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The first step in preparing the image is to cut out the individual pieces that you'll then want to separate in Z space in After Effects to take advantage of multi-planning and give the illusion of depth. To show you an example of this, inside the Comps_Finished folder is a composition called 09-Samoan cut-up. What I did in here was take the original full frame background image, duplicated it several times and then started masking out various parts of that image. If I solo this layer, you'll see this copy has just the man.
I used two masks to cut him out, one with a relatively small feather for the body. I'll twirl down all of its parameters, and then one with a more generous feather for his hair, and I'll twirl that down. I went ahead and added these two masks together to create composites for this particular component. In addition to the man, I did the same thing for the foreground pole on the right cutting this little nail that was stuck into it. This intermediate distance pole on the left, again solo that; turn it off and then for a bit of this lower wall, a bit of this pot and in the background here is actually a fan.
Now note that the pole and this man were in front of the pot and the fan. Therefore, I had to fake the mask shape to kind of guess where those objects existed behind the man and the pole, so that I can fill those pixels in later inside a program like Photoshop. Now I happened to have done my masking inside After Effects, because I'm very comfortable doing so. And we covered Masking in earlier After Effects Apprentice lesson, but you could easily have done this in a program such as Photoshop. In my case, since I have done this inside After Effects, I would now go to Composition>Save Frame As>Photoshop layers.
This will create a single Photoshop . psd file that contains an individual layer for each of the layers inside of my composition. I'll select that; navigate to a folder where I can find it later. and in this case I'll go ahead and call it Samoan cut-up.psd. Click Save.
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