The Most Versatile Effect: Gradient Wipe

I couldn't discuss gradients without talking about the incredible Gradient Wipe. After Effects can use any gradient layer as a "transition map." Create or modify a gradient in Photoshop first.

You can combine gradient layers, blend modes, and filters to create an interesting map.

Step 1. Import the gradient into After Effects.

Step 2. Add the gradient to your timeline but leave its visibility off. Make sure the gradient layer is the length of your composition.

Step 3. Apply the Gradient Wipe (Effect>

Transition>Gradient Wipe) to the intended layer.

Step 4. Define the Gradient Layer source.

Step 5. Turn up the Transition's softness for a smoother transition.

Step 6. Start the transition 100% complete, and then set a second keyframe to 0% where you want the transition to end.

A linear gradient blends with the Clouds and Flaming Pear's Glitterato filters.

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Not an AE user (yet)? Final Cut Pro has the same effect, conveniently called Gradient Wipe. Other NLE users should look for the Spice Master AVX from Pixelan software (http://www.pixelan.com).

See It Move

A sample project is / provided on the DVD.

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