Animating and Creating 3D Objects in After Effects

Animating a Plug-In Effects Layer (Saber, Soft Smoke)

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This video segment demonstrates using a plug-in effect (Saber, Soft Smoke), time-reversing a layer, and animating and adjusting effects parameters.


  • Animating
  • effects
  • solid
  • layer
  • masking
  • time-reversing layers
  • pre-composing
  • plug-ins
  • Soft Smoke

About this video

Jeff Shaffer
First online
14 March 2019
Online ISBN
Copyright information
© Jeff Shaffer 2019

Video Transcript

So where we left off we had created this soft smoke layer here. And you can see what it’s doing right now. It looks though like the smoke layer is going into this sphere rather than coming out of it here if I play this through.

So what I want to do is have it come out of the sphere. So in order to do that, I’m going to time reverse this layer here, the soft smoke layer. And when I do that, you see this series of slashes running through it. That indicates that it’s time reversed.

And I wanted to synchronize with the cymbal crash. So I’m going to go right to the cymbal crash marker there try to get right on that point there. That’s 1015 in the timeline.

I’m going to start to animate this. And I’ll bring this up a little bit so I can see more of the layers here. I’m going to animate this with the effects controls. And I’m going to make a key frame right there where glow intensity is. And I’m going to make that brighter, maybe about 45% or so right there.

And then I’m going to go back a couple of key frames to 1013. And there my first key frame for intensity is only going to be 15%. So we get this kind of effect where the crash is.

Now I’m also going to do a couple other parameters here coinciding with those. I’m going to click on this layer. I want to hit the P key and the Shift S key, so I can see both position and scale.

Since we’re at 1015, I’ll set that position key frame where that is right now. And I’m going to go back to 1013 here. The scale, I’m going to set this first key frame. The scale is going to be all the way down to 19%.

And the position of that will actually change. I’m going to change it to 940 and 512. So it’s just kind of in the middle there as you can see.

I’ll go to the next key frame. That’s going to change the position to 548 and 466. And the scale we’ll change to 117 and 129.5. So now play that through.

All right, it coincides nicely with a burst. But I’d like it to fade off at the end there. So I just want to find a good spot for it to fade off.

I’m going to go out to 1112 in the timeline. That’s about a second later, 1112. And I’m going to change my glow intensity down to 0 on that. So we should see a burst and a fade out like so.