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Camera Mapping in After Effects

CreativeCOW presents Camera Mapping in After Effects -- Adobe After Effects Tutorial


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In this tutorial, Andrew Devis shows how to create parallax with a single item. Parallax is when items in a image appear to move in different ways to other parts of the same image. For example, the foreground items in view appear to move at a different speed or perspective to the background items in that same view. This can also be used to create the illusion of depth as different parts of an image can be projected to appear in different planes to other items. By using camera mapping we can project the image or footage onto screens we have set up which are at angles such that some items in our image or shot are at a different perspective to other items. This means that when we add a camera move into our scene parallax is achieved as the screens move in a different perspective to each other. Although a little tricky to set up at first, once used a few times this effect can really bring flat images to life and give a real sense of depth to your work.



Play Video Tutorial


Comments

Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Dennis Wisco
Hi Andrew, I tried to apply this same method to a photo with 5 grids. I could not replicate the same motion and effect. Is there a way I can send you the file and you can check my work? My email is denw417@gmail.com

Appreciate it.

Dennis
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Rui Barbosa
Hello Andrew :) Nice Tutorial. Unfortunately I can't achieve the results. I set all grids and I followed all instructions stated in the tutorial. I had the same problem in a similar tutorial of VideoCopilot named "Submerged". When I orbit the camera the image it's not projected well, following the bottom and top grid. Or if I track XY there's a moment that the top plane gets separated of the horizont plane. I tried several times, eveything seems to be okay but it's not working. Please Help me. Thank you in advance!
@Rui Barbosa
by Andrew Devis
Any chance you could send me the project to look at? The other issue may be that you just don't have a great deal of room to get this effect working, you can't orbit too much as it will go out of shot if you try.

Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Kyle Reynolds
Nice tutorial! Was surprised at the image used, it's Gibraltar's runway / airport. One of the hardest runway's to land on, and I live there!
@Kyle Reynolds
by Andrew Devis
Hi Kyle

Thanks for the info, to be honest I had no idea where it was, it was just an image I could use.

I take it that you don't like landing much when you go home then? ;o)

Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Jason Brown
Nice job...I've not done much of this kind of work, but I find it amazing and certainly useful for the right project. I'd be curious as well regarding the differences/ease when comparing to vanishing point with PS. Seems like they accomplish same general technique.

This seems much simpler...because it works on a concept that has been tried and true for so long...projection.

-Jason
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Mark Mecca
I already had live updated selected so no joy in there.
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Mark Mecca
Andrew,
what version of After Effects are you using for this tutorial? When I tried to duplicate it, whenever I moved the camera around the layers with the grid effects on them turned pure white so I couldn't see what was going on until I released the mouse button. The scene does renders properly but I can't see the parallelax effect while I'm animating the camera.

Mark
@Mark Mecca
by Andrew Devis
Hi Mark, I'm using CS5.5 but it should be ok with other versions. You could check or try 2 things. Firstly, make sure your live updates are enabled as I show toward the end. Second, try reducing the opacity of the screen layers while you set them up so that you fan see through them to get them in the right place but make sure that once you have set them up you take opacity back up to 100%.

Hope this helps
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Tom Shoemaker
Andrew,
A really terrific tutorial. You not only communicated the how to part without a lot of overhead, but you are so clear on communicating the concept. Greatly appreciated.
Thanks, mate.
Tom

Be good to yourself
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Andrew Devis
Hi Phil

Good question! The light and the layer stay in the same place and act as the projector, while the camera can move to view the proected image from different positions. Putting the camera, light and layer in the same place to start with is the way to set the scene up and it certainly wouldn't work in the light was in front of the image say, but once the light is shinning through the image and 100% of the image is visible through the light then you can move the camera. You put the camera in the same place so that you can set it all up and ensure you are seeing everything once set up. If the light was then parented to the camera and you moved the camera then the projector would stop working as the image would no longer be in front of the light. The moving of the camera is looking at the screens on which the image is projected so no parenting should be done.

However, if you were going to do parenting, then you would need to parent both the light and the layer to the camera and at that point you may end up with more or a torch with an image over it than a projector - probably a great effect but not what we wanted in this example. For example, if you then moved your camera in towards the screens the image may start to scale down etc.

Hope this makes sense?
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
@Andrew Devis
by Phil Hoppes
Ah, I understand. Yes, that makes sense. I was not completely understanding what you were doing but now I that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. Thanks again!
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Phil Hoppes
Great tutorial Andrew. Although I've not reproduced it yet (I will) I was wondering about one step. I was surprised when you copied the position of the camera and pasted it into the light that you actually did a past and not a parenting. I would have thought you would need to parent the two together so that when you moved the camera you would want the light to move with it. I assume its probably my lack of knowledge on all of AE but I'm curious as to how a copy alone works.

Thanks again for the slick tutorial.
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by said elmobasher
Amazing..thank you Andrew for this very much needed tutorial, I love 2.5 animation and this technique sound like an addition and it's much easier than using the vanishing point technique with PS and export it to AE, thank you again.

said elmobasher
http://www.elmobasher.com
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Chris Tompkins
Nice Job Andrew. I always enjoy your tutorials! I want to try this one.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC
@Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Trent Fred
That was a very nice tutorial. When going for this effect, I had always used vanishing point in Photoshop and imported that into AE. Do you think there are advantages or disadvantages in doing it either the way you just showed, or the vanishing point technique? Or is it more or less just more ways to skin a cat?
@Trent Fred
by Andrew Devis
Hi Trent

Good question, but to be honest with you I haven't tried to do the same thing with vanishing point so I don't really feel qualified to offer an opinion on it! Sorry not to be much help.
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Andrew Devis
Hi Rob
Wow - thanks for the comment, it means a great deal coming from you as I always learn so much from your tutorials as well! In fact, I saw a tv programme the other day in the UK ( called page eight http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0146fz0 ) which I am convinced used your sketching in after effects technique for the introduction. As I watched it I grinned as I recognised the technique from your tutorial.

Thanks :o)
Andrew

... because it's all about stories ...
Re: Camera Mapping in After Effects
by Rob Mize
Hi, Andrew...
As usual, an outstanding tutorial... very good information presented exceptionally well. I'm going to put these techniques to use this afternoon.
Thanks very much...
Rob Mize

Rob Mize


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