Creating Rainfall, Drizzles and Sky Replacement in Adobe After Effects

Recently I finished up with a short horror film project ‘The Shadow’ which is a story of 5 friends. There are a dozen of Visual Effects shots in the movie, which I managed to do all by myself, though it took me a lot of time. We have effects like, Day to Night conversion, time freeze effects, than we have a scene where we needed to show a coin, which moves on the table without any human contact, Some lightning, sky replacement and rainfall.

Creating Rainfall was one of the major effects as it can be seen in many shots of the entire movie. I created the rain effect inside of Adobe After Effects with the CC Rain simulation which is preloaded into the software. It allows us to create animated rainfall. The great part of this effect is that you an actually control the speed, amount of rain, angle of rain as well as randomize the angle so that it does not look as if all the raindrops are accurately parallel to each other.

To create Rain, create a new Solid layer by going into layers  > New > Solid. Create a black solid, then under effects and presets panel, search for CC Rain, then drag and drop the effect on the black solid and change its transparency mode to ADD to eliminate the black background.

If you are unable to find CC Rain effect, than Simulation Plugins or CycoreFX folder and files must be missing from your Adobe After Effects, Download the, extract it, copy the Cycore FX folder, navigate to your After Effects installation location, such as C:/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe After Effects/Support Files/Plug-ins/Effects and paste the copied folder inside it. Then restart Adobe After Effects and you should be able to find the CC Rain as well as some other effects.

You can also create Drizzles using the CC Drizzles effects, to do so create a grey solid, then search CC Drizzle under effects and presets and apply that effect on the grey solid, change it into a 3D layer, and rotate it about the X-axis, place it on the surface where you want the drizzles to appear, and change the transparency mode to Overlay. You can change the settings can control the behaviour of the drizzles too.

With such simple techniques, you can add life to your shots. Try experimenting with all these effects before working on your final shots. In the end, you will get the best results, than again, it all depends on how creative you are.

Before & After
Before & After