11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 4, 2013 9:17 AM by jahesscreen

    Speculation On How This Was Done

    leejk Level 1



      I am wanting to reproduce the effect shown in this video: http://www.drivecat.com/unleashed


      At about 45 seconds in, the truck starts "peeling" back layers of it's skin to reveal different colors. Does anyone know how this might be done in After Effects?



        • 1. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Not at all. I don't even know where to begin, but no matter whether you would buy all the 3D-ish plug-ins for AE that are currently available, none could give you half as many options as doing it in genuine 3D like in the clip... At best you might be able to create some different looks with heavy color corrections and effects treatments liek Find Edges and then with lots of masks create creative transitions, but it's realyl something out of AE's class for the most part...



          • 2. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Doing this kind of thing by doing it all in AE would be exactly like doing it in Photoshop. Masks, mattes, overlays, blend modes and hand work. It's not that it couldn't be done, it's just that it would take a great deal of hand work especially if your camera was moving. The color isn't the only thing that changes. The configuration of the truck changes from dump truck to cement truck to tractor trailer and so on. Take a look at this screenshot. This is how I breakdown a shot so I know what's going to be involved. It would be an essential part of pre-production planning.


            Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 8.19.19 AM.png

            Basically you'll have to create a mask or matte for every element of the vehicle you want to change or keep original. Note the simplified paths I sketched with a shape layer path. To do this truck you'll need a lot more mattes.


            The masking will not do you any good if the vehicle isn't a neutral color like the gray in this frame because there's only so much you can do with blend modes. You may be able to use Hue or other color correction tools but it's very easy to quickly run out of adjustments before the image falls apart. If the vehicle is black or any dark color or white you're going to have a very hard time changing the color very much. As you can see by this quick example the Red Solid with a blend mode that I put over the nose of the truck does a convincing job of changing the color.


            If you want to do the blueprint type of line drawing you'll have to experiment with plug-ins or draw them by hand.


            Throw in some camera movement or movement of the vehicle and everything must be tracked. It is certainly possible to recreate something like this strictly in 2D with AE's included features but it is going to require a great deal of planning and a lot of hand work. This is not something you can count on doing with a plug-in.

            • 3. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
              leejk Level 1

              Thank you both for your insight. I will investigate which approach will work best for my project. I guess the other question is, assuming that I can generate the masks, how can the edges of the mask be made to glow, spark, flame, or similar as it moves over the vehicle? That should be possible in AE correct?

              • 4. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                That's the easiest part. It just involves duplicates, maybe Vegas, maybe a particle system, and definitely blend modes.

                • 5. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                  That truck doesn't even exist: it's a model from 3D application, as are the backgrounds.  The giveaway is that the finish on the truck surfaces is flawless, and the complete absence of dirt, grunge and minor imperfections.


                  Autodesk makes an entire line of video production software  -- 3D included --that dovetails nicely with its far more popular and universally-accepted AutoCad software, which is used to design... well, trucks, among other things.  I'd put my money on the Autodesk software.

                  • 6. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    There's no question about the video being done in a 3D app. You could do it in anything from Blender to C4D to any of Autodesk's programs. Can you do substantially the same thing with live footage? Sure, see above. Not exactly the same, but substantially the same.

                    • 7. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                      leejk Level 1

                      Ok, using a 3d app I was able to produce this. I create a moving alpha matte in the 3d app that moves across the object to display the outlined object underneath the shaded object. The problem I still have though is how to feather the edge of the alpha channel where the shaded/outlined clips meet. Any thoughts on that, or will I need to also do that in the 3d app?


                      Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 10.16.52 AM.png

                      • 8. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        What I would do is to render both parts and create the matte in AE. It would be a very simple animated mask or even a gradient wipe between the two shots.


                        You could do the soft edge matte in your 3D app but you'll have more options by using two renders and doing the transition in AE.

                        • 9. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                          leejk Level 1

                          I forgot to mention that the object is rotating as the matte moves across the object, so a simple AE transition would just look "2d".

                          • 10. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Looking 2D would depend on your animation. If it is a full rotation I'd render 3 passes and combine them in AE. One the shaded version, one the drawing style, and the last pass would be the matte. You then have more options in AE. Typical 3D workflow involves rendering multiple passes from the 3D app and compositing in AE. In the long run, for most projects, this saves time and gives you more options.

                            • 11. Re: Speculation On How This Was Done
                              jahesscreen Level 1

                              You could use a depth-matte of your vehicle to make the transition more 3d-ish.

                              Use the depthmatte as an lumamatte and crank the contrasts up until you have a sharp transition.

                              Using a "Exposure" filter before the contrast would give you the ability to move the transition towards and away from the camera.


                              Hope it helps