4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2008 6:57 AM by bogiesan-gyyClL

    Using After Effects for Pans and Zooms of Photos

      Hello

      I am a WWII filmmaker in need of reliable software to edit a series of archival photos. I've been quite frustrated at the poor results of the Keyframe Engine in Final Cut Pro. I also bought a FCP 'Plug In' called Lyric Pan and Zoom. The Plug In was somewhat helpful, but the render time is terrible.

      I've been told that After Effects is one of the most reliable and most professional applications to apply Panning and Zooming of photos.

      I'd like to explore After Effects for this purpose. I understand that (like FCP), you can export a Quik Time File for import into FCP.

      Thanx for your comments
      Mike

      http://www.ww2survivorstories.com
        • 1. Re: Using After Effects for Pans and Zooms of Photos
          Navarro Parker Level 3
          If all you are doing is "Ken Burns" style pans and zooms of still photos, I'd recommend FotoMagico over AfterEffects.

          http://www.boinx.com/fotomagico/features/

          http://www.boinx.com/fotomagico/screencast/

          As much as I love AE, it's overkill for something like this. FotoMagico is far more focused and automated (and quite a bit cheaper). Plus it can handle any resolution, does motion blur, field rendering and output to Quicktime.
          • 2. Re: Using After Effects for Pans and Zooms of Photos
            Level 1
            Hi Navarro

            Thank you for the response. I've seen discussions about Fotomagico on the Apple forums. It's been compared to another similar program called Photo to Movie. I tried Photo to Movie but quickly noticed that it solved the 'Jaggies' by sacrificing crispness and sharpness. The Jaggies, (as you may know), is a pesty problem inherent in iMovie. If the edge of the photo is seen, it appears to Jag the edges as it moves/pans/zooms etc...

            This whole issue of trying to create professional smooth, sharp, crisp photo animation is quite frustrating. And I was prepared to spend the big bucks on After Effects to get the job done.

            Maybe I'll downlaod the Fotomagico Demo and try it. But if it's anything like Photo to Movie, I don't think it has what it takes to get the job done?

            But thank you anyway
            Mike
            • 3. Re: Using After Effects for Pans and Zooms of Photos
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              The issue is, that whenever you do Ken Burns, you end up intensifying some edges in the picture depending on the direction of the movement. If the image has lots of perpendicular edges to begin with, this is even more critical. It also hinges a lot on the speed of the pan and of course the final output compression, whether the "sizzling" will be a pain. Still, there is no penultimate solution to this, no matter how sophisticated the program may be otherwise. The common tricks are to use motion blur, blur effects and feathered edges wherever possible all of which AE could do. The key to success is balancing out these effects and evaluating the requirement for them with every new photo which possibly is where such "instant" tools fail. Of course it also hinges on the underlying interpolation and sub-sampling algorithms and admittedly even AE could be better with that, but don't let it stop you. Perhaps you can simply download and install the AE trial and see if it's suitable for you.

              Mylenium
              • 4. Re: Using After Effects for Pans and Zooms of Photos
                bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
                Yawn, Ken burns is a hack but 'm not bitter. We filmmakershave been doing rostrum camera moves for more than 100 years.

                See these movies on the MOTION section of kenstone.net on how to enrich your photo moves with a simple camera in Motion.

                Ken Burns Redux - Putting Your Photos in Motion (Movie)

                Motion - Animating Photoshop Layers in Z-Space (Movie)

                bogiesan