Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
After Effects: Film Titles (3D Room)

Objective

To learn After Effects production techniques by recreating the above video. Source: Video Copilot

Discussion

Although After Effects can position objects in 3D space, it is not a true 3D application. In this exercise, we will fool the eye into thinking it is seeing a true 3D "room" by gluing paper-thin images into a cube-like object. But what really makes this an effective technique is the movement of the camera. In addition to animating the camera in 3D space, we can also make use of shallow depth-of-field to enhance the 3D illusion.

Procedure

preparing for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. launch After Effects
  3. file > import > "grunge.jpg"
  4. composition > new > composition: "~final", HDV 720 (1280x720), duration=6;00 (cmd+N)
  5. 2 views: horizontal (top, active camera)
  6. view > resolution > half (previews faster at lo-res)
  7. file > save as "room.aep"

creating the "room"

  1. drag "grunge.jpg" into timeline
  2. layer > 3D layer
  3. layer > new camera: preset=35mm
  4. track camera in/out as needed (P): position: z=???
  5. duplicate "grunge" layer (cmd+D), hide
  6. rename duplicated "grunge" layer "right"
  7. orientation y=90 (R), move to right
  8. duplicate layer (cmd+D), rename "left", move left
  9. duplicate layer (cmd+D), rename "top"
  10. orientation x=90, y=0, z=90 (R), move to top
  11. duplicate layer (cmd+D), rename "bottom", move down
  12. reveal "grunge" layer, adjust z position to make a room

extending the room

  1. layer > new light: point, intensity 2500, color=blue
  2. hide "grunge" layer
  3. "right" layer: effects: motion tile: output width=500
  4. window > effects: copy "motion tile", paste to other side layers
  5. reveal "grunge" layer: position z=2500 (P)
  6. effect > color correction > exposure: -4

adding type

  1. type tool: "DARK CORRIDORS" (Helvetica LT Std Black Oblique, 20px,
    tracking=-20, 3d=yes)
  2. track camera: adjust position (lower, right)
  3. light 1: adjust position
  4. duplicate type layer, position z=-1000 (P)
  5. change type to "a FAST TRACK presentation"
  6. track camera: adjust position (upper, left)
  7. duplicate light 1
  8. light 2: spot, intensity=200%, cone angle=150%, cone feather 100%,
    falloff=smooth, radius=500, falloff distance=500, color=light blue
  9. adjust position, point of interest

animating the camera

  1. camera1: adjust point of interest to beyond back panel of room
  2. tween z-position (P)
    • 0;00 = -2500
    • 1;00 = -1600
    • 2;00 = -1500
    • 3;00 = -400
    • 4;00 = -300
    • 6;00 = 300
  3. tween x-position (P)
    • 0;00: 640
    • 1;00: 500
    • 2;00: 500
    • 3;00: 700
    • 4;00: 700
    • 6;00: 640
  4. tween y-position (P)
    • 0;00: 360
    • 2;00: 400
    • 4;00: 365
    • 6;00: 400
  5. select above keyframes: animation > keyframe assistant > easy ease
  6. edit graphic editor (separate dimension): smooth out curves
  7. tween light 2 intensity:
    • 0;00: 0%
    • 1;00: 300%
  8. tween light 1 intensity:
    • 2;00: 50%
    • 3;00: 500%
  9. adjust camera1 (double-click):
    • depth of field = yes
    • f-stop = 4
    • blur level = 60%
  10. layer > new > solid (cmd+Y): color=black
  11. tween opacity (T):
    5;00: 0%
    6;00: 100%
  12. turn on motion blur for all layers
  13. save

rendering a SD movie for YouTube

  1. "~final": compositon > add to Adobe Media Encoder queue (cmd+opt+M)
  2. choose preset "YouTube 480p SD wide"
  3. output to: "room_SD.mp4"
  4. start queue

rendering a HD movie for your archives (optional)

  1. "~final": compositon > add to Adobe Media Encoder queue (cmd+opt+M)
  2. choose preset "YouTube 720p HD"
  3. output to: "room_HD.mp4"
  4. start queue

grading

  1. upload "room_SD.mp4" to your personal YouTube account (privacy=unlisted)
  2. publish unlisted web address as a link from your process page

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