Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Parallax Effect (Aka: Ken Burns Effect) Project

Hello Students,
AE has some amazing capabilities such as the ability to animate in a 3D space using 2D objects. This method is referred to as 2.5D. This method was made popular by the famous documentarian Ken Burns. The same technique is also referred to as a Parralax effect, which is a technique that shows objects that move against each other from the foreground to the background to create an illusion of depth. This is used in cinema, cartoons, video games and can even be created using HTML5 to add an creative and eye catching feature to websites.

Parallax Project (Aka: Ken Burns Project)
  • Find or take a photograph that you can animate using the 2.5D/Parallax method, this photo should be high resolution, include good amounts of detail and have a good balance of foreground and background, as a rule your photo should have at least twice the resolution of your composition
  • Open your photo in photoshop and create layers for your animation, use selection tools to isolate your foreground subject from the background. If you take your own photo make sure to take a version with no subject so you have a clean background to use and you can skip the next step
  • On the background layer in photoshop use the "fill with content aware" and touch up area with the clone tool where you need to cover up
  • Save your photo as a Photoshop document with your layers ready and import it into After Effects
  • Make sure to click "import as composition" to preserve your layers for use in AE
  • Create a new composition in AE for your project
  • Open your PSD composition and Copy/Paste the layers into your main composition
  • Enable the 3D button for all layers
  • Create a 3D camera for your scene
  • Use the camera manipulator tool to zoom into your Photograph layers and frame your "shot"
  • Using the move tool, select your subject layer and drag it on the Z axis towards the camera a little bit
  • Move the background away and scale up if needed
  • Use the camera manipulator tool to explore the range of motion that looks good, create a set of keyframes for the camera position, then move the playback head to the end of your composition and move your camera inwards and to the right or left in a subtle movement
  • Preview your animation to get the camera/layer position just right
  • Use Ease-In on your last set of keyframes to slow down the motion
  • Add a vignette, tint, depth-of-field effect or other enhancements for full credit
  • Having trouble? Try googling "parallax effect in AE" and look for a tutorial video, there are some very good and easy to follow tutorials online
Due on tuesday, have fun! - Mr.W

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