“Daniel Brodesky shows how you can create more interesting fade effects with some simple Ae tools.
Fading to black gets used a lot in production. There are times however when you can expand on the look by creating a more interesting fade effect in After Effects.
This is where Daniel Brodesky shows a quick tip for using a black and white map as the premise for a fade effect in After Effects. This in addition to the standard wipe effects in Ae – in particular, the gradient wipe effect, can give you a more dynamic fade-to-black than simply animating opacity on a solid.
There are a few wipe effects that are fairly straight forward in Ae. The gradient wipe effect however, lays path to some creative opportunities. Because the effect works on black an white pixels, its is easy to create interesting wipes and fades based on an image, procedurally created or otherwise.
If you are using a procedurally generated black and white map, you also have the opportunity to keyframe visual changes to the base map, which in turn will give you interesting animation while the effect is doing the wipe. It is a fairly simple technique, but it does offer a lot of creative possibilities to add more polish to certain projects.
” – Lester Banks