Distorting Nature in After Effects

In this After Effects tutorial, we'll look at compositing elements that weren't created in a computer or shot in a carefully controlled studio. Software required: Adobe After Effects CC 2015.
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Aug 13, 2015
Duration
55m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Aug 13, 2015
Duration
55m
Description

In this After Effects tutorial, we'll look at compositing elements that weren't created in a computer or shot in a carefully controlled studio. When combining these natural elements together, you'll have to distort them to match each other. We'll start off by evaluating our footage, setting up the shot and planning how to integrate the elements together. Then we'll use 3D space and a reference plane to simulate the natural phenomenon of linear perspective as we animate the swan swimming down the canal. After careful study of reference footage, we'll use a radio waves effect and a displacement map to distort the water of the canal to add ripples behind our swan. Then we'll and go on to simulate the effect of the sun's light on these ripples by adding shadows and highlights. We'll color correct the swan using curves and an edge matte to match the contrast of the swan with the natural environment. Finally, we'll add a reflection of the swan on the canal and distort this reflection with the ripple effect to match the ripples in the water. By the end of this After Effects training, you'll be able to better integrate naturally shot elements together in your own projects. Software required: Adobe After Effects CC 2015.

About the author
About the author

Feeding his obsession with film making since he was 13 years old, Evan has built a mountain of industry experience from working on things like 300, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and South Park.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Introduction and Project Overview
Hello, I'm Evan James. Oftentimes when you're compositing, you'll be using elements that were not created inside of a computer or shot in a carefully controlled studio, but they come directly from nature. When you combine together natural elements, you'll have to distort them to match organically with each other. In this series of lessons, we'll be using some beautiful videos of nature from Dissolve. Before getting started, we'd like to say thank you to Dissolve and their contributors Flun and jewels4jules for their videos. We're going to start off by evaluating this footage of a canal and a swimming swan. Then we're going to set up the shot and plan how to integrate these elements together. Then using 3D space and a reference plane, you'll simulate the natural phenomenon of linear perspective as we animate the swan swimming down the canal. After careful study of reference footage, we will use Radio Waves effect and a displacement map to distort the water of the canal to add some ripples behind our swan. Then we'll go on to simulate the effect of the sun's light on these ripples by adding shadows and highlights. We will then color correct the swan using curves and an edge matte to match the contrast of the swan with the natural environment he's being comped into. Finally, we'll add a reflection of the swan in the canal and distort this with a ripple effect to match the ripples in the water. So with that, let's get started.