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Creating Body Flash Effects in After Effects


Learn how to add flash and color to moving images in After Effects with this video tutorial.

Image via Justin Odisho.

A recent trend in music videos and movies is the addition of rotoscoped color and flash over moving images. Justin Odisho brings us another fast-paced, easy-to-follow video tutorial on a simple way to create this specific effect for your next video. Let’s take a look at some of the key points in his tutorial.

First things first: find the frame you want to initiate the rotoscoping or flashing. Once you’ve found the right moment, duplicate the layer and select the Roto Brush tool in the top tool bar. This will help eliminate any unnecessary cutting out of the image frame by frame. The Roto tool is very good at predicting what you’re trying to animate.

Creating Body Flash Effects in After Effects — Initial Frame

Justin notes that the particular clip he’s working with is well-suited for this technique, given the clear separation between subject, sky, and surroundings. Once you’ve covered the subject as best you can with the Roto Tool, crop in the clip for however long you want the flashing or animation to last. Once you’ve done this, hit Freeze and After Effects will analyze the data frame by frame, allowing you to check the clip to see if your image is intact.

Creating Body Flash Effects in After Effects — Freeze

Open up the Composition Menu. From here, you can minimize the Roto clip to see how it looks. Then you can further tweak your image with the following options: feathering, contrast, shift edge and reduce chatter. After this, you can add your color or strobe effects. Or both.

Creating Body Flash Effects in After Effects — Composition Menu

For the flashing effect, navigate to Effects > Stylize > Strobe Light and adjust the Strobe Duration and Strobe Period accordingly. To change colors in your strobe, set a Key Frame for Strobe Color, then change the colors as you see fit.