Ok, this one is a bit tough to recreate.  The show uses a program that is only for creating particles and turning objects into particles, ect.  Nothing in this tutorial is overly complex, but to follow it you should have a good understanding on where everything is in After Effects.

 

SKILL LEVEL:  INTERMEDIATE

Materials Needed:

    -Adobe After Effects (Pro Version with Production Bundle)

    -Still or video camera

 

        Step 1: First of all this effect will require the use of a greenscreen or an animated mask. I will not cover how to do either of these in this tutorial. If you're using a greenscreen, then refer to the help file that came with your removal software. If you're going to create an animated mask, then refer to After FX's help file. For the sake of this tutorial, I'll assume you're going to greenscreen, so import your footage of the person you wish to orb and the background of wherever they're orbing from. Create a new composition called Greenscreen and proceed to remove the greenscreen.

        Step 2: Create another composition, this time call it Blue. Drag and drop your Greenscreen comp into the Blue comp. So there's no confusion later, rename this layer Person. Go to Effect-Stylize-Glow. Apply the
following settings. 

                              

        Step 3: Go to the frame where you want your orb effect to start and place a keyframe of 0 for the Glow Intensity. Move ahead 5 frames and change the intensity to .5.

        Step 4: Now apply Effect-Blur & Sharpen-Fast Blur. Change the Blur Dimensions so that it only blurs vertically. Go to the frame where you want your orb effect to start and place a keyframe of 0 for the blurriness
and then move forward 10 frames and change the blurriness to 25.

        Step 5: Next apply Effect-Blur & Sharpen-Radial Blur. Change the type to Zoom. Again, on the frame where your orb effect is to start, place a keyframe for an Amount of 0. Move ahead 10 frames and change the Amount to somewhere between 120 and 150 (whatever looks best to you).

        Step 6: With your Person layer selected in the Time Layout window, hit P on your keyboard to bring up the Position settings. Find the frame where you want your orb effect to begin and create a keyframe for the current position. Here comes the part where you'll have to use your best judgment.  For my example it took only 45 frames for my subject to move off screen, but yours may take more or less time. Move to the frame where your person will be off screen and proceed to move your Person layer up (and maybe over) until the layer is no longer visible in your selected viewport size. You should now have a layer (your person) moving up and off the screen.

Step 7: Now duplicate your Person layer and rename it Blue. Open the Effects Controls dialogue for your new Blue layer and delete all the effects (Glow, Fast Blur, Radial Blur). Once you've deleted these go to Effects-Render-Fill and apply the following settings.

        Step 8: Once you've applied the Fill effect, add a Fast Blur to the Blue layer. Change the Blur Dimensions so that it only blurs Vertically and change the Blurriness to 60.

        Step 9: Exit the Effects Controls and right click on your Blue layer, and change the Transfer Mode to Add. With the Blue layer still selected hit T on your keyboard to bring up the Opacity settings. Place a keyframe for
0% opacity at the frame where you want your orb effect to start. Move forward 5 frames and change the opacity to 100%.

        Step 10: Now duplicate your entire Blue composition and rename it Center Orbs.  There are only 2 changes you need to make in your Center Orbs comp. First, delete the Glow and Radial Blur effects from the duplicate Person layer.  Second, move to the last keyframe for the Fast Blur effect and change the Blurriness from 25 to 75.

        Step 11: Create one final composition named Orbing. Drag in your Blue comp, then your Center Orbs comp and finally your Greenscreen comp. Right click on the Center Orbs layer and change the Transfer Mode to Add. Rename the Greenscreen layer C Orbs Mask.

        Step 12: Now the hard part begins. Select your C Orbs Mask layer and apply Effects-Simulation-Particle Playground. Under the Cannon rollout set the Particle Radius to 0, then apply the following settings to Layer Exploder and Gravity.

        Step 13: Find the frame where you want your orb effect to begin and then backtrack two keyframes (if your effect begins at frame 10 backtrack to frame 8). Under Layer Exploder create keyframes for the Radius of New Particles and Velocity of Dispersion, both set to 0. Move forward 2 frames and change the Radius of New Particles to 1.75, move 2 more frames and change this back to 0 (this means we won't see new particles after a certain point, acting like an off switch). Move ahead 8 more frames a change the Velocity of Dispersion to
300.

        Step 14: Now move about 5 frames past where your effect begins, under Gravity, set a keyframe for Force Random Spread to 0. Move forward 2 frames and change this to .5 and move ahead another 3 frames and set it back to 0.

        Step 15: With the C Orbs Mask layer still selected, add Effect-Render-Fill. Change the color to pure white and set the Opacity to 100%.

        Step 16: To soften the rather hard look of the particles add Effect-Blur-Fast Blur.  The amount you blur here will depend on the shot. If you have a close up shot of your subject, then you may need to blur a little more. I set the Amount to 2 for my example.

        Step 17: Select your Center Orbs layer. Hit T on your keyboard to bring up the Opacity settings and move the where your effect begins. Add a keyframe of 0%, move ahead 5 frames and change this to 100%. Move forward 5 frames again, place a keyframe (still for 100%), then move 10 more frames forward and set the value back to 0%. Finally, select Layer-Track Matte-Luma Inverted Matte.

        Step 18: Duplicate your C Orbs Mask layer and name the duplicate Large Orbs. Under Layer Exploder move your last two keyframes for Radius of New Particles so that they are only one frame apart. This will cause fewer particles to be created on this layer. This is the only change you'll make to the Particle Playground effect, leave all other settings alone.

        Step 19: Still with the Large Orb layer selected, go to Effect-Stylize-Glow. Now before we change any settings, in the Effect Control dialogue, move the Glow effect so that it is in between Fill and Fast Blur. NOTE: In After Effects the order in which effects are assigned makes a big difference. Once you've repositioned the Glow, use the following settings for the effect itself.

        Step 20: Hit T on your keyboard to bring up Opacity. First, delete the present keyframes.  Now find the spot, about 5 frames before you want your orb effect to begin and create a keyframe for 0%. Move ahead about 20 frames and change the Opacity to 100%.

        Step 21: Now duplicate your Large Orbs layer and rename the new layer Small Orbs. Under Particle Playground and Layer Exploder, change the second keyframe in on the Radius of New Particles to .75. Move the first keyframe for Velocity of Dispersion so that it's about 10 frames before your orb effect begins. Change the second Dispersion keyframe to somewhere between 150 and 200, whatever looks best to you. NOTE: The more you change the Dispersion value, the wider the particles will be spread. Finally, under Gravity, delete the keyframes for Force Randomness Spread and make sure the amount is set to 0.


That's it. I know it's a bit long and tedious, but I think it gives some pretty good
results. Good luck.

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