As the footage for my ‘End of the World’ project was shot I recorded it onto my computer and imported it into after effects. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to do the 3D stuff first or the teleporting in after effects, but I started playing around and before I knew it I finished the teleporting. As I want it to be a smooth shot I stabilized the entire shot (in 2D in after effects). This turned out pretty well, the only thing is that there’s some random motion blur going on, as the actual camera was moving and caused motion blur, and when the footage is stabilized the motion blur doesn’t go away obviously. However I don’t think this will be a big problem, because in the final result there will be all kinds of stuff going on, meteorites crashing, cracks in the ground and camera shake, so I don’t think it will be really noticeable in the end.
What I did was precompose the footage, and stabilized that. I tracked the footage in the precomp and applied the motion of the footage to my teleport elements, which I added in the precomp. I could have added the teleport elements in the stabilized comp but because the stabilization is not perfect I thought that wouldn’t have looked that good.
On projects like this the layer count can really add up quickly, so it’s important to stay organized. Most of the time I start out pretty organized, naming layers and stuff, but in the end I find myself quickly adding just a few new layers and I don’t think about naming them. This is what my precomp looked like after both the teleport-in and teleport-out where finished:
Now because this might become a kind of big project with a lot of layers I decided to keep it organized, so I renamed a few layers to keep things as consistent as possible. What I also did was to give the layers color that matched their function. Nulls that other layers are parented to are fuchsia, nulls with controllers on them are red, lighting effects are orange, etcetera. I also changed the layer order, I couldn’t change the order of the actual elements, but I could change the order of the nulls, and that also made things a bit clearer. You might also notice that I’ve broken the top layer up into 2 layers, this is because of the next step.
It took me a while to figure out which footage I was going to 3D track, the footage before it was stabilized or the actual stabilized footage. I went with the footage before it was stabilized because of the motion blur issue. But that meant that I would have to composite al the 3D stuff in this precomp, so I decided to make things a bit more organized by precomposing all the teleporting stuff, making a precomp for both the teleport-in elements and the teleport-out elements. This really makes stuff a lot clearer, the only thing you have to be careful about is that everything blends the same as it did before precomposing. Turning on the ‘Collapse Transformations’ switch does this, the layers in the precomp react as if they were actually in the comp itself. (I don’t know if that’s easy to understand, if you have no idea what I’m talking about you may want to check out this page.)
So, that’s about it for the teleporting part, I think it turned out pretty nice. Here’s a little still from where I teleport in for your viewing pleasure :
Now this still doesn’t show that much, but I thought I had to show something, right? Basically what you see is parts of me already teleported in, some light, and some light casting on the rest of the scene, but all of that will be much more nicer when you see it in motion. I’ve applied a little color correction, I have no idea if this is going to be the final color correction but it works for now. I’ve also added the letterbox to give it that cinematic 2.35:1 aspect ratio which I really like. So that’s it :).
If you have any questions be sure to do that in the comments. Next up is 3D tracking, expect to see a post about that soon!