2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2018 8:13 PM by I'll get it eventually

    How to Create a Book That Opens Up While Zooming In: After Effects or Something Else?

    I'll get it eventually Level 1

      Hi guys.


      Up until now I have mostly used photoshop to do some painting and drawing; currently, I have a project that I am not quite sure how to proceed on. I do not know if this is even a project to be done in After Effects (which I have never used) or something else like Blender.


      I am looking to do a small animated intro-- akin to the old book intros of Disney-- where there is a small scene with a camera zoom into the book as it flips open with some moving objects in the background. After this, the rest of the animation/clip is 2D drawings/animations with some parallax layering and particle effects as if they were drawn in the book: this much I know can be done in AE. What is the best method for developing the brief 3D scene/book portion?


      The closest thing that I can find is <Book Intro - After Effects Template - YouTube> <After Effects project - Epic Old Book - YouTube>. There seems to be lots of people selling these sorts of templates. Unfortunately, none of them quite hit the mark for the intended scenario (in regards to the scene, textures, and camera movements); additionally, I have been unsuccessful in finding the right tutorials to figure out how to do it myself. All I have extrapolated at this point is that most of these sort of things utilize assets from other programs.


      What program(s) would be best for my endeavors, and would you happen to have any recommended tutorials or learning materials that I could peruse to figure out how to achieve this effect?

        • 1. Re: How to Create a Book That Opens Up While Zooming In: After Effects or Something Else?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you create a book using Blender you can texture map a different image on each page and have them act like the real pages of a book when they flip. You can do that in about any 3D app but Blender is a free open source app that does an amazingly good job of creating and animating in 3D. The only real downside is that the UI is unlike any other 3D app. The upside is that you only have to spend the time to learn how to do that. If you are new to Blender expect to spend most of your free time for two or three good weeks to get proficient enough to create the book and the camera move.


          After Effects, natively, can also create pages that bend using the C4D rendering engine. Lighting is not as straightforward as it would be in a 3D app and shadows require some really fancy fiddling to pull off. The technique is pretty much the same. You create an image for a page then you animate it. The difference is that there is no physics engine in AE that will do most of the animating for you.


          If you want to invest some money you can get a couple of 3rd party plug-ins that will help you create really good looking 3D animations in After Effects. Video Copilot's Element 3D and Zaxwerks are two of the plugins that can help you with this kind of effect. You can also utilize some other effects bundles like Borris FX, Saphire... and some others to do the same. They all cost money. The downside of doing this project entirely in AE is that 3rd party effects can be expensive, there is no native physics engine and the learning curve on AE is also pretty steep. Expect to spend all of your free time for the next two or three weeks learning how AE works and how to effectively create this kind of animation.


          On the other hand, there are other ways to accomplish the same thing in AE, but these involve distortion meshes and quite a bit of repetitive and tedious hand work. I don't know of any tutorial that will give you enough info to jump right into AE without any experience and create a realistic book flipping pages. You have to be very careful about the tutorials you watch because there are many many well-intended but poorly executed tutorials out there that don't teach effective workflows and can lead you to dead ends. You have to vet your trainers.


          To get started with After Effects start here: Basic AE


          Figure out how to do some basic things like flip one layer over and you are on your way. If you have a few dollars for training try a subscription to Lynda.com or Total Training.


          If it were me I would create the book and the flipping pages in a 3D app, probably Blender because I use it all the time, but maybe C4D because I also like it, then render multiple passes and composite the entire project in After Effects. More advanced stuff. There is a lot to learn. Unfortunately, there is no real shortcut and no click a button solution to your design problem.

          • 2. Re: How to Create a Book That Opens Up While Zooming In: After Effects or Something Else?
            I'll get it eventually Level 1

            Thank you for the reply. I know this is a bit late, but it was the route that I opted to take.