Preparing a News Open: Creating the Background
Preparing a News Open: Creating the Background

Creating a News Open

by Kurt Murphy, Paws For Effect, Amherst, New York USA

©2001 Kurt Murphy. All Rights Reserved. Used at by kind permission of the author.
This edition ©2001 All rights reserved.

Kurt Murphy Article Focus:
Join noted broadcast designer Kurt Murphy as he continues his exploration of the process of re-creating the on-air identity of a local broadcast affiliate in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. In part three of the series, Kurt examines the design choices he made regarding the background imagery and the tools he used to implement these design choices.

There are a plethora of animated Quicktime clipart movies on the market that are invaluable in helping to liven up any project. I used one of those movies from the series Reflections of Light ( throughout this project. Many of the backgrounds are looped, meaning the beginning and end are one frame apart making them seamless when laid end to end. This particular clip is 10 seconds, so 3 of them laid end to end give me my 30 second bed.

If the movies weren’t looped, the ends would have been dissolved into the beginning of another.

In a comp that contained the 3 looped movies, a maroon tint is added to the new comp and softened a bit with a slight Gaussian blur (figure 4 below).

figure 4

The same Freehand arc that is used for the logo will also used as the arc in the background...

After Effects treats EPS files the same as Illustrator or Freehand; as paths. This enables the layer to be scaled infinitely without any loss of quality; rastorizing only after the geometry.

The scale and position of the EPS arc were animated to give the feeling that the arc is sweeping down (figs. 5 & 6).

figure 5

figure 6

The EPS arc is used as a Trackmatte (fig. 7) which means that it basically cuts a hole for another layer to show through. The layer that it uses is an identical background comp, but tinted yellow instead of blue.

figure 7

Now both the background and the arc contain the same background information (assuming they both start at the same time, fig. 8-- see left) with only the hue altered. This means that the moving highlights of the background react the same throughout.

A 3rd background is used and is separated by the arc. It is placed underneath the arc layer and given a blue hue. It’s then masked off as the arc moves down. The mask was created by stepping the animation forward and moving the mask so that it remains hidden under the arc layer (fig. 9 see left). Each time the mask is moved a keyframe is automatically added. (see below.)

Back to Part Two: Adding WOW to the Logo with Zaxwerk's Invigorator

Coming soon ... Part four: Creating the Arc Highlight.

©2001 Kurt Murphy. All Rights Reserved. Used at by kind permission of the author.
This edition ©2001 All rights reserved.

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