Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to make a UAV in after effects (a.k.a predator drone, a.k.a c-130 UAV)

So, if you play, or have ever seen someone play call of duty or modern warfare, you've most likely seen a UAV or  a predator drone, and when the game comes up with a predator drone, it usually shows an inverted black and white land scape (kind of like a negative for a black and white picture) and it has lots of random numbers (some not) and things like RPG THREAT CONFIRMED in flashing red letters, the other elements are the movement of the drone (or the ground) and the stratus clouds, which can be simulated from careful animation and modifying settings in fractal noise. So, to the tutorial.

1. Import a picture from google earth of a wide city scape ( from the top)

2. Drag it to the new comp button and name the layer BG (background)

3. Add a tint effect and make sure the a and b colors are set to default ( black and white) and make sure that the tinting amount is a 100

4. Now add an invert effect to the BG layer, set the channel to RGB and the blending with background to 0.

5. Open up the transform properties and click the stopwatch for keyframes on position and rotation. Now do a good, slow rotation animation and a good slow position animation to have it rotate and move upward, you may have to scale the BG layer up or the comp down.

6. if you want you can add red enemy intels and scale them down, now parent them to the BG layer.

7. Create a new solid and apply the effect fractal noise to it.

8. Make sure you have these exact settings on fractal noise (you can modify them to get what you want),
Fractal Type: Basic
Noise Type: Soft Linear
No inverting
Contrast: 380
Brightness: 0
OverFlow: Allow HDR Results
Rotation: 0x +0.0
Check Uniform Scaling
Scale: 92
keyframe the offset turbulence and animate it slowly throughout the clip (it doesn't matter in which direction)
complexity 17.5
Keyframe the evolution and animate it slowly through the clip (you go up or down in values, it depends on which direction the clouds are going in)
opacity: 55
blending mode normal

just to make things clear, that last step was MY settings, you can modify depending on what you want.

9. Set the blending mode on the cloud layer to screen and parent it to the BG layer, play it back, you should now see a moving negative landscape with clouds and little red intels on it, (depending if you added intels)

10. Now it's time to add text and random numbers, add whatever type of text you want, for example, i added c-130 military UAV drone in white text along with some random numbers and in flashing red text RPG THREAT CONFIRMED, so, at this point, it's your creativity that comes in, you have to play around with it, one thing, if you want randomly animating numbers, type them out and position them, open up the text drop down that's in the layer drop down, and click on the animate button and select character offset, now animate the value with a keyframe up or down depending on what you want

So, if you followed my instructions, you should have a video that somewhat resembles this photo, also, vfx coach on youtube has a tutorial that covers the same principle.

1 comment:

  1. FYI, a C-130 is not a UAV. It's a manned cargo/transport aircraft. An AC-130 is a manned armed aircraft equipped with artillery cannon and heavy machine guns.