Animate Photos in Photoshop & After Effects Part One

Animate Photos in Photoshop & After Effects Part One

Hey! Let’s animate some photos! [singing] Moovieboy! dah-dah-dah-dah! Ha ha h ha, hey! Moovieboy here!
Value statement value statement, Call-to-action, call-to-action, tagline!
You didn’t come here to hear me prattle on Did you? You came here to do stuff
like this: Oooooooh!
So, let’s go! The photos I’m going to be working with are part
of the movie I worked on last year, The Remarkable life of John Weld. The issue
with documentaries like this one is that typically you are in a lack of actual
video or film footage especially in historical documentaries. So they bring
in people like me to spruce up the photos they do have on hand. Whether it’s
adding color, dimension or movement. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working on
a photo from a hundred years ago or something you took yesterday the same
concepts are generally the same. Step one I show you two fingers.
Step one is of course to find a photo which sounds obvious but it’s meant that
you need to look for a photo that looks like something you can separate items in
the foreground and background and create a camera move through it. Any photo is
not going to work for this. Step two is you’re going to take that photo and
separate your foreground object from your background object or other layers
of objects if you have stuff that’s even closer or mid-ground objects in the
camera. Step two point five? After you’ve separated them then you need to clean up
the areas behind your foreground so you’re gonna have to clean up your
background. Step three is you will have to take your
elements and bring them into a compositing program like After Effects.
And step four, you will have to add some kind of camera movement to add depth and
animation to that original photo. Tadah! So let’s go! We have a photo of Pancho
Barnes, one of the early aviators in… Wow Speaking of aviators, living near an
airport [airplane roars overhead] you get a lot of airplanes. So, speaking
of airplanes, Pancho Barnes is an early female aviator in America’s history.
Unfortunately not as famous as Amelia Earhart but she’s in there.
Real straightforward. Camera comes in we are just closing in on the foreground
objects, our humans here and the plane in the background are just a simple
background. Now of course if you notice in this one their feet are sliding a
little bit but that wasn’t a big deal at that time. So here we are with the
original photo and it was you know pretty simple when it comes down to it.
You’ve got your original and then using various masking techniques we cut out
our group here a lot of it was just some of the masking techniques that I teach
in other videos which I think I will indicate here! Good grief! Everyone’s trying to fly at the same time. Just stop! Stop it! Planes! The next big problem is you’re gonna have to clean up the background behind it. You
have to in this case remove these people because your camera move is going to
eventually expose the original foreground objects still glued to the
background image. You have to clean it up and in this case you have to use every
technique in the book. Now one of the big ones is one of my more popular videos
showing how to heal backgrounds in images. That’ll work a bit for simpler
backgrounds ones where you can use the content-aware fill to easily fill the
background area here. To give you an idea of what you need to do: Create a new
layer. Call it in this case we’re going to you know call it “cloner”
and we know we’ve we’ve already securely have our people separated so we don’t have
to worry about damaging anything. So, on the cloner layer you can go over here to
our stamp tool right there or we can hit the hotkey s to bring it out.
We’ll take maybe this part of it here come on down here. You know see how it
starts to ghost and that’ll give you an idea of whether you’ve lined it up properly
or if you’re off or not and when you think you’ve got it start painting it in.
And now see obviously you can see we are grabbing from here and pulling down this
part of the wing here so you got to be careful how you’re doing it and you’re
gonna have to do all kinds of stuff because obviously we have this one here. We’ve
got stuff there now of course you can clone off of other objects. Sometimes it
whelp.. nope the angle on this is too sharp. It’ll it’ll Bend like crazy. So
this is gonna be a lot more problematic. So maybe I just want to focus on cloning him out right there You will
have times where you have so little information to work off. You’re just
gonna have to do it piece by piec. The good news is in this case and we’ll
start right here before it starts intersecting with this plane here. So you
can already see how it’s so maybe we just add a little and then we just add a
little more and we add a little more but now we got this longer piece so now…
whoop… now we’ve got something that works far
better. Now, this is still roughing it. You can see some blending problems like what
I just did there. That is the grunt work of this when you’ve got something as
complex as an old biplane hidden behind people. But that’s what they pay you for
these projects or at least that’s what you better be getting paid for.
Alright so obviously you use cloning. I was using cloning on different parts of the engine
here to stretch things out. So whether it’s more of the engine to remove this
guy. Whether it’s deepening this shadow to remove this guy, you just start from
one end to the other work on cloning techniques, matching techniques
everything you can to get these people out. So that eventually, ladies and gentlemen,
