Film Burn

OK, so you've bought your 35mm lens adaptor for your DV camera and you've shot your requisite things-coming-in-and-out-of-focus backyard test footage. You've even got it all cut together to some nice mopey guitar music. But something's missing.


filmBurn.ffx is an After Effects 7.0 Animation Preset that automatically creates the overexposed "roll-out" effect, where the tail (and the head if you want) of a clip flickers into overexposure. It's aware of the in- and out-points of your footage layers in the After Effects timeline, so you can experiment with different effects just by trimming your layers differently.

When you apply the preset you'll see several control sliders. Here's what they do:

Overall Flicker Amount controls a general exposure flicker that runs through the whole clip. Set it to zero for no flicker.

Overall Flicker Speed (fps) controls the flickers-per-second. Larger number = faster flicker.

Cut Flicker Speed (fps) controls the speed of the flicker effect that happens at the head and tail of the clip.

Cut Flicker Amount controls the intensity of the flicker effect that happens at the head and tail of the clip.

Max Burn (stops) controls the exposure, in f-stops, of the burn effect.

Tail Burn Max Time (frames) controls the length of the burn effect at the tail. Note that the length is randomized, so this value represents the longest burn you'd ever want to see, measured in frames.

Head Burn Max Time (frames) is the same thing, but for the head of the clip. Set it to 0 for no head burn.

Burn Tint allows you to select a color for the burn effect.

The last effect is the Exposure effect that makes it all happen, and you should not touch any settings here.

The fun thing about this preset is, if you have your edit assembled in AE, you can simply select all the layers and apply it. Easy!

This effect works really well with Magic Bullet. Just apply Look Suite to an Adjustment Layer over top of all your trimmed layers, and select the preset of your choice!

Download filmBurn.ffx (4kb ZIP file)

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Music: Life From Afar by Oswald.