Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using a panoramic photo as a virtual set, part of Adobe Green-Screen Workflow (2013).
Another choice that you can use when creating a backdrop for your key, is to use a panoramic photo. We'll explore how to merge panos in a moment, but let me show you how you can use a 360 degree or a partial panoramic photo to create a virtual backdrop. I've got two panoramic images here that I'm going to use. One is a true 360. And the other is a partial view. I can use these images and wrap them into a cylinder.
Now to do this, I'm going to take advantage of a third party script from Paul Tuersley. You can go to aescripts.com. And if you do a search here for panoramic. You'll find a very useful script from Paul Tersley. Now, it lists at $19.99, however, you're allowed to pay whatever you'd like. What I would suggest, is that you make a small donation now, and download it for purposes of education, otherwise, you can go ahead and license it if you decide it's useful.
You can also download it for free, but I do recommend that you make a payment if you use this on a paying client job. Once you've downloaded that script, you can install it into the Scripts folder inside of Aftereffects, or manually load it. Alright, let's go ahead, and I'll put each of these photos into a composition. And we'll make this about ten seconds long. Click okay. What that's done is created a composition that has the photo in it.
Now, we're going to end up resizing this composition in a moment, but we'll start with this 360. I can now choose File, Scripts, and I could run the script file that I've downloaded. There it is, and this allows me to choose. Now I'm going to use the higher quality method which creates better overlaps, and this original shot was created with 24 photos. So I'll tell it to make it 24 sides, and then there's 360 degrees in the round.
If I wanted to go ahead and accept 3D lights, I should choose that now, as well as if shadows should be applied. In this case there's no shadows, but I do want 3D lighting. And I'll make the panarama. And I'm going to go ahead and adjust the composition setting. What I essentially have is a carousel. And, using the rotation, here, you'll notice that I can spin that. That makes it very easy to control.
I also have the ability to scale this whole unit down. And what you essentially see there is a giant cylinder. This makes it very easy for you to decide what part of the backdrop you want to use. So, I can now take my keyed footage. I'll just grab the key that I made earlier, copy that and paste it in.
And if you look at what's happening here, you could see that you've got a camera and the backdrop. This makes it very easy for me to now move this layer forward closer to the camera. And I can drag that into position. And essentially, behind you you have a projected backdrop. And notice I could use the rotation property on that backdrop to adjust which part of the backdrop I see, giving me essentially a virtual set.
This makes it very easy for me to choose any part of that backdrop that I shot on location and use it as my Chroma Key set. And because it's been wrapped into a cylinder, that's going to effectively remove the distortion from the image itself. Making it much easier to tweak which part you use. And by using the Scale property here, I could adjust the size up or down. Giving me the type of backdrop that I need. And a lot of flexibility as I design.
Now, you don't have to use that entirely on a 360 photo. For example here, I have a partial panoramic image, that wasn't a full 360. With that layer selected, I can invoke the same script, and choose, in this case, that this is about 180 degree arc. And I'll choose to make the panorama. There we go.
Let's adjust the size of the composition. And I can adjust the scale as well. In this case you'll notice that because it was a half circle, it's bent that into a half arc. And it's naturally done a good job of removing the distortion as well.
Using the Rotation command here, this makes is very easy for me to pan through the environment, and of course, using properties like Anchor Point, I can also offset that, dropping it a little lower in my riser. Besides using this as a backdrop for keying. You may also find that it's a great way to create a very photo realistic move on the image. So there we go. And let's just bring that keyed layer over. Copy. Paste.
Giving me great flexibility. To decide what part of that image is going to be seen. So, I really like using my panoramic photos in this way, because it gives me a virtual environment that's incredibly flexible, and it also gives you the photorealistic bending. Now to pull that off, you will need that great script from Paul Tuersley. But I find that this is an awesome way to use panoramic photos within an After Effects composition.
This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We're honored to host this material in our library.
- Deciding where to key your footage: Premiere Pro or After Effects
- Importing footage to key
- Stacking layers in Premiere Pro
- Using the Ultra Keyer
- Using KEYLIGHT
- Enhancing a key with 3D lights
- Deciding when to use a third-party tool
- Processing backdrops in Photoshop
- Exchanging transparency data