Movie Theater Effect

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  12 December 2012
Movie Theater Effect

Hi Everyone,

I'm currently shooting a short film and am completely new to After Effects. I have a scene that takes place in a movie theater, while a film is being screened. No film will really be screened during the shooting, and I would like to create some artificial flashes of light on the seats from the screen, in order to simulate this.
My shot is something like this photo here:

Does anyone know a tutorial that can help with this, or can give some basic instructions on this for a total newbie?

Thanks a lot guys!
  12 December 2012
Hi Jennifer,

What you want to do for this effect is create a luma matte, and use it as a track matte on an adjustment layer that flickers the brightness.

A luma matte is taking a duplicate of your footage and turning it into a black and white image, then using that black and white image as an alpha (in After Effects, it's called a track matte) to control where the flickering brightness happens.

There's a good introduction to show you what luma and track mattes are, and how to set them up. You would want you luma matte to to not include the shadowed parts of your theater seat image, only the bright parts that are receiving light from the screen.

And instead of using the track matte on a logo image like in that video, you would apply the track matte to an adjustment layer. On that adjustment layer, put an Exposure effect, and then animate the exposure value up and down drastically on every frame. If you dial it all in correctly, it will make perfect flicker on the theater seats.
If it's not fun, what's the point?
  12 December 2012
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