Magic Bullet Looks: Creating Teleportation Effects

Magic Bullet Looks is another great plug-in for Adobe After Effects production software suite that allows you to recreate a wide variety of different ‘looks’ for your production. In effect, you can shoot a video at a particular location and make it look like it was shot in entirely different environmental and climatic conditions. You can use it to change the mood, look and feel of your video footage, and create better composites.

The plug-in is fully supported with Adobe After Effects and provides a wide range of presets to choose from. Another USP for the plug-in is the ability to work as a stand-alone unit that lets you work independently of a native or base software package. You will need: Adobe After Effects, Magic Bullet Looks and Particular.

Step 1: Design Particle System

You will fire up Adobe After Effects and start with creating a new composition called ‘particles’ and set up the necessary parameters. Create a new circular solid and convert the mask to attach it to a particle emitter. Add a point light in the scene to drive the particles, and translate the circle’s mask to match the light just added. You can now delete the mask layer, as it is no longer needed. You will now set an expression for the light position to make it loop out of the position in a circular motion. Flip the motion by 90 degrees by creating a new null object and converting it to a new 3D layer. Add an upward motion to the light by only updating the y-axis value along the time line. You will now have a helical motion for the light.

Create a new solid and add Trapcode particular effects. Set the particle physics to the revolving light settings and connect it to light saved earlier. You will now set the emitter levels to zero and set progressively higher values along keyframes that will fall to zero again and turn off the directional spread. Set other parameters as desired. Enable motion blur if you like. Once satisfied, you will render this composition.

Step 2: Build Transporter Beam

Use the previous composition render file as a base for a new composition and add a key frame to the location where you want to add the beam. You will copy the particle layer and flip it horizontally to show two opposite vertical particle columns. You will arrange the copies to create a more condensed stream from the given source. Configure until satisfied with the look of the outcome. You may want to add lens flares for added effect.

Step 3: Merge the Layers

You will now import a background layer and a character to teleport using the effects. Simply merge the layers and adjust the planar and temporal settings to match the background and character with the transporter beam composition, and you should be ready to go with your teleportation effects.