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Using the BCC Prism Filter in After Effects

The BCC Prism filter has the ability to generate a couple of different unique looks, depending upon the source clip that it is applied to and the filter preset that is being applied. For this exercise, we'll use the filter in After Effects to emulate the chromatic aberration effect on a background clip and to make the alpha channel of a piece of text trail off in different colors.

To start, we import the Artbeats Forest 2 clip into the After Effects project window. Then create a new D1 comp of 2 second duration and drag the imported clip down into the timeline. Then we generate a new text element above the forest clip. For the text, we'll type out the word "PRISM" in capital letters using the font Arial Black at a size of 100 points. Set the color of the text to white.

Now apply the BCC Prism filter to the background clip. We are going to use the setting labeled default in the filter preset menu - click on the load button and select the default preset. Observe that the clip now appears to have chromatic aberration, meaning a loss of convergence in the outer regions of the image. The image appears sharp in the center, with each of the RGB channels the same size and in perfect register but as you move out toward the edge of the image, you can see that the RGB channels no longer converge in the same spot. This is what we see in the real world when shooting scenes with imperfect lenses that have registration problems. This effect is also known as purple fringing. Let's click in the Starting Depth parameter and set the value to 1.06. Notice how changing this value grows the width of the fringe that we are introducing ing the image, which produces an effect of rapid movement where there was none in the original.

We're going to move on to the text layer now and apply the Prism filter to generate a trails effect. Apply the BCC Prism filter to the text layer. Observe that even at the default setting, the effect is interesting. Let's set the sample count to 20 and offset the starting angle. Because of the fact that this filter is hardware accelerated, we can simply go to the angle dial control and just start dragging it to the value that we want and see a real-time preview of the effect. So we have just used the BCC Prism filter to add a chromatic aberration effect to the background plate while using the same Prism filter to create multi-colored trails of the text.