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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating the scene


From:

Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

with David Mattingly

Video: Animating the scene

Now we're going to composite and animate our digital matte painting. I'm going to locate that special reduced file I prepared for After Effects. For those of you who are lynda.com Premium members, you can check out what my final file looks like inside the After Effects Course Material Folder. Now just drag that Photoshop file into the After Effects project window. Under Import Kind, make sure Composition - Retain Layer Sizes is chosen.

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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter
1h 48m Intermediate Jul 03, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, well-known author, teacher, and illustrator David Mattingly demonstrates his production-proven matte painting techniques and shows how to turn a summer daytime scene into a wintry nightscape using Photoshop and After Effects. David shows how to take a plate, or a still shot from a film, and alter key elements to change the season and time of day. Using advance digital matte painting methods, David removes all of the greenery from the mountains, fields, and trees, and covers them with snow. Then he replaces the sky, and adds realistic touches such as chimney smoke, icicles, and night-lit windows. In the final chapters, you'll discover how to create an animated scene that cross-dissolves between the two versions.

Topics include:
  • Making precise selections using the Color Range command
  • Controlling reference material through layer masks
  • Creating custom brushes
  • Painting snow, icicles, and trees
  • Painting through a high-contrast matte
  • Replacing the sky in an image
  • Animating smoke and falling snow
  • Reformatting and rendering a scene in After Effects
Subjects:
3D + Animation Illustration Video Digital Painting Compositing Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Animating the scene

Now we're going to composite and animate our digital matte painting. I'm going to locate that special reduced file I prepared for After Effects. For those of you who are lynda.com Premium members, you can check out what my final file looks like inside the After Effects Course Material Folder. Now just drag that Photoshop file into the After Effects project window. Under Import Kind, make sure Composition - Retain Layer Sizes is chosen.

That crops each layer to as small as it can be. If you choose Composition, it brings everything in the same size as the entire comp, and that can make the project harder to deal with. With that chosen, press OK. You'll notice that all of layers have been brought in and After Effects has been nice enough to create a comp for you. Double-click on that comp to open it up in the viewer and then zoom out so you can see the entire composition. I wan to choose Fit up to 100% so it will interactively resize.

Let's start with the summer version, and we will do an animated version of that. Scroll down the little arrow to the left of the ForegroundClouds layer and click the watch icon next to Position to set a position keyframe. Then I am going to select the BackClouds and set a keyframe on them all so. Then move in the Timeline to the end of the animation, select both cloud layers, and move them to the left together. The background clouds should move less, since they are further away, so pull them back to the right a little bit.

Now the foreground clouds move faster and we have a nice subtle animated cloud bank. This move goes across all 500 frames, so it's fairly slow. Now I want to animate the transition to the wintertime version. So I need to locate and turn on the Winter layer and set a 100% opacity keyframe at around frame 150. And then let's move to a round frame 100 and set a 0% opacity keyframe.

By animating the opacity of the Winter layer, it reveals the wintertime version over 50 frames. I think that's a little too fast, I am going to move the opacity keyframe to around frame 200. Now you have a little longer to watch the snowy landscape appear. Next, we're going to add snow to the scene using a built-in effect in After Effects.

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