November 4, 2010

Underwater Scenes in After Effects

Shortformvideo has a new two-part tutorial, Deep Thought, showing you how to create an underwater scene with light rays, rising bubbles, and a cloudy texture. Part 2 will cover using the Lens Blur filter with a depth matte. No extra plug-ins required, so this can be done out of the box with CS3, CS4 or CS5 (he usually posts projects too after a bit).

Here's part1 [with part 2 on the blog]:

Others have similar tutorials, all without using Red Giant Psunami (unrevved for years but still great) but instead Fractal Noise, CC Radial Blur, or Light Burst type filters:

Going up for some air, there are above water effects too.:

Ocean Water Effect presentation by Aharon Rabinowitz from AENY on Vimeo.

Update: in an AE-List thread Brian Maffitt had more advice:
"Well, since I designed both Psunami and Caustics, here's my take on when you would use either/both:
Psunami is all about the water. If you want realistic water, based on physics, rendered with ray-tracing, Psunami is the way to go. You can put a "decal" on the surface of the water if you want a logo to behave as if it were a sheet of plastic floating atop water, and you can even put the camera under the surface to get a nice scuba-diver view, but Psunami doesn't handle refractions THROUGH the water.

Caustics is designed to DISPLACE A LAYER as if it is being seen through water. It handles the refraction, can add a reflection if you like, and even render the weird light patterns (the caustics) that you get on the bottom of the pool. And it can be ultra-realistic... but it is strictly a top-down view.

Psunami has all of the geometry controls built in (which is probably why it's a "bear"), while Caustics uses a separate layer's luminance to determine the shape of the surface (which is why we also invented WaveWorld: to generate realistic wave mechanics for Caustics to work with)."


shortformvideo said...

Darn - and here was me thinking that it was at least *slightly* original!
Thanks for the post.

Rich said...
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Rich said...

There are many roads to the same destination, and it seemed yours was different.

There are many tutorials that are derivative of someone else's derivation of old techniques first explained by Brian Maffitt or Chris & Trish Meyer. But that's fine because those are fading from memory and we have hundreds of new free tutorials in their place.

A cool trend is someone refining another's technique upfront, but we don't see many explicitly making comparisons. Who has that kind of time?

Rich said...

BTW, there's an effect explained in Brian's old tapes (downward cascading shaded shards) in Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" but I forgot how it was done.

Rich said...

This one is similar (but prettier) to the ones in "Capitalism: A Love Story":