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How to make a Loop, distort and Image with a modifier, set up the Blur and limit performances cost

by Vincent Le Moigne and Francis Maes on July 06, 2016.

Length: 10min-30min

Level: Beginner

Smode version: Smode Synth / Studio / Station

Black Background

Start a new comp (Ctrl+N)

Select the main composition on the top of the tree and uncheck "Alpha Layer" to have a black background, it won't change anything, it is just a matter of aesthetics.

Create a Text Layer

Create a particle system with 2D Layers>Text.

Then you can modify the text and police inside of it, you can write what you want...."salut !" is not an are free, FREE !

Add a "2D Transform" modifier on the text

Add a 2D Transform over the text Right Click->Modifiers->Distort->2D Transform

The 2D Transform allows you to scale, move or rotate an Image / Video / composition. Really useful to do some nice effects with a mask over it.

Create a Loop Cue

Now inside the 2D Transform parameters, go on rotation parameter and Right Click > Create Loop

This new created cue will go directly inside the animation Bank

Once you created a new cue, the parameters editor tab will automatically update to show you the cue parameters (in this case the parameters of your new created loop)

By default on any angle parameters, the default Loop cue will be created with a period of 5seconds and a rotation of 360° (as showed below, minimum is 0°, maximum is 1 turn + 0°)

As you may see, the default function is Linear, which mean that the cue will go from the minimum to the maximum value accordingly to this curve over it's defines time period. You can change the Shape Type of the function as you want to notice the differences.

Here I changed the period time for ten seconds.

Noise mask

Lets add a noise mask over the 2D Transform modifier Right Click > Masks >Noise Mask

The idea here is that the masks actually have an effects over a modifier's intensity, in the case of the 2D Transform, it allow to do some nice displace / warp / ripple effects. Try to combine different 2D Transform setups with different kind of masks (a radial mask with a feather for instance) and you'll see the possibility.

For instance you'll be able to adapt a texture to a 3D rendered Image with a simple depth map pass set as layer mask of a 2D Transform but we'll see that in tutorials to come.


Lets add a Rasterize over the text layer Right Click > Modifiers > Utility > Rasterize

I'll invite you to go see in the 2D modifiers documentation part for further details over this modifier. I'm sorry I don't know how to put a link so you'll have to go there on your own, like before the GPS era. Okay okay, here is the definition :

"Rasterize enables to force rendering of the current image. It is sometimes interesting to put this in the middle of a long chain of modifiers to speed-up the computation and too avoid creating too long shader chains. Can also be useful to downsample the image."

Add shiny effects

Add a Chromatic Aberration modifier and set is up as showed below. "Iterations" is the number of samples the effect will use and "distortion" how far it will go away from the center on the edge of the layer.

Add now the Sparkles Blur modifier preset modifier and set is up as showed below.

Inside Blur modifier here are some key parameters,

Size : the number of samples the blur modifier will use

Down Sampling : what level of precision theses sample will be. For instance for an Image of 64x64 pixels, with a down sampling of 1/32, the blur sample resolution will be of 2x2 pixels.

Base size : How far apart will theses samples be, so of course the more the size is high (more samples) , the more the blur "radius" will seem high.

I'll invite you to go see in the part of the documentation dedicated to the Blur modifier, you'll find there some examples.


Yeah, we made it...together... something happening here ?