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Animating the resulting layers in After Effects

From: After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

Video: Animating the resulting layers in After Effects

Finally, the payoff, after you've prepped your file inside Photoshop and have all these individual layers painted up as necessary and you've saved it as a layered PSD file, you can go back into After Effects, select the folder you want to import this into, such as My Comps, and do Command+I on Mac, Ctrl+I on Windows, select your file. If you've been working on your own version, select that and import it, if not, inside your Exercise Files, inside Sources, you'll see Samoan scene.psd.

Animating the resulting layers in After Effects

Finally, the payoff, after you've prepped your file inside Photoshop and have all these individual layers painted up as necessary and you've saved it as a layered PSD file, you can go back into After Effects, select the folder you want to import this into, such as My Comps, and do Command+I on Mac, Ctrl+I on Windows, select your file. If you've been working on your own version, select that and import it, if not, inside your Exercise Files, inside Sources, you'll see Samoan scene.psd.

This is the version that I cut up a few years ago when we did not have Content-Aware Fill and I only used the clone brush, and you'll see it's nowhere near as good as you can do with more recent version of Photoshop. There are reasons occasionally to upgrade, and Content-Aware Fill is one of them. Anyway, Open. I do indeed want a composition, I want to retain the layer sizes, earlier versions will say crop layers. Live Photoshop 3D doesn't matter to me, now I'll click OK. I have all my individual layers again and I have my Samoan scene as a composition in After Effects.

Now remember, I started with a source that was larger than my intended target. So I am going to go to Composition Settings and drop the size back down to my intended final render size. Let's just say I happen to be doing this for NTSC DV. I will click OK. All my layers look large right now, that's fine; that just gives me some more what I can do with the camera. And the next step is separating these layers in Z space, so I can have some fake dimension and depth. I am going to enable the 3D layer switch for all of these layers.

I don't need my original frame anymore, so I can even delete that layer and for that matter, I am not going to be doing any parenting, so I am going to right-click and say Hide This, just to buy myself some more space from the Timeline. I will quickly add a layer>New>Camera. In an earlier chapter in this lesson Trish explained these settings to you. I am going to go ahead and choose a shorter camera lens length, which will give me more exaggerated depth of field, and more payoff when I do my camera move. I will click OK.

I am going to select all my layers; Command+A or Ctrl+A, P to reveal their position and start thinking about their relative Z positions compared to each other. I can go ahead and back this camera up quite a bit to get more framing of this particular layer, maybe around there to start. The next thing I need to do is separate out these individual layers in Z space, so I can have some multi- planning and some illusion of dimension. To make that easier, I am going to switch to 2 Views, - Horizontal, keep one view on active camera, and set the other view to something such as Top, so I can see where the layers are in relation to each other.

Right now, they are all on the same plane, I am going to select the man, I am going to press C to get the Camera tools again, in this case I will go ahead and toggle through to the Z tool, so I can back off and see the entire layer, V for selection, and I will pull the man forward. Since I did not do a great job cloning that background layer, I am not going to pull him too far forward, because you see I just reveal what's left of them in the scene behind. I am just going to pull him about 75 to 100 units forward, just to get a little bit of separation.

Select the foreground pole, click on its Z axis arrow and drag it towards almost even with the man, choose the pot and wall, put it close to the back of that pole, so I can replicate the real dimension of the scene and the left pole is much more in the background. I am only going to pull it away a little bit from that background. Now that I have some Z separation in the scene, I can select my camera and start moving it around to get some fake dimension in the scene.

Since I happen to have a One-Node camera to start with, I can go ahead and pan back and forth, give some multi-planning. You can see how that forward pole is moving across the pole behind it, or I can double-click the camera, back to Camera Settings, switch back to a Two-Node Camera, which is my personal favorite, click OK. Now I can animate the back of the camera, as well as where the camera is pointed. That gives me a lot more options in how I animate this scene. At this point, go ahead and have some fun and keyframe a camera move on this scene, a little bit later in time, change our focus a little bit, maybe pull the camera back a little bit, and if you want, you can even animate things such as the position of the man.

