How To: Create a lightning bolt effect using After Effects and the Trapcode Suite

The Trapcode suite is a set of plug-ins for After Effects that allow video artists to create a variety of effects for inclusion in video and film productions. This particular guide demonstrates the power of Trapcode Particular and Trapcode 3D Stroke. Specifically, Wes Ball from OddBall Animation reveals how Trapcode was used in the creation of 'Eye of the Storm' - a music video by Lovett which can be seen here.

How To: Disintegrate Objects at Super Speed (You Will Need: Sandpaper & After Effects)

Largely self-taught, Ryan John Kothe is an animator working out of Auckland, New Zealand. After picking up some rudimentary After Effects skills, he went on to create an impressive portfolio of beautifully rendered stop-motion animations with a distinctly tactile feel. Curious about the process behind Worn Out—Ryan's depiction of objects disintegrating in fast-forward (shown below)—we contacted him for a brief Q&A on the techniques behind his work.

How To: Create cartoon animation with After Effects

A lot of people use Flash for 2D cartoon animation, but Adobe After Effects is another great tool to create some very cool cartoon animation. This how to gives you a clear idea of the steps to take to use AE as a cartoon creation device. This short video tutorial will demonstrate how to properly export character animation from Flash and import it into After Effects to combine with background and foreground elements. It also gives a handy trick of how to duplicate a character animation clip to...

How To: Make a 3D holographic iPhone in After Effects

Learn how to create a video of holographic images appearing from an iPhone, using video footage and After Effects software. The basic elements used here are the built-in motion tracker (although you can also use the Mocha tracker bundled with CS4) and creating icons within After Effects with simple partially-transparent solids.

How To: Loop still images to fake a 3-dimensional movement over a surface

In this tutorial, After Effects is used in actual realtime to create a video comp that simulates a forward three-dimensional movement. Several images are arranged into a layered, three-dimensional composition, and a single image is tiled into a surface pattern that is offset tilted and scrolled forward indefinitely. Several additional elements are also mentioned to add realism and depth to the forward scrolling movement, including foreground elements, background images, camera shake, camera p...

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