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The Tunneling Orb Experiment with Trapcode Mir

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Hello everyone! In this tutorial we're going to show you how to create a really cool looking Orb animation in After Effects. We're gonna use some great plugins such as Trapcode Mir to create a 3D looking animated cave scene and Trapcode Particular and Optical Flares to make this great looking animated Orb. So launch your After Effects and let's dive in.


Step 1

Create a new composition clicking by Menu->Composition->New Composition. Name it as The Orb Experiment, change the resolution to 1920x1080 and set the duration to 10 seconds.

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Step 2

Create a new solid clicking by Menu->Layer->New->Solid. Change the color to black. Change the resolution to 1920x1080 and name it as 'BG'.

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Step 3

Create a new solid clicking by Menu->Layer->New->Solid. The color is doesn't matter. Change the resolution to 1920x1080 and name it 'Trapcode MIR'.

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Step 4

I would like to use a simple gradient as a texture map in MIR so I have to create a new solid clicking by Menu->Layer->New->Solid. The color is doesn't matter. Change the resolution to 1920x1080 and name it as 'Color Gradient'.

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Step 5

Select the Color Gradient layer and go to Effect->Generate->Ramp. Change the start color to #FFFFFF and the End color to #585858 and change the ramp shape to radial ramp.

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Step 6

We have to pre-compose this color gradient layer so select the layer and go to Layer->Pre-compose and select the second option.

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Step 7

Turn off the Color Gradient composition.

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Step 8

Let's select the Trapcode MIR layer again and go to Effect->Trapcode->MIR and apply the plugin to it. Here comes the funny part. Let's start to play with the properties.

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Step 9

Under the Fractal menu we have to make a simple expression by clicking in the stop watch next to the Scroll X property and we have to type in the following expression: time * 300.

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Step 10

Let's change the shader property to Flat and turn on the DepthBuf.

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Step 11

Let's set the Falloff to Smooth and the Radius to 90 and the distance to 2400.

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Step 12

Change the Texture Layer to Color Gradient and change the texture coordinate to X,Noise Z and the Texture Scale X and Y to 10.

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Step 13

Under the Visibility tab let's change the far property to 4580, the fog start to 350, the fog end to 1980 and change the color to black.

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Step 14

Let's add a new light. Go to Layer->New->Light. I've changed the default white light color to #527AFC and change the light type to point. This step is optional so you can use different colors, it's up to you. I would like to use this light as an emitter in particular so I have to name it as Emitter.

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Step 15

Let's select the light layer and hit the p key on the keyboard to reveal the position properties. Hold down the alt key and click on the stop watch icon and let's type in the following expression: wiggle(0.5,100);

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Step 16

I wanna put this light inside of this cave or tube whatever you wanna call it.So because of the expression the light is moving nice and smooth but if you change the view to front then by moving the red, green and blue arrow you can put this light inside and it makes the whole effect much more natural looking.

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Step 17

Let's add a new adjustment layer. Go to Layer->New->Adjustment layer and name it 'CC default'.

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Step 18

We need to add the Tint, Curves and Levels effects so go to Effect->Color Correction and set the following properties.

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Step 19

Create a new solid clicking by Menu->Layer->New->Solid. The color is doesn't matter. Change the resolution to 1920x1080 and name it 'Particular'.

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Step 20

With the particular layer selected go to Effect->Trapcode-> Particular and let's start to change the properties. First of all we have to set the Emitter type to Lights(s) and increase the Particle/sec to 900. Change the Pre Run to 10 and the Position Subframe to linear and the Direction to Directional.

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Step 21

Let's change the particle type to streaklet and the life sec to 1,8. Change the size to 5 and lower the opacity to 10. Change the set color to From Light Emitter so the particle colors will be the same as the light color, and change the Transfer Mode to add.

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Step 22

Turn on shading and change the falloff to Natural.

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Step 23

Change the Wind Z to -800 and turn on the Air Resistance Rotation checkbox. Also change the Affect size to 10 and the Affect position to 30.

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Step 24

With the Particular layer selected go to Effect->Stylize->Glow and apply the glow effect to it.

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Step 25

Create a new solid clicking by Menu->Layer->New->Solid. Change the color to Black and the resolution to 1920x1080 and name it 'Optical Flares'.

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Step 26

Go to Effect->Video Copilot->Optical Flares and first let's change the basic settings. Change the color to #527AFC and let's turn on the flicker feature. Let's change the type to Smooth, the speed to 5 and the Amount to 100.

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Step 27

We need to add few elements from the lens object folder. This part is optional so you can use a custom preset or you can make your own. It's up to you.

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Step 28

The first element is a simple glow with the following settings. color1: #5486E2 Most of the time I'm just change the color and adjust the brightness and scale properties.

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Step 29

The second element is a shimmer with the following settings. color1: #0071FF

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Step 30

The third element is a glow with the following settings. color1: #E58989

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Step 31

Here's the Global Parameters. Turn on the Lens Texture effect and change the color to #749EE6.

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Conclusion

So this is it! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned some new things. Try your own variations or customize the free project file that you can download at the top. My name is Tibor Miklos, thanks a lot for your attention and I'll see ya next time! Oh and if you have any questions or you just get stuck leave a message in the comments.

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