1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Motion Graphics

How To Make Blinding Paparazzi Flashes


Have you ever see the masses of photographers at red carpet events and the hundreds of flashes going off when a star walks by? In this tutorial you can find out out to make bright Paparazzi Flashes in After Effects for use in a logo reveal. I will show you how to the flash element and use a particle system to create the appearance of flashes.


Step 1

Create a new comp at your desired resolution. I'm making mine 1920x1080 at 25 fps.

Step 2

Create a Black Solid and make sure its comp size, name it Particles.

Step 3

Go to Effect, Trapcode, Particular and add it to the black solid.

Step 4

Change the Emitter Type to Box and then change the emitter size to your comp resolution; mine is 1920x1080. Set your Emitter Size Z to 0.

Step 5

Set all the velocity numbers to 0

Step 6

In the Particle drop-down menu, set the Life to 0.1.

Step 7

You should have a comp that looks like this.

Step 8

Create another Black Solid and name it Flare.

Step 9

Go to Effect, Videocopilot, Optical Flares and put it on the Flare solid you just made.

Step 10

Click on Options and delete all the layers under Global Perameters.

Step 11

Then click on Lens Objects on the left side of the screen and add two glow layers and two shimmer layers. Set the brightness and scale of the first glow to 125 and 14. The second glow layer to 125, 17. The first shimmer layer to 728, 12 and the second shimmer layer to 159, 39.

Step 12

Then change the global colour to R: 132 G: 184 B: 243 or HTML: 84B8F3.

Step 13

Click OK and you should end up with something like this.

Step 14

Pre Compose the Flare solid and check Move All Atribures, name it Sprite.

Step 15

In the Sprite comp, center the flare to the middle of the comp by dragging the target.

Step 16

Go to Composition, Composition Settings and resize your comp to 2500x1406 or what ever your computer can handle.

Step 17

Then go to Layer, Solid Settings and click Make Comp Size.

Step 18

Then alter the Brightness and Scale in the Optical Flares Effect menu so the glow does NOT touch the edges of the comp. I set it to 60 brightness and 50 scale. You may want to add a circular mask just to be safe.

Step 19

Also, set the Render Mode to On Transparent.

Step 20

Now, go back to your main comp and ALT click on the 8bpc till it reaches 32bpc. This reduces that horrible banding you get with gradients. Note this may slow down RAM preview time so I recomend setting it to 32bpc when you are redy to do your final render.

Step 21

In the Particular Menu, go to the Particle drop-down menu and change the Particle Type to Sprite. Then open the Texture drop-down menu and set the Layer to the Sprite comp.

Step 22

You may get this warning saying that the layer is too big, just click ok.

Step 23

Now, turn off the Sprite layer as we do not need to see it. If you can only see tiny dots insted of flashes, increase the scale of the particle to your desired size. It should look something like this.

Step 24

In the Particle drop-down menu, go to Opacity over Life and select this ramp.

Step 25

Thats your basic flashes done. Now to make it into a logo reveal import our desired logo, text or image into the comp and position it in the center.

Step 26

Animate the Paricles/sec to 3000 on the first frame then 100 at one second. You can press F9 to smooth out the keyframes.

Step 27

Then select your Logo and animate the scale so it is a bit larger on the first frame then one second in it is back at 100% scale.

Step 28

And there you go. I have added a bit of a glow to the logo for good measure. I hope you enjoyed this tutoral.

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