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Have you looked at a photo and wished you were there, or wondered what the scene looked like to the photographer? Now you can bring your photos to life by adding motion and depth to your images. Author Rich Harrington reveals how you can transport your photos into a three-dimensional world using Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. The course shows you how to select the right images and resolutions; how to use masks and layers to build the composition in Photoshop; and how to animate the camera and light the scene in After Effects.
This whole technique is based on using a 3D camera. You're essentially filming the scene. To do this, you're going to want to add a camera that kind of simulates the real camera used to take the original photo. Now, this is a modern image. You might be able to match it exactly by setting up a virtual lens with the same Millimeter and Throw and Settings that you would put into the physical lens that you shot it with. If you're using a historical photo without that metadata, you may just have to guess and try to apply good judgment.
To add a camera, I'll just choose Layer > New > Camera. This brings up the ability here to add the camera. You've got the choice between a One-Node and a Two-Node camera. You're going to want to stick with a Two-Node camera so you can access it and go ahead and animate the position and point of interest separately. This will create a greater sense of parallax and allow you to move the camera more fluidly to the scene. You will then see presets for different focal lengths.
Now, if the image is shot with a wide-angle, go ahead to something like 20 millimeters or 28, or if it was a telephoto, you might come down here to 200. But as a starting point, a 50-millimeter lens is usually pretty good for this type of photo. I'll enable the Depth of Field option, and these default values are fine for now, and click OK. Now, once you do that, you need 3D layers. So you'll go ahead and play with your switches here, clicking the Toggle Switches and Modes button, and make all of those layers 3D, with the exception of the original layer which you can leave on top.
For now I'm going to click the little Kilroy icon here and mark that as Shy. And this allows me to just hide that layer from view. Comma key will zoom this out, and I see the whole scene so that worked great. Let's prep the other one just for practice, Layer > New > Camera. In this case, it's a bit more of a wide-angle lens. So, I'll go with something like a 28-millimeter, enable the Depth of Field, and click OK. Lens is added.
Toggle the switches and modes and make those 3D, put the reference photo up on top, and mark it as Shy for now so it's out of the way. That looks great! We've added the 3D cameras, and now we're ready to create some depth.
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