Game Development Reference
THE GENERATE EFFECTS
Tied with the Distort category for the second largest effect cat-
egory (behind Color Correction), the Generate effects contain
a multitude of creativity. The common theme of the Generate
effects is creating from scratch. That's what makes these effects
so much fun for me. They represent the starting point of experi-
mentation in many cases. If you need to create motion graphics
elements or textures from scratch in your workfl ow, then it really
pays to be familiar with the Generate effects.
The 4-Color Gradient Effect
As the name implies, the 4-Color Gradient effect creates a
4-color gradient. Although, the effect doesn't quite behave as
you might expect it to. It essentially creates four individual color
points that blend. In almost every other Adobe application
(and elsewhere in After Effects itself ), colors in a gradient blend
in a line (linear gradients), or in concentric color rings (radial
The main components of the 4-Color Gradient are the four
color spots, each of which has its own color swatch and effect
control point. By default, the colors are a little too, um . . . fl am-
boyant for my tastes ( Fig. 9.1 ).
The Blend value determines how well the colors blend.
Increasing the value causes them to blend more, like drops of
food coloring in water. Decreasing the Blend value makes each
color more distinct. The Jitter value adds a small amount of noise
in the gradient. There are also opacity and blend mode settings
as well, so that you can blend these colors into the source layer to
which the effect was applied.
The major problem I have with the 4-Color Gradient effect
is that I can't create a spot that doesn't have gradient color.
Otherwise, this effect would be apposite for creating a quick and
easily adjustable vignette. As it stands, the 4-Color Gradient effect
can still be used to create animated lights, like lights at a party.
It can also be used to shift focus on photos during documentary
If you're looking
to create a
or radial gradient that
behaves like traditional
multicolor gradients in
other Adobe programs,
create a rectangular shape
layer that occupies the
screen, and fi ll it with a
gradient (linear or radial).
The gradient editor for
shape layer fi lls is more
traditional. You can also
create gradients with the
Gradient Overlay layer
style, or the Ramp effect,
discussed later in this
chapter. You can then use
blend modes to composite
the gradient into the layers