Adobe After Effects

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  • I'm just curious, but has anyone used after effects for special fx in their game? I would like to know how it could be done. Thanks!

  • I've used after effects for a while and intergrating it into your art style can be one of the biggest issues. Say I create an effect that stylizes my fire in each animated frame. ( Hand drawn texture style fire) Once i've imported this into my game , its almost like the rest of the game has to be doped with similar effects that can give a displeasing result.

    Help us scope out what you are planning to do:

    What's your experience with After Effects

    What special fx are you planning to do ?

    Think about the visual continuity of your effect.

    If you plan to simply follow a after effects guide for an effect and believe it will fit seamlessly into your production. I'd say steer clear of after effects. Generally a solid understanding of colour and visual style will help so if you've got some experience post some pictures of the concept you'd like to achieve.

  • After effects is an amazing software that is capable of doing almost anything that comes in mind. That being said, like any other software, is limited by the users knowledge and imagination.

    It has many-many tools that can achieve different visual results and to be honest if you begin staking one effect on top of the other, there is no end to it.

    It has two flaws in my opinion:

    1) It doesn't have a decent frame by frame painting tool for making 2d animations.

    2) Its 3d (2.5d) workspace is very uncomfortable and its visual feedback limited by the comp's dimensions (!). The "newcomer" Hitfilm has a far superior 3d workflow.

    And an other thing that I blame it is that it has spoiled me with its masking, precomping and layer adjustments and I want the same functionality in Construct

  • I played with Hitfilm 2 just recently and TimelineFX. Both are cool tools.

  • After Effects is geared towards motion graphics design, and as such, is less convenient for game graphics design. Special effects like explosions and particle effects can be rendered out as alpha transparent png sequences, but unless you take very careful precautions in limiting the number of frames and you make sure to loop the effect seamlessly, it may wind up eating up resources for breakfast.

    You are far better off doing special effects within the Construct environment. However, if you MUST use AFx, remember to:

    1) limit the # of frames as much as you can;

    2) keep the overall size of the effect small (a lot of effects can be scaled up without much of an effect on quality, and it animates quickly - so no-one will really notice);

    3) if the effect must be active for a longer time in the game (such as a persistent "healing" effect), make sure to seamlessly repeat the effect with again as little frames as you can get away with;

    4) export as an alpha transparent PNG sequence (RGBA 8bit per channel!).

    Btw, here is a tutorial demonstrating how to animate a retro-style character in After Effects: ... character/

    ...but honestly, it seems rather contrived and an awkward tool for this type of work in my opinion.

  • angeltekno

    I've used After Effects for a game before. You can export a QuickTime movie with alpha channel enabled and open it Photoshop. You can then resize it, edit it, and export each frame as a PNG. Keep the animations small, because C2 has a ghosting problem when using lengthy animations.

    You can also export a TIF sequence with alpha, but I haven't tried it. I've heard Photoshop doesn't handle TIFs very well. It sometimes ignores the alpha channel.

  • Thank you all for the replies! I have this idea of using a lightning bolt to strike down and delete the blocks below. I don't like the cartoony look that I have now. I prefer something a little bit more realistic, where it is bright and casts it's light onto the other blocks. If this can be achieved within Construct 2, I would like to know. I've worked with after effects before, but I'm no pro at it. Are there any good tutorials on how to use particle effects? Thanks!


    This is similar to what I'm thinking.


  • It's pretty easy to achieve this result within after effects using the advanced lightning effect. The hard part will be to transfer the "mechanics" (meaning how does the system react to your scene elements) of the lightning into Construct.

    Have a look on my example in this topic:

    It tackles a way to do lightning and I didn't even used after effects. I made every electric arc within Photoshop (Gimp will do just fine). Since I tried to somehow resemble the OPs example I didn't use forked arcs, but nothing stops you to do it like that and, in my opinion, it will look even better with forked arks!

  • That is a really cool example. I looked at your capx and wouldn't know how to start on something like that. Great job. I can definitely learn from your example. Thank you for sharing!

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  • As much as I hate Adobe as a company, there really is little to compare to After effects when it comes to motion graphics. I do mograph for a living, and AE and Cinema4D are the industry standard tools for good reason. There are better hardcore compositing apps that are nodal such as Nuke and Fusion, but AE is the go for motion graphics and game graphics, as you can do anything from cutout character animation to eyecandy fx very easily and just spit out a PNG sequence for your game sprite.

    Another aspect that is overlooked by many game artists is using animated shape layers/layer styles for game sprites. I am developing a couple of games that have a modern vector/hard edge look and the use of shape layers, point animation and glow/blur effects would be very difficult to achieve with any other tool.

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