it was after viewing the Shine "Gobo" tutorial. Grabbing and dragging the effect control is just so cool.