Layers by Steve Holmes After Effects fireballLet's face it: After Effects is amazing. If anyone on this planet would tell you that, it's me. Anything you want to do, you can do-as long as you know the way to do it. Take one of the sessions I presented at NAB in Las Vegas, for instance: creating a flexible, realistic, 3D fireball for a title sequence, not something After Effects does automatically with a plug-in. People lined up afterward asking, “How did you do that again?† So, for this tutorial, I thought I'd show you how. STEP 1 Acquire Fire Video A quality video clip of real flames looks better and is cheaper to purchase than shooting or creating and rendering in full 3D. I turned to Artbeats Stock Footage and in their Reel Fire 1 collection, the clip named RF108 fits the bill exactly: a single flame source shot on a crisp black background and (believe it or not) seamlessly looping. As you’ll see, a single purchase of this clip would pay for itself tenfold! Once you have your flame clip, double-click in the Project panel in After Effects and import the clip via the Import File dialog. read more...

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