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In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.
In this video we're going to use the Camera Tracker to track our desk here. And this scene is going to be a little different than the previous video, because in this scene the camera was actually locked down on a tripod. That gives After Effects a slightly different bit of math to figure out. So to show you what I'm talking about, let's go ahead and apply the Camera Tracker to our layer. Now in the last video we just right- clicked on the layer and said Track Camera, but this time let's go up to Animation > Track Camera.
There's always more than one way to do things in After Effects. If we look in our Effects controls, you can see that the footage is being analyzed. Now since we've already went over some of these in the previous video, let's jump down to the Advanced section. Here under the Solve Method, After Effects usually does a really good job of guessing exactly which method to use, and that's why most of the time I just leave it on Auto Detect. But sometimes it's wise to just click on the pulldown and choose one of these options.
So Typical is the very first option and that's usually what After Effects ends up using, as long as your camera is moving throughout a 3D scene. If you shot a scene that's primarily a bunch of flat surfaces, you'd want to choose Mostly Flat Scene. Since our shot specifically had a camera on a tripod and it was literally just panning, let's choose that option. A lot of times when a footage is being analyzed, if you choose a different method from what it's using currently, it may start the analysis again.
But even so a lot of times when it figures out the analysis, even if it starts it again, it's not really always starting all the way over, it really doesn't delay that much longer. Notice down here in the Advanced section also, since the track has been worked out the Average Error is 0.65. The smaller this number the more accurate your tracks are going to be. If this number isn't something that's satisfactory to you, you can always select Detailed Analysis and let it go at it again.
Let's hover our mouse around some of these points and see, okay, so the target is huge first off which leads me to believe that there is something funky going on with the scene. Secondly, notice how the target is perfectly flat to the camera. Well that's because with the tripod there is no actual depth being created. See all of these points, imagine like a string attached to the end of your camera, attached to one of these points that distance is always going to be the same.
When you're panning, you're not changing the distance from the lens, you're just changing the orientation to that point. So After Effects feels no need to actually create 3D from this. I know you're thinking to yourself, well, how am I going to get an object in the scene without 3D data? Well I can tell you it's not that bad. Once you actually tie your graphic to a point you can actually orient it rather easily yourself. But let's move around and see if we can't figure out the issue with our target.
I could just crank the Target Size down, but it's so rare that the target takes over the screen like this. Let's click through some of the menus and see if we can figure things out. Let's start by the Shot Type. If you click on the pulldown, it was correct in the Fixed Angle of View, but let's see if we Specify the Angle of View if we get any better results. This Angle of View is set to 8.8 and I'm pretty sure I don't have a camera that shoots at 8.8 in terms of its Angle of View. So to figure out what my lens was I'm just going to go up Layer > New > Camera.
And in the Camera Settings here, I'm going to go to the Focal Length and type in my lens. I know I shot this with an 85 millimeter lens. So when I type that in, I get 23.91 degrees. So I'm going to cancel here and under Angle of View I'm going to say 23.91 and when I press Tab, now notice it quickly resolved the scene and, hey check it out, when I hover my mouse, now you can actually see the target, and also when you see the target, at the bottom it gives you the same note I explained earlier.
There's no depth from a tripod pan solve. That is perfectly okay. Let's scrub through our scene, so we can see exactly how this is panning over the desk, and you notice there are some points that are there and then there are some points that actually disappear. So let's choose one of these points over here on the left. Let's choose this green point. I'm just going to choose one, right- click, and say Create Solid and Camera.
Now when we do that, we have our camera, if you press U with the camera selected, you can see Position, Orientation, and Zoom. As we scrub through you can see the zoom never changes. Now our layer Solid, let's select Track Solid 1 and press Shift+Command+Y to open up the Solid Settings. I want to set this to about 200x200. Now when I click OK, I have a better idea as to the perspective of my Solid.
And just so I can see through the scene I'm going to press T to open up its Opacity and set it down to around 50%. Let's press R to open up the Rotation and Orientation. Let's click and drag on the X Orientation. Let's drag it to the left so we can see if we can match up the orientation of the table. After we do the X let's click and drag on the Z. Now what I'm trying to line up is this scene here and this scene here.
If we scroll in a little bit to the magnification and press the Spacebar, you can see this line and this line are not quite parallel. See, we need to scrub the Z Orientation and the X Orientation to actually get it oriented to its proper angle. There we go, and here let's scrub one more time. Okay, this is starting to look a little better. Let's zoom back out. There we go! Now if we scrub through the scene, you should notice that the Solid and the video are moving in conjunction with each other.
If you're not, definitely make sure you're in Draft mode and move your playhead back and just load up a RAM Preview. Now with this RAM preview, you should notice that our layer Solid is stuck to the table just as solidly as the yellow sticky notes that were sitting there in the first place. And as this loads you'll see there is hardly any drift. I'm going to stop playback here for a second and just watch in realtime. As you can see it's kind of stuck solid to the table, which is exactly what we're looking for.
Yes, we only use one point. I'm going to stop playback there, but it's still was able to get the job done. Now in our next video, we're going to focus on the 3D element that we will then in turn end up compositing back into the scene. Now just to show you the scene one more time, let's switch the magnification to fit up to 100%, and as we scrub through here, you can see that this element isn't ever going to fully end up in the scene.
I don't want you to panic, you can make adjustments to this even though this is applied to that one track point. If you press A to open up the anchor point, here we can scrub the anchor point on the X axis and actually have it slide around on the table, and even as we scrub through, you can see that it's still going to be stuck to the table perfectly well without any drift.
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