Join Andy Needham for an in-depth discussion in this video Film the phone, part of Compositing a Cell Phone in After Effects.
- [Voiceover] The master shot in our sequence is the one of the phone. This is where we'll composite the animated app into the live action plate. So to film this, we have to consider a few things, such as, how will the screen be tracked? And do we need to add any markers? Let's take a look at the shot, and I'll talk you through my thought processes. I knew the action in the shot was going to be very straightforward. We'd be keeping the phone pretty still on purpose and wouldn't be rotating it. So essentially, in terms of tracking, it will be a flat plane.
I chose not to add tracking markers, because I didn't want to paint them out. And I felt it unnecessary in this instance, as we'll be using my go to app for screen replacements, which is the Academy Award winning planar tracker, mocha by Imagineer Systems. More on mocha later. The next question was: do we need to add anything on the screen to make our lives easier when we come to separate the swiping and tapping actions? Will we simply key out the screen, or do we have to rotoscope? With the background being predominantly green to match the grassy environment of our stock footage, we chose to have a blue screen displayed on the phone with the intention of being able to simply key out the screen later when we're compositing.
During filming, we used the animated app as a guide, and this allowed us to get the rough timing down. And we knew where to tap and swipe on the phone. I knew the timing wouldn't be perfect, but by having the animation as a guide on set, we could be sure of getting pretty close. It's important to note that not every situation will be like this. But because we had complete control of the shot, we were able to take the time to think about how we wanted the final shot to work in the compositing stage, which will save us a lot of painful roto of fingers or painting out of tracking markers
Here, Andy Needham shows how to take the app mockup created in the companion course, After Effects: Creating a Mobile App Interface, and composite it into live-action footage of a smartphone. The final product is an animated promo video that helps visualize how the app will be used on a real device. Andy also covers storyboarding, tracking, keying, color correction, and a few audio tips. By the end of the course, you'll have more experience with the screen replacement workflow in After Effects and have a web-ready deliverable ready to share with the world.
- Planning with a storyboard
- Filming the phone
- Importing the live-action footage in After Effects
- Retiming the animation
- Tracking the shot in mocha AE
- Keying the screen with Keylight
- Adding an animated logo
- Rendering the shot
- Color correcting the composite