Aura Documentation

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Please Note: This documentation applies only to the current version (v1.0 and above)

What is Aura?

Aura is a procedural plug-in for After Effects that creates elegant geometric shapes in 3D space. It's akin to a particle system but instead of rendering small particles all over the place, it generates vector like shapes (waves) that change over time much like the classic Radiowaves plug-in.

Aura strives to be as simple as possible without giving up too much versatility. There are no multiple 'Objects' or 'Nodes', no complicated custom UI and scene editors. Just a plain old Effect Controls Window. The params are even 'greyed out' like old school AE filters.

To apply Aura, go to Effects->Rowbyte->Aura.

Registration

If Aura isn’t registered you’ll see a watermark rendered by the plugin. To remove these restrictions, you have to register the plugin with the serial you have purchased. To register, click on the “Register” button in the effect controls of Aura.

For more detailed instructions checkout the registration page.

System Requirements

For Windows machines, Windows 7 and above. OpenGL 4.1 and above required. For Macintosh computers, macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) and above is required with a GPU that supports OpenGL 4.1.

Effect Controls

Aura ECW

Producer Type

Change the producer type to either Point or 3D Layers or Motion Path.

Point: Waves are generated from a single point source.

3D Layers: Waves are generated from one or more 3D layers in the composition. Orientation of the waves is set from the layers too.

Motion Path: Waves are generated from one or more 3D layers, but instead of traveling in a straight line, they follow the Motion Path of the layer. In this mode, waves are always 'auto-oriented' towards the Motion Path.

Please Note: You can only use 3D AV Layers like Null Objects, Solids or Footage Layers as producers. You cannot use Lights directly as producers.

Frequency

Frequency is the number of waves generated per second. High the frequency, the more the number of waves generated. When set to 'zero' no waves are generated.

Time Factor

The factor by which the internal time is counted. For example, if Time Factor is set to 2.0, internally the time moves twice as fast. If set to 0.5, the time moves twice as slow. You can animate this parameter to speed up or slow down the animation without changing the composition time settings.

Point Location

Location of the producer point in the Point Producer Type. Disabled in 3D Layer producer mode and Motion Path producer mode.

3D Layers (Topic)

This topic is only active when Producer Type is set to 3D Layers.

Layer Name Begins

Set the name with which the producer layers should begin with. Only layers that begin with this text are taken into consideration.

Special Note: You can use Advanced Layer Selector patterns to select or ignore multiple layers. See Advanced Layer Selectors for more info.

Get Color From Layers

When selected, the waves are set to the color of the Layer. Make sure to turn off Color Gradient Over Time in the Wave Settings.

Get Opacity From Layers

When selected, the wave opacity is set from the layer opacity. If you're using Null Layers, make sure to increase their opacity.

Motion Path

Layer Name Begins (Motion Path)

Set the name with which the Motion Path producer layers should begin with. Only layers that begin with this text are taken into consideration.

Special Note: You can use Advanced Layer Selector patterns to select or ignore multiple layers. See Advanced Layer Selectors for more info.

End of Motion Path

If the wave reaches the end of Motion Path during it's life time you can either set it to Keep Going or Terminate Waves.

Radiowave Type

Select the shape type used to render the waves. You can either use a Polygon or a custom Mask from the layer.

Polygon Settings

Adjust the shape and curvature of the polygons. Only enabled when the Radiowave Type is set to Polygon.

Sides

Set the No. of sides to the Polygon.

Star

If selected a 'Star' shaped Polygon with the given No. of sides is created.

Star Depth

Adjust the 'depth' of the star.

Even curvature

Adjust the curvature of the Polygon sides or just the even sides of the star.

Odd Curvature

Adjust the curvature of the odd side of the Star.

Masks

Adjust the settings for the Mask Radiowave Type. Disabled in Polygon mode.

Path

Select a single Path from all the layer masks. Disabled when All Paths are checked.

All Paths

When selected, all the masks currently applied to the layer are utilized.

