Last year, Video School explored some simple yet scary special effects. Today, we’re continuing the tradition with three more spooky effects to give your video the major creeps. Read on for tips about each.

1. Demon voice

  • Make sure to keep your actor’s lines short and simple. The effect is meant to shock and you don't want to over use it.
  • The deep gravely voice has its pitch set at about -400 and the higher voice at around 300. Feel free to play with these settings and offset the tracks to make the voice sound creepy.
  • Remember to lower the volume of the normal voice track so it doesn’t overpower the effect tracks.

2. Man in the Mirror

  • Remember not to move the camera once you have your frame setup.
  • Leave a good amount of space between the actor and their reflection in the mirror as you’ll need to cut the shot down the middle.
  • Make sure the actor’s movements don’t cross the center of the frame.
  • After you crop the footage in your editor, be sure to feather the edge so it’s less noticeable.

3. Spooky Eyes

  • Use a program like After Effects to track your actor’s pupils so make sure your shot is stable. If you need to have movement, be sure it’s slow and smooth.
  • If the tracker looses its position at any time, stop the tracking process and then press the analyze backwards frame by frame button (far left) to move backwards one frame at a time. On each frame that is incorrect, manually move the tracking markers back to the correct position, then you can start to analyze forward again.
  • A one to two percent blur on the highlights will help them blend better. We used the Gaussian blur effect for this, however you can also feather the masks.
  • To parent the black and white solid to the tracking data, you can use the pick whip tool. Simply click and drag from the swirl icon of the layer you want to parent to the name of the layer that should be the parent (aka the Null object). This will make the black and white solid (aka your eyes and highlights) move with the actors eyes.
  • Remember to change the blending mode on the black solid to Multiply so the white created by the Fractal noise effect is removed, leaving just the black areas to appear.

Another year, another set of spooks! Have fun using these effects in your next horror masterpiece, and stay spooky.