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Seems the creator is open to questions, ask him.
Inner glows are usually just a duplicate in a different color composited under or with a darker obscuring layer on top. They are rarely actually created with a lighting effect from within. Colorama is my go-to device for that kind of work.Colorama tutorials can show you how to make glowing solar disks with swirling prominences or flowing lava.
That trail is easily created using the stock paricle effects in AE. IN fact, if you dig deeply into smoke effects tutorials you will eventually find many that use only blur effects and Fractal Noise. Combining those with smoke creation routines using particle generators can produced amazing;u realistic simulations
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It's not that hard if you think multiple layers. I'd say a minimum of 5
- Black particles
- Red Particles
- Roto of actor
The project could easily require twice that f you start adding in the fine smoke and color correction.
The higher the number of particles and the smaller they are the more realistic the smoke. It just takes some tweaking and a bunch of experimentation with the physics. Don't expect to have someone give you a single setting for particular that will duplicate this effect on a single layer. It just isn't going to happen.
Thanks everyone I truly appreciate your help! I understand that a single setting will not produce these results, which is why I am asking for help to break it down:) I guess I have more tweaking to do! Is there anything else anyone would like to add in order to help me produce a realistic smoke trail? If I post a picture of my test shots, would you be able to help me
The smoke trail doesn't look too far away form the one of the Particular presets. But it looks like it has a really high turbulence setting. (The particles are really churning as they are born)
The "glowing" smoke seems like a happy accident of the Lens Flare streaks happening exactly where the smoke trail is. If you watch it carefully right after impact and the Lens Flare is fading out, you'll see it's just black smoke. Of course using addivtive mode with 32bpc color and linear blending will make objects get really bright very fast.
The explosion puff ball is definitely a Particular preset. And the debris looks like Shatter.
I don't think this is nearly as complicated as it seems. I bet you money, they took presets and just fiddled with them a little.
There you go: one doesn't need to know to use After Effects, one simply buys Particular. Might be true, alas.
ONe of the tricks the filmmaker used was to not linger on any of the effects very long. If you're only capable of using presets (and can only fund overworked memes), simulations quickly become obvious. Don't forget it's the little things that sell effects, glints or motivational lighting reflected in the windows or sunglasses, bits of debris and smoke. This stuff is best if it's practical and acquired on the set using props and lights instead of inserted in post.