you get to something more like this. And this was enough for the shot.
Don’t waste your time doing
work you’re not going to see. But eventually you’re going to need
to save a new Photoshop file with the clean layers so that every little cloner
and stamp piece isn’t separated out. You want things to move more simply.
I’ve got my foreground, I’ve got my background and I still have the original and I’ll show
you why you may want to keep an original photo. And we will save this out. I’ve
already saved mine out of course but save it as a new, clean version or… [another plane overhead] [Seinfeld voice] What’s the deal what the airport? Could I get any more white? We flip over into After Effects Let’s make a new composition and we’ll just call it tutorial and we will
make it… eh, we’ll just make it seven seconds. It’s already there. [dog barks] And now the dogs, the neighborhood dogs
are going in. So if we want to bring in our [another bark] pfffttt, really? The dogs, they be a barking.
Let’s import the Photoshop file that we have here now we need to import it in as
a composition and I typically like to retain layer sizes on mine; just so that
it brings in the crops on each piece as it’s separated out. So you’re not always
working from the full comp size for every layer. Like for example, the foreground people will come
in cropped around where they are, not necessarily at the widest point of the
thing. So just bring them on in. You want editable layer styles usually cuz yeah
if you merge it all together then what was the point of having a Photoshop file
in the first place? HA! This composition is at, you know, fifty six hundred pixels by you
know, almost forty three hundred pixels. Even though eventually, this is going
down to HD level you do not want to cut down your layers ahead of time to say a
HD or a 4k resolution. The reason being that you need every one of those pixels
to have the camera move around in. You start cropping all that down you’re
going to shoot yourself in the foot when you start to want to wander away from it.
So we’ve got this large version at its original scale and you can see: original,
background, foreground. One of the first things we’re going to have to do is to
turn these 2D elements into 3D elements. And the easy way to do that is just to
select your foreground, select your background, make them both 3D. We need to
also add a camera. New camera The whole way of selling the depth
between these flat, 2D elements is to work off of something called parallax.
The whole idea of parallax is just the way your foreground elements shift
differently than background elements when you are zooming in or zooming past
something. The easiest way to see this is to take your thumb. Hold it up like this
and close one eye. If you suddenly go for one eye to the other, you’ll notice
yout a thumb moving around despite the background basically being
the same. That’s because, in its own way, your binocular vision camera went from
here to there and just that little bit of movement had a big movement there.
This is the same thing you want to take advantage of in your camera movements
with your virtual cameras in After Effects, or other compositing programs.
Something to keep in mind is that a wide-angle lens will exaggerate this
movement far more than a say a telephoto lens. In general terms, your eyeball is in
the range of 50 millimeters if it were a camera lens. So anything less than 50
millimeters is generally considered wide-angle lens and anything deeper is
considered a zoom — well not a zoom a telephoto lens. So in my case I’m going
to choose a 35 millimeter lens and I’m not gonna worry about depth of field
right now. We have our camera and we have our layers but we need to separate them
out. In this case I would like to take my background layer and push it further
away. Now I’m going to turn off the original real quick here and we can hit
the P key to bring up our position. So let’s start moving this back.
Oh, fantastic… but you’ll note that, yeah it’s further
behind, but now we have a slight issue of it um… an issue of shrinkage! To help us
realign the background let’s turn on that original, which is on a 2D layer so
we see how big this needs to be. Let’s hit the T key. I’m going to hold
down the shift key to bring up the T The opacity. The opaci-T… Yeah that’s the
things you do to remember it. And let’s bring the opacity down and then I’m
gonna hold down the shift key again hit S for scale. And I see that I’m at 100%
I need to scale this back up. and there we go. Now things are appear to
be better aligned. So let’s bring that opacity back up. [airplane overhead] airplane airplane
airplane airplane airplane airplane airplane airplane airplane airplane
airplane airplane airplane airplane plane plane plane plane interrupting when I’m doing stuff. They don’t care. They don’t care. They just don’t. Sniff. Okay so we can turn off that original layer and now let’s see what we’ve got here. Let’s go from the
active camera or a camera 1 here in this case. I want to go to a custom view
and I’m going to hit the C key or we can just go up here and grab your camera and
I’m just going to rotate around to show you what we’ve got here. We have our
human beings. We have our airplane and we’ve got our little pink camera over
here that’s our official one. So let’s go back to our active camera. Get a position
here and maybe a rotation here as well. I hit the P key for position then I held
on the shift key and hit R so that… yeah I know. I’m still helping out the
beginners so all you pros hush! So I’m going to set a keyframe for my position.
I’m gonna set a keyframe for my orientation and I’m gonna move five
seconds in. You can either go up here to choose different cameras if you need to
