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 Natural looking aurora and stars - how to?? 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
Look at this timelapsevideo:
https://vimeo.com/16917950
What are he doing in After Effects to make the northern lights move so natural, and at same time let the stars almost not move at all?


Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:25 pm
Posts: 153
Location: North Bend, Washington
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
Looks like some type of "dissolve" transition added between each frame, so they blend together more smoothly.


Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
I think you are right, when i read one of the comments to the video, he talks about laying in dissolve in to each image.


Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:47 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
Can anybody tell which effect to use in AE to get this kind of dissolve?


Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:42 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:37 pm
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Location: Córdoba, Argentina
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
nikonman12 wrote:
Look at this timelapsevideo:
https://vimeo.com/16917950
What are he doing in After Effects to make the northern lights move so natural, and at same time let the stars almost not move at all?

Looks like he slowed down the footage with Twixtor or something like that.

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Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:17 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
So you can´t do this in After Effects?


Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:22 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:00 pm
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Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
Twixtor is an "add on" (can't remember what it's called) for AE and it essentially smooths out video that doesn't have enough frames for smooth slow mo.


Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:59 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:25 pm
Posts: 153
Location: North Bend, Washington
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
nikonman12 wrote:
Can anybody tell which effect to use in AE to get this kind of dissolve?

Possibly he just turned on "Frame Blending".


Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:32 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
Twixtor is a pretty expensive plugin DerekMellott!

I have now tried frame blending, and can not get the stars and aurora to move so sloooow and nice. I then have timestretch to 300%. If i increase it to 500%, the clouds become too choppy.


Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:25 pm
Posts: 153
Location: North Bend, Washington
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
I think I figured it out - at least one potential way to do this. The key is to import all the still images *individually* - NOT as a sequence. Then from the AE project panel, select all the image files and drag them into a new composition. You can probably play with these settings, but here's what I tried:

Still Duration: 6 frames (eg, 5 fps in a 30fps video)
[x] Sequence Layers
[x] Overlap
Duration: 4 frames
Transition: Dissolve Front Layer

This seemed to give a pretty smooth transition between frames. It was still a bit too fast, so I set Time-Stretch to 300%. I tried this with some aurora timelapse pics I took in Iceland last year. Each image was a 4-second exposure, with little or no interval between shots (set to multiple-shot mode, locked down the shutter release).

Here's the quick & dirty results (password = "aurora"):



Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:03 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
There you got it Jim! :-)
Exactly what i was looking for!!
Just one question: In "still duration" and "duration" in the "New composition from selection"-box, how to get "frames" instead of time (0:00:00:00)?

Thank you for helping me :-)


Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:58 am
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:25 pm
Posts: 153
Location: North Bend, Washington
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
nikonman12 wrote:
There you got it Jim! :-)
Exactly what i was looking for!!
Just one question: In "still duration" and "duration" in the "New composition from selection"-box, how to get "frames" instead of time (0:00:00:00)?

Thank you for helping me :-)

The last :00 in the time is in frames. I think all of the "time" fields in AE use this same format by default:
Hours : Minutes : Seconds : Frames


Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:31 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 am
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Location: Northern-Norway
Post Re: Natural looking aurora and stars - how to??
Aha! Learning something new every day! Thanks again :-)


Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:12 pm
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