Motion Control 3D: Bringing Your Photos to Life in Three Dimensions with After Effects and Photoshop CS6
Illustration by John Hersey

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Video: Importing a layered PSD file

Now that we've prepped the files in Photoshop, we're ready to go into After Effects. The integration between Photoshop and After Effects is excellent, so we can go ahead and bring these in as layered files. Let's go ahead and see how that works. I'll double-click inside the Project panel, and that brings up the Import dialog box. I'll just navigate to the Photoshop files I need. These are the two documents that we just finished prepping over in Photoshop. So I'll lasso those, and I'll choose to bring them in as Composition. Now it's very important that you choose the regular Composition and not the Composition Retained Layer Sizes.
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Watch the Online Video Course Motion Control 3D: Bringing Your Photos to Life in Three Dimensions with After Effects and Photoshop CS6
1h 30m Intermediate Oct 04, 2012

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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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding parallax
  • Choosing the best photos
  • Identifying planes
  • Using Quick Selection, Quick Mask, and Refine Edge to create layers
  • Adding a 3D camera to your scene
  • Setting the depth and size of your composition
  • Using multiple views
  • Adding depth of field and Bokeh blur
  • Setting ambient and directional light
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects Photoshop
Author:
Richard Harrington

Importing a layered PSD file

Now that we've prepped the files in Photoshop, we're ready to go into After Effects. The integration between Photoshop and After Effects is excellent, so we can go ahead and bring these in as layered files. Let's go ahead and see how that works. I'll double-click inside the Project panel, and that brings up the Import dialog box. I'll just navigate to the Photoshop files I need. These are the two documents that we just finished prepping over in Photoshop. So I'll lasso those, and I'll choose to bring them in as Composition. Now it's very important that you choose the regular Composition and not the Composition Retained Layer Sizes.

You're going to want it bring this in as a normal Composition and then click Open. This brings in both files with a comp, and that's going to work really well. What I'll now do is duplicate those comps so I can go back to the original if I make a mistake. I'll just press Ctrl+D, or Command+D, for Duplicate, and then we'll rename these, and that will help us know where we're at in the design process. Now this a good point to save the project, because anytime you see the phrase Untitled Project, you should be very afraid.

I'm just going to navigate to the Lesson Folder and press Save. I'll go ahead and open up those two comps, and you'll see that all the layers came across in both cases. I could turn off the reference layer since that's just there for reference, and I'll set this to a single view for now as we work. Now that we've brought the comps in and set them up, we are just about ready to begin animating by adding a camera and setting the stage.

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