After Effects Exercises

Hey everyone! Somewhat of a more lengthy post today. Prior to going to Florida I had started working on a couple small exercises and projects in After Effects to improve my compositing skills. I took on two different exercises both which were things I had some experience working with but not a whole lot and I really wanted to improve on them.

The first exercise I attempted involved learning to do a better green screen key and rotoscope of footage. With the help of some tutorials from Digital Tutors which also provided some nice stock footage to work with I managed to put together the below video. The process was much more involved then the previous attempts I had done with green screen keying and rotoscoping. I learned about using multiple masks for keying and better roto techniques. There was a substantial amount of roto work on the water bottle in the actor’s hand, this also required some color correction to make it blend better with the background plate. I definitely feel lot more comfortable with green screen work. The one thing I’m still struggling with is portraying the shadows properly, however, I have read of some people recreating the shadows so I may be looking into that process.

Green Screen Project:

The next project I took on involved taking different render passes of a 3D model of a car and comping it into a still background plate to make it look as integrated into the real world photograph as possible. I used a couple of different Digital Tutor’s tutorials to learn about different compositing tricks, things like Lightwraps and using Mattes. This was a really fun exercise, and I think I may start to dabble some more with stuff like this and try my hand at implementing a 3D object into a moving scene next. Being that this was a still image, I could have just used Photoshop and probably gotten the same effect but I really wanted to become more comfortable with the comping process using After Effects so I used AE instead. There also was a substantial amount of color correcting done on this piece.

Here is a image of the workflow breakdown followed by a larger image of the final comp.

Compositing Workflow

Mustang Composite

That’s all for now!

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