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Lesson 7. Special Effects for Film > Creating the Handlight Composition

Creating the Handlight Composition

Now you will set up a composition that will serve as the hand light effect in the final scene. This composition makes a little radiating light that you will track to the actor's hand, giving the impression that the light is emanating from his palm. After creating a solid, you will apply a randomizing noise effect.

  1. Create a new composition, type 4_Handlight as the name, and set the frame size to 512 × 512, the Resolution to Full, the Frame Rate to 24 fps, and the Duration to 32 frames. Click OK.

    You'll start with a small solid, and then apply noise to it by using the Noise effect. Next you'll enlarge the dimensions of the solid to fill the frame and stretch the noise pixels to create shifting color bars.

  2. Choose Layer > New Solid, name it Handlight, set the size to 64 × 1 pixels, and leave the default color as gray, and then click OK.

  3. Use the magnifying glass tool to zoom in to 400% on the small solid.

  4. Choose Effect > Stylize Noise, and change the Amount of Noise Rate to 100%. Deselect both Use Color Noise and Clip Result Values.

    The Noise effect randomly changes pixel -values throughout an image. (Like some other effects, the Noise effect does not require keyframes for animation.) Turning off the Color Noise option applies the same value to all the channels. The Clipping option determines whether noise colors will change once they reach their highest values. Since you want random noise based on luminescent values, both options are deselected.

  5. Close the Effect Controls window.

  6. Zoom back to 100%.

  7. Press the S key to display the Scale property, and then click the underlined Scale value. In the Scale dialog box, choose % of Composition for Units.

  8. Deselect Preserve Frame Aspect Ratio, enter 100 for both Width and Height, and click OK.


    Figure .


    This technique creates a series of bars in random colors of gray.

  9. Press the Home key to move to the beginning of the composition, and then press the spacebar to see how the noise creates a shifting grayscale composition.

    If you hadn't created the small solid and stretched it with the Scale command, the noise would appear as pixels instead of gray bars.

    Now you'll darken the layer by using a gray gradient.

  10. Choose Layer > New Solid, name it Gradient, set the size to 512 × 512, leave the rest of the defaults, and click OK.

  11. Choose Effect > Render > Ramp. This creates a gray blend with white on the bottom and black on the top. Leave the default settings as they are, and close the Effect Controls window.

  12. In the Time Layout window, click the Switches/Modes button to display the Transfer Modes panel, and choose Multiply from the Mode menu for the Gradient layer. The Multiply mode combines the two layers, and makes the top part of the hand light image darker and the bottom part lighter.


    Figure .


    When you add this composition as a layer to the final composition, you will change its color and shape and apply the Glow effect.

  13. Close the Composition window and Time Layout window, and save the project.


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