How To Create The Light Leaks Effect In After Effects

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In this tutorial we’ll take a look at creating the popular light leaks effects in After Effects and for this, we’ll only use the build in the plugin that comes with the software and we’ll give a special twist to the Fractal Noise effect, so let’s get started

The light leaks effect can be used with photos or videos and it will give your footage a dreamy subtle look and feel.

Creating the light leaks

Inside After Effects, we’ll use this photo as a background and we’ll select Layer-New – Solid


and then we’ll search for the Fractal Noise effect in the effects panel. Double click to add it to the layer.


We’ll change the “fractal type” to “Dynamic Progressive”, the noise type to “spline”


we’ll also increase the contrast and bring down the brightness to around -75.


Next, we’ll head over to the Transform section and bring the scale property to around 1500 and change the complexity value to 1.


Now it’s time to animate the movement so we’ll add a simple expression on the evolution property. Alt + click on the stopwatch and enter the expression: wiggle(1,500).


Now let’s add some color to this composition, we’ll choose “Colorama” in the effects panel


In the Use Preset Palette menu, we’ll choose “Fire”


Next, to add more variety to the colors we’ll search for the Hue & Saturation effects and add it to the layer.


We’re going to add another wiggle expression, so we’ll check the “colorize” option and Alt-click on the colorize hue stopwatch and add the expression “wiggle(5,40)” and we can also increase the saturation to around 80.


Now, as the final touch we’re going to animate the opacity property as well, so hit “t” to bring down the opacity and alt-click on the stopwatch. We’ll enter the expression: wiggle(5,50).


And finally, we’ll set the transfer mode of the light leaks layer to “screen”. If you can’t see the transfer modes menu, press F4 to toggle it.


Optionally we can also add an adjustment layer and double click on the ellipse tool to create a mask


and then apply a fast blur effect to it and increase the blurriness. We’ll set the mask to subtract and the feather to around 484.


So this is how to create the light leaks effect, quickly and easily, using just the included tools and plugins from After Effects. If you enjoyed this article stay tuned for more cool tips & tricks on Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro coming soon

Remus Hosu

Remus Hosu

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