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Hey, what’s up? Andrew Kramer here for videocopilot.net and welcome to another great video tutorial.
As many of you may know, I recently had the baby girl—September 2nd, and it is an amazing thing really. You know, it really changes your outlook, you know, what you kind of see in life and start focusing on goals and you just realize that there so much more to life and you do not want to waste a minute of it. I mean, at least not 10 minutes of it, let us see here. I wonder how long I could actually play this, I did pretty well earlier. Okay, I need to rescue, you know, it is not smart just to be clicking around, it works at first but you will run into a mind sooner or later. Luckily, I will get back to this, I did pretty good at and save this game, or I will just minimize it.
Okay guys, this going to be great. And this tutorial we are going to take a look at creating 3D depth from still images. So here I have this destroyed the city here and what I have done is broken it up into 3D layers right and after effects and here is an example. Usually I pre-render them, but man that is kind of time, you know that is how I strap for time I am, I got to pre-render while you guys wait, I am sorry about that.
So as you can see, we kind of flying through some rubble and you can sort of get the idea that there is some 3rd dimensional interactivity happening here. So, if I take the orbit camera tool and just kind of fly around the side, you see actually, I have broken this up into several layers. Now, another example is here—look at that pre-rendered, because that is how I care about you guys.
So here we have a few layers that are now 3D but the difference here is the background has been painted out, so the actor can sort of parallax with the background and not be seen, so kind of a good example also. Now, I do want to thank everyone on the blog with all the comments that you guys made, I really appreciate them most of them, and definitely hold on to that for the future.
Okay, let us go ahead and get started now I did receive a few email and you guys were a little concern about using Photoshop, you know, in after effects tutorial it really make sense because I am doing after effects tutorial, I should stay in after effects so I really apologize for taking you elsewhere when you came here for after effects tutorial. So, anyway, let us go and get started. I am going to go over here to Photoshop and what we going to do is sort of extract our character from the background of this image. So here is our background layer, then we will choose layer, duplicate layer.
Now, of course there are several ways to do an extraction in Photoshop. I am just going to take a look at one of the ways and what I am going to do is take the pen tool and kind of zoom in here and I am just going to draw around, make sure you have sort this pen tool selected and we are just going to draw around our actor. So, it is a lot like making a mask in after effects and you can do this part in after effects but the painting tools that we are going to be getting in a moment are really available. So, you can zoom in and make this really good or just the rough it, depending on what you doing, and if you are doing a project—you are getting paid. You know, kind of work on it, if you are doing a free tutorial on a website, just do the best you can.
So okay, drawing around the hat and okay now we got to this spot, we have this leg right here, we can see part of his leg here but we have tree stomp well, I will go ahead and just assume that his leg does extend on. And so I am just going to finish up the shape there. And then if I take this arrow tool, the path selection arrow tool, I can select them as right click, choose one of these, make selection, we get a dialogue here, and all these looks good, we will choose okay. Now, we made a selection, I can take the selection tool, right click on the selection, and choose layer via cut and that will basically cut that part out, there you go.
Now, I am going to zoom in here again and I am going to take the stamp tool and what we are going to do is sort to paint to leg out. So, I am just going to take some of the leather here and just sort of start drawing on this. Now, obviously the pants are not made out of leather but I am sure that this will work. The idea is just the kind of fill it in so that the casual viewer kind of would not see what is going on, so painted the leg in, that looks great. It looks like he got some knee problems but we will just move on.
Now, I also want to extract this tree stomp. So, I will go back to my original layer and make another copy, layer duplicate and I put this on top and again, well we could take the pen tool, but I am just going to take the polygon laser to do it a little quicker. And just make a selection, so what you want to do is basically extract any elements that look like they could be in 3D space. Now of course, we have all these tress back here but I do not want to go and drawing around every single leaf instead we will keep that as a background.
Now you want to think about this, once you understand how to do this, you going to know what pictures you are going to do this too and what pictures you do not want to try to do this with. We made our selection around the stomp here, so I am going to right click and choose layer via cut and again we sort of cut this out and I will go and throw away the excess and so now we have our tree stomp, action star, and we have our background.
So now, here is the tricky part, the part you are going to run into, that is going to be like okay, what can you do? What we need to do is get rid of these elements that we have been extracted. So, we take the stamp tool again here. And the stamp tool, the way it works is you ALT click and from this point, I will then start painting and just start drawing in what we see. Now, I am going to right click and bring the hardness down or the softness up and increase the dialer so it is a little smoother and we just start painting and we are just sort of bringing this area over here. And you know, you can do that multiple times while you working, so let us see, you just ALT click and start painting. So ALT click, start painting, were sort of ALT click some of these trees, fill this in, ALT click, okay.
Okay so, no sign of our action star. Okay back on after effects, I am going to import that Photoshop files, I am going to choose, file, import and select the Tino Jones layer there and I am going to make we import it as a composition. And then I choose open, so now a composition has been created that uses all of those Photoshop files. So, I will double click and now we see our layers right here, all separated as before. Now, I worked on this earlier and did a little better job so were going to use My Comp which is just inside and ALT double click and so the same thing in here we have our tree, our actor and our background, so turn those layers on, and I may go ahead and turn them into 3D layer. So F4 bring up our 3D switch and will turn them all to 3D, we will call the first one Tree, Actor, Background.
Okay, so I will create a new camera. So layer new camera, we will use the 35 millimeter preset which is okay. Now, what we want to do is distribute these layers across Z space. So we want them to be kind of, you know, far away close-up. So take our tree and we will rollover the blue axis—the one that is pointed right at us and so we will click, and drag, so that it kind of brings that layer towards us.
Then same thing, select the background layer, grab the Z axis and push it far away. And grab the corner and hold down shift and we wanted to just scale it back up, same thing for the tree, we will scale it down. And now if we coming get the orbit camera tool. We can then click and sort of drag and now we have this great 3D scene and we can add a couple of key frames to the camera position, anchor point, hit P, hold down SHIFT A and it will turn on the stop watch and move forward a couple of seconds and we can sort of zoom in here and create a nice-dynamic camera move from a picture.
Also we can do some other things. Say we want to instead, move the camera over here and then animate it and the place. Well, take our background layer just scale it up even more. One thing I want to point out in this whole process is we are doing a sort of an artistic affect. So do not worry if an element is an exactly where it was in the photograph, feel free to move things around like I want this tree element to be over here. Well, nobody is going to know that that element is not supposed to be there except you, so do not worry about moving elements around to make things look more dynamic or if you want to put things into the shot to make them seem more busy, say we want to put some trees overhead feel, free to do that, do not just be limited by what picture you took.
As with our original example you can see that you know, even a couple layers is enough to really sell that affect and is you can see I put that Muscle Flash just out in front so looks like it is close to our face. And I did not demonstrate that but I will show you that really quick. I just took a Muscle Flash from the Action Movie Essentials DVD, put it out here and the turn in into a still frame, so right click time freeze frame and just to move that in the place set the 3D layers switch and then move it in the place. And the other thing you can do too is rotate it, since, you know, that sort at the angle what is at and then move it in the place. So now you can see we sort of created this 3D Muscle Flash.
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial pretty straightforward effect but I am sure you guys will come up some great things. I am going to go ahead and finish my game of Mind Sweeper. So, you know, wish me luck.