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Create a Rainy Scene Animation Using Default After Effects Plugins

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Preview

Step 1

Create a new composition by clicking Menu > Composition > New Composition. Name it Rainy Day and change the resolution to 1920×1080 and set the duration to 10 seconds.

Create a new composition
Menu > Composition > New Composition

Step 2

Use Texture1 and Texture2 so you have to download them. Use the clouds_02.mov file from the Free Stock-Pack Appreciation Day pack and Free Rain Sounds by VideoCopilot.

Step 3

Import all of the downloaded assets in After Effects. Use texture2 first and put it in the Rainy Day Composition and name it Ground.

Put Texture1 in the Rainy Day composition
Import Texture

Step 4

Drag and drop the second texture1 as well. 

Change the Blending Mode to Overlay and change it to a 3D layer. To do that click on the Toggle Switches/Modes button.

Select the layer and press R on the keyboard to reveal the Rotation Properties. Change the X Orientation to 302. Name this layer Water Texture

Turn layer to 3D and change the blending mode
Import Texture

Step 5

Drag and drop the clouds_02.mov file in the Rainy Day Composition

Change the Blending Mode to Overlay and change the Opacity to 50%. 

With the clouds_02.mov layer selected use the Pen Tool to create a rough mask around the water patch.

Change the blending mode lower the opacity and create a mask
Create a mask

Step 6

With the Cloud_02. mov selected go to Effect > Color Correction > Tint and apply it.

Change the Amount to Tint value to 50%.

Press the M key twice on the keyboard to reveal the mask options and change the Mask Feather to 25%. Go to Effect > Stylize > Roughen Edges and apply it. Use a simple expression on the Evolution. To do that Alt-Secondary-Click on the Stopwatch and type in: Time*150

Add Tint and Roughen Edges
Effect > Stylize > Roughen Edges

Step 7

Create a new solid by clicking Layer > New > Solid and name it Rain.

Create a new solid
Layer > New > Solid

Step 8

Go to Effect > Simulation > CC Particle World and apply it. 

Under the Producer tab change the Position X, Y and Z.

Apply CC Particle World
Effect > Simulation > CC Particle World

Step 9

Change the Physics settings.

 physics settings
physics settings

Step 10

Modify the Particle Settings. Change the Particle Type to line and the Birth and Death Color to #FFFFFF.  

particle settings
particle settings

Step 11

Go to Effect > Time > CC Force Motion Blur and apply it. 

Change the Motion Blur Samples to 20 and the Shutter Angle to 300.

Add CC Force Motion Blur
Effect > Time > CC Force Motion Blur

Step 12

Go to Effect > Blur & Sharpen > Gaussian Blur and apply it. 

Change the Blurriness to and turn on Repeat Edge Pixels.

Add Gaussian blur
Effect > Blur & Sharpen > Gaussian Blur 

Step 13

The rain is barely visible. Apply the curves effect and bump up the Alpha. Go to Effect > Color Correction > Curves and apply it. 

Change the Channel to Alpha and move the dark grey line to the upper left corner.

Add the curves effect
Effect > Color Correction > Curves

Step 14

Duplicate the Rain layer a few times and offset them so the animation won’t look exactly the same.

duplicate the rain layer
duplicate layer

Step 15

Select the Ground and Water layers and go to Effect > Color Correction > Curves and apply it. They are too bright so make them a bit darker. 

Add the Curves Effect
Effect > Color Correction > Curves

Step 16

Select the Water Texture layer and go to Effect > Simulation > CC Drizzle and apply it.

Drizzle will create the water drop effect. Switch the Light Type to Point Light.

Add cc drizzle effect
Effect > Simulation > CC Drizzle

Step 17

Create a new composition by clicking Menu > Composition > New Composition

Name it Text, change the resolution to 1920×1080 and set the duration to 10 seconds.

Create a new composition
Menu > Composition > New Composition

Step 18

Create a new solid by clicking Layer > New > Solid and name it Line

Change the Height to 20 pixel and change the color to #FFFFFF

Create a new layer
Layer > New > Solid

Step 19

Select the Line layer and go to Effect > Transition > Linear Wipe and apply it. 

On the Time Line go to the first frame of the animation. Change the Wipe Angle to -90 and the Feather to 5. 

After that click on the Stopwatch next to the Transition Completion and move forward 5 seconds on the Time Line and change the Transition Completion value to 0%.

Add the linear wipe effect
Effect > Transition > Linear Wipe 

Step 20

Select the Horizontal Type Tool and type in: Rainy Day. I used the Font called Typograph Pro . You can use any Fonts it’s optional.

Step 21

Select the text layer and go to Layer > Auto Trace and apply it. It’s going to create masks around the text and then After Effects can use these masks with the Stroke Plugin to create a nice reveal effect. 

Auto trace creates a new layer. Select the layer and press the M key twice on the keyboard to reveal the masks. 

Select every mask and then press CTRL-C on the keyboard to copy them.

create auto trace
Layer > Auto Trace

Step 22

Create a new solid by clicking Layer > New > Solid and name it Stroke.

Create a new solid
Layer > New > Solid

Step 23

Select the Stroke layer and then Go to Effect > Generate > Stroke and apply it. 

Press CTRL-V or go to Edit > Paste to paste the masks. 

Click on the All Masks checkbox and go to the first frame of the animation then click on the stopwatch next to the End property and change the value to 0%

Move forward 5 seconds and change it to 100% and switch the Paint Style to On Transparent.

Add the stroke effect
Effect > Generate > Stroke

Step 24

Select the Rainy Day Text layer and go to Effect > Transition > Linear Wipe and apply it.

Go to the first frame of the animation. Change the Wipe Angle to -90 and the Feather to 5 pixels. 

After that click on the stopwatch next to the Transition Completion and move forward 5 seconds on the timeline and change the Transition Completion to 0%.

Add the linear wipe effect
Effect > Transition > Linear Wipe

Step 25

Go back to the Rainy Day Composition and drag and drop the Text Composition. 

Put it on the top and change the Blending mode to Overlay.

Put the text comp in the rainy day composition
Layer order

Step 26

Go to Layer > New > Adjustment layer and apply it. Name it Lightning

Create a new adjustment layer
Layer > New > Adjustment layer

Step 27

Go to Effect > Color Correction > Exposure and apply it.  Animate the Exposure.

Go to the first frame and click on the stopwatch. Move forward a few frames and then change the Exposure to 3,00. 

Move forward a few frames and change the Exposure to 0. Repeat this process a couple times to get a nice lightning animation.

add the exposure plugin
Effect > Color Correction > Exposure

Step 28

Go to Layer > New > Adjustment layer and apply it. Name it CC

Create a new adjustment layer
Layer > New > Adjustment layer

Step 29

Move the Lightning adjustment layer to the top and put the CC Adjustment Layer layer under it. It needs a little color correction. 

Use the Mega Cinematic Color Presets Pack with the CCP_Green Goblin preset on the CC Adjustment Layer

It needs some adjustments so increase the Blue Gamma to 2,00 under the Color Properties and the Tint amount to 87%

add color correction
color correction
Add color grading preset CCP_Green Goblin
add color grading preset

Conclusion

There’s many powerful default plugins in After Effects. In this tutorial, I showed you how to create a rain effect with CC Particle World. 

I also described how to create organic edges with Roughen Edges and how to create water drops with CC Drizzle. I showed you how to use Auto Trace and the Linear Wipe plugin to create a stylish text animation.