Animation Studio 1 – 05 – After After Effects

Introduction

In this entry I will be talking about what I have learnt during last couple in class regarding how to use After Effects as well as what I have learnt in order to complete my rapid project. I have found the program and workflow very useful and I can find myself using this program in several future projects. There is still a wealth of information I wish to learn regarding the program, specifically in other tools than can help further enhance my 3D stills and animations.


The Tree

In the second lesson of After Effects we were required to produce this render of a dark snowy forest, in which we applied techniques that we have already used such as masking and colour correction. But the new thing we learnt this week how to make certain layers of the composition into 3D layers that can be manipulated similarly to a flat plain in a 3D program. We were taught how to actually make the layers 3D and  how to manipulate them that is either through the layer options of through the camera with a gizmo. These 3D layers are fairly limited in terms of geometry as they can only be curved with the option to add more divisions, this useful for a background layer, but doesn’t allow for me to add any volume to the layer which is inconvenient especially if the camera is animated. Talking about animated cameras we were taught how to create a camera and how to tweak its options and position. There was also the creation of lights which is especially useful with 3D layers as they can cast and receive shadows. I didn’t push this scene to much as I wasn’t interested in the composition and the subject matter.


The Moon

In the third and final lesson of After Effects we were tasked with creating a space scene, this one was more interesting as we were provided with extra assets to make the scene unique. This lesson focused on refining our compositing skills as well as getting more advanced with the 3D options. We were taught how to make manipulate an image with perspective so that it can work as ground layer. We were shown the 3D options with text that actually have the option to be extruded allowing the scene to have more depth and interest. Finally we were shown the globe effect that allows for a flat image to be projected onto a circle with shadow options making it look like a sphere, we used it to project a map of the earth and create a layer that looks like planet earth. I my own time I decided to add the extra assets to cover up the horizon which I wasn’t happy with, I also added a final adjustment layer that allowed to make the scene look like an old science fiction film.

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