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Forums Boris FX Particle Illusion Igniting a Soccer Ball With pI3 and After Effects

  • Igniting a Soccer Ball With pI3 and After Effects

  • Jeff Bellune

    September 13, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve finally had a chance to get back to a personal project.

    I’m editing a highlight reel for a youth recreational league, and I used this effect for the first series of highlights after the title sequence.

    Masking and color grading in AE took the largest amount of time. Timewarp was used for the ending transition to the next sequence.

    The clip is 1 minute 47 seconds long. Hopefully you won’t find it too “cheesy”.

    Large Windows Media at 640×480 (11.2 MB)

    Small Windows Media at 320×240 (5.2 MB)


    The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0

  • Alan Lorence

    September 13, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Excellent work, and not “cheesy” at all. Next time, on the big kicks, add some sparkle “spray” that shoots off. =)

    I’d like to hear how you did all of the camera tracking, and controlled the “zoom” of the particles.

    (The only sport more entertaining than peewee soccer is peewee ice hockey.)


  • Jeff Bellune

    September 14, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the kind words and for the “spray” advice!

    I used the Star Trail 2.0 emitter. Typically I animated the entire emitter’s zoom property to account for camera zooms. On some shots I had to adjust the size of the big glow particle to keep it reasonably sized wrt to the rest of the emitter.

    I tried tracking the balls in AE, but the ball moved behind obstructions too often for me to get a good enough track.

    That left me with performing roto in pI, which I did. I exported each background clip from AE as a 648×480 HuffYUV .avi file so that pI would accept it as a background. The emitter stage was also sized to 648×480

    With very few exceptions, each position keyframe in pI was created “curved”. That allowed me to adjust the bezier handles to account for changes in both ball position and ball acceleration over several frames without having to add a keyframe for each frame. Not having a keyframe for every frame also smoothed out the motion of the particles quite a bit.

    Once I had the emitter’s path complete for a given clip, I imported the emitter into AE as a 32-bit .png sequence. Then I dropped it into a 720×480 (0.9 PAR) comp and started masking. That involved more roto work because I needed the emitter trails to be behind some players and in front of others. So I animated the masks field-by-field in 59.94 fps comp to make sure that the emitter trails appeared to be behind the players when appropriate.

    If you’d like any examples of my pI or AE projects, I’d be happy to email them to you (sans footage, of course).


    The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0

  • Aharon Rabinowitz

    September 16, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    probably the best roto and tracking work I’ve seen with PI. I think we’d ALL love to see more.

    Have you thought about writing a tutorial on your workflow?

    Aharon Rabinowitz

    Click the link below to subscribe to the Creative Cow After Effects Podcast, and get free AE video tutorials:

  • Jeff Bellune

    September 17, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks, Aharon! I’ve seen some of your work in AE and with pI, and that’s quite a compliment coming from you. I was happy with the way it turned out, but I never thought it would be considered the “best” of anything. 🙂

    I hadn’t considered a tut, but I will.

    I’m on vacation until next week; let me explore some ideas when I get back.


    The Focal Easy Guide to Adobe Encore DVD 2.0

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