View Full Version : bending thin air

11 November 2002, 12:58 PM
how could i achieve the look of thin air bending over an actor? sorta like the matrix mirror rippling effect but with thin air. thanks.

11 November 2002, 08:29 PM

Do you mean when Neo/Mr. Anderson puts his fingers into this "liquid" mirror and then is being covered by the silvery stuff...?

Well, i don't think that could be done using only After Effects :hmm:

But definitively with a 3D Programm (creating a 3D Model of the actor, texturing it with the "airy stuff" perhaps playing with the opacity, and compositing it to the real footage).

So, good luck!



11 November 2002, 09:11 PM
try doing the following, if you have your "actor" alphad out then duplicate his layer, blur it, make it all white using hue sturation or whtaever then precomp it (taking teh effects with it into teh new precomp). then use displacement effect on the background, change teh settings and set the pinning to edges. set the displacement to use the precomped layer for it's displacement, use the liminosity of that layer for the x and y displacement and then make sure that teh visibility of teh precomped layer is switched off. that should handle distorting teh background to an extent.

beyond that you could either go the 3d route, or use a lot of masks and distortion effects using the mask shapes, but it's a heavy workload.

Ian Jones
11 November 2002, 04:36 AM
Hi, you can try looking at these tutorials for some insight into a similar matrix bullet time / bullet shockwaves / rippling effect. It really is a much simpler effect than you think. (

That link takes you to the FX tutorials at I hope you have 3dMax, if not you'll probably enjoy the reading anyway. Check out their tutorials on compositing too, if you like.

Have fun.

11 November 2002, 11:16 AM

The site is great!
Some days ago I had a glimpse into the tutorials area and found an interesting "realistic explosion" theme :bounce:



12 December 2002, 02:39 AM
actually this type of effect is very easy to do with after effects. start to play around with displacement maps.

12 December 2002, 02:58 PM

that sounds good!
but displacement maps on AFX? How? If I have to be honest I have never seen such function.... :-) It's perhaps because I have another language pack :-)


12 December 2002, 03:12 PM
it should be under effect>distort>displacement map. It should be right under corner pin. What version of AE are you using? Maybe you don't have this option.

12 December 2002, 12:07 PM
I have AFX 5.5 Production Bundle.

I'm gonna look up in the effects menu as soon as possible. Perhaps I didn't notice that feature...



01 January 2003, 05:54 PM
Hi vertigo. I think it's "Umformen" in the German version. I've also troubles with my German After Effects, because all the good tutorials are in English. Next time I install it, I will set the language to English...

mhm well... or keep it the way it is and improve my English speaking skills by the way...



01 January 2003, 02:38 AM
Danke, Tommi!

I made the "mistake" and installed it in German.
I hope that Adobe will release After Effects 6 in some months. And thus I'll be able to update in in English (or reinstall the 5.5)




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