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After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
Illustration by John Hersey

Refining the camera move


From:

After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Refining the camera move

We have our basic Camera Move Key framed. Now let's go about testing and refining it. I almost never leave keyframes linear. Sometimes I'll do it for a particular bouncy effect, but quite often, it doesn't look very smooth or professional. I'm going to go ahead and select all of those keyframes and choose Animation>Keyframe Assistant>Easy Ease just to add some nice, smooth accelerations and decelerations to my camera move. Okay. Let's do a quick RAM Preview of this initial move.

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After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
3h 30m Intermediate Jan 17, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This project-oriented course leads you through the creative and technical process of building an opening title sequence from scratch in Adobe After Effects. Author Chris Meyer shows how to pull together numerous skills you've learned in the other After Effects Apprentice courses, from working in 3D space to creating type and shape layers to writing expressions. Along the way, Chris lets you in on the mental process he uses when creating similar spots for real-world clients, while sharing numerous tips that will help broaden your After Effects skills.

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.

Topics include:
  • Animating to music
  • Arranging layers in 3D space
  • Performing time stretches
  • Working with 3D camera tracking
  • Typesetting and animating text
  • Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
  • Creating and animating shape layers
  • Building and delivering a broadcast package
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Refining the camera move

We have our basic Camera Move Key framed. Now let's go about testing and refining it. I almost never leave keyframes linear. Sometimes I'll do it for a particular bouncy effect, but quite often, it doesn't look very smooth or professional. I'm going to go ahead and select all of those keyframes and choose Animation>Keyframe Assistant>Easy Ease just to add some nice, smooth accelerations and decelerations to my camera move. Okay. Let's do a quick RAM Preview of this initial move.

I'll press 0 on the numeric keypad and calculate that Ram Preview. It will go fast because solids take almost no time to render. (music playing) Not bad, but to be honest, I'm not all together thrilled with it.

I like the multi-planing here, but those video layers are just so too disconnected from each other. I wish they overlapped more, because that will give me more of a sense of mystery as they uncovered and revealed sections of each other. Here's a couple of ways I could go about that. I could go about maybe rearranging them in Z space, moving everybody closer together or I think my real problem is they're just not big enough, they are too small, I'm not really enjoying them. Now the camera does pull back quite a distance here making those videos smaller than they were in 2D.

And I can double-check that by taking one of those layers, duplicating it, turning off the 3D switch and resetting the transform parameters. That's how big a layer is in 2D. If I never go beyond that size in 3D, it will remain perfectly sharp. I'll turn that off for now, just so I can remember that size. So I can get by with scaling up the size of these other layers, and see if that helps make them overlap. I'll press S for Scale, and start scrubbing the scale value.

That's kind of a nice overlap right around there. I still have my multi-planing, but now they're covering and uncovering each other, which I think creates even more visual interest in the movement. They also took the green and orange video off the same bottom line as the yellow video. So that's more interest, just to make sure I'm not scaling them up too much, I'll turn on my 2D check layer. That's fine, it's still bigger than 3D layers. At the end of the day, they're not being scaled effectively over 100%, everything will look fine.

I'm going to go ahead and delete that layer for now to just keep things clean. My only problem now is back at this initial pose, I can see the videos and my idea was I want those to be out of the camera's view just to add mystery, so we'll pull back and reveal them. No problem, I'll just go ahead and push the camera in closer, until they are just out of frame, say somewhere around there. I mentioned I like nice clean values, I'm just going to type in -200 to make it easier to remember later on. I think these two values were different too, -1870 versus 1868.

I'll double-click it and type in -1870, just so there's no slight drift during that move. Okay. Let's RAM Preview one more time. (music playing) Okay, I'm fairly pleased with that initial move.

If your client is the type who likes to be kept apprized of your progress, you could send this off to them and say, here is just an initial idea of what's going to go on. Imagine those colors replaced with real videos. If your client lacks imagination, maybe you don't want to send them solid colored videos right now, because they may wonder what the heck you're up to and what they are paying you for. But we now have a good foundation to start with, now we can start thinking about creating real elements to replace our placeholders.

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