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11/9/2010 Adobe - After Effects CS3 tutorial : Crea…

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Create a fireworks effect using


After Effects

Table of Contents Create a firew orks effect

Introduction To add some sparkle to your composition, follow these steps:


(www.adobe.com/designcenter/aftereffects/articles/aftcs3it_firework seffect.html)
1. Choose File > New Composition in After Effects to create a new
Create a firework s effect composition in whatever resolution you’d like to work in.
(www.adobe.com/designcenter/aftereffects/articles/aftcs3it_firework seffect_02.html)
2. In the Composition Settings dialog box (Composition > Composition
settings if you closed the window), set the Duration to 4 seconds
(0;00;04;00).
3. Create a new solid layer in your composition by choosing Layer >
New > Solid. In the Solid Settings dialog box, select Make Comp Size
and then click OK.
4. Choose Effect > Simulation > CC Particle Systems II.
5. Select Composition > Preview > RAM Preview to do a RAM preview
(see Figure 1). Check out the sparks!

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11/9/2010 Adobe - After Effects CS3 tutorial : Crea…
Figure 1: Create some sparks with CC Particle Systems II.
We don’t need to do much to make this look really pretty. What we
have now is a constant stream of sparks. Let’s set some keyframes
for the Birth Rate of these particles to give us a single “pop.”

6. Drag the current-time indicator (CTI) in the Timeline to the beginning of


the comp and then set an initial keyframe for Birth Rate by clicking
the stopwatch to the left of its name in the Effect Controls panel (see
Figure 2).

Figure 2: Set the initial keyframe for the Birth Rate effect.

7. Set the Birth Rate to 40 in the Effect Controls panel, and then move
the CTI ahead 5 frames and set the Birth Rate to 0. Do a RAM preview
again and you’ll now see that “pop,” but we still have some work to do
to make this more convincing.
8. In the Effect Controls panel, twirl open the controls for Physics and
set Gravity to 0.2, which will keep the particles from falling away so
quickly. Set the Resistance to 10 to keep the particles from traveling
too far away from their point of origination (also known as the
Producer).
9. Twirl open the controls for Particle and set Max Opacity to 50%.

Duplicate layers and create a sequence

Now we’ll duplicate the effect a few times to create a short sequence that
includes multiple fireworks.

1. First, make the Solid layer 2 seconds long. Click and drag the right-
hand edge of the clip to the left until it lines up with the 2-second mark
on the Timeline (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Make the Solid layer 2 seconds long.

2. With the Solid layer selected, choose Edit > Duplicate to duplicate
the layer, and then change the position of the Producer by first
selecting the CC Particle Systems II effect in the Effect Controls
panel. Then click and drag the Producer in the Composition Viewer to
a new location (see Figure 4).

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11/9/2010 Adobe - After Effects CS3 tutorial : Crea…

Figure 4: The Producer is a small circle with a cross inside it.

3. Repeat step 9 three more times until you have five copies of the layer,
each with its Producer in a different location.
4. Now to have these fire off in a sequence, select all five of the layers,
and then choose Animation > Keyframe Assistant > Sequence
Layers.

Figure 5: Sequence the layers.

5. In the Sequence Layers dialog box, select Overlap. Each layer should
fire 10 frames after the previous layer, so this is basically a math
problem that depends on your frame rate:
If you’re working in 30fps, enter a duration of 1:20 (0;00;01;20).
If you’re working in 25fps, enter a duration of 1:15 (0;00;01;15).
If you’re working in 24fps, enter a duration of 1:14 (0;00;01;14).

6. Click OK, do a RAM preview, and then sit back and watch the show.

Where to go from here

To customize further, try changing the colors of the particles as well as


playing with the different Physics parameters.
For more information on working with After Effects, see the following
resources:
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11/9/2010 Adobe - After Effects CS3 tutorial : Crea…

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