Digital Anarchy Brings Photorealistic Sky and Cloud Creation Tool to After Effects and Final Cut Pro.
New Aurora Sky Plugin is a Powerful Way to Design and Animate Custom Skyscapes.
San Francisco, CA September 16, 2002
Digital Anarchy released Aurora Sky, a plugin for Adobe After Effects and Apple Final Cut Pro that creates photorealistic skies and clouds. Designed by Jim Tierney and using Digital Elements' technology for creating photoreal natural phenomenon, Aurora Skies gives broadcast designers a powerful way to design and animate custom skyscapes.
An unsurpassed feature set allows designers to create a wide variety of special effects going beyond simple fractal clouds. Aurora Sky takes advantage of the new 3D capabilities of After Effects; allows the use of texture maps and cloud shaping maps to create wildly custom skyscapes; and has truly volumetric clouds. This all combines into a robust plugin that can create different types of clouds, smoke, fog, and other 'cloudy' effects.
"We're very excited to see this technology brought to After Effects," said Don McClure, president of Digital Element. "It's been a powerful tool for Photoshop designers for some time, and the animation and other additional capabilities that have been added to the AE version look fantastic."
It's a 3D World.
Aurora Sky works in 3D space, both its own and After Effects. The built-in camera can fly throughout the vast world within the plugin. Aurora Sy can also easily utilize AEs 3D camera (5.0 and later). As the user moves or turns the After Effects camera, Aurora will update its environment as a seamless part of the scene. This integration makes it simple to composite other 3D objects over the skyscape created with the plugin.
The normal cloud layer in Aurora Sky is a fractal-based flat layer of clouds. This works excellently in many scenes, but for actually flying through 'cloudy matter,' users need more powerful volumetric clouds.
The 3D Clouds in Aurora Sky are actually 3D objects with mass and substance. Designers can adjust properties like opacity and number of spheres, and navigate through them using Auroras or AEs camera. This functionality creates cloud effects that seem to envelope the camera as it passes through them. Bezier paths can be used to apply custom shapes to the 3D Clouds.
Texture Maps & Cloud Shaping.
Texture maps can be applied to the regular cloud surface, allowing images or logos to be projected on to the clouds. The texture maps respect cloud opacity and shading, and the clouds can be used as a displacement map, displacing the image as the clouds move. This opens up the door to many effects, from simply projecting a logo to covering the sky in swirls of color using a QuickTime movie.
Designers can also use grayscale maps to control the shape of the clouds. This enables words or shapes to emerge from cloudy matter, sky writing, or any number of other effects. It's a feature that's as flexible as the maps users can come up, and there's plenty of controls in the plugin for placing and arranging the maps.
Jim Tierney, President of Digital Anarchy, said, "Aurora Skies should be an amazing addition to our product line. It works very well with our Psunami product, which does photorealistic water simulation. We've wanted to do skies for some time, and this looks like it will do it beautifully."
Pricing & Availability.
Aurora Sky for After Effects will be available for a limited time for $159. Aurora Sky for Final Cut Pro will be available for a limited time for $129. The Final Cut version is currently in a public beta. Purchasers of the beta will be entitled to the full product upon its release.
About Digital Anarchy.
Digital Anarchy® is a privately owned company operating out of San Francisco, CA. Digital Anarchy® is devoted to creating high end and high quality software products for broadcast designers in television and film.
These products solve a wide range of problems that face designers, from creating text effects and background elements to the addition of lighting effects in 2D compositing applications. The products work in conjunction with a wide range of products from companies like 5D, Adobe®, Discreet, and Apple®.
For further information on Digital Anarchy and other products, please see the web site at digitalanarchy.com or call 415-621-0991
About Digital Element.
Founded in 1999 in San Francisco, CA, Digital Element is a software engineering firm specializing in 3D graphics technologies. Digital Element develops and sells software products and services to film and television animators, video game designers, web developers, architects and landscape designers. For more information about Digital Element, visit digi-element.com.