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  1. Photo & Video
  2. Post-Processing
Photography

Light Painting Text and Images with a Tablet or Smartphone

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Difficulty:AdvancedLength:QuickLanguages:

In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to create a custom text or image light paintings using Adobe After Effects and your smartphone or tablet. You are going to see how to create simple yet very attractive custom light paintings.


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The fun part of creating these light painting images is shooting them. Set up your camera on a tripod, and take a few test exposures. You'll want to be in a darkened environment, which will lend itself to a long shutter speed. You do not want the environment to be perfectly exposed. I usually try to be about one stop under exposed. Also keep in mind the play length of your video. Your shutter speed needs to be longer than that.

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After that, you'll need to do a dance with your tablet or smartphone with the video playing. This will require many attempts to the the pattern just right. Every image will be different, so just visualize what you're trying to create.

Here are a few tips to help you troubleshoot problems.

  • The slower you make the video run, the brighter it will be.
  • If the image or words look stretched, move the tablet slower.
  • If the image is squeezed, move the tablet faster.
  • To keep the tablet moving in a straight line, line it up with something in the environment like a bookshelf or top of wall.

Thoughts or questions? Leave a comment below!

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