In class today we have been using After Effects to perform skin change on video files. We’ve taken inspiration from scenes such as those present in Iron Man 3 where heat is generated underneath the skin to give the impression of a person literally burning up.

IronMan3 Fire

Gary has very kindly put together a PowerPoint tutorial for us to follow which guided us through the process step by step. Said PowerPoint can be found right here -> Skin Change

For my first attempt I wanted to stay simple with what I was trying to do. I wanted to produce the effect but I also was a aware it was my first attempt and didn’t want to do too much too soon.


This is what I managed to produce. The main body of work was produced and put together within After Effects while tracking was done within MochaAE, a built in AE plugin/program. To make the glow to look like it belonged on the face we tracked a part of the face over the course of the video with Mocha before using AE to compile layers and place it onto the face. The veins were just ordinary png picture files which were incorporated within the layered composition. The hardest part of this was using the Curves effect to make the fiery glow look natural.

I did try another face but this time I tried placing fire in the eyes and ended up with the following result;


This kinda worked and it didn’t. It worked, well, because its there but also not because the effect isn’t tracking with the movement of the head. Instead it looks as if you’re seeing right through the eyes at a fiery background. This in itself isn’t a bad effect but its not quite what I was aiming for – something to improve at a later date.

Finally I tried the fire on the face again and got the below result;


This one I’m more happy with as I’ve managed to get a good representation of heat across the entire side of the face, and it tracks properly with the subject’s movement. I’ve also managed to have a moving fractal noise in the background of the glow, underneath the veins which further emphasises the moving heat.

What I’m not entirely happy with is the colouring of it. I tried to find a balance of heat with a glow across the face and on the monitors I was working on it looked like I managed it. However once I’ve looked at it on a different monitor and in the GIF above, it looks like there far too much red which seems to be overpowering the effect. That’s something I need to be aware of in future creations – test on a couple of different monitors to make sure the effect matches the look and naturalism I’m aiming for.




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