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After Effects Preset

Aurora Borealis

I really enjoy astronomy and keep an eye to the sky. This week is the Geminid meteor shower and today Space Weather is reporting that a “coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth today at approximately 1400 UT, and the impact may cause strong geomagnetic storms.” You know what that means? Auroras!

Sadly, I’ve lived in Michigan my entire life and have never seen an aurora. We’re known for our cloudy and overcast conditions and cold winters, so that does inhibit one from going out and seeing the real deal. Plus, I live in the city and the light polution often kills the experience. In other words, I’ve only seen video of auroras, so this is my interpretation of the beauty of an aurora.

I’ve created a preset for an aurora which uses Trapcode Particular and Fast Blur, as well as a crazy expression that uses some advanced geometry. I’m still learning expressions and I tend to keep modifying the values until I get what I like. I wanted a large wavy movement that moved from left to right across the screen, in a somewhat random manner. I’m sure the expression could’ve been done a bit more neatly, but it gets the job done and it’s very easy to modify.

The following was applied to Particular’s X,Y Position.

a=Math.sin(time*5)*50;
b=Math.sin(time*400)*20;
y=a*b;
x=random(y,a);
[x, y]

Download preset (AE 7)

View Sample Movie

If you need a demo of Particular, you can download the full Trapcode Suite here (Shine, 3D Stroke, Echospace, Sound Keys, Starglow, Lux, Echospace and Particular)

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