Entries in Tutorial (9)


MIR Procedural Flight

This AE project file contains a procedural flight camera for Trapcode Mir. Note that these expressions are not mathematically correct, they just give an appearance of a flying camera.

In order to achieve flight motion, firstly the Scroll Y parameter has an expression (time*1000) so it appears the landscape is moving towards the camera. To get motion sideways there is an expression on Scroll X as well. This is more complex:

seedRandom(2002); // change this to change the flight path
// smooth the scroll willge to avoid jumps
sum = 0;
for(i=-4; i<5; i++) {
sum += effect("Mir")("Scroll X").wiggle(0.2, 700, 1, 0.5, time +i*0.1);


Simply changing the seedRandom value here will change the entire flight path. The rest of the expression is a smoothing window to smooth out the result of a wiggle expression. The wiggle expression creates the randomness and uses the aforementioned random seed to do so.

To get the banking effect (roll of camera) an expression is used on the Camera Z Rotation:

// smooth the velicity values to avoid jumps
sum = 0;
for(i=-4; i<5; i++) {
sum += thisComp.layer("MIR").effect("Mir")("Scroll X").velocityAtTime(time +1 +i*0.1);
-0.1*sum/10   // change the value (0.1) to change the amount of banking

Here we are again smoothing the alredy smoothed values of Scroll X. Lots of smoothing is needed! By sampling the velocity of the Scroll X motion we get an approximation of the banking needed for such a turn. One second is added to the sampling time so that the banking happens first, before the actual turn.

Lastly there is an expression on for the sideways direction of the camera (yaw). This is so that the camera aims in the direction of flight. The expression is:

// smooth the velicity values to avoid jumps
sum = 0;
for(i=-4; i<5; i++) {
sum += thisComp.layer("MIR").effect("Mir")("Scroll X").velocityAtTime(time +i*0.1);

This expression is similar to the one above but doesn't add any delay to the sampling. As soon as the turn starts, the direction is corrected.

Download Adobe After Effects CS6 project file: MIR_Procedural_Flight_CS6.aep




Tao Maelstrom and Plastic Vortex

I recently posted some Tao vortex videos on my Instagram (trapcode_lab) and got many questions on how it was made. 

Here's a quick explanation of setting it up:

To make the Plastic Vortex, the Material color was changed to Orange. IBL was setup with the "Dark Industrual" environment (very high Diffuse, like 1000 to get some diffuse from it). Here is the final video:

And here is the AE project file for it: Tao_Plastic_Vortex_CC12.aep

To make the "Tao Maelstrom" effect the Fractal settings were changed to use the positive side (positive Amplitude) of the MultiSmoothRidge fractal. Also the different Fractal>Individual Freq were changed. And a texture was used to create the lines on the surface. Here is the final video:

Here is the AE project file: Tao_Maelstrom_CC12.aep

Depth of Field was added using AE's built-in Camera Lens Blur effect. A quick blur map was created using a shape layer with a Fill Gradient. Note that Lens Blur has a "Blur Focal Distance" that selects where in the gradient the focus is.




Tao Flowing Ribbons Tutorial

New tutorial on creating seamlessly looping flowing ribbons with Trapcode Tao in Adobe After Effects. 

Dan Ebberts wiggle loop expression:
This technique was used to create these animations:

TAO Soap Bubble Tutorial

Tutorial on creating a 6-second seamless looping soap-bubble-like noise sphere

Final Movie Result:



Download AE project file that contains the soap fresnel texture: TAO_SoapBubble_CS6.aep


TAO Logo Reveal Tutorial

A simple technique to reveal a logo or text with Trapcode Tao using Paths from Masks, Offset and moving the camera

End result: