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Reframing in After Effects?

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Jake HuddlestonReframing in After Effects?
by on May 16, 2011 at 5:28:38 am

I am creating a stop motion animation. With regular video footage the highest resolution you can go is 1080p (that is, unless you have the luxury of using a camera such as a RED One, or something similar), so doing any reframing/cropping/zooming of that original footage is going to reduce the quality if you want to stay at 1080p. Therefore, it is not practical to do so.

However, when shooting digital stills, the resolution is often high enough to allow a technique of this type to work, particularly for stop motion. The animator of this video reframed and animated his still-footage:







I am wondering how he was able to reframe the way he did, as well as give his animation the 'hand-held' shaky-cam feel. Is this just cropping + motion paths and easy-ease keyframes? It would great if anyone could explain how they think this guy did this in After Effects. Thanks to anyone who can help.

Jake Huddleston


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Walter SoykaRe: Reframing in After Effects?
by on May 16, 2011 at 11:10:11 am

[Jake Huddleston] "I am wondering how he was able to reframe the way he did, as well as give his animation the 'hand-held' shaky-cam feel. Is this just cropping + motion paths and easy-ease keyframes? It would great if anyone could explain how they think this guy did this in After Effects."

Sure, you could do all this in 2D as you describe, animating postion and/or anchor points and scale.

You could also make the imported, high-res stop motion image sequence a 3D layer [link], then point a camera at it and animate the camera.

You could use motion paths, but this would be a good candidate for a very simple camera rig. Create a Null object, made the null 3D, parent the camera to the null, then add the Separate XYZ animation preset to the null. You can now easily animate camera motion in each dimension separately.

Parenting that rig to another null with some wiggle on its position could give you the shaky-cam look.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Dave LaRondeRe: Reframing in After Effects?
by on May 16, 2011 at 5:37:14 pm

Aardman Animation has been using DSLRs for several years on Wallace & Gromit and its other projects. You shouldn't feel constrained to 1920x1080.

AE can even handle RAW image sequences.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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