Game Development Reference
Figure 9.1 The 4-Color Gradient
at its default settings, with the
effect control points for the four
pieces by making two of the colors dark, and the remaining two
light, and using the Overlay blend mode, and then animating the
effect control points appropriately. At the end of the day, I usually
go elsewhere for my gradient needs.
The Advanced Lightning Effect
The Advanced Lightning effect is one of the greatest power-
houses in all of After Effects. It creates very realistic lightning, but
it's also excellent for displays of sparks and other electrical dem-
onstrations. One of the impressive features in this effect that may
not be readily apparent is its ability to work around alpha infor-
mation. So, you can have lightning wrap around a logo or some
other object, and the effect is spectacular.
Let's fi rst look at how to apply the effect in a simple way, and
go on from there. First, let's open the fi le Advanced Lightning.
aep from the Chapter 9 folder of the exercise fi les. In the haunted
house comp, all layers should be shy except for the subtly-named
!!LIGHTNING!! layer. Select that layer and apply the Advanced
Lightning effect to it. As soon as you do, you'll notice that the
black solid is completely hidden, as it has been wholly replaced
by the lightning. This newfound transparency allows the back-
ground layers to show through.
We're having a diffi cult time seeing our lightning because
its default location in this effect is in the middle of our comp.
Normally, that's all fi ne and good, but in this case, our house is
obscuring the lightning. So, we need to change its position. We
can adjust the position of lightning by moving the Origin and