Gravity and Collision: The Bounce and Hang Time

It's not a fear of falling it's the sudden stop at the end that scares me We've heard that from many characters, and it reflects the fact that the movement of different materials is affected by more than just their mass and the atmosphere. If you drop something heavy, solid, and inflexible, it will either break or it will make a dent in whatever it lands on or collides with. Soft, semi-flexible objects, such as tomatoes, could explode from the pressure, depending on the amount of gravitational...

Bouncing and Falling: Defying the Rules of Gravity

You can give life to simple, inanimate objects by animating their movements. Merely falling off a ledge is easy, and the expected result is to just disappear quickly (like the orange slice in Chapter 4, Cause and Effect). However, if you give the object an expression of Oh nooooooooo before the final fall, it will take on a whole new meaning We're going to animate a single image of a pineapple that bounces across the frame and right off the edge. The slight delay before the stretch and then the...

Praise for Jeff Foster's After Effects and Photoshop

Choosing to write a book about either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects poses quite a challenge. Taking on the task of writing a book that covers both multiplies that challenge, but also offers a unique perspective into the creative possibilities these applications have not only individually, but in tandem. For anyone who uses both applications, this is a must-read. Daniel Brown, Sr. Evangelist, Digital Video, Adobe Systems Inc. With the book you hold in your hands, Jeff Foster has created...

Rotoscoping Techniques with Photoshop

Rotoscoping is the process of animating, compositing, or editing individual frames of a video or film. Before computers were used in special effects, films were projected onto special animation stands, called rotoscopes, where animated characters could be traced or drawn to match the footage step-by-step. This process is now completed digitally, using software that can manipulate layers on each frame to be modified, such as After Effects and Photoshop. Roto Sequences Getting In and Out...

Ultimatte Advant Edge

Ultimatte is the true pioneer of chroma keying technology and has won several awards for advances in compositing hardware and software. Ultimatte AdvantEdge is the most sophisticated keying plug-in available for After Effects and Photoshop, and it actually operates as a separate application when the effect is applied. With an easy-to-navigate interface and live previews of any phase of the composition, Ultimatte has made AdvantEdge user friendly for beginners and powerful enough for the top...

Turning Photoshop Layers into Frames

If you create an animation using different layers in Photoshop, such as a distorted or Liquified object, then there's a simple way to convert each layer into a single frame of animation. You might choose to create an animation in Photoshop because some tools and brushes are not readily available in ImageReady (Figure 1.1). Several layers created for an animation sequence Several layers created for an animation sequence After you jump from Photoshop to ImageReady, select the Make Frames From...

Colorizing Old Movies with Photoshop Layers

Once you've stabilized and rotoscoped an old movie, you may want to give it a little character and modernization by tint colorizing. Instead of perfect colorizing in fine detail, this stylized process will result in something you may have seen in the fifties or sixties with tinted black-and-white movies. This process can be done easily by creating a few layers in Photoshop and animating them in AfterEffects on top of the black-and-white QuickTime movie. In this project, we'll use an old Los...

Light in Motion: Leaf Shadow

Obviously, there are several methods you can use to move layered objects around in ImageReady to create animation. Some of those methods can be used to animate with layer styles that will give realistic 3-D effects. Lighting and shadows in motion or moving textures across an object are just a few ways you can create motion with a single object or text layer. This project will guide you through creating lights, shadows, depth, and motion. With this method, you will modify only the layer styles...

Styles in Motion: Neon Text

This project will familiarize you with different layer style options and animating a sequence in ImageReady by only making changes to the layer style settings. Creating neon effects involves two elements the tubing and the light glow. When the light is off, the tubing still has a 3-D surface and casts a shadow if any ambient light is present. When the light is on, it casts a glow but no shadows. Note Intermediate or advanced Photoshop users may want to open the file NeonText.psd on the DVD and...

