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The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere

From: CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

Video: The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere

All right, here we are, ready to begin the compositing process. We're going to start off with shot 1 because it's the longest shot and what we're going to be doing in this video is using Photoshop elements and a little bit of Fractal Noise, which is an effect, to give our shot a little bit more character. So let's start off by opening up the composition for that and what I'm going to do is go to the Video and Audio folder CINEMA imports, and in the shot-001-render_END folder, I'm going to duplicate this composition. And let's go Command+D to duplicate it and let's call this one shot-001, just delete all the extra stuff off it.

The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere

All right, here we are, ready to begin the compositing process. We're going to start off with shot 1 because it's the longest shot and what we're going to be doing in this video is using Photoshop elements and a little bit of Fractal Noise, which is an effect, to give our shot a little bit more character. So let's start off by opening up the composition for that and what I'm going to do is go to the Video and Audio folder CINEMA imports, and in the shot-001-render_END folder, I'm going to duplicate this composition. And let's go Command+D to duplicate it and let's call this one shot-001, just delete all the extra stuff off it.

I like to always keep an extra copy of my comp around just in case, and so I'm going to call this shot-001 and we want to move this into a new sub-folder. And let's enlarge our window here a little bit. And in the Working comps folder is where we're going to store this and let's go to shot-001 and drag it into the Working comps folder. Now we can double-click on this and open that up and you can see we've got our camera and we've got our original shark light, which we used. We're not going to be needing the shark light in this shot, so we can just turn it off. So now, what you see here in this composition are all of the multipass layers.

Now, we're actually not going to be using these in this shot, but I always like to render out the multipass layers just in case, and you never know during compositing process what layers you might need to work your magic on your composition. So I always render those out anyway. In this case, we're just going to need the rgba pass. So let's turn these all off, leaving a black comp. And then in our shot-001-render_END file, in the Special Passes folder, is our rgb pass. Let's go and drag that into the composition and we can scrub through and there's our sharks swimming through the scene.

It looks awesome, except that it really doesn't have a lot of character to it. It's very sort of flat, featureless landscape. We want to have a little bit more drama and intensity. So we're going to use some Photoshop elements to do that, along with some Fractal Noise. So let's go to the Production Elements folder and drag in brighter, darker and grain, and I'm going to drag those right into the top of the composition above our shot-001. Now, those coming at full Opacity and normal blending modes. Now before I mess around with the opacities on these, let's take a look at these images one at a time.

The brighter image, if I double-click on it, is simply a Photoshop file that I've used a paint brush on and I've brushed a little bit of a cyan color here, just kind of randomly around and I gave a little bit of brightness to the upper right-hand corner of the frame, and I actually generated these files during the storyboarding process and then saved them out as individual layers to be used here in After Effects. The darker element, when I double- click on that, it looks like black but I'll turn on the transparency grid and now you can see that it's sort of the opposite effect of the brighter.

It darkens up certain areas of the frame. And the grain layer is simply just a grain element that's going to sit on top of everything to kind of give a general noise pattern to the entire scene. So now here in the composition, let's go back to our Composition window, give myself a little bit more room to work here. We're going to make some changes to these blending modes and opacities. Now I'm going to be setting the brighter layer to a Screen blending mode and that's going to add a little bit of brightness to our scene and the screen can't really be seen right now because of all the stuff that's underneath it, but we're going to tweak these guys.

I'm going to turn off these other two layers just so you can see what happens when I adjust that brighter. So you can see that when I changed the blending mode from Normal to Screen, here it is on Normal and it's kind of sitting there, and when I change it to Screen, it doesn't look that different, but I'm going to adjust the scale on this just a bit, because it needs to come down to about 75% or so. I did mine at 69%. The important thing is that it's just outside the boundaries of the frame image and you can see that it's now blending in with the background. It's kind of brightening up this upper corner of our frame.

Now I'm going to take the grain layer and add this to the mix, and in the grain layer, we're going to leave it set on Normal. When I turn it on, you can see that it completely overwhelms the Screen, but when I set the Opacity, hit T on the keyboard to bring up the Opacity settings, I'm going to set the Opacity to be about 20%, and then adjust the Scale down a bit. Hit S on the keyboard to bring up the Scale. Let's bring the Scale to about 70% also. Let's zoom in on the frame just a bit. You can see I'm going to turn off the grain layer and then turn it back on again.

