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Compositing is the process of blending multiple elements into the same scene and making it look like one believable cohesive scene. In this movie, I want to just show you a project that I did for a recent lynda.com title, with a program called Adobe After Effects. This is something from Adobe After Effects CS4 Essential Training. I actually used the 3D features of Photoshop CS4 Extended to create the composite that I used later in After Effects. So here is the basic project here. First of all, I took some video of me in front of a green screen.
You could see I'm sitting on a stool; I'm basically like reading a newspaper. What I did in the video program was to remove the green screen. You can see what that looks like after Shift+ Clicking the layer mask for the Video layer. You could see some green fringes here. I had to remove those in the video program as well. Now, the background that you are seeing here is a 3D subway scene. I have also enhanced the look of the subway by adding some gradients. See, by itself it looked a little bit too mechanical and sterile, so I added some gradients manually, because the shadows weren't giving me exactly what I wanted.
But the benefit of using Photoshop CS4 Extended was that I was able to bring in my video and other 2D layers to bring them altogether and composite them. I could even select the 3D Subway layer and then move the subway around until it sat just right under me. Now, when this 3D file was created, it actually was created with some transparency here in this window. This is referred to as an Alpha Channel. Then what I did is I went and drove up the Oregon Coast and I had my wife hanging the video camera out the window to videotape some scenery going by really fast, and then I composited that behind the subway.
This is the final result, after adding some color correction, getting rid of the green around the edge of me, after adding a reflection here by duplicating the layer of me with video and lowering the Opacity and Blurring a little bit. Now with the Animation panel open, we can play this and you could see I also move this subway around a little bit to create the sensation of motion. There is the video that my wife took hanging the camera out the window on our vacation. Putting this altogether, we have a fairly believable composite of me on the subway, even though I wasn't on the subway at all.
So be aware of things like animation, reflections, shadows, color correction, all these things add to a believable composite.
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