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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.
When you first get started, you're going to want to be very deliberate. Now this could be because you have to build a relationship with the producer, or you might just be new to thinking in three dimensions, and you want to map out your plans on paper. I'm a big fan of creating a staging diagram. In the photo you see here, we have our foreground, our subject, and our background. This is going to help dictate what we're going to see. Now looking at the photo in a flattened view, it's difficult to understand the relative distance between the subjects, so I went a step further and identified how things are going to fall.
What you see here is a simple staging diagram, identifying where the camera is going to be placed as well as the relationship in distance. I've decided to set the camera slightly off axis here, and that's going to help emphasize the sense of depth and perspective. The grass and our subject are pretty close together because they are standing in the grass. However, I'm still going to split them slightly apart so there is a small sense of depth. I've placed those further forward from the background to give it a sense of perspective.
Now the yellow here is indicating the field of view, and I'm going to set the focus point right here on the subject. As you adjust the Depth of Field controls in the camera, you can control what stays in focus. In fact, you can even pull a Rack focus if you'd like to animate between one subject and another. Making a diagram like this is a good idea because it helps you firm up your thought process before you waste time animating. You want to plan before you start to implement.
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