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How to create a simple infinite horizon background

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Cameron HarrisonHow to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on May 3, 2013 at 11:44:55 pm

I have a feeling this might be a painfully obvious question, but for the life of me I can't find a good tutorial on it.

How do I make a very simple infinite horizon set with ground and a "sky" background in After Effects? Basically something very close to the one seen in this video (about 30 seconds in): http://www.vwise.com/spe_web/index.php

The trick is, like in that video, I want to be able to move and rotate my camera around, so it needs to wrap around in 3D space.

I thought Trapcode Horizon might be a good plug-in for this, but again, a significant lack of tutorials.

Thanks for any pointing in the right direction!


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Tom DaigonRe: How to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on May 4, 2013 at 1:12:09 am

AE CS6 has environment layers. You might be able to make this work.

http://www.video2brain.com/en/lessons/environment-layers


Sky dome is cheaper then Horizon and has a tutorial. See what you think.

http://aescripts.com/skydome/

Tom Daigon
PrP / After Effects Editor
HP Z820 Dual 2687
64GB ram
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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: How to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on May 4, 2013 at 11:01:35 pm

For the ground plane all you need is a 3d layer (rotate and position) with Motion Tile applied to it- that will expand the layer to a significant distance giving the impression that it is infinite.
Depending on what AE version you run and your hardware, the sky dome could be done several ways. If you have Free Form you could bend and curve a sky image. In CS6 you could use AE's own ability to bend layers.
Trapcode Horizon would be the easiest though- or Sky Dome.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Cameron HarrisonRe: How to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on May 6, 2013 at 10:12:48 pm

Thanks guys! I'll give Sky Dome a try, certainly a better price, and seems more suited to the simple effect I'm going for than Horizon.

Also, I'm just in AE5, so don't have any of 6's tools.


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Cameron HarrisonRe: How to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on May 21, 2013 at 9:35:30 pm

So I ended up moving to AE6, and that seems to have worked for the most part. Using an environment layer for the sky, and a solid w/ Motion Tile applied for the floor. I've linked the camera's rotation to the floor, so it never shows the corners when I turn, and so far everything seems like how I want it.

Except that the horizon on the floor is a hard line. I'd love for it to fade into the background. Any not-totally-complex way to do that?


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Joshua BirdRe: How to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on Apr 5, 2016 at 8:32:55 pm

Cameron,

How did you link your camera rotation to your floor? I am trying to recreate the exact type of environment as the video you first posted.

Any help on your solution for this problem would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Josh


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Cameron HarrisonRe: How to create a simple infinite horizon background
by on Apr 5, 2016 at 9:44:00 pm

Hey Josh,

It's been awhile, but if I remember correctly, I think I had to make an expression so that whenever the camera rotated, the floor would also rotate. I couldn't do a simple parent, because then any other movement would also have been transferred to the floor.

I've never been great with expressions, and always have to look examples up when I'm doing them, so I can't be of any help with the exact formula, but I think that's the technique I used.

Good luck!


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