I had a tutorial lined up to help build my portal (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrOR3u1YFaM), but after following it, I realised it wasn’t exactly the effect I was after, but it did provide a good starting point. I played around with some effects and came up with the first version of as seen in the video, although the colours were different at this point. I liked the result, but the twirl effect made the portal look like it was turning out of shape too much.
I found another tutorial for creating a wormhole that looked interesting. This video this led me to the ‘Video Copilot’ colour vibrance plug in (http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/color_vibrance_plug-in/), which was just what I needed, as I wanted my portal to be colourful and vibrant. The author also encouraged me to experiment more to create my own effects.
I combined some techniques learned from this tutorial with my original design. After some experimentation, I solved my portal turning problem by adding a ‘turbulent displace’ effect to the outer red ring, making it warp randomly, rather than just turn.
I created a test of the scene where the Lego head appears through the portal, to see how the portal looks. For this, I created a Lego ‘forest’ backgound to place the portal in front of. I did not have enough large Lego leaves, so I used Photoshop to cut out a leaf and duplicated it onto the background a few times. As the portal covers most of the scene, it did not have to fit perfectly, but just give the impression of forest behind.
For the Lego head, I photographed two different Lego head expressions in front of a blue background. When I got into After Effects, I realised the heads didn’t line up correctly, but I solved this by rotoscoping just the facial expression of the smile, and blended the images with some masking and brush tool.
I am happy with the portal, and the test scene is okay, but I will tweak it further before the final project.