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Learn how to use advanced lighting effect in After Effects.
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So the next Layer that we are going to want to work with is a lightning Layer, this is a fun Layer to work with. So let's go Layer, New, Solid and let's name this lightning. Width and Height 720x480, and let's just click OK. Now the Effect that we are going to use on this is Advanced Lightning, so let's just drag Advanced Lightning onto the lightning Layer. So there is not much that we need to change in our lightning settings, but I am going to stretch this out a little bit, so we can read this a little better. And the two things that we are really concerned with are our Origin and our Direction. So you see these two little targets here. This is your Origin target, so this is where the lightning starts from, and this is your direction target, so this is basically where the lightning ends up.
Now I am going to reduce the Size of this Window slightly, so that I can move the Origin outside the Window, and I can move the direction also outside the Window, and we will set key frame for Origin, and a key frame for a direction. Let's move down the Timeline about 5 frames, so let's just type in 5, and let's bring the direction back in. So grab in direction, make sure you grab the right one, let's move it to about here. Let's also change the lightning type from Direction to Breaking, this will give us more forks inside of our lightning.
Okay, let's move down the Timeline a little bit more, let's click on the Time code, just type in 10, and we are going to change the position of our Direction. So let's drag that down to about here, somewhere where it looks really cool, so we have these two forks coming out of it, and we will move down the Timeline one more time. Let's just type in 15 ,and move that somewhere here. And again eyeball it to where you think the lightning looks really good, I like it right about there. Now of course our lightning doesn't all have to be the same, in fact, it's cooler if we don't have them all the same.
Now the next thing we want to do, is we want to end the lightning, so we are actually going to snap the back of the Layer to this point on the Time marker, and we are going to use a key command. So holding down the Option key, and selecting back bracket, will snap that back end of the Layer, so that we have shortened this, okay, and we will just scrub on that. The next thing we want to do is, we want this lightning to interact or glow a little bit with our background. So right now our transfer mode is set to normal. I want you to just select Add. So what Add is going to do, it's kind of like screen, it's going to knock out the dark areas, and bring in the light areas, but Add also adds a slight glow. So you can see a slight glow around the lightning.
So now that we have this lightning, let's move it further down the Timeline with a Duplicate Layer. Now this is really important. If you have Advanced Lightning selected, and you try to Duplicate this Layer, let me just show you this, so you can see this, Command+D. You are actually Duplicating the Effect, we don't want to do that. So make sure you click in this negative area below the Timeline, and then select lightning. So let's go Command+D, so we have a Duplicate Layer. We will go to about 4 seconds, and I am going to use the shortcut key of front bracket to just snap that Layer to 4 seconds, okay. Scroll on this to test to make sure everything is going where it is suppose to go. I will go it to the beginning of the Timeline, I am going to select the Composition Window, I am going to type in the Tilde key, and also let's put this to fit up to 100%, so we can see the entire screen, and let's hit 0 o our numeric keypad to preview.
Okay great, we are done with our background Layer, and now we can start creating our foreground Layer. So let's click on the Composition Window, I am going to select the Tilde key, I am going to go to my Project Window, and I am going to select these Storm background.