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Old February 8th, 2006, 11:57 PM   #1
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AE rain?

Hello all,
Just was wondering if anyone has attempted to create any false rain in AE?

I am planning on doing a B&W scene where there is rain on the oustide, so color is not an issue really. So the real question is can it be done? I have attempted to make it with some "scratch" effects where there are lines going down the screen. It works alright, but it looks too linear, I need something more dynamic. Any suggestions?

Also any tuts on pulling off some Sin City effects? I'd love to have a go at a few of those.

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Old February 9th, 2006, 11:58 AM   #2
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I have no idea if After Effects supports what I'm going to say, but I generally
believe fake rain on the computer is made with particle effects. Do turn on
motion blur to get those streaks.

That's the best I have to offer I'm afraid

Do a search on this board for "sin city" (do enter the quotes as well to get a phrase search!).
You'll get 3 pages of hits with some interesting threads and links to Sin City articles.

There's even a DVInfo member who tried replicating some of the looks:

Rob Lohman,
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Old February 9th, 2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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There's probably a better way to do it now, but a few years ago I built fake rain using a combination of noise and directional blur. Create a black solid, add a lot of noise (monochrome) to it, then add a directional blur at a downward angle. Place this on top of your footage with a screen mode. Add a levels filter to give you some control over the blending, you can also wiggle the directional blur angle to give a more random movement, or keyframe it manually to simulate changes in wind direction. I believe I may have also doubled up the rain layer with slightly different blur angles to create a more complex-looking rain.

edit: here's a quick sample I threw together over a still to show how it looks:

with some tweaking I'm sure you could get it to look a little more realistic - this took about 5 minutes including finding a background image to use.

Last edited by Evan Donn; February 9th, 2006 at 05:59 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 12:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info guys!

I'll be trying my hand at this soon enough, hopefully it'll be convincing enough with sfx and some good footage.

Also Evan, have you tried integrating lightning into the shots? I was just thinking of adding a light source and having it flash, kinda like a quick lens flare or something...

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Old February 10th, 2006, 02:39 AM   #5
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it's in the video I posted - I just threw a levels filter on the background image and put a couple of keyframes in for flashes. Again, it's not perfect, but it depends on what you're going for - color correct the background so it looks like a dreary day, maybe key out the sky if it's blue and add some dark storm clouds, flash the levels to simulate lightning, add a thunder sound effect - it won't look absolutely realistic but it should convey the idea. If you need absolute realism it's going to be tough, and you're probably better off with a dedicated particle system with a rain setting...

edit: strange, I just checked the video again - there is supposed to be lighting in it, but for some reason it doesn't play in the browser, only when I play it in quicktime. It must be dropping frames, and since the flashes are only a couple frames each they're getting skipped. I just uploaded a new copy and it seems to work now though, so I'm not sure what was going on there.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 02:55 AM   #6
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Adding rain in AE is *not* going to fool anyone unless you're using it to augment real water that was shot as a practical. If you have a small rain machine, wet down the grounds, and so on, and then add in *additional* CG rain in post, you're on to something, but CG rain by itself is just calling attention to itself.

As for how to actually do it, your AE should have come installed with CC Rain, in Effects under the "Simulation" category. It's not ideal, but with some tweaking and blur you could get decent results. Failing that, you could do it a lot more convincingly in Particular. Or grab a copy of Particle Illusion, which can do some really great stuff out of the box.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #7
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By the way, if you need a good sound effect for rain, try using applause, such as the polite kind you get at the end of classical music concerts... with a little tweaking it sounds exactly like heavy rain...
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #8
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trapcode particular
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