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  • ink flow set up and manipulation help

  • Mike Morris

    December 29, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Psyop has done it again!

    These guys continually amaze me. Their usage of ink flow blows my mind. My question, then, is this: How on earth do they do it?

    I know most people would agree that actually filming the ink and bringing it in to AE would be the best way to go about it. However, I am new to this style, and need a lot of help, and cannot seem to find it anywhere on the internet. If anyone has experience and knows how to produce this look, please help me out! Whether it is how to set up a tank of water to drip into, what kind of ink to use, how to film it, then how to manipulate it to do whatever you want… I need to know how to do it all!

    For more sources on what I am talking about, look at psyop’s site at: (particularly look at their “Ace” piece.

    Thanks in advance!

    Sib Ntsib Dua


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  • Lars Bunch

    December 29, 2008 at 2:43 pm


    Because the ink flows are closely integrated with the body’s surface and its motion and because they flow neatly over rocks in 3D space, I suspect most of this animation is done in a 3D program using very good fluid dynamics. (Maya Unlimited, for example)

    If I were to attempt something like this in AE, I think a lot of planning and storyboarding would be the first order of business. Once the main character was filmed or animated, one might then set up a cloud tank to shoot practical ink drops from specific angles with a clear idea of where each drop was to be placed in the film.

    Then when compositing the ink drops, one would expect to do a great deal of masking, using many, many layers to carefully blend it all together.

    But as I mentioned above, I don’t think this sort of animation is a job for AE.


  • Mike Zimbard

    December 29, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    What Dave says is very true – spots of this level of complexity are tackled by big teams of designers, 2D/3D artists, etc and it shows. If you want to tackle something more simplistic in After Effects I would check out Andrew Kramer’s ink flows ( and look at Riot Gear) and just try building some simple comps. This is all footage that he shot and is designed for motion graphic artists. For more control you’ll definitely a dedicated fluid dynamics program like Real Flow. Good luck!

  • Miguel A Salek

    December 31, 2008 at 9:23 am

    hello, i was on charge of the CG(3d)ink on this spot, ink was created using a tool ive been developing for about 2 years inside sidefx houdini and is called mINk. check for more clips showing cgInk.

    (additional (enviromental)ink(footage) was added in ae using cameras and nulls from the 3d scene.

    hope it helps.


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