Transferring Layers with Style Effects

After Effects Layer Style Animation

After Effects doesn't utilize layer styles the way Photoshop does, so it's important to know how to transfer layers and keep the applied effects in place. In most cases, merely merging the layer with the style effect applied to a new blank layer will do the trick. Although they are not editable in After Effects, there are only four layer styles that will transfer correctly visually Drop Shadow, Bevel And Emboss, Color Overlay, and Inner Shadow Figure 2.4 . When the layers are transferred to...

Green Screen Materials

Several types of screen materials, from cloth to special paint and assorted papers, are available. If you need portability, a cloth screen on a stand might meet your needs. This lt will give you the flexibility to position the background anywhere that's convenient, and u many pro lighting equipment and supply houses will rent them to you by the day. With a little research online at regional supplier sites, or on eBay, you'll be able to find backdrop starter kits complete with stands and lights....

Gravity: The Freefall

A study in gravity is more than just dropping objects off the Tower of Pisa. In animation, it involves several other factors that include velocity and wind drag but ultimately, all objects in the natural world will find their way down. Falling objects need smooth motion. Don't use a sharp turn unless there's a clear reason for it, such as an outside force that changes the object's direction. A smartly placed blur will help sell the motion. The first project we'll create in our study of gravity...

Inertia and Friction: What a Drag!

Simulating friction and drag in an animation is all about the timing. Think about some simple practical situations you may encounter in everyday life, such as rolling a chair across different floor surfaces or the difference between running on land and running in a swimming pool. Not only does friction increase the force needed for movement, it also slows down the speed at which the motion is made. This project is a simple exercise in creating motion drag a principle that can be easily applied...

Removing Chroma Spill from Details

Chroma Spill

When you have a chroma key shot that has a lot of background color bleed or spill into the details and edges of the subject, the shot will require a bit more than just the simple click to remove it. Keylight can remove spill from fine hair or separate reflections from glass with only a few adjustments. In this first example, the figure was lit very lightly against a dark blue-screen background, which was composited against a scenic background Figure 9.2 . The problem was that her fine, wavy...

Basic 3-D Layers in Motion

Setting up a basic 3-D animation in After Effects requires having some basic knowledge of multiple views, moving layers in three-dimensional space, and using the X-, Y-, and Z-axes. It's really much easier than it sounds, and this project will introduce you to some of those basic controls. You may want to follow along with the completed After Effects file, 3-DText.aep, on the DVD. 1. Start a new project file in After Effects and import two single-layer Photoshop files, FilmReel.psd and...

Kinematics: Human Figure Character Animation

Kinematics, in computer graphics language, is motion created by the force of another material body in motion usually something that's attached, as a hand is to an arm. If the arm is moved, then the hand must go with it, even though the hand is still free to move on its own. This is something usually practiced by 3-D character modelers who create video games and animated motion pictures. Fortunately, After Effects gives us some pretty powerful tools to accomplish kinematic motion on...

Using Ultimatte in a Production Composition

Let's look at the blue screen that we cleaned up with a garbage matte and rotoscoping in Chapter 6, Blue-Screen Garbage Mattes. This footage is going to be composited over a motion matte painting which is created in Chapter 12, Making Movies from Stills . The blue-screen footage has been scaled down to the appropriate size for this composition and positioned where the actors will walk across the catwalk in the scene Figure 9.14 . I applied the Ultimatte AdvantEdge plug-in to the foreground...

The Classic Sudden Stop

What's the visual difference between a normal stop and a classic stop of an object In the natural world, something with mass that's moving rapidly either rolls to a stop or needs a great deal of friction to bring it to a complete stop. If it's a solid object, a car for instance, it will most likely roll or skid to a stop. The only effect that inertia will have on it will be transferred through the tires, wheels, and suspension and to the body, which may move up and forward slightly and then...

Creating a Displacement

The After Effects Displacement Map Effect plug-in uses varying levels of gray in the map image. Lighter areas of the image will move the image up and to the right, while the darker areas will move portions of the image down and to the left. How much it gets moved is controlled not only by the effect settings in After Effects but also by how much contrast is in the displacement map source image. To create the displacement map for this project, we'll start with a new image file in Photoshop that...

