Game Development Reference
Grayscale Effects as Maps
Many effects in After Effects, such as Fractal Noise, Cell Pattern, and Wave World, generate grayscale patterns.
Several other effects, such as Displacement Map, Shatter, and Caustics, can use patterns like this. So, even though
we've used a custom hand-drawn map for use with Displacement Map in this chapter, don't forget about all the count-
less ways After Effects provides for you to create additional controller maps from scratch.
The Liquify Effect
The Liquify effect is one of my favorites, and it acts very simi-
larly to the Photoshop plug-in of the same name. It has great
practical application, and it's the ultimate cure for boredom.
Think of the Liquify effect turning a layer into clay. In the Liquify
effect controls, you are given access to tools that allow you to
sculpt a layer as digital clay. As you can imagine, this is great for
a million and one reasons. You can diminish unattractive fea-
tures. You can also exaggerate facial features, such as eyes, to cre-
ate a creepy look. Or, as we'll see, you can use it as the ultimate
science-fi ction/fantasy character creation tool.
Let's see how this works. Open the Liquify.aep project from the
Chapter 7 folder of the exercise fi les. Apply the Liquify effect to
the baby layer in the Liquify comp (Fig. 7.24).
Figure 7.24 The baby layer
in the Liquify.aep project. This
photo appears courtesy of Angela
In the Liquify effect's controls in the Effect Controls panel,
you'll fi nd a set of tools to use on your layer (Fig. 7.25).
The default tool is the warp tool (its icon looks like a fi nger),
which allows you to push pixels around as you might with your