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Makin' a Nebula with (just) CC Particle World

In this tutorial, I use Adobe After Effect’s built-in particle simulator, CC Particle World to recreate the look of a nebula in space. Turbulent Noise is used to give the particles a texture and at the end I add the remnants of the star which went supernova to create the cloud of gas and dust.

It gave me the chance to demonstrate CC Particle World’s Resistance property – which is always a little tricky to master.



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I use a few expressions in this tutorial, you can copy them from here:

Marker linked to Particle Birth rate:
if (marker.key(1).time >= time){
effect("Birth Amount")("Slider")
} else {
0
}

CC Sphere X Rotation:
campos=thisComp.activeCamera.toWorld([0,0,0]);
planetpos=effect("CC Sphere")("Offset");
x=length([planetpos[0],planetpos[1]], [campos[0],campos[2]]);
y=campos[1]-planetpos[1];
alpha=Math.atan2(y,x)
value+radiansToDegrees(alpha) ;

CC Sphere Y Rotation:
campos=thisComp.activeCamera.toWorld([0,0,0]);
planetpos=effect("CC Sphere")("Offset");
x=campos[0]-planetpos[0];
y=planetpos[1]-campos[2];
beta=Math.atan2(y,x)
value+radiansToDegrees(beta) - 90;

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I also reference an ealier tutorial of mine, Linking CC Particle World to a 3D NULL:





CC Particle World link to a Null Expressions:
Position X:

x=thisComp.layer("Nebula NULL").transform.position[0]-thisComp.width/2;
x/thisComp.width;

Position Y:
y=thisComp.layer("Nebula NULL").transform.position[1]-thisComp.height/2;
y/thisComp.width;

Position Z:
z=thisComp.layer("Nebula NULL").transform.position[2];
z/thisComp.width;

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Download project file: https://bit.ly/2ypoo98

Video Copilot's free Color Vibrance plugin:
https://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2014/05/new-plug-in-color-vibrance/



Posted by: Graham Quince on Jun 20, 2020 at 11:09:42 am Video copilot, Orb, expressions, cc particle world

Just the tip: White balance, scale and focus reference card for easy compositing

Here’s a short tutorial and giveaway of a digital (and physical) asset I use to help me composite greenscreened actors and CGI elements into a physical scene. This tutorial covers using the reference cards in Adobe After Effects, Video Copilot Element 3D and the included Lumetri Color, Camera Lens Blur and Match Grain effects.

I demonstrate how to composite the free Star Wars BB-8 model from VC’s Star Pack into a regular shot.



Download: http://bit.ly/2RYb1V0

Video Copilot Star Pack: https://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2016/05/free-star-wars-model-pack/

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Expression used to roll BB-8:

diameter=100;

pi=Math.PI;

circumference=diameter*pi;

rot=360/circumference;

Xpos=thisComp.layer(“Element NULL”).transform.position[0]*-1;
scalePercent=thisComp.layer(“Element NULL”).transform.scale[0]/100;
rot*Xpos/scalePercent



Makin' Planets - Adding an atmosphere using Video Copilot Element 3D

By special request, here's an extra Makin' Planets tutorial, where I don't use Video Copilot's free Orb plugin to make a planet but instead use Element 3D to add an atmosphere.   Most of the time, Orb is the best approach for planet making, but if you need to add other 3D objects, you might want to use Element for your globe.  And Element doesn't come with a "add atmosphere" setting.  This tutorial shows you how to create a material that behaves like an atmosphere.



Project file: http://bit.ly/2pNBf12


Posted by: Graham Quince on Nov 23, 2019 at 11:30:50 amComments (1) Video copilot, planet, element 3d, atmosphere

Just the tip: Linking CC Particle World to 3D Null

Here's a quick tutorial to help you make the most of AE's built-in particle system. CC Particle World works in 3D space, but it’s coordinate system is different the rest of After Effects. Use the expressions below to solve that problem by adding them to the Producer settings.



Expressions:
Position X:
x=thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.position[0]-thisComp.width/2;
x/thisComp.width;

Position Y:
y=thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.position[1]-thisComp.height/2;
y/thisComp.width;

Position Z:
z=thisComp.layer("Null 1").transform.position[2];
z/thisComp.width;


Posted by: Graham Quince on Nov 9, 2019 at 5:40:23 pm Cc particle world, particles, 3D

Just the tip: Hologram / Projector beams in After Effects without plugins

There's loads of "how to make a hologram" AE tutorials on YouTube, but they all seem to miss out the beams from the projector. This mini-tutorial shows you how to use CC Radial Blurs and Expressions to achieve responsive, changing beams of light.
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Expression used:
L = thisComp.layer("Emitter");
L.toWorld([thisComp.width/2-transform.position[0],thisComp.height/2-transform.position[1],0]);

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Project File: http://bit.ly/2UhFzjG



Posted by: Graham Quince on Nov 2, 2019 at 4:07:33 pm Expression, radial blur, hologram, projector

Just the Tip (a new set of mini-tutorials for After Effects) - Rolling a ball using Expressions

I'm currently prepping a much larger series of tutorials, but to take a break from those, I've also be creating a series of short tutorials for the things I go back to again and again - but not so frequently that I have them memorised. I find myself searching the internet (and the Cow of course) for these tips, but then often have to wade through a 30 minute tutorial - just to find that one thing... that one trick. Well, these mini-tuts are built for that purpose. I hope you find them useful.

