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Using Stock Footage In After Effects

In this lesson we will learn to create a scene in which the actor that we keyed in our last lesson will get a hard hit from her own clone. The hit will result in an explosion of her head leaving hot burnt edges around her neck. We will also learn to do some sky replacement and creating rain effect along with the wet puddle look while also using some acquisition footage to achieve some cool effects.

01          Open up the Magic with Particles 01 after effects file from the project folder. The first thing that we need to convincingly accomplish this effect is a clean plate. But right now if we play through the footage we will find a tripod in the centre of the shot which was placed as a position marker for the other actress in front of green screen.

02          So in order to get rid of that we will duplicate the layer with the name Clean Plate and trim it down to the point where we don't have the actress in the shot. Apply Time Remapping effect onto it and stretch the shot from the beginning till the end in order to fill the complete shot duration. Now we will remove the tripod from the shot by using the Clone Stamp Tool inside the Layer viewer.

03          Once we are done creating the clean plate, we will place it below the 'Marcella Hit' layer. So that when we mask out the area covered with the tripod we can get a clean plate beneath it. Also make sure to increase the Mask Feather in order to blend it with the background. Select and Pre-Compose the 'Marcella Hit' and 'Clean Plate' layers with the option move all attributes selected and name it as 'Plate'.

04          Bring in the 'Green Screen' composition that we colour keyed in the previous chapter and place it above all the layers. Scale up and reposition the Plate composition so that the size and perspective matches with the Green Screen comp. Split the 'Green Screen' comp from the point where the Actress in the 'Plate' comp is about to reach the point of contact of the Actress in the 'Green Screen' comp.

05          Select and right click the second half of the layer and select 'Freeze Frame' from the 'Time' options in order to keep the frame static till the end of the footage. Draw a mask around the legs in order to cut out the area where the legs will be left over. Make the mask look a little bit rough from the edges in order to randomize the shape of the lower part.

06         Duplicate the second half and invert the mask in order to get the upper part of the actress just at the point of the hit. Pre-Compose the layer with 'Move all Attributes' option and rename it as 'Shatter'. Apply CC Pixel Poly effect onto it and change the Start Time value to 3.27 in order to shift the timing of the effect to match the beginning of the layer.

07          Turn down the Grid spacing value to 7 or 8 in order to make the chunks look smaller. Increase the Force and Gravity value to 300 and 1.5 in order to increase the explosion force and the gravitational pull of the chunks. Now in order to randomize the size of the chunks we will create multiple duplicates of the layers with bigger Grid Spacing values and less Force and Rotation values.

08          Now in order to make the edges of the bigger chunks looks more natural we will roughen them up by applying Roughen Edges effect which basically adds a fractal edge. Also add in Tint effect while choosing Dark Red as 'Map White To' colour so that the chunks look like the blown up inner body flesh. Randomise the colours on the tint effect in each copy of the shattered chunks.

09          Select all the layers comprising the shatter effect and Pre-Compose them while choosing 'Move All Attributes' option and rename it as 'Shatter'. Now we will add some Blood Burst acquisition footage onto the current explosion. Place them randomly over the 'Shatter' comp and apply 'Curves' Colour Correction effect onto them to match their colours with the chunks. We will also fade out the Blood Burst footage after a second in order to match the action by key framing its opacity values.

10          Now we will make some blood splat on ground and for that we will add some Blood Splatter acquisition footage onto the current comp. Bring in the Blood Splatter footage and convert into a 3D layer. Rotate it in X axis to make it look as its lying flat on the ground and change the Blending Mode to Hard Light. Match the timing of the Blood Splatter footage with that of the footage of Blood Burst, while randomizing the position of the splatter with few more copies of Blood Splatter footage.

11          Reorganize the composition so far by Pre-Comoposing different elements into their respective categories. Select all the Blood acquisition footage and Pre-Compose them while choosing 'Move All Attributes' option and filling in 'Blood' as the comp. Now we will add in some more details to the remaining body of the actress by bringing in some hotspots over the present cut to give it a 3D look.

