16 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2014 12:21 PM by blu67

    Advanced 3D camera move question!

    blu67 Level 1

      As a learning project, I am copying this video to broaden my motion graphics skills and creative mind: Motion Graphics Commercial - Name Your Fee - YouTube

       

      So far I have been able to mimic everything up to the "A position opens" line at 4 seconds into the video. The part I don't know how to recreate is the how the white box flies quickly towards the camera while the "a position opens" words move in slower. Right now I have everything in one composition with one camera flying around. I realize I could just make the words their own separate composition with their own camera. But that wouldn't work I don't think because the words need interact with the red box that flips away. What I mean is, if you watch frame by frame as the red box 'turns away', the words are revealed from behind the blurred edge of the red box flipping away. So the words need to be in between the white box and the red box in the same composition in 3D space.

       

      Please ask for clarification of my problem if I am not clear enough! I know some motion graphic stuff in After Effects but I'm still a beginner so it may be a simple fix

      Thanks,

      Tim

        • 1. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          It appears to be a precomp containing the text animation.

          • 2. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
            blu67 Level 1

            But if the text animation pre comp is inside of the original comp with the other assets, then it is affected by the original comps camera move. And so, it does't work as I need it too. If I turn the 3D off for the text animation comp, then it cannot go in between the white and red square.

            • 3. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
              blu67 Level 1

              Oh I think I got it… I shouldn't be moving the camera around, I should be moving the objects around as the camera stays still, at least for the part that I was talking about. That way I can have objects move independently of one another. Silly me.

              • 4. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                You need to treat the AE camera like you would a real camera on a real set. Sometimes you move the camera, sometimes you move the actors. In this case your layers are your actors. Just like on a real set, you have to work out the blocking so that the camera tells the story the way you want it told. Just like on a real set, if you your blocking is complicated and illogical, it's going to be very hard to pull off a good camera move and a good performance by the actors. The hardest thing to learn as a director is how to block a scene so the camera seamlessly moves around following the action of the actors to tell the story you want to tell. Most of the time, simple is better.

                 

                In your example at the 4 second mark, I wouldn't necessarily pre-compose the text layer, but I'd animate the word "Opens" using per-character 3D and a text animator or use two text layers, one for "A Position" and one for "Opens" and link them to a null to give that actor their 'action', then I'd arrange my layers in 3D space and move the camera through the opening door of the "The concept of recruiting is simple" layer, which could either be a pre-comp or a solid and a text layer tied together with a null.

                Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 11.34.13 PM.png

                Each of layers in this animation have their own action, some move into the shot, sometimes the camera moves between the layers. I would stage the door layer just in front of the Position Opens layer and dolly the camera in. (dolly = move in and out, truck = move left or right, as opposed to zoom = change the focal length of the lens and pan = swing the camera left or right). I don't see any tilts, pans or zooms in this animation, but I see a lot of dolly, truck and pedestal moves. I would probably use nulls to move the animated layers that are grouped together, and I would definitely use a null to move the camera. Think of the null as the actors feet and the camera null as a dolly and you'll start to get the idea. I almost always rename my camera null to camera dolly and I position it at the camera position before parenting. It's easy to do if you hold down the shift key before picking the parent then copy the zoom value of the camera lens, add a minus sign to the z position of the null and paste. The camera and null are now at the default start position and you are ready to start your animation.

                 

                Here's a project that will be included in a new series of tutorials I am preparing on Advanced Animation Techniques. The project will give also give you an expression for swing in and bounce that I would suggest you save as an animation preset to use in the future. Pay close attention to the details of each layer and the keyframes. You'll get the idea.

                Advanced Camera Technique-CS6.aep

                • 5. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                  blu67 Level 1

                  Hi Rick,

                  Thanks for your answer, but nulls or no nulls, my problem persists. The problem is very specific. As I understand it: "A position opens" must be in the same '3D space' as the other objects. Furthermore, it must be situated behind the red box that flips open and in front of the white box. So, in-between the white and red box. Since the camera is moving in towards the objects (or even if the camera stays stationary with the objects moving towards it) I cannot have the white box advance so rapidly and the "a position opens" advance so slowly without the white box moving in front of "a position opens" and hiding it. I can't wait to have the answer for this!!

                   

                  Thanks,

                  Tim

                  • 6. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                    Dave LaRonde Level 6

                    I get the feeling you don't think a precomp can be a 3D layer.  It can.  Put it wherever you want in 3D sapce.

                    • 7. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Did you look at the sample project I created for you? It shows exactly how to do that transition.

                      • 8. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                        blu67 Level 1

                        Oh, no I didn't check that out! But I just tried and it opens as a text file. I think because I'm on a mac. Can you send the project for a mac?

                         

                        Dave, I do realize I can pout a precomp as 3D layer. I tried that.

                        • 9. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Just take off the txt extension at the end of the download file. Mac's add it to file types they do no recognize. I'm on a mac too...

                          Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 7.49.40 AM.png

                          If you can't see the extensions enable them in your finder advanced preferences....

                          Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 7.51.25 AM.png

                          • 10. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                            blu67 Level 1

                            Ah Ok got it thanks. So in the project file you provided, the "layer B" text swings down, but it doesn't dolly in. My issue is in the dolly in. Because the "A Position Opens" dollies in (subtle but it is there) but it dolly's in slower than all the other objects dollying in. I don't know how to get this "slower dolly" compared to everything else.

                            • 11. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                              blu67 Level 1

                              I'm talking about the dolly in instantly after the door swings open. In your example, everything stops moving in after the door swings open. In the original video, everything keeps moving towards the camera until the white box covers the screen. "A position opens" also continues moving in, but at a much slower pace. I don't know how to achieve these two different dolly speeds without things becoming out of place in 3d-space.

                              • 12. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                You just keep moving the dolly. It's pretty easy. If I get a chance this evening I will extend the example shot for you.

                                • 13. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                                  blu67 Level 1

                                  But If I just keep moving the dolly, then the white box AND the words will move towards me at the same speed. I need the white box to move quick and the words to move slow. I look foreword to it, thanks.

                                  Tim

                                  • 14. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Just put the words on a separate plane with the words closer than the white background or animate the position of the words or the white box. To recreate the same visual effect in the sample video you could also scale the white background.

                                     

                                    It's like I said before, It's all in the blocking. Think of you camera on a stage and the boxes and the words are your actors. Move the camera around the stage to reveal your actors and if needed, move your actors. I spent about 2 minutes updating the example file by animating the scale of the B background. You'll start to catch on. Sorry-- CC only. I don't have CS6 on this machine.

                                     

                                    Advanced Camera Technique-CC.aep

                                    • 15. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                                      blu67 Level 1

                                      Oh K I got it! Yea I just moved the white rectangle way back in Z space and scaled it up. Then I moved it in and it remained behind the words the whole time. I couldn't open your CC project but I'm good now. Thanks.

                                      • 16. Re: Advanced 3D camera move question!
                                        blu67 Level 1

                                        By the way, the expression that you used to swing the text down and swing back and forth is great but complicated! Do you write those from memory, understand them, and modify them to suit your needs? Or do you just copy and paste them from a library of expressions you have whenever you need them? I'm curious as to whether or not I should try to understand them or if I should just have them in an 'expressions library' to copy and paste (and modify the numbers) as I need them.