One of my favorite powers from my favorite sister.  Since Piper's freezing power isn't really a visible effect, this tutorial would not exist if it weren't for a little tweaking.  I think this kicked up version turned out great.   Click here to see a sample (requires Windows Media Player).



Materials Needed:

    -Adobe After Effects v.5+

    -Still or video camera


        Step 1:  Open After Effects and create a new composition set to the image size and time length you desire.  Import your video footage and drag it into the composition.

         Step 2:  Go to Layer-New Layer-Solid.  The color doesn't really matter, but make sure you select Make Comp Size.  Name the layer Radio Waves.  Once you've created the layer, go to Effects-Render-Radio Waves.

         Step 3:  If you run your time slider back and forth, you'll notice that the Radio Waves effect produces the expanding circles like, well, radio waves.  This will work fine if your shot looks directly at the person doing the freezing.  If so, you can skip this step.  I used a side shot for my example, so we're going to need to create a mask.  In the Timeline window, right click on your Radio Waves layer and select Mask-New Mask.  Now double click on the layer.  The new window that opens is where you'll create your mask.  Use the Pen  tool to create your mask.  The picture below shows my half circle mask.  NOTE:  If you're new to creating masks check our After Effect's help file.  This mask will be blurred, so it doesn't have to be perfect.


         Step 4:  With the Radio Waves layer still selected, hit E on your keyboard and click on radio waves to open the Effects Control window.  Change the Wave Type from Polygon to Mask.  It should automatically select the mask you created, if not, find the mask rollout and select it yourself.  Move your time slider back and forth to see what the waves look like with your mask on.  If you need to adjust your mask, do it.  The Producer Point controls where the waves originate.

         Step 5:  Add a Fast Blur to your Radio Waves layer (Effects-Blur-Fast Blur) and set the Blurriness to 25.

         Step 6:  Either hit Ctrl+D or go Edit-Duplicate to duplicate your Radio Waves layer.  Name the duplicate Frost.  Change the Fast Blur amount to 50 for the Frost layer.  NOTE:  Use your judgment on the blurriness, if it looks to blurry or not enough, change the amount.  Under the radio waves effect, in the Stoke rollout, change the color to a light, frosty blue.  Finally, right click on the Frost layer and select the Add Transfer Mode.

         Step 7:  This step is optional, but it does enhance the effect some.  With your Frost layer selected add Effect-Distort-Wave Warp.  Change the Wave Type to Noise and change the Direction to 0 degrees.

         Step 8:  Select your Background layer and duplicate it.  Name the duplicate Distort Wave.  Now add Effect-Distort-Wave Warp.  The only settings you need to adjust for the Wave Warp are the Wave Height and Width.  I can't tell you an exact setting to use here because these will change based on your camera angle, distance, and so on.  I found that changing the Wave Height to 5 and leaving everything else at the default gives pretty good results for most shots.

         Step 9:  Finally, with the Distort Layer still selected, go Layer-Track Matte-Alpha Matte.  This will automatically turn off the layer just above this one (the Radio Waves layer in this case).  Don't turn it back on, we want this layer to act as a matte and not be seen.

That's it.  Hope it wasn't too difficult to follow.  Good luck.

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