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Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?

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Deyan DragovAny tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 2:24:25 pm

Hi everybody,

I'm having a bad time trying to position the camera.

Basically, I have some geometry (a house) in After Effects that's constructed with 3D layers. The camera flies around, and then stops on a particular view.

The thing is that after the camera stops moving, everything needs to fade into an actual photograph of the house. But however I position the camera, the perspective/viewpoint never matches the actual photograph.

Hope that makes sense. I would really appreciate some help.

Thanks.


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Angelo LorenzoRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 3:58:46 pm

Is there a reason you didn't work backwards? Constructing the 3d model from the projection of the house and then keyframing the camera backwards for the move?

Angelo Lorenzo
Fallen Empire Digital Production Services - Los Angeles
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Deyan DragovRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 7:20:21 pm

Angelo, I don't see how your method would work. Here's a illustration of what I'm trying to achieve



If I somehow deform the planes, so the edges match the perspective of the photo, when the camera moves it would be obvious that there's something very wrong about the object.


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Robert HeadrickRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 7:54:32 pm

I'm assuming the photo is not one that you took, otherwise you would already know the key information like focal length, distance between lens and objects, etc. What you're probably experiencing is that the objects you've created in After Effects are placed incorrectly relative to each other. If that's the case, then even if your camera settings in AE exactly mirror the way the photograph was shot, you're still not going to come up with a perfect match. The camera in AE has to be set to the exact same focal length as in the original photograph, all of the items in your comp have to be sized correctly relative to each other and relative to the camera, they have to be placed at exactly the right distance from each other and at exactly the right distance from the camera in order to get what you're looking for.


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Deyan DragovRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 8:37:49 pm

Unfortunately, I wasn't the one who took the photo. I tried looking through its properties for some EXIF data that would provide aperture, focal distance, or at least camera model, but looks like it's all gone.

Anyways, thanks for the replies, everyone. Have a good and productive day ^_^


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Robert HeadrickRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:04:20 pm

Angelo is right. The best way to make this work would be to go backwards. That's actually a really good tip for almost any AE workflow. Start from the endpoint of what you want everything to resolve to, and work backwards from there.

As far as trying to solve your problem without going back and redoing the work, I would experiment with changing the focal length of your camera and the distance between the camera and your layers on the final keyframe. If you're completely in love with the results of what you've done so far and can't bear to change it, then you could try setting keyframes so that the changes don't occur until the last second or so of the camera move. This is a similar concept, get to the end and mess with the camera settings until it works, then go back and add keyframes that maintain what you've already done up until that last change needs to occur.


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Jon BaggeRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Sep 13, 2012 at 8:52:55 pm

Is there any way you can add a glow/flash or something as you fade between the animation and the photo? That may hide the difference if you can't get it to match.

--------------
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Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Deyan DragovRe: Any tips on positioning the camera on an image?
by on Oct 26, 2012 at 2:29:28 pm

That's a great idea, Jon. The video is done already, but I'll have that in mind for future projects. Thanks!

_________________
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Graphic Designer


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