6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2011 9:12 AM by bogiesan-gyyClL

    Create a firefly in AEFX....

    shooternz Level 6

      Anyone got a nice little technique that I could use to make a "firefly"

      and multiple  "fireflies".     (luminescing sparks, stars, light emitting  type objects is what I am thinking)

       

      I am needing a hero firefly to animate (as in more foreground) but still very small  and then a back ground of them (tiny clusters).

       

      BG will be like a dark cloudy night sky  and most likely ...all Black and White ( a la .. silver gelatin print look)

       

      Subject will be  a pretty girl singing while playing a  guitar. Shot in the style of  classic old movie star - photographically.

       

      So plenty of dark to play the firefly against.

       

      BTW - I have never seen a firefly apart from them as a still photo

        • 1. Re: Create a firefly in AEFX....
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          shooternz wrote:

           

          Anyone got a nice little technique that I could use to make a "firefly"...

          BTW - I have never seen a firefly apart from them as a still photo

           

          I have 'em in my back yard when the weather's warm.  Only the guys flash... to attract the ladies, y'know.

           

          Only the lower half of the abdomen lights up.  The process happens at at the approximate speed of a high-wattage incandescent bulb turning on & off -- not exactly instantaneous.  They're lit up for less than a second at a time on average; call it 40 frames at 59.94.  Since there are so many, it's tough to concentrate on a single one, so the eye sees flashing instead of a more gradual on & off.  The light's color: basically white, but with a yellow-green tint.

           

          Flight paths are random similar to a housefly's, but without the instant direction changes; their paths curve more, and are a lot slower.  Kids like to catch 'em in jars to watch the flashing close-up.

           

          Most of the fields nearby are planted in corn & soybeans, but there's this one 5-acre bit of land that was reseeded in natural prairie plants ten years ago or more.  On a warm night in June, the sheer number of fireflies out is astounding to behold.

           

          I'll leave the AE technique to others.  Hope that helps a bit.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Create a firefly in AEFX....
            shooternz Level 6

            Thank you Dave.

             

            That does help a lot.  I havent seen them so your description is great reference and info.

            • 3. Re: Create a firefly in AEFX....
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Excellent post from Dave, but I want to fix a little error.

              Female fireflies actually do flash, but not normally from the air. Males fly around flashing their species' code and the female of the species flashes a coded response back. That is how they find each other. We humans think "Oooh, pretty," but the flashing is basically just one giant sex party for the fireflies. Actually, it's more like a bar or nightclub. The guys are, like, "Hey," and the girls are, like, "Heeeeeyyyy."

              There are some predatory species of female firefly that will actually mimic the code of another species in order to attract a male of that species for her to eat. Poor guy, thought some hot mama wanted to have it off with him and, instead of sweet insect loving, he gets eaten.

               

              Wikipedia has an interesting, if somewhat dense, entry on fireflies. It even tells you the temperature range of the light they give off. In my personal experience, it usually appears as a cool yellow.

               

              Now, on to the AE stuff - Wait a second! Before I give advice, let me try a quick Google to see if there are any tutorials. OH! Well, hey, would you look at that! First search result for "after effects" firefly turns out to be pretty useful.

              • 4. Re: Create a firefly in AEFX....
                Dave LaRonde Level 6

                Szalam wrote:

                There are some predatory species of female firefly that will actually mimic the code of another species in order to attract a male of that species for her to eat. Poor guy, thought some hot mama wanted to have it off with him and, instead of sweet insect loving, he gets eaten.

                 

                 

                Sure, shatter my touchy-feely notions of friendly, harmless fireflies with the truth.  Thanks, pal.

                • 5. Re: Create a firefly in AEFX....
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Sorry.

                  Also, I'm still giggling over the idea of a bug looking forward to some "sweet insect loving". Something about that turn of phrase amuses me greatly.

                  • 6. Re: Create a firefly in AEFX....
                    bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3

                    ONe of the best simulations of a firefly is at Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean. They're little blinking lights on the ends of springy wires. The wires have wings or fins on them that are modulated by tiny fans to keep the movement random and chaotic.

                     

                    That's how I deconstructed the illusion back in the 70s.

                     

                    bogiesan