Join EJ Hassenfratz for an in-depth discussion in this video Tips for comping 3D objects into footage, part of Motion Graphics Weekly.
- [EJ] Welcome to Motion Graphics Weekly, where you up your MoGraph knowledge one week at a time. I'm EJ Hassenfratz, let's get our learn on. Good compositing can be the difference between making your 3D object look like it was pasted right on top of some footage that sticks out like a sore thumb, or look like it's actually in your shot. In this video, I'm going to cover some of my favorite tricks to get 3D images to blend into footage inside of After Effects. So let's go to my Start Composition here, and you can see that I have my little Daruma dolls that I made in Cinema 4D, and I want to composite them into this cool zen garden that I took a picture of in Portland.
So you can see how out of place these Daruma characters look. They don't look like they fit into this image at all. It looks like they're just copy and pasted right on top. So this is where some nice compositing tricks come in handy. The first thing I'm going to do is create a new layer, and I'm just going to make this a White Solid, and I'm just going to add some noise. So let's go up to Effect, Noise & Grain, Noise, and I'm just going to introduce a little bit of noise, and I don't want to use color noise, and I'm going to just change this blending mode to Multiply.
And you can see that it's just a very subtle difference. Let me actually bring up the amount of noise just a little bit. What this noise helps do is it helps match and unify these two images together, because there is always some kind of noise in footage or in an image, and when you render out a 3D, there's really no noise whatsoever. So when you add noise to your image, or to your composition, it helps unify both of those objects. Next, I'm going to go ahead and create a new Adjustment Layer, and I'm just going to call this CC for Color Correction, and I'm just going to do a Curves adjustment.
So Color Correction, Curves, and what I like to do is go into the different color channels and just play around with these settings, so maybe I want to give a little bit of a greenish hue, because this is outside, so maybe have it a little bit more green to reflect some of that yellow light that's being cast by the sun, and then let's go into the blue here, and since we're outside as well, we want some of that blue from the sky showing up on our scene as well.
So you can see just a little subtle adjustment, but just creating that Curves adjustment over top of both of our images, both our Daruma doll 3D objects and our footage, also helps to further unify the color pallete of this image. So to do that even further, I'm going to go ahead and add a tint effect. So I'll just type in tint here and grab our tint and just apply it underneath our first color correction here, and what I'm going to do is just map this to, say, a blue color.
Again, this is going to help to unify our scene a little bit, so I'm just going to bring this tint just down to about 15. I can also introduce a little bit of yellow here as well. So it's all about what kind of color grade you want to apply to your overall image. So maybe 20%. Now what I'm going to do is create another Color Correction Curves effect, and for this, I'm just going to give a nice S-curve, so it's going to bring up the brightness of our brighter values and darken some of the darker values to add a nice bit of contrast, because we lost a little bit of contrast with that tint, so we're just bringing that back in with our Curves adjustment.
So, again, with this Curves, we can also go into these little color values here, individual color channels, and adjust this as well to get whatever kind of overall color cast we want in our image. Maybe a little bit of blue back in there. So already, this is looking pretty good. You can see the difference before and after. I'm going to do one final thing, and that is to add a vignette.
So the vignette is going to just tie everything up with a nice little bow. And let's go and create a New Solid, and let's make this a dark blue Solid, and I'll hit Okay, and to make a vignette, I'm just going to double click on the ellipse tool, and that's going to create a nice ellipse in our scene here, and I'm going to go to the Mask, twirl it down, and I'm just going to subtract, so I'm going to invert that Mask, and I'm just going to blur out this edge, and I can also adjust the expansion as well, and what I want to do is change the blending mode on this, so I'll just hold Shift and hit the Plus key, and I'll just kind of toggle through some of these blending modes and see which one works best.
I think I like Multiply, Darker Color looks pretty good. Let's see what Overlay looks like. All right, let's do, I think I liked that Multiply the best. So you can see that I just kind of darkened the edges a little bit, and again, we can adjust this expansion to bring this vignette in a little bit more. But you can see that just adding that vignette helps to tie everything together as well, and bring the focus to our little Daruma dolls in the center of our composition.
So again, let's look at the before and after. So by using a few common After Effects effects, we helped to unify our 3D object and make it look like it lives in our footage. Don't want to wait until next week to learn something new? No problem! Here are other ways to feed your creative brain to keep you busy in the meantime. You can check out my other courses in the library, visit my website, eyedesyn.com, for more tutorials, subscribe to my YouTube channel to be alerted when I post a new video, join my Facebook page for daily MoGraph inspiration, and keep up to date on all my latest MoGraph creations on Instagram.
Thanks for watching, and I'll see you here again next week.
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