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creating 'starfields' with MOTION?

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Silver Wolf
creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 11, 2005 at 11:57:05 pm

I'm doing a docu with a huge number of 'flying through stars' sequences.

I created star fields (stars on transparent backgrounds) in Photoshop, imported them into MOTION, applied a grow/shrink behavior to each field (different scale rates).

It works, nice feel of 3D, but as the frame (object) grows larger the apparent speed appears to diminish -- so it feels as if we are deccelerating. I know this is a mathematicalillusion phenomenon, but don't know how to offset it. I've tried an 'ease-in' to slow beginning, doesn't work. I've tried key-framing but can't get the acceleration to work smoothly enough with Besier curves.

The manual doesn't seem to give a hint.

Has anyone got a suggestion about how I could do this? To continually 'accelerate' the expanding frame (object) to give the impression of a constant speed?

Holding my breath,




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Noah Kadner
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 12, 2005 at 5:10:02 pm

Keyframe the grow parameter to accelerate as it gets larger. You'd of course get a more convincing effect in full 3d. There's some freebie 3d programs like Blender you could try.

Noah


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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 12, 2005 at 5:38:45 pm

Thank you kindly Noah,


Is there an easy way to describe how I can 'keyframe the grow parameter to accelerate' as the image grows larger? It's the 'to accelerate' that has been stumping me. An exponential growth. The way I've been doing it, It seems that when the image hits a new keyframe there is too drastic a change ... I'm having a hard time make a smooth acceleration.

Ben



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specialcase
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 12, 2005 at 6:28:52 pm

Hey Ben,

The term you're looking for is "exponential zoom" or "exponential scale". AE has a keyframe assistant that does this, but I don't think Motion has a way of automatically doing it. Real zooms, using a lens, have a non-linear scaling curve: that's what you're trying to do.


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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 12, 2005 at 7:49:57 pm

Oh for a real zoom lens....

I've got dozens of these zooms to do for this film. I'm a novice on AE... I was so hoping Motion would let me do them easily. Thanks for your help. I'll dig out my old AE. Will version 5.5 do the exponential zooming or scaling?

Ben



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specialcase
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 13, 2005 at 7:35:53 am

Hey Ben,

The Exponential Scale thing has been around since at least version 3 (in the Motion Math tools), but it's part of the Pro Bundle only, FYI. Good luck!


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bogiesan
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 13, 2005 at 3:41:53 pm

You can fake the optical physics of a zoom lens in Motion, or in FCP, but the tools aren't really designed for it as they are in AE. Not that I can tell, anyway. When you apply Exponential Scale to two scale keyframes in After Effects, you'll instantly see what's going on when you reveal the newly created Scale property keyframes. The linear progression has been changed so that about 80% of the scale operation occurs in the last 10-20% of the time allowed for the move. If your move is 10 seconds, set kfs at 0, 8 and 10 seconds. The really difficult part, in Motion and FCP, is to get a decent Bezier at the 8 second kf.

In AE, it's practically a no-brainer. That is, it's a practical use practical math.

bogiesan


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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 13, 2005 at 5:22:52 pm

Hi Bogeisan,


Thank you, I'll print out your note. Specialcase has suggested there is a tool in Motion that will do this. If I read his suggestion right. I'm off to look.

If not, then I'm going to bite the bullet and dig out my AE. I'm very rusty on AE and have always had a problem with Adobe manuals (the tiny little details they manage to leave out of a chronological explanation). But your description is mucho helpful and I may just pass on these zoom sequences to a fellow in the office here who isn't entirely daunted by AE.

Thanks again,

Ben



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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 13, 2005 at 5:17:35 pm

Hey specialcase,


My Motion comes from the Final Cut Studio. Does that mean it's the Pro version? And if so, where might I find the 'Motion Math tools'?


This would be phenomenal if I could get it to work in Motion without keyframing for the next six months ...


Ben



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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 13, 2005 at 5:29:11 pm

Aha!

S'cuse me. I thought we were talking about Motion as in Final Cut Pro Apple Motion. But I think you are referring to AE. In which case I've just hauled out my version which is 5.5 (Production Bundle). Is that the Pro version? Don't think so. And the 'help' is so out of date it's sending me to a non-existent website.

Sigh,


Thanks,


Ben



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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 13, 2005 at 5:31:34 pm

It looks like AE for me. Any suggestions where I can easily log on to the 'help' on the web? My 5.5 ver. help is out of date, takes me to a non-existent web page.

B.



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Noah Kadner
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 14, 2005 at 7:54:04 pm

PS- you could also go stock footage if you just need the BG:

http://www.artbeats.com/prod/product.php?pg=1&id=234

-Noah


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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 15, 2005 at 4:36:08 am

Thank you Noah, I'll check out the stock footage.

But I just used Celestia, the 'virtual universe'. The trick is in having enough processing power, a high end video card, and a good cinema screen. I just run the thing like a game, fly through the universe, and shoot it off the cinema screen. Looks fine. I don't know why I didn't do that first off. Maybe because I tried to do it last year without the highend processor and card and it was a failure ... too much stuttering.

I'm going to check out your stock footage though ... might prove very helpful for this film.


Thanks again,


Ben



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Noah Kadner
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 15, 2005 at 4:40:10 pm

Down the road you might think about going 3D. I can do a starfield flythrough super easy in Cinema 4D.

Noah


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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 15, 2005 at 5:49:29 pm

Hi Noah,


Nice site ... your Formasa pic. Looks like fun. Here is the project we are working on: http://www.thunderboltsfilm.com


B.



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Arniepix
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 15, 2005 at 4:40:39 pm

You can purchase stock footage from NASA for next to nothing- basically the cost of tape stock & shipping. They have a catalog of stock footage in pdf that you can download. Go to nasa.gov & do a search for terms like 'stock footage' or 'archival footage', it may take a few tries to find it, but I think you'll find that they have some very nicely done animations in their catalog.

Arnie

http://www.arniepix.com


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Silver Wolf
Re: creating 'starfields' with MOTION?
on Nov 15, 2005 at 5:35:12 pm

Thank you Arniepix,


We are using a lot of NASA footage. And have been meaning to chase down their official stock footage site to get the higher resolutions.


Just knowing that they exist will make the search easier.



Ben



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Silver Wolf
Re: found it!
on Nov 16, 2005 at 5:02:38 am

Dr. Arnie,


Fantastic! Will go look immediately .. and respond manana ... I'm pooped. Too many hours staring. Need to dream.


Ben



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