BILLIE EILISH: Black DEMON EYES (After Effects Tutorial)

BILLIE EILISH: Black DEMON EYES (After Effects Tutorial)

January 14, 2020 18 By William Hollis


This video is brought to you by Squarespace. Gilles, what are you doing here? Hey Yannick, can I help you with CopyCat Friday? No, Lorenzo is already helping me. Can you please come from under my desk now and get back to work? Okay. Bye. Damn, I think the new guy is kind of weird. Maybe we should have done a background check or something before hiring him? But it’s too late now and it’s time for another CopyCat Friday. Hello, guys, Yannick here for Cinecom.net and welcome back to this week’s video. Today, we are recreating the black demon eye effect from Billy Eilish music video, ‘bury a friend,’ or one of the effect from the series Supernatural or maybe even the…Witcher? You could choose but what you can choose is how we are recreating it and that is with After Effects. Also, I know this effect is already made quite often but they never explain how you can do this effect with blinking your eyes. So guys, it’s your lucky day. We will explain this in our tutorial and, not only that, we also have a bonus effect I found so cool that I couldn’t not explain it. Is that– Was that sentence grammatically correct? Anyhow, let’s start with a Yannick’s Fun Fact Fountain. In the TV world, black eyes equals a evil presence. This can vary from demonic possession, dabbling in the dark arts or whatever evil you want. Now the perfect blackness in the eyes indicates the purity of evil and the lack of humanity. And this leads us to the Uncanny Valley effect and also the reason why black eyes makes us feel uncomfortable and even scared. The Uncanny Valley effect is a common unsettling feeling people experience when watching audio-visual stimulations that closely resemble humans in many ways, but are not quite realistic enough. For example, a Bunraku puppet or a zombie which resemble a human but differ in a very small way which makes them scary and unsettling. Okay, that’s enough theory lessons for today. Let’s start with recreating stuff. And before I start with the black eyes effect, let’s quickly do the bonus effect. Well, this bonus effect is going to be the replicant eye effect from Blade Runner and–you won’t believe it–It’s going to be completely practical. The principle behind it is that you reflect light in your iris while filming this. To do this, you’ll need a mirror glass. This glass reflects 50% of the light it catches. We used our teleprompter which is perfect for this effect. Now place this glass in an angle right in front of your camera. Your lens can even touch the glass. Then, place a small light besides the glass and shine into it. If needed, block off the extra spill you get from the light. The next step is to place your actor in front of the camera and align them so that the lens and the light reflection sit in the same place. And now, if you have done this correctly, you’ll get this super cool and super easy result, perfect for your sci-fi movies. And, guys, the method we just used is the exact same way Ridley Scott did the effect for the first Blade Runner movie. If you want to hear his explanation, you’ll find a link in the description below So, while Yannick is making demon eyes in Adobe After Effects, I thought I’m just going to go to the demon himself and get me some demon eyes in a snap of a finger. Much easier, you know, I’m a man of simplicity. I like cheese on my bread and make websites with Squarespace, because with Squarespace, you can start off with a template and from there, drag and drop any kind of elements to your website to create a unique style. You can add block elements to your website. You can add photos, videos, change your menu, your entire layout. You can add a contact page, a map where your business is located, and even create a webshop and start selling things. And it’s just all so easy to do, so simple. Yannick, why are you doing so much effort? Now, of course, with a cool website needs to come a cool brand name. So that’s where you’re gonna need a domain name and, well, that’s super easy with Squarespace as well. You can easily choose a ‘.com,’ a ‘.net,’ a ‘.info,’ whatever you’d like from their platform and then link that to your website. It’s that easy and once everything is up and running, of course, you can see in the backgrounds how your website is performing, how many visitors that you get, how your webshop is performing, how many t-shirts are selling. So be as me. Be a man of simplicity and just go to Squarespace.com but make sure to use the coupon ‘Cinecom’ at checkout or click that first link in description below for an exclusive 10% discount. Now back to you, Yannick. Okay, now that we have the formalities behind us, let’s start with demon eyes. For this effect, you’ll need a shot of your actor. You can let them do whatever you want. But, keep in mind that extreme movements will make it a lot harder for you in post-production. Now, if he blinks, don’t worry. We will work with that in our effect. However, always let him keep his eyes looking straight forward. When you have your shot, we can start with the post-production in After Effects. Drag your shot into a new composition and the first thing you now can do is create two duplicates of the original clip. Name them ‘Left’ and ‘Right Eye.’ This will make the workflow easier. Then go into the effects library and search for the ‘Mocha CC’ effect. Drag that to your first eye and let’s start with the tracking. Inside Mocha, you can now take the ‘Pen’ tool and draw a more or less precise mask around your eye. Then go to the ‘Analyze Forward’ button and hit that to start the tracking. Let Mocha do its thing and, after it’s done, just save the project and close the window. Now within the Effects control panel, you can now open the ‘Matte’ options in the Mocha effect. You click on the button that says ‘Create AE Masks.’ This will automatically create a mask in the same shape as your tracker from before in Mocha. But the cool thing is that it’s also automatically tracked . So the next step now is the black for the eyes. This we will do with a black solid which you can create in the top Layer menu. Select a new option and then ‘Solid’ layer and in the new pop-up window, you can choose the color which is going to be black. Then you just copy the mask from the duplicate and paste it to the solid layer. Now you can just feather the mask to your liking and maybe even use the expansion if it’s not big enough. And, boom! You already have a very rough black demon eye. Wait, aren’t demon eyes supposed to be completely black? Yeah, I know. These are, you know, trial eyes. You know, I can try them out for free. If liked it, I can get the premium package. Just like with Squarespace. The next two steps are some finishing details. The first one is the reflection in the eye. Just use a shot of the environment your actor was in. Place the shot into the composition and on top of everything else. Next, scale the layer so that it’s a little bit bigger than the eye. Now, let’s bring a spherical shape to the layer so that it looks round. To do this, drag the ‘Bulge’ effect from the Effects library to the reflection layer and then play around with the horizontal and the vertical radius till you have something you like. Okay, now to make the reflection only visible in the eye. You can do this by making a new solid layer but this time make it white. Then place it above the reflection shot and copy and paste a mask from before to the white solid. Now, we just choose the ‘Alpha Matte’ option within the Track Matte box from the reflection layer and this will cut out the reflection in the same shape as the eye. Then the last step is to lower the opacity to around 9%. This already starts to look like a demon eye, but something is missing–the light reflection. This is very easily recreated. Just select the duplicate we made in the beginning and place that on top of everything. Go to the Effects library and search for the ‘Luma Key’ effect. Drag that to the duplicate layer and play around with the threshold until you have only a white dot left in the eye. Of course, also feather it but what now with the blinking? Well, this is going to sound stupid but you just need to help Mocha with the tracking when your actor blinks. And, afterwards, you just make a cut in your demon eye layers to remove the part where he blinks. And this will prevent that you don’t have a weird flying black solid in your shot and there’s really nothing more to this effect than this, even with blinking. But you have to do the steps all over again for the second eye, but when you have done this, Boom! You have yourself a demon effect. And that was it for today, guys. I hope you enjoyed the video and learned something new. Thank you so much for watching. And if you have some good CopyCat ideas, let us know in the comments below. Thank you Squarespace for the support and, like always, stay creative. So this is the second time in my life that I’m gonna put on contacts. The first time that I did it was when we did a video about Panic! at the disco and, yeah, it was pretty much hell. Damn! I look like a kitty. Meow.