Looking into scale for my current project, comparing each of the bank bailouts to one another, The Scale of the Universe was really helpful to look at; it breaks the Universe down into molecules, then we see humans and how they compare in scale to a molecule, then a planet in comparison to a human, then a sun, then galaxy, then the Universe itself.
Zooming through the Universe is great to get an idea of how everything is eventually tiny when compared to something else. Who knows, there might be something even bigger than the Universe…
After Effects Tutorial: Puppeteering and Importing
The Puppet Pin Tool, the Numbers and the Alpha Settings.
Did you know that you can import and use your work across the Adobe Creative Suite? Today we created a stick man in Illustrator for usage in After Effects. To create an Illustrator file to use in After Effects, go File>New Document and change the settings to Video and Film, and PAL D1/DV Widescreen. Once in After Effects, to import the file go to Import File>Illustrator File and change the settings to Import As Composition (Retain Layer Settings)>Open.
So, now we have our vector Illustrator art in After Effects! Although once you import it and scale it up, you will probably notice that the stick man is not as vectory as he should be, but he is indeed made up from pixels. To solve this, and get the stick man back into a vector-like state, click on the ‘Continually Raterise’ sunshine-shaped tickbox on the stick man’s layer settings in the layer pane.
We were taught this afternoon about a tool named the ‘Puppet Pin Tool’ in After Effects; this tool allows the user to place a series of pins on an image/art file and alter those points accordingly. By placing the pins on the hands, chest, feet and hips of the stick man – he was able to come to life! His body moved in a way that would naturally be seen in human action, so this tool was definitely an interesting find; the Puppet Pin Tool could be used to make grass wispy in the wind, or give tongues of flame a realistic touch. Much like the rest of After Effects, the limit is your imagination.
After animating our stick men, we learnt about an interesting feature in After Effects called ‘Numbers’. This effect really does what it says on the tin, and gives the user a set of numbers. However, these numbers can be altered/animated in a way that can allow the user to change the value of them over a period of time. No doubt at all that this feature will find its use in my animation about global economic collapse!
To add Motion Blur to a moving object both the Global Motion Blur button above the layer pane, and the Motion Blur tick box must be ticked for the layer where motion blur is desirable. To enable an object to spin around not only the X-axis and Y-axis, but also the Z-axis (i.e. make the object have 3D properties), the 3D tick box must be ticked on the layer where 3D is desirable.
The next technique that we learned was how to import a movie from another composition including its Alpha (Transparency) properties; this was done by rendering a composition (Composition>Make Movie) and changing the Post-Render Actions to Import, and the Format Options to RGB and Alpha. The movie then appears in the imported files pane and is free to use in any new composition.