Fire and Aura Effects in After Effects with KaiCreative | Kai Song | Skillshare

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Fire and Aura Effects in After Effects with KaiCreative

teacher avatar Kai Song, ìmagìne · ìmplement · ìnspìre

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Fire and Aura effects intro

    • 2. Downloading and installing saber

    • 3. Adding Saber to a project

    • 4. Key Framing your effect

    • 5. Aura Effects Go SUPER SAIYAN

    • 6. Outro

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About This Class


In this class we are going to show you how you can use After Effects and a free plug-in called Saber to create fire and aura visual effects that can really enhance your special effects videos.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kai Song

ìmagìne · ìmplement · ìnspìre


Hello, I'm Kai.

I'm a London based Photographer, Videographer, Filmmaker, Animator and all round Creative. I film review videos, corporate videos and how to's as I work away on a vast array of filmmaking productions.

My ethos is: imagine . implement . inspire, which ultimately is to think up ideas, execute those ideas and hopefully inspire those around me and those who watch on.


Watch a little bit about my story here:



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1. Fire and Aura effects intro: In today's class, we're going to learn how to set ourselves on fire using After Effects like this. And also we'll show you how to create or effects like this. Hello and welcome. My name's Kai and I'm a filmmaker, videographer, photographer, animator, and YouTuber. And you can actually go and have a look at my creative work over on YouTube by searching for creative. Now for this class we will be using a free plugin for After Effects called SABR, which you can download and install really easily from video copilot dotnet, we will cover the basics of how to use the solver plug-in to set yourself on fire and also experiment with different presets. You will need to have After Effects installed on your machine, as well as the saver plug-in, as mentioned before, it's free and super easy to install, will show you how to do that. There is also a class project and that is for you to use what you learn to create your own fire and aura videos and then post up your final results in the class projects page. So I'm really excited to jump into this class with you and see how creative you can get with this effect. 2. Downloading and installing saber: The first thing that we want to do is we want to download the sabre plugin. And as I said before, this is really easy. We just have to go to a website called video and you can download it there for free on your Mac or on Windows. And we're right here now in video And I recommend all of you go and check out video for your After Effects, special effects, needs, and different amazing projects. So the first thing we want to do in video is go to the Tutorials tab and scroll down. And Tutorial 1 59 is what we want the sabre plugin and we're going to click on that. And what we will see here is a breakdown video that you can watch on how to use CBER, primarily used for lightsabers. But here we're going to use it for our fire and aura effects. And if you come over here, you can download it for Windows or for Mac. And I've got a Windows machine, so I will download it for Windows. And what I've got now is an executable file that I can double-click on. It lost me to make changes. I'll see yes. Next. I want to install it on the latest version of Adobe After Effects, which is 22, which is why music in a moment. And next. And that was it. And then I click Finish. And now if I open up After Effects, I can go to my Effects and write in saber, the American spelling of saber. And here it is, video copilot saber. So now that we've got this successfully installed on our after-effects, the next step is to start using it for our fire and, or effects, which we will show you next. 3. Adding Saber to a project: We've saved by installed on offer effects. We now want to add it to a project. So let's jump into After Effects and add saber in. So in order to do this, we want to create a new composition from footage. And what I am going to do is I'm going to select, I'm actually going to select the file that I use to create the narration for the intro video. So here we have a clump of a few seconds long. So one way to do an add Sabre to this video, well, in order to add say, but we first of all need to go to Layer new and solid. And we can select any color we want for our solid. Let's make it red. And we want to have it the same size as our composition, square pixels, as is denoted here. And we're just going to call this saber and hit, Okay? And this creates a red solid. So what we want to do now is go over to our effects and presets bar type in sabre. We will see the video copilot saber plugin is there ready? And we can actually drag that onto our solid. And you will see straight away that we have our saber effect. As I mentioned before, this was primarily created for lightsaber effects, but what we're going to do is use it for our fire and aura effects today. Go over to your affects controls on the left-hand side. And go to Render Settings and toggle down this arrow. And you will see something here called composite settings. And you want to change that from black to transparent. And now we can see our footage underneath. What we want to do now is we want to actually create a mask around our subjects. And I'm gonna come over here, the customized core. And I'm going to change the core tight from SABR to layer masks. And as you've seen, nothing has actually happened yet. But that's okay because I'm going to create a mask on the actual solid, but before that I'm going to drag the current time indicator to the beginning of our composition. And then I'm gonna go over here to select the Pen Tool, or I can just hit G on the keyboard. And that'll bring up the pencil. And now with my saber solid selected, I'm going to start drawing a mosque. And as you can see here, the saber effects is now following that mask. And if you hold the pencil down, you can drag out these handlebars that allow you to create curves for your effect. And this is a really cool neon effect that you can create. And I'll just go all the way around my shoulders and arms, as you can see here. And I'll close it off. Like that. We've now created our saber effect around our character. And we can change the preset of the saber effect by going up to preset, select and to get our fire. I'm gonna go to this preset called fire storm. And as you can see already, we have a fire effect now play around with the settings, the glow intensity, the globe spread of the globe bias and the core size to affect your affect. And that is how we introduce the idea of saber onto our footage. But you will notice that if we play out the footage, the actual saber effect doesn't move when I move. So the next thing we need to do is to key frame the actual movement of the mask in-line with my natural movement. And we'll be doing this in the next session. 