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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #1
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What's the right way to learn After Effects?

Hi
I have After Effects CS3 and would like to start learning how to accomplish some effects like explosions, chroma-key, fog, and those freeze effects that were in Heroes when time stood still.

I'm not sure how much time it'll take me, but what's the quickest way to get there? Also, please let me know what the best system configuration is for these kinds of jobs.

Any advice would be really welcome. Thanks!
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Old April 9th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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Hi Sareesh,

For explosions and fog Wondertouch particleIllusion and Trapcode Particular are often used. For pulling keys you can use the AE standard tools which are ok, or any of the (many) chromakey plugings that make the job even easier.

I've seen a behind the scenes TV doco some time ago about the Heroes "Time Freeze" effect. In this article on Videography.com the effect is explained by Stargate Digital's Visual Effects Supervisor, Mark Kolpack. Some hefty compositing, rotoscoping, greenscreens and CGI were used.

However you can create a simplified effect by compositing a few shots and some masking, like this.

The official NBC Heroes site has some behind the scenes footage also.

George/
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Old April 9th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #3
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George,

I believe the first time freeze composite was also on the Heroes Season 1 DVD special features... good stuff! Went into pretty good detail, if you felt the need and had the source footage you could do it yourself after watching it. :)

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