Wrapping up the motion graphics
Video: Wrapping up the motion graphicsWe've added text to the heads-up display to make it more like a computer readout. I spent more time typing in text to make it look more technical, especially over here on the left, and then adjusted the opacity animation to work as the camera zooms in, or the view zooms in. One other thing I did, too, is on the cyan solid colors, I changed those Blending Modes to make it more exciting. Here's the before where it's Normal, and here's the after where it Subtract. So those are set to Subtract. I also renamed these layers just to keep track of them.
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VFX Techniques introduces common yet critical visual effects techniques that are used in film and television shows on a regular basis. This installment shows how to build complex composites with Adobe After Effects and mocha, where motion graphics are mapped to live-action footage of an actor. Author Lee Lanier starts by combining rotoscoping and effects to digitally apply makeup to an actor to disguise motion tracking marks. Then discover how to transfer footage into mocha and generate planar tracking data that you can use to motion track graphics to the moving face of the actor. Plus, learn how to build and adjust motion graphics to create the look of a virtual tattoo and a pair of holographic heads-up glasses.
- Disguising tracking marks with rotoscoping and effects
- Preparing footage for motion tracking
- Planar motion tracking a face in mocha
- Applying tracking data to artwork in After Effects
- Fine-tuning motion tracking curves in After Effects
- Animating text and graphic elements
- Applying color and light effects
- Batch rendering the final comp
Wrapping up the motion graphics
We've added text to the heads-up display to make it more like a computer readout. I spent more time typing in text to make it look more technical, especially over here on the left, and then adjusted the opacity animation to work as the camera zooms in, or the view zooms in. One other thing I did, too, is on the cyan solid colors, I changed those Blending Modes to make it more exciting. Here's the before where it's Normal, and here's the after where it Subtract. So those are set to Subtract. I also renamed these layers just to keep track of them.
This part is finished and I'm ready to move on. And it would be great to get another block of text at the end when the spy zooms in on the thing she's looking for, which is this other panel. So I'm going to copy one of these other backgrounds to save time. I'll just duplicate this one right here and then move it downwards. Now there is animation on it. So I'm going to remove the fadeout, the opacity keys at the end. Then move it over to where I wanted to start.
I want to start on frame 225, when the camera pans over. So I can move this bar, just click-drag it over to 225. Then scale the end, just grab the end and drag it. I'll zoom in my timeline so I can see it better. There's that copied solid. I want to move this over and just let it take up a larger section, like this. I can also steal some fonts or steal one of the text layers.
So I'm going to go to top text layer. Then I duplicate that. This has the same issue. It has opacity information. So I'm going to remove the end keyframes. Then it starts at the wrong place. I'm going to move it over to 225. Let me make sure I'm on the correct frame. There we go, and then extend the end of the bar. Now it still has the typewriter effect. That's okay for now. I'm going to readjust the layer to get the text back in this dark area.
I don't want to scale it, but I do want to give it more room. I do need to go into the Text Tool mode, and once I get this red line, then I can adjust the sides. I want to get rid of this old text. I should probably move to the start of this text, or actually the end so I can see it all. There we go, there's the end. I'll get rid of the old text and type some new text in.
I'll go to my Character tab so I can see the size. I'm going to increase the size here and type the name of this new high-tech panel, and you can just make up some name. I can go ahead and center the text by hitting the Center Align button here. Turn off the caps.
Now if I want to return the stroke, I can turn that back on by clicking the hollow box and choosing a different color. There we go. Now the typewriter effect is still there. So I can decide if that is good enough. If I want to change how fast that appears, I simply have to move this end keyframe right here. But I am going to leave it as is for now. That looks good. One last piece of text I'd like to get is a flashing bit of text at the bottom that gives some kind of warning or some kind of important message.
So I'm going to copy this text upwards, duplicate, move that new text box down so I have some room. In this case, I don't want the typewriter. So I'm going to go to Text > Animator 1 and delete that, and now it's permanent. It'd be kind of cool to have it flash so I can animate the opacity, but let me go ahead and change the font first and what it says. Let's say it's a warning message, like target acquired.