Let's back out one more layer, so now I've enlarged my window nice and big. So I'll turn off the grain layer and turn it back on again. You can see it gives a very subtle darkness overall to the image and adds a little bit of noise to everything and kind of takes away the computer-generated feel. We're going to save the darker layer for just a moment and we're going to be using that darker layer for another purpose. So let's leave it off for now and I'm going to create a new solid. Under the Layer menu, New > Solid, and the color doesn't really matter. We are going to call it, though, fractal noise.

And we want to make sure that it's the same size as the comp, so I'll hit OK. I'm going to add the Fractal Noise effect and it's here in the Noise & Grain Effects under Fractal Noise and when I add it to the frame, I get this noise pattern that replaces the gray that was my solid, and now I can change some settings on here. I'm going to change the Fractal Type from Basic to Turbulent Smooth. That's going to give a very different type of pattern here. That's got some light and dark values that I really like, and then I'm going to change the Noise Type from Soft Linear to Spline.

That really softens things up a lot. Next I'll adjust the Brightness up to about 20% or so, maybe 22 roughly. There we go, and that brightens up the image overall and now I'd like to change the Complexity. The noise pattern is really kind of dense right now and it has a lot of detail that I don't want. I'm going to set that Complexity down to be about 1.5 or so, and that really makes it a lot more simple and takes away all the extra detail. Now I can twirl open the Transform options and I'm going to set the Scale to be about 300%.

That's going to zoom in on the noise, so now it's just a very random sort of light and dark pattern here, and I think that's good for the settings. Now what I like to do is have that noise animate over the entire length of the shot. So if I change the Evolution, that has the effect of animating the noise pattern and I'm scrubbing through, just twirling this dial on the Evolution setting, and you can see how it changes the noise pattern over time and that's just what I want to do. So, I'm going to set this back to zero and at time zero I'm going to set a keyframe for Evolution.

So I click on the stopwatch. That sets the keyframe. Now I'm going to move to the end of the shot and at the end of the shot I'm going to set the Evolution to be about 250 or so. And over time, my noise pattern is now changing. So now that I've got my noise animated, I'm going to use the darker layer to kind of limit where that noise shows up on the screen. Let's back out of the composition a little bit and give ourselves some room to work with the layers and I'll just take the Fractal Noise pattern and move it down below the darker.

I'm going to set the darker layer to be the track matte for the Fractal Noise. So I'll click on the Track Matte options and do an Alpha Matte "darker.psd". So now it's using that darker layer as an Alpha Matte for the noise and you can see when I scrub through the file, I now have a light and dark pattern that's kind of moving across the surface of my scene, giving the water a murky feel. Now this noise pattern, it's kind of sitting on top and it's not really interacting with the footage below it. So I'd like to change the blending mode on the Fractal Noise. Let's change that to Overlay, which emphasizes the midtone in the image, and I'm going to go to Overlay and you can see now the dark values went away and we have midtones and a little bit of highlights in the scene and that's just how we want it.

So my Fractal Noise pattern is mixing in really well with the footage, but let's scale the darker layer down just a bit. I'm going to hit S on the keyboard, for the darker layer and just adjust the Scale down to about 70% again or so. You can see what happened was it scaled the PSD file down, so now we have a little better pattern for our Fractal Noise. These PSD files were generated oversized on purpose. so that I have a little bit of resolution to play with in case I wanted to scale them over time. So now the first step in the process for this shot is complete.