Render Mode

Select the current render mode.

Line: The shapes are rendered with as 3D lines without any overlapping joints.

Bands: A Band is rendered between alternative waves.

Surface A surface is rendered encompassing all the waves.

Wave Settings

Aura Wave Settings

Most of the wave settings have a Start and End parameters. During the duration of the it's Lifespan those params are interpolated. Usually both Start and End params are set at birth of the wave.

Some params have Over Time controls that let's you adjust how the parameter changes over time using a graph parameter.

Start Size

The starting size of the waves when they're generated.

Scale

Set the value by which the size is scaled.

End Size

The ending size of the wave.

Scale Over Time

You can draw a custom graph to set how scale changes over time.

Lifespan

The Lifespan of the waves in seconds. After waves reach the end of the Lifespan they're terminated.

Color

Set the color of the waves

Color Gradient Over Time

Apply a Color Gradient through out the duration of the wave.

Opacity

Set the opacity of the waves generated.

Velocity

Velocity is how fast the waves move. The higher the number, the faster the waves move. Negative values indicate movement in the opposite direction.

Velocity Over Time

Change how velocity changes over time

Orientation (X,Y,Z)

Set the orientation of the wave. When using 'Layer Producers' these are applied on top of the layers' orientation.

Spin (X,Y,Z)

Set how much the wave spins every second in degrees.

Spin Factor Over Time

Control how the Spin values change over time.

Thickness (Start/End)

Set the thickness of the wave. Only used in Line Render mode.

Thickness Over Time

Control how the thickness changes over time.

Curviness (Start/End)

Adjust the curviness of the shape. Useful when animating masks.

Fade (In/Out)

Time taken by the waves to Fade In or Out. These params can overlap with each other.

Noise

Adjust the Turbulent Noise settings.

Aura Turbulent Noise

Apply Noise Along

Apply noise along Vertices or Path

Vertices: Noise is only applied to the vertices of the shape, before the final shape is rendered.

Path: Noise is applied along the 'path' of the shape after the shape is created from the vertices.

Noise Start Amplitude

Amount to noise to be applied when the wave is generated.

Noise End Amplitude

Amount of noise to be applied when the wave reaches the end of it's lifespan.

Noise Complexity

Adjust the complexity of the noise generated. The higher the value is, the more complex the noise looks. At lower values, noise is smoother.

Noise Details

These params are set at every frame, not just at birth and are applied to all the waves.

Noise Variation: Adjust how much the noise varies from one wave to the next.

Noise Evolution Rate: Adjust how fast noise evolves from frame to frame. When set to zero, noise doesn't evolve.

Noise Seed: Change the seed value from which the noise is generated.

Noise Scale: Adjust the scale that is applied to the noise values with in the shape. This doesn't have any effect on Noise Variation.

Noise Offset: Change the offset of the noise values with in the shape.

Noise Octaves: No. of octaves to use to generate the noise values. If you don't know what it is, then don't bother.

Apply Noise to Axis: Either apply the noise along the XY axis of the shape or the the Z axis of the shape.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field can be applied to the scene when set to Camera Settings. But the Active Camera in the composition should also have DoF enabled.

DoF Factor

Useful to increase or decrease DoF Blur just for this layer without changing camera settings for the whole composition.

Render Quality

Adjust the render quality of the scene. You can keyframe it at various points in the timeline to have various render quality values at different times depending on the scene.

Special Note: Aura renders a little noisy at default settings. This is intentional. The noise adds to the aesthetic of the plug-in especially when used with high frequency waves. If you want completely noise free renders, we recommend Render Quality to be set to 256 or above.

Advanced Layer Selectors

You can use multiple comma separated values to select layers from the composition. You can also use negative tokens to ignore specific layer(s).

Advanced Layer Selector

For example if you set the parameter to Null,Track,Extra,-Null 01, all the layers that begin with Null, Track, Extra are considered and from those layers, any layer(s) that begin with Null 01 are ignored.