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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.
We're going to jump ahead right now to a nearly completed project. Now we're going to break all these techniques down in greater depth later, but I'd like you to see how that planning document becomes a real animation. In this case, I've brought in the three layers from our file, and if you look at this, you'll see there's the Brick, the Couple, and the trees or the Bush in front. There they all are, the background, our subject, and the plants in the foreground.
Here is the After Effects camera, and notice that as I drag through, the camera has been animated, so it's moving up from the ground, revealing our subject, and because the brick is further away, you get a different rate of movement for those. It really feels like there's some depth. Enhancing that depth is the fact that we've actually added some lights, so we have a spotlight pointed at our subjects, creating a shadow on the back wall, and that's definitely helping.
This is just a low resolution, simple file from a standard definition production here, but it's one that you can continue to play with on your own to wrap your head around the technique. Because we've got some distance here, as we animate the camera you'll notice that we can get some flexibility. So let's just go ahead here and move the camera through a bit, and you see that you get that sense of movement where the objects really close to the camera are moving at a different rate than the wall that's further away.
I'll just choose Undo to reset that, and let's preview that in real time. There is your sense of parallax, and now we're going to explore all the techniques that will get you to a completed animation.
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