4. Key Framing your effect: So far we've been able to add saber onto our composition and add it to a layer mask on top of our footage. There is a problem if we play through this for teachers, I'm going to do now. You will notice that while the subject moves, the mask doesn't move with the subject. So how are we going to fix that in our composition, the easiest way to fix this is to key frame our mask so you follow the outline of our subject. In order to do this, we can go to our saber layer. We can actually turn off the effects and we can still see the solid. In fact, to make this even easier, we can press T on our keyboard to bring up the opacity and lower the opacity. And now you will see individual points on the mask. And we can select those points and adjust them accordingly. Now in order to keyframe this, we need to hit M on the layer Disable layer. And this will bring up our mask properties, in particular, our mask path. Now, you don't see your mask path and toggle down here. And you will see mask path here. And what you wanna do is hit the stopwatch at the very beginning of the sequence. So bring your current time indicator to the beginning. Hit the stopwatch, and it will turn blue, and you'll see a blue keyframe here we can zoom in. You can see blue keyframe that now if we move forward in time, so maybe four frames, what we can do is adjust our keyframes here now hit V on the keyboard to bring up our cursor. Select the middle of the mast image, and you'll see these points now turn to circles. And what we can do is we can drag these in around our subject, then move another four frames forward and do the same thing. Adjust your keyframes accordingly, too much up with the outline of your subjects. And we want to do this for the entire sequence. You might be thinking this is very time-consuming. And yes, you would be, right in some instances, it might be easier to select Mask Path down here, which will then select all the points and then drag it slightly across. So instead of doing all of these up here individually, you might be able to adjust all of them at the same time and then make micro adjustments as we go around. And then I will continue to do this for the rest of the project. Wow, so that was labor intensive. Now if I turn my saber plug-in back on and also put the opacity of my layer backup. So if I just let this RAM render and we play this through now, you'll see that the flames, particularly around my body in my head of following my body and my head's. In my original example. I also added extra layers with extra saber effects, which I key framed over my hands. And you can see this here where they are over both of my hands. And I also adjusted the opacity of these flames. They come in at an opacity of 0. Then they build up to an opacity of 19 percent. And then after that, I gradually build it up to 57 percent. And then again, I reduced them back down to 0. So it really helps to add more dimensions to your video if you add extra saber layers to your footage. So now that we are familiar with using the sabre plug-in, as well as using layer masks. We are going to move on to experimenting with different aura effects. And this is what we will be covering next. 5. Aura Effects Go SUPER SAIYAN: So far we've been able to use a bots you add in a fire effect on top of our character, as well as key frame the movement. And now we want to experiment a little bit more to see what sci-fi effects we could create. And now in After Effects, I'm here with some very old footage of me dressed up as a character from Dragon Ball Z. Now this is actually green screen footage, as you can see here. And I've removed the green screen and cleaned it up a little bit. What we want to do is add an aura effect on the background of this image is only about five seconds of footage. So how do we add an aura in? Well, we do it the same way we did with our fire. We go to Layer new solid. We'll call the solid saver. And we'll keep the aspect ratio the same, n square pixels the same, and go, okay. We will then write in saber in our effects and presets panel. Take the save a plugin and place it on top of our solid. We then go to the Render Settings and we will go to the composite settings and change black to transparent. And then I will go to Customize core and change the courts cite from SABR to layer masks. Then I will select my pencil by either selecting it here or pressing G. And I will go to work creating a mask around my character. Again, this is a very quick mask. You can take your time to refine your mask on your image. And as we can see here, it's starting to take the shape. The sabre is picking up the shape. And we can see that through the neon line here. Now if we go to our preset and we changed that to our firestorm, this was what we originally used for our fire effect, as you can see here. But there are a multitude of different effects that you can choose on the preset selection tool here. And really it's up to you depending on the effect that you want to use. And maybe we want a blue lightning color. And we can do that by going over to the color glow, selecting this box, and then selecting the color of the glow that we want and hitting okay. And this is some color glow. Maybe we want blue electric, but we want to have yellow flames. So we can duplicate this layer by selecting the saber. I'm pressing Control or Command D. And then going up to our presets, changing that to firestorm and then changing the color to maybe a yellow. And now we've got hints of blue electricity with our yellow fire. And some make it more realistic. We can also change the Mosque of aflame, say that it's more pointy at the top of our heads here. And you can see elements of the blue electric also working their way down. And we can continually add more effects on top of the saber effect by pressing Control or Command D, selecting a different preset. So maybe fire in this instance, and then changing the color to something else. So here I have a very blue flame like in hit T on the keyboard and bring that down. So now it's mixing with the yellow flame and the blue electricity. Maybe it's a little bit too much, maybe it's too ridiculous. I could turn that off by just hitting this icon here. Also, what I can do is hit S on the keyboard for my saber layers and increase the size slightly so that the flames slightly bigger. Maybe with the electricity. I could also increase that slightly so that it's appearing over the top of the flames. Now we start to lose the character a little bit so I can actually duplicate my layer here, put it on top. And then why can do is then mask out some of my face so I can hit the pencil. And then with my layer selected just mosque over different elements of myself. But I might want to show so that we don't lose the character completely in the flames. And then if I hit M on the keyboard, I can get rid of that first mosque and then I can hit F to bring up the feather and I could just add a feather to that so that some of my features still come through. Now why can do after that is go to my project and add in a background. I've just got a free stock image from Pexels. I can scale that back slightly so that we have a scene similar to this. So this is hopefully giving you some inspiration and some ideas as to what you can build for your special effect of videos and projects. 6. Outro: Well done if you've made it this far, now you have the basics down to create a whole bunch of visual effects using Sabre and After Effects. Now if there's anything that you're not sure about the night recommend just going back and watching that section again, or just reach out to me and ask me any questions that you have. And also make sure that you share your fire and aura and other effects videos to the project page of this class. So that's it for me today. Thank you so much for watching. I very much look forward to seeing all your special effects videos and I'll catch you in the next class.