7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2008 5:39 PM by Joey Morelli

    Polar Express Look in After Effects

    Level 1
      I have been asked to produce video, and have the interviewees appear similar to the look of the movie A Polar Express. Is this something possible in After Effects CS3, or do I need a Plug-in for AE CS3, or another product altogether. Any assistance is appreciated. Thank you.
        • 1. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
          Ko Maruyama User Group Manager
          What "look" is that? As a creepy Tom Hanks character?
          • 2. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
            David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
            Start learning 3D modelling, animation, lighting, rendering...
            • 3. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              I'm not sure what you are exactly looking for (never managed to watch more than 5 minutes of these "rubbermouth puppets"), but a lot of a specific look hinges on lighting, so unless you make special preparations during your shoot, you will have to fix it all up with color corrections. In the movie, the "dreamy" effect is simply achieved by heavy rim lighting (light perpendicular to the camera or behind the actors) and extensive use of glow/ diffusion on the highlights. That is easy to achieve on-camera by slight overexposure and respective light arrangements. Just for the life of it make sure to use lots of powder to keep everything matte, otherwise the slightest gloss will turn into a bright spot that ruins your whole image. If you wanna play it safe, shoot with normal exposure or underexposed and then add the fancies with Magic Bullet looks or any other color correction tools of your choice.

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
                Level 1
                Rick_DiMassimo@adobeforums.com wrote:
                > I have been asked to produce video, and have the interviewees appear similar to the look of the movie A Polar Express. Is this something possible in After Effects CS3, or do I need a Plug-in for AE CS3, or another product altogether. Any assistance is appreciated. Thank you.

                Well, I think first you will have to explain to the client that unless
                they are willing to spend a whole lot of money and wait a long time,
                that they will not get results that are nearly as clean as that.

                I've never done this in AE, mostly I've heard of people using some of
                the Photoshop filters to get a good look, and there are a number of
                tutorials on this around the web. However this would mean a frame by
                frame effort.

                There are some plugin's that can give an approximate effect. Pixelan
                Creativease plug-ins have some that may work for you. But to be frank,
                I've never been able to achieve anything other than a rather generic and
                imprecise output without doing a whole ton of special tweaking.
                • 5. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
                  bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
                  Unless your client runs with the big dogs (and they apparently do not or they wouldn't be asking you how to accomplish this effect) there is no way to do this easily (cheaply or rapidly) except as a deliberate choice in production style.

                  This is a costume and makeup issue, not a post production effects issue.

                  bogiesan
                  • 6. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
                    Level 1
                    Thank you. This gives me an idea of the enormity of the task. I appreciate the input.
                    • 7. Re: Polar Express Look in After Effects
                      Joey Morelli Level 1
                      ...just use the "Polar Express" plug-in. It's called Maya ;)