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Tutorial: Creating a Fog Effect in Adobe After Effects CC 2015

This tutorial will describe a fog effect you can create to add some drama to your footage or alter the weather of your shot.

Adding and Configuring a Blur

Next, we'll add another adjustment layer by navigating to Layer > New > Adjustment Layer. Back in the Effects and Presets search field, type in Blur. Scroll down until you see Fast Blur and then click and drag it to the top adjustment layer that we just added. With the Effects Control panel open for this adjustment layer, we can edit values for this Fast Blur effect.

Let's start by enabling the check box next to Repeat Edge Pixels. Then, navigate to the top option and change the blurriness value to 50 (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Editing values for the Fast Blur.

Back in the Timeline, make sure your top adjustment layer is selected and rename it Blur 1. Now we can begin to play with our blend modes and really bring this effect to life.

In order to see the Blend mode options, you need to switch the view by selecting the Toggle Switches/Modes button (Figure 6, below). Now, we’ll change the mode for our Blur 1 layer from Normal to Soft Light (Figure 7, below Figure 6).

Figure 6. Click here to toggle modes.

Figure 7. Selecting the Soft Light Blend mode for the Blur 1 layer.

As you can see in Figure 8 (below), we’re already starting to achieve somewhat of a foggy effect to this footage.

Figure 8. The fog begins to creep in.

Let's enhance this even further by duplicating our Blur 1 layer. You can do this by selecting the layer and using the keyboard shortcut of Command (Mac OS) or Ctrl (Windows) + D. We’ll name this layer Blur 2.

With our Blur 2 layer selected, let's change the Blend mode from Soft Light to Light by choosing Light from the Blend mode menu. Now, you can continue to duplicate these layers and change the blend modes to your liking and set the opacity of each layer. Our fog effect is now complete.


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