Fractal Noise is a very powerful built in effect within After Effects. But beginner visual effects artists and motion designers will often be overwhelmed by the effect because of how complex it is. In this post I wanted to go over three popular use cases for this effect.
Smoke & Fog
Probably one of the most popular ways to use the effect is for smoke, fire, and different elements. This is one of the easier ways to use the effect as by default it kind of already has a smokey texture.
In the tutorial below, I show you how you can take this effect and morph it into a rising smoke type of visual effect. By changing some of the default settings, you can create something pretty cool.
Stars & Textures
Another way to use this effect is to use it as a texture layer. By adjusting the contrast and size, you can make the fractal much smaller or larger. This creates a nice grain texture that you can use inside text or as a background element.
In the After Effects tutorial below, I cover how to edit the effect to create and animate twinkling stars. Check it our below!
The Most Powerful Combo
And lastly, probably one of the most powerful ways you can use this effect is with other effects. You can use Fractal Noise with a blur or color effects to create some unique looks. By stacking different effects on top of each other you end up unlocking the full potential of the effect.
One example I did was a waving banner flag animation. I wanted to create a waving animation of the American flag. I used a combination of effects including Fractal Noise, Gaussian Blur, and CC Slant. Check out how I put this animation together in the tutorial below!
If you think the Fractal Noise effect is pretty cool, you might also want to consider reading this blog post here where I cover the top best effects I use in After Effects as a motion designer and visual effects artist. One of them is Fractal Noise 🙂
At the end of the day you’ll just need to practice using the effect to fully understand the full capabilities. A great resource to learn how effects work and how to stack and use them together is Video Copilot.
They’ve created hundreds of tutorials on how to use different effects in After Effects and is a great resource for any visual effects artist to hone their skills.
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