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Adobe After Effects Proton Streams

Picture of Adobe After Effects Proton Streams

So, you've been inspired to make your own Ghostbusters fan film. You've got everything shot and cut together. Now what? Well, you need special effects!

In this tutorial, you'll learn all the tips and tricks to get those special effects done right for your Ghostbusters themed film!
 
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Step 1: Starting your beam

Picture of Starting your beam
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So using this tutorial, we're going to assume that you know the basics of After Effects (ie, making a new composition, etc.) so we can move along a bit faster.

Start a new composition, then add a new layer solid. Then, you're going to add your beam base. Use the effect under Effects > Generate > Beam

The effects default settings are going to make it look like a blaster/light saber from Star Wars, so we're going to modify it, just a bit.

First, you're going to change the "Length" to "100%." Then, fiddle a bit with the colors to what you're going for. In GB1 you want a light - medium orange inside color and a red - deep orange outside color.

Adjust the starting and ending points- for the beam to really work right, and make adding it to your footage easier, you NEED to make sure the "Starting point" is very close to the left edge, even if your character isn't firing from the left side of the screen. This step will make sense in a bit, but it is needed.

Depending on how close to the camera your actor is, and if they're shooting at an angle, play with the settings for starting and ending thickness until it fits what you're going for.
This is awesome looking but I have question how do You keep the video layer underneath the beam from warping due to the adjustment layer?
Once you've created your stream perfectly, you need to make another solid layer, colored black, and place it over your base footage. Render that video out as AVI Uncompressed, then in a new comp, open your base footage, place the rendered stream with the black background over it, and set the transfer mode to either screen or add. Bam. Done. Hope this helps! ^__^ Also, sorry it took me forever to reply lol
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