Stabilizing and Rotoscoping Old Movies

Before they are digitized, many old movies require a lot of restoration work because of deteriorating film and the crude photographic equipment that was used in the early twentieth century. During film exposure, early moviemakers used hand-cranked cameras with loose mechanisms. This loose quality was usually compounded by equally crude-fitting projection equipment, making for a pretty jumpy viewing experience. Restoration of old movie footage requires many techniques, depending on the amount of...

Blue-Screen Matte Rotoscoping

As we covered the process of making garbage mattes in Chapter 6, Blue-Screen Garbage Mattes, several frames required rotoscoping where the actors walked off the edge of the blue-screen tarp. From the After Effects file, we rendered out two QuickTime movies a pre and post. Those edited-out movies contain about 1 second of video that needs to be roto edited. 1. Open the movie file, BSMattePre.mov, in ImageReady and jump to Photoshop. Start with the first layer Frame 1 , and use the Paintbrush...

Applying a Displacement

Follow these steps to apply the map to an image 1. Create a new project in After Effects and make a new composition, selecting the preset, NTSC DV, 720 x 480, and 5 seconds in length. 2. Import the file Water.jpg from the DVD and the Cloud map image you just created or use the provided map image, CloudsBlur720.jpg on the DVD . Center the Cloud map image in the Comp 1 window by dragging it from the Project window to the Timeline Figure 2.12 . Figure 2.12 Create a new project and import the...

Preparing Frames for Rotoscoping

To do frame-by-frame rotoscoping in Photoshop, you need to convert the movie to separate editable frames. By opening the movie in ImageReady, single layers and frames will be automatically created from the QuickTime movie footage. In ImageReady, open the QuickTime movie clip you rendered out of After Effects File gt Open . You'll see a dialog box asking you to select some options Figure 6.9 . In this case, because we rendered only the portion we need to rotoscope, we'll select the From...

The Static Garbage Matte: Defining the Matte's Boundaries

Defining precisely where the boundaries of the garbage matte need to be placed depends on the extreme motion path of your actors in the frame. You will need to define the beginning and end of their path, as well as how far outside of a straight line in that path that they venture including any extremities or props used in the scene. Note The work in this chapter requires the upgrade to QuickTime Pro, not QuickTime Player. Pro is available from Apple for less than 30. 1. For this project, we'll...

Cause and Effect

The effects of gravity, recoil, drag, friction, inertia, and collision are around us every day. We'll explore some common principles applied to animation that will give the viewer a sense of realistic motion. This is all part of telling the story of what your characters or moving objects are supposed to be doing. To help you better understand these principles and apply them to your own animations, the projects in this chapter will include realistic effects, timing, and more. Gravity and...

Pre-Animation: Painless Tweening in Image Ready

Tweening is the process of automatically adding frames between two selected frames called key frames to create a designated number of steps of motion, opacity, or applied effects so that you can create a smooth, continuous animation sequence. The more key frames you have, the more control you will have over your animation's tweening. Knowing what the final animation will be used for will help you to determine the speed and length of the animation sequence you are creating. Using more frames for...

Exporting Animation Files from Image Ready

Imageready Animation Effects

There are two basic ways to save your animations out of ImageReady as QuickTime movies or as animated GIF files. Of course, it helps to know going into your project what kind of animation you're creating the frames per second, pixel dimensions, color depth, etc. Exporting the animations requires testing and previewing to get the timing correct. You can do this quickly by selecting the default web browser although the color depth will be limited to an optimized 256-color palette, you will still...

The Garbage Matte in Motion

Sometimes the static garbage matte is sufficient to cover up the bulk of unwanted material, leaving only a small portion of the footage to be retouched. In this example, sections of the footage where the actors are off the edge of the blue screen are at both the beginning and the end of the motion path. We will add some solid blocks of color that can be moved to fill in the largest gaps, so only the first and last few frames will need to be rotoscoped. 1. Add a solid layer Layer gt New gt...