View Full Version : smokey trail

01 January 2010, 02:36 PM
Hello people,

For a short movie we will be shooting soon, I need to create a smokey trail behind somebody. The character will have ragged clothes waving as she moves, and I would like to give a darker, ghostly look to her. And of course, we will be shooting in green.

Without involving major 3d work, how can this be done with compositing? I have seen some nice tutorials that uses trapcode form to achieve a similar-ish effect, but I really would like to hear what you have to say.


01 January 2010, 12:53 AM
It would be very helpful if you could discuss exactly what (2D and 3D) tools and expertise are readily available to you now. Are there any examples that you can point to, where you could say, "we really would like for it to look like this..."?

"A smoky trail" could conjure up several different mental images. ("Might I ask," for instance, "if 'the dusty lady' is supposed to be on fire?" A ghost, perhaps? An alien somehow trapped between two time-space dimensions?)

If you can come up with a good way to produce a smoky-trail signal, e.g. against a blank or alpha=0 background, then you can basically "hand-rotoscope it" into the shot without getting into messy 3D work. You can make things shady, transparent and so-on too, to the extent that you can easily (or perhaps, not-so-easily) mask them out.

01 January 2010, 01:58 AM
Well, I can say that we are pretty experienced in After Effects, Cinema 4d, Realflow, and tracking stuff.

And unfortunately, I really can't think of any reference about the look. The lady in our flick will be a ghost. However, this is not clearly revealed to the viewer from the beginning. Upon the end, where the lady needs to look scary fullscale, I intend to create this smoke-trailed look.

So, the image of the lady needs to be consistent throughout the movie, but definitely scarier in the end. We can't pull it off by just making her semi transparent at times, so we need a certain style for her. So what I was thinking about is as she floated, she could emit a smokey, yet unearthly trail behind her. This trail could be emitted from her hair, extremities, and clothing maybe. Just think of trendy mograph pieces where people move and trails of light follow them, like the ipod nano commercials. Only in our case, we want those trails darker and more evil-ish.

Also, we are shooting in green, so no roto will be necessary.

I hope I got myself clear :) I will post a reference video as soon as I find one.



01 January 2010, 11:35 AM
free beer for replies? :beer:

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