Animating and Creating 3D Objects in After Effects

Animating Interactive Lighting Effects Layers

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This video segment demonstrates creating and animating a lighting effect layer, and synchronizing it and another effects layer with an audio marker.


  • Animating
  • effects
  • lighting
  • keyframing
  • solid
  • layer
  • masking
  • synchronizing
  • pre-composing
  • trimming

About this video

Jeff Shaffer
First online
14 March 2019
Online ISBN
Copyright information
© Jeff Shaffer 2019

Video Transcript

All right. So now that we have all of our beam effect layers in place, syncing up with markers, we’re going to add some interactive lighting effects here. So we’ll start right at 1015 in our project right there. And I’m going to make a new solid.

I’m going to make it a orangey color here, which I’m going to get from the image. Let’s go with the more orangey color here. A little bit darker orange there. Here we are. So this is going to be– I’ll call it orange glow

And I’ll make it Comp Size for the moment and say OK. And I’m going to place that right above my soft smoke layer here for the time being. I’m going to take my Ellipse tool and I’ll just draw a small ellipse. Just to eyeball it here.

I’m going to take my Selection tool and I’m going to move it into place. And I will adjust some of the mass parameters on this. So I’ve got that already showing my masked world down there. And I’m going to feather this one a lot. Let’s do 551 pixels.

Very feathered there. So it’s very soft-edged. I click and turn off that Path Visibility for a moment. You could see how soft-edged that is. I probably should look at it at full resolution, though, for a moment. And that’s looking pretty good.

I wanted this sort of soft effect when the blast occurs. And I’m going to trim this layer. And I’ll also make this layer, this one, orange. So I get to see that.

I’m going to trim that layer just ahead of that marker position there. So bring this up a little bit, get that marker. Marker’s at 1015. I’m going to go just a couple of frames ahead of that. Option, or Alt, Left Bracket.

Trims it in there. Or you could drag it into position, all right? So I’m going to do that, and I’m going to have it end, this Glow effect. I’m going to go out to 12 seconds. Whoa, whoa, whoa. And for this, I hit the tiki.

I’m going to make an Opacity Key Frame there at zero, so it’s going to fade out there. And then I’m going to go back to that exact point there of the blast, and make that Opacity Key Frame at 100. So you’ll see the interactiveness like so.

So that should actually adjust a little bit so that it comes in just there at 100. And I’ll trim this right to that point because I want it to just kind of pop on and then fade off. So right there.

I can trim this on the back end, as well. Option or Alt, Right Bracket key, or drag from the other end to create that orange glow there. Now there’s a couple of blasts that have that sort of orangey glow to them like this one here at 1523.

So I could take this orange glow and I could simply duplicate that. Command, D. There it is. It’s already key framed, I just got to get my key frames in position on that.

So let me move it and I will twirl this one up. Hit the U key. So U, U, I could see my mask, as well. And I want to be right on that key frame, so I need to move that over just a tiny bit.

Want to get that in position. There we are. There we are. OK. So this one, I’ll call it orange glow, too.

All right. Now the others are going to be different colors, but we could still use this same glow effect occurring on both the– really, on all of the, the same glow effect should occur at every blast. So the second blast is this purple nebula.

So I can duplicate this one. And I’m going to change that one. I want to change its Solid settings so that we can get more of a purplish color. I could pull that right from the image here. Here we go.

All right. So this is going to be purple glow. We’ll twirl that down with the U key. See our masks and our opacity. So here’s the purple glow layer. That needs to move into position. There is where I want my purple glow right in position.

So satisfied with that. Getting the purple glow. Going to change the layer color to make it purple because it’s right next to a lavender one. Let’s do that. There’s a purple.

And we have one last place where we need a purple glow. When we get to our last blast here, we move over to there, you go a couple of frames over. Here we are.

So I’m going to duplicate this purple glow. We’ll move that layer down into position. Hit the U key to see the key frames. Position that. That’s looking good.

There we are. So we’ve got all of those. And then in the next video, we will add a couple of other effects, lens flares at the point where the blasts occur, and one more interactive glow.