How to Make Flickering Lights in After Effects

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Making flickering lights in After Effects is something that you can do by generating a lens flare. Make flickering lights in After Effects with help from a certified Adobe instructor in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: After Effects Made Easy
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Matthew Pizzi. Today, we are going to talk about how you can create a flickering light effect inside of After effects. There could be a variety of reasons as to why you want to create a flickering light effect. What we are going to do is simulate a lighthouse being turned on. And you'll see how easy it is to do in After Effects. Under the effect menu we are going to go ahead and choose generate lens flare. After selecting lens flare we are going to change the lens type to 105mm Prime. You then have to center the lens flare. So click and drag it so it's centered within the composition. Then we are going to apply another effect by coming up to the effect menu. Then we are going to choose color correction, curves. Inside this curves graph we are going to go ahead and click and drag down here in the bottom left hand corner to condense the lens flare. Once you are done with the curves adjustment you need to change the blending mode of the layer to screen. That way you can see the lighthouse picture underneath the lens flare. At this point we want to move the lens flare towards the top of the lighthouse. And then we need to start animating it. To animate it we are going to expand the transform section here inside the layers. I'm going to go ahead and add a key frame for opacity. We don't want the lens flare visible initially so we are going to set the opacity to zero percent. Then we are going to move the time indicator to the right to add some space. And we're going to set another key frame. And we are going to leave the opacity set to zero percent. Then we are going to move the time indicator over to the right just a little bit. Set another key frame and set the opacity to 100 percent. Then we are going to move the time indicator to the right just a bit more. We are going to add another key frame and set the opacity to zero percent. At that point we are going to select all of the key frames and with all the key frames selected we are going to hold down the option key on the Mac, alt on Windows. And click on the stopwatch to access all our expressions. We are going to go ahead and click the button with the triangle pointing to the right and we are going to choose property. And from property we are going to choose loop Out Duration. That way this animation will repeat throughout the duration of the composition. So as you can see creating a flickering effects inside of After Effects is pretty easy. You just need to make sure to set your key frames properly.

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