12          So in order to do that we will create a 'Dark Red Solid' layer in the comp and create a circular mask over it with the help of ‘Ellipse Tool'. Randomize the shape by applying Roughen edges over it and playing with its settings. Convert the solid layer and the 'Green Screen' base layer into 3D while placing the solid layer over the cut of the 'Green Screen' base layer. Trim the solid layer up to the point where we are left with the lower part of the body. We can also apply a 'Turbulent Displace' effect to enhance the roughen edges effect.

13          Bring in the 'Flesh Texture' layer into the comp and place it over the 'Dark Red Solid' layer. Convert the texture layer into a 3D layer and apply the same Transformation values as of the 'Dark Red Solid' layer. Copy the mask and effects parameters from the 'Dark Red Solid' layer and apply it onto the texture layer accept the 'Tint' effect. Switch to top view and readjust the mask in order to match the border of the 'Dark Red Solid' layer.

14          Now in order to animate the inner part of the flesh to give it an organic look, we will apply CC drizzle effect onto the textured part with these settings. Drip Rate - 4.5, Longevity - 5.00, Displacement - 50.0, Ripple Height - 200.0, Spreading - 50.0. Create a duplicate of the 'Green Screen Base' layer and apply the tint effect with deep red colour onto it. Create a copy of the mask shape and move it below the previous mask shape while changing its blending mode to difference, as it will leave us with the outer border of the shape only.

15           Create a duplicate of the 'Green Screen Base Border' layer and place it behind the flesh texture while repositioning the mask so that it forms the background of the 'Green Screen Base'. Bring in the Smoke Wisp acquisition footage into the comp and place it over the Flesh Texture layer. Convert the layer into 3D and mask out the areas outside the base body so that it looks like the smoke is coming out from the Flesh Texture layer. Apply a Tint effect onto the smoke layer along with some Colorista II colour correction in order to make the smoke look a bit red.

16          Now we will add a bit of camera shake in our shot and for that we will Pre-Compose everything in our shot while naming it as Camera Shake. Apply the 'Slider Control' effect onto the pre comp and apply an expression onto its Position parameters by hitting the stop watch next to the parameter while holding the shift key. Type in 'wiggle (8,' and with the help of Pick Whip tool link the Slider Control to the expression and close the expression with ')' in the end.

17          Move the time slider to the point where the actor's stick makes a contact with the foreground actor and apply a key frame on the Slider Control Parameter with the value of 60. Move back a few frames and apply another key frame with the value of 0. Now in order to end the camera shake effect we will apply another set of key frames around the 4 second mark while fading out the effect with the key frame values of 75 and 0 respectively. Now to fill the transparent borders apply the Motion Tile effect with the Mirror Edges option checked and with the value of 150 each inside the Output Width and Height parameter.

18          Dive inside the Cam Shake composition and convert all the layers into 3D. Place them intelligently and scale the layers in order to fill the vacant areas in the composition. Create a new Camera in the scene and turn on the 'Depth of Field' option from the 'Camera Options'. Bring in the 'Blood Splatter 03' acquisition footage, convert it into 3D, scale it up and position it closer to the camera in Z axis so that we can create a Depth of Field effect in the next step for a better looking output.

19          We want to show the effect of blood getting splashed onto the camera therefore we will make sure that the 'Blood Splatter 03' layer starts a few frames after the shatter layer started simulating. Animate the Focus Distance from the Camera Options in order to make everything in the background behind the blood splash blurry as if the things become out of focus.

20          As the last step we will make the base of the body to fall in the end. Create a null object in the scene, convert it into 3D and place it at the center bottom of the layers comprising the base of the body. Link all the layers comprising the base of the body with the null object and animate X Rotation value of the null object in a way that it looks as if the base of the body is falling on its own. And to finalize the shot color correct it in the end in order to match the foreground with the background.

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