Maybe I'll make it a different color to make it more important. Here we go. Again, to make the opacity change and to make it flicker I just need to copy some keyframes. So it starts at 0 and goes to 100. Then we can go back to 0 now. I guess it goes up to 90. Let's see. It goes up to 90. That's fine. Then back up to 90. So what I can do is start copying keyframes. I'll copy these two keyframes, 90 and 0, and then paste, I'm using the keyboard shortcuts.
Move the slider and paste again. Move the slider and keep doing this, until the entire timeline is filled up, at least to the end. Now I'm doing this very quickly. You can spread these out very evenly or make them more random. Now I'll play this back. There's our flickering warning text. Okay, that wraps up the heads-up display. Now we're ready to prepare it to eventually motion track it.
Now what I'd like to do is mask in such a way that looks like the shape of a pair of glasses. So I'll to make a new composition. Same size. I want to call this HeadsUpMask. Then nest the HeadsUp in that. I'm going to do some special color work on this. So I want to have two copies. So I'm going to nest it twice. I move my time slider to a frame where we can see. Now in the top copy I'm really going to treat the colors quite a bit for something really futuristic.
So Effect > Color Correction > Colorama. Now this makes colors really crazy. What it does is spin the entire color wheel. Now you can change that by adjusting the phase and some other qualities, but I think I'm going to leave it at the default right now. However, to make it even more interesting, I can change the blending mode. For example, instead of Normal, Saturation. Some of the areas are still black and I can still read the text, but for instance the people's clothing and hair is just wild reddish, purplish color.
One thing about this tool is it really exaggerates the grain. I can see that here at the top. That's okay. I'm going to fade this layer out a little bit so I can get back some of my original colors. So I'm going to change the capacity to 70. So it mixes with what's below it. Then on the bottom layer I'm going to add some more noise. So I have noise on both layers. Effect > Noise & Grain > Add Grain. Add Grain is a preview box, but I can go ahead and switch it over to Final Output.
It's going to add grain based on these settings in our tweaking, and also you have presets. And the presents are set to various kinds of motion picture film. So if you change this to some other type, you'll get a different style of grain. Some bigger, some smaller. But whatever grain you have, you can still adjust the size and the intensity. This looks pretty good. It looks like a staticky, noisy computer display. Now last step we need to apply before we can motion track it is to mask in such a way that it looks like a pair of virtual sunglasses.
I want that sunglass shape cut out. So I'm going to turn off the top layer temporarily. On the bottom layer we are going to draw a mask that has a sunglass-type shape. Now as a reference I want to turn on the Title/Action Safe just so I have some lines on here that I can judge. I'm going to zoom in a bit and then draw a mask that, again, is kind of like a pair of sunglasses. Something like this. It goes up on the nose, and the reason I turned on the Action Safe is so I can line up the two sides and see where the points fall.
Now we're going to have to adjust these once we track. So I'm just getting it roughed in. And I'll close that, and it's cut out. Now it's very linear right now, but I can smooth it if I just double-click one of the lines and go to Layer > Mask and Shape Path > RotoBezier, and go back to my Convert Vertex Tool, and slide over the selected points, left or right. Okay, it looks much smoother. I could spend some more time making it more symmetrical by moving points around.
Again, we're going to have to adjust this once we track it, so we can do the fine tuning then. One important thing is to leave a nice gap for the nose. This will fit better over the face. Let's say it's good enough for now. I'm going to copy this mask up to the top layer, reveal the mask, copy it, keyboard shortcut. Turn on the top layer, paste that in, and now it's cut out. So now we have a heads-up display that's ready to track to the front of the face.
We used some additional color tools to exaggerate the colors, like Colorama. Also, we added Add Grain to make it more grainy and staticky. And of course, we added additional text to finish up the display in terms of the readout. Next step is to bring this layer into the earlier comp and then to apply the data from mocha.
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