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November 01, 2011

Beam Me Up - Video Light Painting in Motion

Written by The Lennon Bus

 

A really cool looking visual effect is light painting.

 

 

In photography, the effect is achieved by using a slow shutter speed, but recently, I wanted to obtain the same effect in video. Turns out it’s a bit more complex than changing your camera’s shutter speed, but if you use Apple’s Motion, the effect can be done quite easily, in just a few steps.

 


STEP 1
Import the footage that you want to use for you video light painting and title the group subject.


 

 

STEP 2
Create a new group and title it null object. Create a new shape, I’ve chosen a rectangle, but it really doesn’t matter. What does matter, though, is to make sure that it has no fill and no outline, basically making it a ghost shape.


 

 


STEP 3
Track your ghost shape to whatever you are going to use to do the light painting with. In this case, I’ve decided to use my subject’s fingertip.


 

 


STEP 4
Wherever you want your subject to start light painting, add a particle emitter, the one that I’ve decided to use is the Magic Dust emitter as I have found that it gives you a pretty good place to start.


 

 


STEP 5
Add a match move behavior to your particle emitter and use the ghost shape as its source.


 

 


STEP 6
In the inspector for the particle emitter, change the life parameter to 10 and the speed parameter to 0.


 

 


STEP 7
Under the particle, change the random motion amount to 0.


 

 


STEP 8
Change the gravity parameter to 2.


 

 


STEP 9
This is personal preference in terms of what thickness of light you are going for, but for this, I’ve changed the scale over life to about -55 for the scale at start of life and -25 for scale at end of life.


 

 


STEP 10
This is also a preference depending on what color you want your light to be, but here I’ve changed my light to a blue-ish gradient in my inspector.


 

 


STEP 11
Add a gaussian blur to your light, making it look more natural.  The amount should be either a 1 or 2.


 

 


THAT’S PRETTY MUCH IT!!!
YOU SHOULD NOW HAVE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS A BIT LIKE THIS:

Next entry: What Wonders We Witnessed When We Went To South Beach: 2011

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