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"Inbuilt Camera/Dolly" in A.E??

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Crye Biggie
"Inbuilt Camera/Dolly" in A.E??
on Jan 24, 2013 at 5:00:47 pm

So I always see this in movies but never really confirmed there must be some artificial effect for it until I saw it in a cartoon too. I see there's kind of a camera/dolly...moving so smoothly...from the heavens proper, so high up *smirk* in the skies. Yet something tells me there's some trick for this. You know how Google Maps does ... closes in on a point from the skies with it's red bubble ..that kind of thing.

OK, I'm shooting a short film. Horror.

I don't have the high Hollywood jibs or an helicopter, but I want 'us' to slowly approach (Dolly into) the antagonist's evil house from the skies to help achieve a more scary touch and also introduce the genre as opening titles roll. I want the dollying-in to be at night, and we approach the scary little house with lamps/candles on a hill ... at night.

A few quick Q's --
Is there some kind of "Inbuilt Camera/Dolly" in A.E?? Maybe a plugin from which this dolly effect be pulled off? And what do I need besides the normal cam and mics etc? ...

Do I need to shoot on the actual location (antagonist's house)? How high above it, and at what level resolution? Necessarily at night? Can this even be done on A.E or any Post editor in the first place? Beats me!

Any input on how I can just achieve this greatly helps!

Altitude is not all the problem. Taking steps is more of it.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: "Inbuilt Camera/Dolly" in A.E??
on Jan 24, 2013 at 5:31:07 pm

A quick way to creat a dolly would be to use the pick whip to create an expressiosn locking the orientation to the position of the camera.

Another way, courtesy of Walter Soyka, is this:

Create two 3D null objects -- one for point of interest and one for position -- and link the camera's point of interest and position to the nulls' positions.

Either will give varying results - play around with them and see if they do what you need.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: "Inbuilt Camera/Dolly" in A.E??
on Jan 24, 2013 at 7:34:19 pm

Lots of questions for a hard effect!

For a camera dolly you can use several options in AE- you got a couple already. For a more complex one I suggest looking at this tutorial:

As far as the zoom/fly in - not an easy shot. You need a few things:
1- A production part, using a crane or a jib for the final part.

2- Good 3d skills to build the house and surrounding area for the part that comes before #1

3- A good understanding of how to do a "earth zoom"
Tutorial (use in reverse)

4- Grading skills to make day look like night.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Crye Biggie
Re: "Inbuilt Camera/Dolly" in A.E??
on Jan 24, 2013 at 8:53:43 pm

Thanks a big bundle, Joseph and Tudor!!

I believe you guys strongly, and I am checking those tips out. Glad you quickly figured out my target despite unconventional terminology; that's what Professional does! :D

Altitude is not all the problem. Taking steps is more of it.

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