DIY cheap HDRI Ball


HDRI (High Dynamic range imaging) balls are used to capture light to apply to a 3d model. They are quite expensive to buy. Although you can create one very easily as explained below.


It was Christmas just a month ago, so you should be able to find or buy a silver/chrome ball ball. The bigger the better. Thats all really! To use it just place the ball on a surface where you want your CG model to be and take a photo of it. Its best to zoom in as far as you can (optical zoom preferred) on the ball so the person taking the photo is as small as possible in the reflection in the ball.

Then you need to put your photo of the ball in to a software package that will unwrap it for you. There are few out there and some are free. I used: HDR Shop

Outside use:

Indoor use:

Concussed/drunk vision in After Effects


In TV and television when someone is concussed, faint or drunk they sometimes have a view from the actors point of view which is blurred and shaky. In this tutorial it shows you how to use a simple expression to create this type of effect.


  1. Open After Effects

  2. Import your concussed/faint footage in to a new composition

  3. Duplicate the footage (ctrl + d / cmd + d)

  4. Change top layer footage’s transparency (t key) to about 40%

  5. We want the top layer footage to move on the x axis to create the effect. To do this we are going to use an expression, Alt + click on the positions (p key) stopwatch and insert the following:
    w = wiggle(3,200);
    [w[0], value[1]]

  6. Add a motion tile effect to the top footage (search for it effects and presets) and increase ‘output width’ to repeat edges that are revealed.


Wiggle expression explained


  • Add an expression control, to gain more control of the effect (topic of an upcoming tutorial)

  • Add motion blur

How to create a camera flash in After Effects


In this tutorials it shows you how to create a camera flashes in After Effects. You see them on the TV when there is a celebrity and photographers snapping away!

Quick steps

  1. Import file in to a new composition

  2. Make a new black solid and add a lens flare effect

  3. Change the lens flare to 105mm prime and animate the flare brightness and change blend

  4. Duplicate layer as many times as you need and offset time


  • Use video instead of an image

  • Add a flash noise

How to make snow in After Effects

In this tutorial it shows you a really easy way to create snow in After Effects.

Quick Steps

  1. Import image and video

  2. Create a new layer

  3. Apply CC Snow effect

  4. Change transfer layer to add

  5. Change setting to desired look