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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.
What kind of photos are going to work well for Motion Control? This is incredibly subjective. In some cases, it's going to be the pictures that your client gives you and says please make these move. However, you're probably being hired because of your good judgment and artistic sensibilities. So, if given a choice, you're going to want to have some input. Let's take a look at two pictures and talk about some of the pros and cons of using these images. I am in Adobe Bridge here, and this is a nice way to browse photos. You notice you get all the technical specs here on the right, and we'll talk about resolution in our next lesson.
I'm just going to take this image and View it Full Screen. I've got a nice Slideshow here. Notice I can move between the images, or if I just want to see a single image, the spacebar will open it up, and that's nice, it's very quick. This image has a lot of good things about it. We have a sense of perspective. What's nice here is that because we have an angle, we could take advantage of vanishing point exchange later to create a sense of movement around this house. Unfortunately, with this picture a lot of the objects are cut off. The car in the right here is chopped, so I'd likely need to remove it or replace it with more of a vehicle.
There is also not a lot of head room in the photo, so if I want to move down to this house, we're going to have to replace the sky and fill in additional details. On the left here, it gets pretty tight on this person. Remember, with video you often need to compensate for action safe and title safe, so you tend to pad the edges a bit, leaving room on the outside frame. This person is going to get smushed right up to the edge unless we extend the left edge here through cloning or scene replacement. Let's take a look at the next photo.
Now this image has a lot of action in it, which is good. We definitely have the sense of motion and which direction we're going to tell the story. I envision that the camera pans down from the sky here into the walking soldiers. What's nice is we have a definite sense of movement, and the camera can match that going ahead and panning across the action here to give you a sense of motion and perspective. Up front here, we have some stray action from the previous scene, and because that's not going to resolve, I'd likely crop the image or clone them out.
There are some flaws in this picture, here is soft focus, and that's indicative of the timeframe. So, make sure you give some thought as to where you're going to put your focus. With Bridge you can click and zoom to 100%, and this make it very easy to pan around the image and view the actual pixels, so you can evaluate. If dealing with historical photos, there is little guarantee that they're going to be tack sharp. In fact there's pretty much a guarantee that they won't. But even within a picture like this, some parts have better focus than others, and we'll have to keep that in mind as we choose to frame the shot.
So, evaluate the sources you have. To summarize, I always look for a sense of motion. This is going to help me tell what way the camera is going to move through the scene. Ideally, there's also some perspective. It might be an angle or just a sense of multiple layers stacked with foreground, mid-ground, and background. You're going to need that stacking if you really want to create a sense of movement, and you need that depth, hence Motion Control 3D. If you don't have any depth, that it's just simple pan and scan like a traditional Ken Burns style effect--and we've covered that in an earlier video here on lynda.com: Documentary Techniques with Photoshop and After Effects, and we go well into it there.
So take a look. For 3D Motion Control, perspective and depth are key.
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