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This installment of the After Effects Apprentice series introduces 3D space in Adobe After Effects. Authors Chris and Trish Meyer highlight key design considerations for working in 3D and provide step-by-step instructions for enhancing a scene with 3D lights and cameras. The course explores integration between Photoshop and After Effects, including modeling 3D objects with Repoussé extrusions and creating dimensional still images, and offers tips on using the different Axis Modes and maintaining maximum quality in 3D. There's also a chapter dedicated to the ray-traced 3D renderer, introduced in After Effects CS6, which allows you to build 3D layers into your composites, with realistic motion blur, depth of field, and reflections.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
Lastly I'd like to demonstrate for you a technique that was recently popularized by the movie The Kid Stays in the Picture. It's a very time-consuming technique so I'm going to be showing you just the broad strokes of how you would go by doing it rather than taking you through every single step, because that would take forever. The idea behind this technique is take a still image this happens to be a single frame from a high-def video and cutting it up so that you can reanimate it inside 3D in a program like After Effects. What works best for this is if you have an image that has a few clearly defined objects such as this man, these support poles, this pot.
What I originally thought was a bit of the wall, but I think now it's actually a fan here in the background that don't overlap too much. The reason is, you need to recreate parts that you cannot see in the original photo, because you're being obscured by something else. Something like this fan or this pot is not so bad to go ahead and clone. However, this pole was in front of say part of this man's face that would be very hard to recreate later on. So make sure you have several well- defined images with your hero being fully visible than other objects, there are different distances from the real camera, but you can easily chop out and fill in as necessary.
The other thing is very important, is to have an initial frame is larger than the final video you're going to be creating. In this case, I have a high-definition video frame and I'm going to be using it in a standard-definition video comp. You can also take a photo with say a digital SLR camera which would have a lot of pixels. The fun thing about using high- definition video when your target is the web or standard definition video is you can go ahead and play the video, stop on a Freeze Frame, chop that freeze frame up, then create this very special camera move around it. Next, let's look at the composition I created from this in After Effects.
Inside the Comps_Finished folder I'll open up comp 09-Faux Dimension_final. I'm going to turn off this adjustment layer for now, I'll explain that later and RAM preview. You'll see that not only do we have a camera panning around the still image, but that we also have some multi-planning going on. For example, this forward pole is moving across the poles behind it as you would expect in a real 3D scene, and also this man is moving forward towards the camera during the course of the camera move.
The way that this is accomplished is that the original photo is cut into multiple layers, for example, man, foreground pole, the pole off to the side, and also this pot and a little bit of a fan there in the background, and then these layers are separated in the Z space. I'll select all and press P and you can see that they have different Z positions. To get a better perspective I'll go ahead and look at this from some things which is a Custom View 1, proceed to toggle to my over camera tool and you can see now how these layers have been separated in space.
The man is in front of the pole, is front of the pot, is in the front of the background. You see an echo of this man in the background and I'll explain where that came from here in a moment. That gives an idea of the general overview. You need to take a still image, chop it up, then separate it in Z, so you can do 3D camera moves around it. In the next movie we'll look at how you go about chopping up a still like this.
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