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Creating Animated BackgroundsSave yourself some money and create your own
I always say that these days, we live in an instant gratification society, and what I mean by this is that we want everything and we want it now. Beginners and advanced After Effects users alike are quick to buy animated backgrounds to use in their compositions, because it is quick and easy to do. The big problem with it is that it costs money that alot of us don't have. I thought that for this article I would show you how to create a simple, effective background using a very popular plug-in which is Trapcode's Shine, that many of people already own. Shine, in a lot of cases, is used to create "God Rays" in a very bold manner. Let's see how we can use it subtly to create a nice looking background element.
First, let's launch After Effects, and when it is open, we're going to create a dark blue solid layer for our background. It doesn't really matter the size you choose, as this will work the same for any size composition. Next, create a new solid layer, make it white, but this time make it double the size of the base layer. Your AE composition should look something like this.
Next, we are going to create a circular mask on our white solid, right in the middle of the composition.
Now, we're going to add Shine to it, and it will look something like this.
Wow, that's a pretty nice looking Sun effect, but not what we are going for. Select your "White Solid" layer, press "F3" to open your effects palette, and navigate down to the "Colorize" section of Shine. We're only going to use one color, which is white, so change from a "Three Color Gradient" to "One Color", and make that color white.
Now, we're going to take our mask, and drag it outside the upper left corner of the screen, so when you zoom out, it's visible outside the frame.
As you can see, our "Shine" effect has completely disappeared. That's because it is still centered in the middle of our screen where our mask used to be. What we want to do is have it sit on the lower right side of our circle mask. Select your "Source Point" in Shine, and click somewhere near the lower right edge of your circle mask. You can now, very faintly, see the Shine effect in the upper left corner of your composition window.
What we now want to do is increase our "Ray Length" and "Boost Light" parameters, so we can better see our Shine effect. Let's set our "Ray Length" to "20" and our "Boost Light" to "10". This is what we have now.
We're getting there, but it still doesn't look quite right, since everything seems to be a wash of white. What we need to do is have beams of light coming out of our circle mask, and that is achieved by using the "Shimmer" parameter in Shine. Let's set our "Shimmer Amount" to be "200", and the "Detail" to "5".
Related Keywords:motion graphics, animated backgrounds, visual effects