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Old November 21st, 2007, 12:24 PM   #1
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Vertical snow fall in AE7

Hey all,

I gotta try and explain what I'm after, what I need to do is imagine a helicopter shot looking straight down at an object on the ground during snowfall. So the snow is falling straight past the camera towards the object on the floor.

I can create a snow fall using particles in AE but I don't know how to give the layer depth so I can rotate the camera 90* to shoot down through the snow.

Anyone have any pointers?

Thanks in advance.

Dave
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:29 PM   #2
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Is your 3d layer on?
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 03:28 AM   #3
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Yeah the layer is 3d so when I rotate the camea to the verticle position the particle layer moves accordingly, but it has no depth. Once the camera is dead verticle the particle layer almost disappears.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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I wondered if that wouldn't be the case when I read this initially. The snow effect then is a 2D effect, so setting it as a 3D layer and then moving your camera is not going to work. Think of the snow as a "curtain" of particles floating down. It appears to have depth, because some particles are smaller than others, giving the illusion that they are further away. When you set the layer to 3D and then move the camera to look "down" on the layer, you're really just looking down on a 2D layer, like looking at a piece of paper standing on its edge. This is the big deal with effects like Trapcode Stroke, where it really is a 3D effect, so as the line twirls around, you can also move the camera and see it from different angles.

Back to your problem, I'm no expert with After Effects but I'd suggest trying to work with the CC Particles plugin. I messed around with it and got pretty close to what I think you're after using sphere as the particle. The only thing is because particles are "born" the effect goes backwards, (looks like the snow is falling up) but you you could just render the clip and reverse it.
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 01:51 PM   #5
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Bert you've given me an idea!

Instead of creating a verticle snow fall and trying to shoot from above it, create a snow fall that moves away from the camera horizontally on the Z plane. Simple! I think. Dunno why I just didn't think of that earlier.

I have trouble thinking outside of this box!
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 03:48 PM   #6
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I think you're on the right track. I actually got the result I think you're looking for by using the CC Snow effect, and setting the speed to "0", and scaling the layer down from almost 200% to 100%. You don't have to worry too much about going over 100% scale, because the blured/reduced quality image only helps make it look more authentic. I also animated the "Amount" property so that there is more snow as the animation continues. Don't know why, but it seemed to just sell the effect more. You can then adjust your layer however you need to in 3D space. As long as your camera is looking straight on at the "snow" layer, you'll have the effect. Cool!

Hey, when you're finished all of this, don't forget to save it as an "Animation Preset". You probably already know this, but you can save all of your effect parameters (even multiple effects) as an animation preset to recall later at any time. I spent forever working on this effect to make text turn into snow and blow away. Now, I don't remember how I did it, but its saved as a preset, and I can just add it to any text layer and it works!
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Smyth View Post
don't forget to save it as an "Animation Preset".
Damn good idea!
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 09:46 AM   #8
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Nope didn't work. Using CC snow there is no way of setting the Z direction of the snow, it's always heading down. Never away from the camera.

Look like I will have to use Particular or possibly ParticleIllusion3.

Will try sometime this weekend.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 08:47 PM   #9
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Dave, give it another shot with the CC Snow but set the speed to "0" and instead just use scaling to make it look like the snow is falling "away" from the camera.
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Old November 23rd, 2007, 09:27 PM   #10
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I'm going to try and post an After Effects project file where I was just playing around with it. If it works, take a look at the project, it'll at least show you what I mean. There's all sorts of adjustments you could make to suit your needs.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Snow.aep.zip (3.9 KB, 235 views)
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