of Time: A Boris Graffiti Tutorial
particle effects energize titles
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You can apply the 2D Particles Advanced filter in a couple of
ways. One is to go to the Filters menu and select it, but Graffiti
is also right-button sensitive on both Mac (for those of you
Mac users who have more than one mouse button) and PC, so you
can apply it that way as well.
up in the Controls Window, we're going to deal with the second
choice first, a little pop-up menu that lets you decide whether
to let Graffiti animate your particles for you, or to do it
yourself. These are advanced particles, doggone it, so we're
going to take control of these bad boys ourselves. Set the pop-up
you the truth, I'm not all that fond of any of the preset animations.
They're okay, but I tend to have specific things in mind when
I play with particles, and it's much, much easier to tweak when
you don't have presets getting in your way.
their most basic, you can use particles to blow stuff up, which
is, of course, one of the best things about being in the effects
business. It's also one of the best things about BorisFX. Generally
speaking, it requires keyframing the scatter of your particles
from zero to 3000, which gets them all completely offscreen.
You only have to set one keyframe to do that, actually, the
last one. Select the last keyframe, which turns it red, and
either type the number 3000 in the box on that parameter, or
move the slider all the way to the right. Set the interpolation
for this keyframe to linear, which means that the effect will
progress from 0 to 3000 in a linear fashion.
next couple of settings are fine: the Explosion Type as Constant,
and a multiplier (Particles X) of 1000. That means the number
of particles that you set in the Grid Spacing is multiplied
by 1000. We could also choose to multiply by one, 10, or 100,
and the maximum number of particles is 100. To create my Sands
effect, I opted for the maximum number of particles, 100,000.
users of Boris products will notice a new interpolation symbol
in the box next to grid spacing, and it does indeed represent
a new kind of interpolation, called Constant. Unlike every other
kind of interpolation in the BorisFX ecosystem, this one applies
no keyframes. In fact, this is generally the way that Adobe
After Effects approaches keyframing effects, which is to treat
the application of an effect and the setting of keyframes to
change it as two different things.
of course, they are. You'll often want to set a value that stays
the same for the duration of an effect, such as a key. You usually
don't need the value of a chroma key to change over time, although
you certainly can if the need arises. Instead, you select the
shade of blue, green or red that you need for your key, and
specifically DON'T want it to change. Constant is the interpolation
for you in this case.
is also the ideal default interpolation for hard-core users
of After Effects to use when they're in Boris, in order to have
the two programs behave a little more similarly when it comes
to setting keyframes. You can set the default interpolation
in the Preferences. The default is Ease In/Out, which is now
my second favorite. My new favorite is Constant.
next couple of settings don't need too much description for
now. Just set them as I describe. Under the Velocity tab, reduce
it to around 120. You can see from the screen grab here that
I just slid mine over to that general vicinity, and that's fine.
This isn't a situation that calls for much precision. The next
tab is Gravity, which you want to increase to around 500 or
so. Leave the direction straight down. You'll see why in just
ahead to the Options tab, and slide the Density to about 200,
and reduce the particle size to 50. We're making grains of sand
here, so small is good. As the size gets much smaller than 50,
I found they were looking more like dust or smoke than sand.
You can surely imagine many, many uses for smoky particle effects
with text, but our goal is sand, Make both parameter Constant
interpolations, since those numbers will remain the same throughout
we're not going to do it in this effect, I wanted to call your
attention to a checkbox at the bottom of the Options tab, Wall
Bounce. It does exactly what it says, makes the particles bounce
off the edges of the frame. Selecting that option, though, means
that you'd most likely want to keyframe your gravity to diminish
over time. Otherwise, your particles would fly up to the top
of the frame as quickly as they fell down, and never get any
slower or come to rest.
too that I'm not even getting to the More Options tab, which
have to do with channels (including alpha channels) and apply
modes. These really are ADVANCED particle settings.