work your way in different movements or you can just keep hitting the C key and
it will rotate… So we’ll go over here. Rotate between the various axes or
rotation cameras and in this case I want to just do a simple zoom. So I’m five in.
I’ve got my orientation my position and I’m just going to zoom on in. We’ll just
do it you know real easy-peasy. And maybe I actually want to be a little
higher, so I’m going to hit C a few times and go up here like this. And I’m going to test that out. So I’m
just going to hit the N key to end this work area right here and I’m gonna
hit the spacebar to go for a preview. Alright and we have a pretty standard uh
movement. Basically just zooming in and repositioning a little bit. Now in our
example here, yes their feet are slipping a little bit. There are more advanced techniques. We’ll go into some more go on to others but
this this thing can get lengthy lengthy lengthy if we tried to deal with every
possible thing that can happen as your camera movement goes. Now, if we wanted to
of course, we could go really intense in this. Nope. See now right there. That that’s
problem we’re starting to run out of photo and then maybe we zoom in even
more and just really come in on to Poncho here. I’m fidgeting. I do that
stuff you know. So we’ll hit the spacebar again and magic will happen. Now we have
a far more dramatic shot as we come in on poncho and the plane and is very
exaggerated and far better than just looking at a static photo.
Ooh! And as you can see the same process is done over and over again here. We have
this original photo of John and Kate out golfing. So I used the different
techniques like in my other videos of fixing backgrounds to bring in elements
of the hillside and the trees and as you can see real real “tough” job there on
that one whoo-hoo. In this case things got a little more tricky because
uh no amount of cloning techniques or whatnot was going to give me the front
end of this car. So I started going through and trying to find other photos
of cars and eventually came across this one here. Brought that into Photoshop
just fused on the front of a different car that I could to match things up as
best as I could. And then of course cut out John and Kate. As simple as this one
looks there is there there is a twist point here. And that is quite simply, that
this ground here actually extends all the way from underneath their feet all
the way to the top. And we were talking about how the Pancho photo? The feet were
starting to slip because they didn’t look really locked down to that space. So
the advanced technique were using here is that I actually built this background
here as a vanishing point object. I have a whole tutorial showing you how to do
fancy schmancy dimensionalizing of — Is that a word? I believe it is. Of
dimensionalizing your background images. Because sometimes you’re gonna need
things to be broken out in a way you can’t just do by cutting off
two-dimensional flat screens. Sometimes you have building corners or in this
case the horizon of where the ground they’re standing on goes from the car to
their feet. So we’re going to skip over how we built this and did this in. Go
watch the other tutorial to look up that advanced technique. So in the meantime I at
least will show you kind of what was done. So let’s go from the active camera
I have here from camera three to this custom view. And there we go.
I gonna again bring up a camera here. Now from this angle the ground looks
really stretched out because it is actually being projected from a plane
and the background and oh! And there we go. Let’s carefully add them in. So there. There’s our humans. Our flat,
foreground element but the ack the ack? The ackground. The ackground. The
background is actually stretched out so that from the camera’s point of view,
things look hunky-dory. Now when you do this your camera is in some ways freed
up because you actually have some dimension there but at the same time as
you saw in the other view, things can look really stretched really fast
depending on where your camera goes. In this case when you hit the… space bar! I
remembered it this time! When you hit the space bar, you will eventually end up
with this thing. Now the other thing I like about it is that the parallax is
helped out. I’ve got the camera moving up away from the grass and the fact that
it’s an actual dimension layer helps sell the effect. And another example of
how we can bring in some movement into our photos. You know something? This is
getting too long to fit into just one little video so sorry folks. I’m gonna
have to make a part two cuz we’ve just got so much stuff here. Well then that
means I’m gonna have to do a quick “One from the Vaults” or “One from the Shelves”
and in this case it’s going to be this it is a Starship Troopers bug! I don’t
even know where I got it. I don’t even know how long ago I’ve had it now but
I’ve had it for quite a while so that’s my Starship Troopers bug! Uh, if there was
anything that was too confusing, anything that just didn’t work for you or you
just need more explanation or there’s something you want to added on to this
let me know down in the comments and in the meantime like, subscribe, share,
ring the bell for notifications… Oh, that’s loud!
Okay ah that’s it for now. Thank you and come again!

One thought on “Animate Photos in Photoshop & After Effects Part One

  • May 23, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    More to come in Part II as we delve into adding 3D objects, particles and interactive shadows. If there's anything more you'd like to see in this series, comment below!


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