We've added a little bit of murkiness. We're going to be adding a little more character to the scene and creating our type elements in later movies.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo
CINEMA 4D: Designing a Promo

70 video lessons · 13507 viewers

Rob Garrott
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
    3. Overview of the project template
      2m 37s
  2. 11m 12s
    1. Creative brief
      1m 57s
    2. Sketches and script
      3m 8s
    3. Understanding the graphic animation process
      6m 7s
  3. 25m 5s
    1. Understanding the animatic process
      2m 15s
    2. Importing sketches into After Effects
      6m 20s
    3. Timing out the animation
      10m 4s
    4. Adding onscreen timecode for reference
      6m 26s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Creating text and logo elements in Adobe Illustrator
      6m 44s
    2. Importing Illustrator elements into Cinema 4D
      8m 24s
    3. Creating guide planes for modeling a rough shark
      6m 13s
    4. Creating a rough shark model
      12m 14s
    5. Preparing a dummy rig using a Spline Wrap object
      6m 27s
  5. 53m 17s
    1. Setting up a project file for the cameramatic
      6m 15s
    2. Animating the rough shark using the Spline Wrap object
      5m 14s
    3. Animating the camera
      6m 8s
    4. Duplicating an animated rough model to create a school of sharks
      11m 4s
    5. Creating a preview movie and importing it into After Effects
      5m 45s
    6. Assembling the cameramatic
      8m 34s
    7. Fine-tuning the cameramatic timing
      10m 17s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. Preparing for the modeling process
      6m 7s
    2. Outlining the shapes using the Knife tool
      9m 50s
    3. Creating the mouth using the Extrude tool
      10m 40s
    4. Adding eyes using the Symmetry object
      9m 57s
    5. Creating fins using the Extrude tool
      7m 11s
    6. Creating the tail and dorsal fins using the Extrude tool
      10m 38s
    7. Creating gums using the Symmetry object
      6m 45s
    8. Creating teeth and finalizing the model
      8m 6s
  7. 15m 5s
    1. Understanding the rigging process
      2m 0s
    2. Opening the shark mouth using the Morph tag
      5m 9s
    3. Using XPresso to link the jaw to the Morph animation
      7m 56s
  8. 33m 25s
    1. Using BodyPaint to prepare the model for texturing
      8m 22s
    2. Applying color to the shark using BodyPaint
      6m 45s
    3. Giving the shark character by painting in the diffusion channel
      5m 29s
    4. Roughing the surface using the bump channel
      4m 34s
    5. Texturing the eyes
      3m 51s
    6. Texturing the teeth and gums
      4m 24s
  9. 21m 24s
    1. Replacing the rough shark model in the intro shot with the finished model
      6m 47s
    2. Replacing the rough shark model in the transition shot
      3m 43s
    3. Replacing the rough shark model in the hero shot
      4m 28s
    4. Replacing the rough shark model in the end page shot
      3m 42s
    5. Updating the cameramatic with the final animation
      2m 44s
  10. 50m 27s
    1. Creating an underwater look using Global Illumination and atmosphere
      9m 47s
    2. Lighting the objects and creating shadows
      6m 54s
    3. Shading the text using materials
      6m 28s
    4. Creating a reflective floor for the underwater scene
      3m 58s
    5. Lighting shot 1: Copying and pasting a lighting setup from another project
      5m 49s
    6. Lighting shot 2: Pasting a lighting setup and making adjustments
      3m 57s
    7. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the shark)
      3m 13s
    8. Lighting shot 4: Separate elements in a shot (the text)
      10m 21s
  11. 22m 7s
    1. Preparing shot 1 for rendering to After Effects
      6m 20s
    2. Preparing shot 2 for rendering by saving and using render presets
      4m 45s
    3. Preparing shot 3 for rendering
      2m 37s
    4. Setting up shot 4 to render in two passes
      4m 4s
    5. Performing a preflight check to ensure clips are ready to render
      2m 9s
    6. Batch-rendering
      2m 12s
  12. 1h 13m
    1. Importing assets and setting up the After Effects project for final compositing
      6m 5s
    2. The intro shot: Using Photoshop elements and noise effects to add atmosphere
      8m 38s
    3. The intro shot: Compositing in stock video footage to add character
      4m 51s
    4. The intro shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      8m 32s
    5. The hero shot: Controlling the look using precomps
      7m 59s
    6. The hero shot: Using stock video footage to add character
      7m 19s
    7. The end page shot: Combining multiple passes to form a final composite shot
      2m 41s
    8. The end page shot: Adding text elements to the composite
      7m 44s
    9. Compositing the transition shots
      3m 47s
    10. Assembling the final composition
      9m 2s
    11. Adding the final audio to the composition and rendering
      7m 10s
  13. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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