This tutorial uses an expression to calculate how much a circle / image should rotate based on its horizontal position. I've then adapted the expression slightly to help you roll 3D objects too.




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Expressions:

2D Layer
diameter=width;
pi=Math.PI;
circumference=diameter*pi;
rot=360/circumference;
Xpos=thisLayer.transform.position[0];
scalePercent=thisLayer.transform.scale[0]/100;
rot*Xpos/scalePercent


CC Sphere in one dimension:
diameter=effect("CC Sphere")("Radius")
pi=Math.PI;
circumference=diameter*pi;
rot=360/circumference;
Xpos=thisLayer.transform.position[0];
scalePercent=thisLayer.transform.scale[0]/100;
rot*Xpos/scalePercent


CC Sphere coming towards camera:
diameter=effect("CC Sphere")("Radius")
pi=Math.PI;
circumference=diameter*pi;
rot=360/circumference;
Xpos=thisLayer.transform.position[0];
scalePercent=thisLayer.transform.scale[0]/100;
rot*Xpos/scalePercent*-1

Project file: http://bit.ly/2ZtSDn6

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShiveringC


Posted by: Graham Quince on Oct 12, 2019 at 3:39:27 pm after effects, expressions, rolling, roll, rotate

Makin' the Sun using Video Copilot Orb

Here's a tutorial for creating a 3D Sun in After Effects using Video Copilot's excellent free Orb plugin.  The video starts builds on an earlier Andrew Kramer tutorial for creating a solar surface, but then applies the textures to VC Orb and adds a corona or halo and uses particles and another Video Copilot plugin Saber (also free) to add solar flares.



(I uploaded this video a little while ago, so apologies if you've seen it already, but I realised I hadn't blogged about it.)

Video Copilot links:

Video Copilot's free Orb plugin: https://www.videocopilot.net/orb/

Color Vibrance: https://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2014/05/new-plug-in-color-vibrance/

Saber: https://www.videocopilot.net/blog/?s=...

Seamless Sphere tutorial: https://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2014/04/seamless-spherical-maps/

Makin' Mercury using CC Sphere:





Project file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a43fu53hjzjbmy5/Sun.aep?dl=1

Expression used:

X = time*-50;
Y = 0;
[X,Y]


Posted by: Graham Quince on Aug 24, 2019 at 8:14:25 pm Video copilot, Orb, expressions, sun

Makin’ Pluto: using Cinema4D Lite to create a double planet system with a shared atmosphere

Here’s the last in my solar system tutorial series. This video uses After Effects CC and Cinema4D Lite to create both Pluto and its moon Charon, then use a Loft object and circular splines to create a shared atmosphere linking the two bodies.



Project file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lsr42pi0xhvnfmi/Pluto.zip?dl=1


Posted by: Graham Quince on Aug 16, 2019 at 7:31:19 pm Planet, C4D, cinema4d

Makin' Neptune: Using Cinema4D Lite to create a gas giant

In this tutorial, I'm tackling a different way to create a Gas Giant.  Instead of creating a texture map and applying it to sphere, I'm going to use Cinema4D Lite to create a visible light that looks almost solid.

I will be using Video Copilot's free Orb plugin as well to create the edge atmosphere and the planet's shadow.



 
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Links:
Video Copilot's Orb plugin: https://www.videocopilot.net/orb/

Project file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/7pv1pi40lbh2mt0/Neptune.zip?dl=1


Posted by: Graham Quince on Aug 8, 2019 at 9:56:53 pm planet, gas, giant, space, video copilot, cinema4D

Makin' Uranus and using CC Particle World to add its rings

Here's the next part of the Makin' Planets tutorial series, this video looks at how to use After Effects and Video Copilot's free Orb plugin to create the planet, then use CC Particle World to add a ring. There's a slight problem with CC Particle World though, it doesn't allow for things to sit inside it, so the tutorial will use Expressions to create two rings and join them up.




Expressions:
L=thisComp.layer("Emitter Position");
L.toWorld([0,0,0])

Paste these in CC Particle World's producers:
X:
x=thisComp.layer("Emitter").transform.position[0]-thisComp.width/2;
x/thisComp.width;

Y:
y=thisComp.layer("Emitter").transform.position[1]-thisComp.height/2;
y/thisComp.width;

Z:
z=thisComp.layer("Emitter").transform.position[2];
z/thisComp.width;

If statement:
if (thisLayer.marker.nearestKey(time).time > time && effect("CC Particle World")("Position Z") <=0) {


Links:
Video Copilot's Orb plugin can be downloaded here: https://www.videocopilot.net/orb/
Pixabay free Royalty-Free images: https://pixabay.com/

Makin' Mercury using VC Orb:




Makin' Mercury with CC Sphere:




Makin' Jupiter:





Project file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sen16gkcpdxlshx/Uranus%20-%20download.aep?dl=1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShiveringC


Posted by: Graham Quince on Aug 1, 2019 at 4:00:11 pm Video copilot, Orb, expressions, uranus, rings, planet

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Here you'll find a bunch of tutorials for using After Effects (mainly). I have a YouTube channel, called ShiveringCactus (long story - not funny anymore) where I post the videos.
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