Achieve Incredible Lighting Effects in Your Footage with Stage Light in Adobe AE


Hi, I’m Vin with Boris FX, and in this tutorial,
we’re going to take a look at working with BCC Stage Light inside of After Effects. Now, Stage Light is designed to augment the
built in lights within After Effects, but it can also function as a self-contained 3D
lighting system when used in supported non Adobe hosts for example Vegas and Resolve. Now, in this tutorial we’re going to examine
how to use Stage Light to add real-world volumetric lighting to a scene. We’re also going to look at how it works in
concert with After Effect’s built in lights, how to manipulate those lights in 3D space,
and how we can add animated lights to effect shots. So Lets begin: Alright, here I am inside of After Effects,
and I have a clip here of a young woman dancing. Now, right off the bat, the scene has some
interesting lighting. The background is dark, and there’s a nice
spotlight on the dancer. But I want to add some lights and even some
atmosphere. To do this I’m going to go to the lights category
and drag Stage Light onto my clip. When I do, I’m going to get this little light
that I can easily move around and re-position. Now, if I go into the Built in Light subgroup,
I can enable up to three different light sources. For now, I’m just going to work with the first
light, which by default it is set to spot light, but I can quickly change that to a
point if I want. I can also adjust the intensity, the color
and position in XY or Z space. Since I’m going to leave it as a spot light
for now, my contextual controls allow me to adjust the angle, feathering and target. By playing around with these settings I can
easily create a light source above my dancer, and one that matches the lighting pattern
on the ground. I can even adjust the coloring and you know
what? Let’s make it a bit more blue. Now to add atmosphere, all I have to do is
go up to the smoke parameter and enable it. I can adjust the randomness of the smoke by
adjusting the seed. Density controls how thick the smoke is, and
the speed, of course, controls how fast the smoke animates. It’s important to note that my stage light
will illuminate the denser areas of smoke. Areas closer to the light source will reflect
more light. So, because of this I want to make sure that
I fine tune my light intensity as well as the smoke density to prevent over exposure. That’s looking pretty good. Now if you remember, I mentioned that I can
create two additional light sources. By Enabling Source Two and Source 3, I can
now position two additional lights towards the bottom of my scene. As before they default to spot lights so lets
open up the Light Source 2 and change the type to point. This will create an ambient point light instead
of a cone. Increasing the intensity will make that light
pop. And you know what, lets make this one red. Now the trouble with a point light, at least
in this scene is that it currently looks less like a natural light and more like a flare…
some kind of lens flare just floating there. To fix this, I can open up my point light
controls, which are contextually active instead of the spot light controls from earlier. And I can just go in there and feather it
out a bit. Maybe re-position it a bit so it looks like
the light is coming from a source downstage. You know what? And lets do the same thing with the other
light. Once again, I’m going to go and adjust it
to a point light. I’m going to adjust it to a red. And I’m going to start feathering out that
lighting. And there you go. Now, if I toggle this on and off, you can
see how easy it is to quickly add atmosphere and lighting to a scene to create some truly
dynamic looks. Now, I did all of this by adding lights to
a scene, and this method will work great regardless of your host. But as I mentioned earlier, Stage light is
specifically designed to augment the built in lighting in After Effects. What I just showed you can be done in any
host: Vegas, Resolve, Media Composer and others. But lets take a look at how I can use After
Effect’s own lighting system with Stage Light. So, here I have a composition with a basic
text layer. Now I could make my text out of something
from Title Studio or Extruded text if I wanted, but I’m going to just stick with some basic
AE text for simplicity. Now, to add lighting and atmosphere to this
shot, I could do exactly what I did earlier, and create those three lights. But here’s where things get very cool. As you can see, I’ve added three After Effects
Lights to my scene. They add a bit of color and shadows to the
scene, and you can see if I turn on Use Composition Lights, instead of the built in lights we
worked with before, Stage Light is going to switch to using my After Effects lights. Not only does this give me significantly more
control over the look of my lights, but it also means I can create an unlimited number
of lights for my scene. Remember, by default Stage light, is limited
to only the three built in lights that come with it, but when working with AE’s built
in Lighting system, I can control as many lights as I want. This is a clear advantage to using Stage Lights
within After Effects. Now, while I can still make adjustments to
the individual lights in After Effects, I can also adjust them globally from within
the Stage Light parameter panel, because it works in concert with AE’s lighting system. What this means is that I can easily animate
my lights using keyframes, null objects and even expressions. Additionally, if I add a camera to my scene–
the default settings will do fine– I can link this stage light to the camera animations. By enabling, use Comp Camera, any changes
I make to the After Effects camera will be reflected in the lighting. This is very handy when dealing with multiple
lights and complex effects. And as you can see, because we’re working
with AE’s native lights and camera, I’m able to create these intricate lighting setups
and camera movements, that also preserve the depth of field, and create complex animations,
all from within a single effect instance. Now one of the things I like to do is actually
use Stage light not to light a scene, but to add to my particle effects. For example, here I’ve created a little animation,
and what I did was I animated a null object in After effects to spin as it moves across
the scene. I then linked an AE Light to it, and am using
that light not only as my particle emitter, but also as my light source for stage light. This allows me to create the simple orb that
animates with my particle effect. If I turn on the smoke effect, I can add very
some cool volumetric lighting to really make things pop. But ultimately that’s all there is to it. I’m Vin Morreale, and for more great tutorials,
Don’t forget to check out the Boris FX Website! Take Care!

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