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Hinge on 2D image in After Effects

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Michael BernardHinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:31:28 pm

Hi everyone! First time post for me. This might be a noob questions, so go easy on me. I have a 2d image of a printer/fax/copy machine with the top cover open in 3d space. The picture was taken at an angle. I need to somehow get the top cover of it to go from open position to closed. The only two methods I can think of are recreating the top out of flat layers to make a cube-like shape, which I don't think would look very good... or bring the camera in close and pan the off the hinge for the few frames that the flatness would be revealed in it's rotation, then bring the photo of the top in from above the comp. I'm really racking my brain and I've attached a mock similar image since the actual one being used is for a client and probably shouldn't be posted publicly. Please help, in a jam. Thanks!



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Dave LaRondeRe: Hinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:48:37 pm

[Michael Bernard] "Please help, in a jam."

Sorry, but you'll still be in a jam, I'm afraid. Your situation cries out for planning the effect, which sadly wasn't done.

If you move the AE camera in closely to the footage, you'll only lose resolution, and the shot will look bad. If you try 3D, you also have to address the issue of the screen's reflection in the glass below.

Your only hope is if you got a locked-down shot of the unit when closed, and use a transition to go from one shot to the other.

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


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Daniel StoneRe: Hinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 17, 2012 at 8:38:20 pm

Did you also take a picture of the copier with the lid closed? Or is the real picture on a background you can trash/easily reproduce (like a solid backdrop)?

You can certainly stack layers but your edge won't have any texture. If the build accuracy of the lid isn't critical you may try a 3D extrusion plug-in. Dave has an excellent point about the reflections. You'll have to build those separately and apply to your surfaces.



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Michael BernardRe: Hinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 2:40:47 pm

I'm sorry I left out a few details here. I'll try to explain it better this time. Dave- The actual picture is giant in comparison to the comp size I will be using, so I won't really have to zoom in at all. I'll just move the pictures less far into z space to make it feel closer. The shot is flexible in terms of possible camera moves. It will be far out in z-space even when only showing about half of the printer. Dan- The actual shot I'm using was done on a white background so I do have that flexibility as well as the shot of the printer closed. It's the in-between movement I'm trying to mimic. My poor example photo was only to illustrate the angle by which the printer was shot at. These two methods are definite possibilities I think, but I was wondering if there are any other methods that just aren't coming to mind at the time. Thank you for your responses though. I appreciate any feedback.


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Matthew KeaneRe: Hinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 3:52:27 pm

Hi,

Another approach would be to recreate the lid of the photocopier as a 3D object but, as Dave Laronde points out, this won't be simple as you'll need to make reflections, shadows, etc to make it convincing. I guess you need to decide first how much time it's worth investing in the shot.

If you did want to go the 3D route, it might be worth a look at Element, from Videocopilot. It sounds like you have fairly good source images, so you could create a basic rectangular solid and use your photos as textures to make a lid. There's a script called Elementary that can help you set up reflections on another layer which you could position on the glass on top of the copier - the script will also help with shadows. Getting all that to look realistic won't be easy, but if you can't shoot the real thing, it might be worth a go.


Matthew Keane

Freelancer based in Paris, France
- Motion Graphics, Video Editing & Effects, Watchout Programming & Live Operation.


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Michael BernardRe: Hinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 3:59:17 pm

Camera mapping the lid! Great idea. Could probably do that easily in C4D. Thanks! Yeah the reflection is a whole other issue, but I may just put a piece of paper there, since that's what a scanner/coppier does. That way I wouldn't have to show the reflection since you wouldn't see the glass.


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Matthew KeaneRe: Hinge on 2D image in After Effects
by on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:36:58 pm

Well one advantage of the Element plugin is that you can do it all in AE, but it sounds like you're familiar with C4D so I guess that's probably the way to go.


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