How to Use Gobos for More Natural Shadows in Ae

Daniel Geis Shows How to Create Realistic Moving Shadows and Lighting Using Gobos in After Effects.

Lighting is much more than it seems. Designing with lights and shadows is a creative choice, that can also help to tell a story. Even using the most basic of lighting tools in After Effects, you can create so much more richness for your scenes. One way is to use Gobos to help bring your animations to life. E.D. Films Daniel Geis shows what a powerful storytelling tool designing with lights and shadows can be for your animated Ae work.

“Lighting is a powerful storytelling tool that can help bring your animation to life.”

Geis runs through how he uses Gobos to create realistic moving shadows, a technique that he used when he lit a forest scene *which looks fantastic by the way). If you use Gobos, you have the choice of using a single image or an image sequence (animation).

It is the latter that Geis uses to create a much more natural and living feeling to the forest. His moving pieces came from Autodesk Maya renders, utilizing the stock Paint FX foliage, that already has animated attributes to them. Geis mentions that you can also find stock moving images rather than create your own, the technique is the same.

Either way, the differences between lights and lights + Gobos, is an incredible one.