I will start him back in the scene, and as I go later on time, I might pull him forward a little bit. Again, making sure I don't accidentally reveal a copy of him in the background, but looks like I have got it well hidden here. So now here is an example of my camera move and multi-planning and pulling the guy forward in the scene. If you want to see another example of this, you can go back to the Faux Dimension_final comp that we saw earlier inside the Comps_Finished folder, and in addition to animating the camera, and animating the man, I also had an adjustment layer, Type U to reveal its keyframes, changing the tint of the scene.

Remember, everything below an adjustment layer is affected by that layer, everything above is left alone. This allows me to isolate the man from all of the objects behind him. You can either que up a RAM Preview or just go to Finished Movies>Faux Dimension and play that back, and you will see that in addition to a camera move around the scene, with a bit of multi-planning, you have the man pulling forward and then the adjustment layer is animating tint effect, faded the rest of the background layers, the black and white to further put focus on this man here in the foreground, and that's the dimensional still technique.

It's particularly useful if you were just given historical photos where no video existed; there's also become something that people like to use in its own right. It's very time consuming, but it's another trick you now know how to do, and with that, you now have a pretty good idea of how to handle 3D in After Effects, so you can add more dimension to your animations.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

54 video lessons · 14197 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      2m 47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Comparing 2D and 3D
      5m 30s
    2. Rotation in 3D
      4m 47s
    3. Keyframing in 3D
      4m 55s
  3. 15m 9s
    1. Multi-planing workaround in 2D
      3m 21s
    2. Using 3D views
      6m 45s
    3. Natural multi-planing in 3D
      5m 3s
  4. 13m 9s
    1. Keyframing a fly-in
      5m 24s
    2. Editing 3D motion paths
      5m 43s
    3. Auto-orienting a layer along its path
      2m 2s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Adding a camera to a composition
      9m 0s
    2. Comparing camera presets
      2m 48s
    3. Using the camera tools with the active camera
      4m 48s
    4. Using the camera tools in the alternate views
      4m 50s
    5. 3D view options
      1m 58s
    6. Animating a 3D camera
      6m 20s
    7. Creating an orbit camera rig
      5m 42s
    8. Extending your camera rig
      4m 31s
    9. Auto-orientation with 3D cameras
      7m 33s
    10. Depth of field blur in CS5.5 and later
      5m 47s
    11. Controlling the focal plane in CS5.5 and later
      5m 12s
    12. Iris properties in CS5.5 and later
      6m 16s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Creating a 3D light
      6m 35s
    2. Working with Point lights
      3m 20s
    3. Working with Spot lights
      3m 48s
    4. Creating shadows
      10m 13s
    5. The Light Falloff feature in After Effects CS5.5 and later
      5m 19s
  7. 48m 6s
    1. Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6
      3m 26s
    2. Extrusions in CS6
      3m 39s
    3. Bevels in CS6
      5m 39s
    4. Bending layers in CS6
      5m 35s
    5. Transparency in CS6
      4m 20s
    6. Refraction in CS6
      4m 6s
    7. Targeting Surfaces in CS6
      3m 23s
    8. Reflections in CS6
      7m 35s
    9. Environment layers in CS6
      5m 40s
    10. Quality vs. speed in CS6
      4m 43s
  8. 11m 33s
    1. Quizzler challenge for CS6
      1m 42s
    2. Quizzler solution for CS6
      9m 51s
  9. 41m 6s
    1. Vanishing Point Exchange in Photoshop Extended
      9m 18s
    2. Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects
      4m 38s
    3. Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 7s
    4. Creating 3D objects using Repoussé in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 46s
    5. Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier
      8m 17s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Introduction to dimensional stills
      3m 41s
    2. Cutting up the source image
      2m 25s
    3. Repairing the layers in Photoshop
      8m 26s
    4. Animating the resulting layers in After Effects
      6m 26s
  11. 25m 27s
    1. Rotation vs. orientation
      3m 15s
    2. Understanding the axis modes
      4m 4s
    3. Scaling issues in 3D
      4m 57s
    4. OpenGL acceleration in CS5 and earlier
      6m 23s
    5. Fast previews in CS6 and later
      6m 48s

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