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Noob Starting AE project.

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Christopher LindseyNoob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:52:51 pm

Hello everyone, this is my first post on here. I have an AE project I need to build for the agency I work for and I would like some input on what exactly I would need to do to complete it.

A brief background, I have some AE experience but that was in 2001 when I was in school. I build a demo reel and did some other video fx in my AE class. things have changed dramatically since then.

the project: We need to make a short video (about 2.5 minutes). we want something with a globe rotating with photos rotating around it.
1. Some interesting way to bring everything onto the screen
2. photos rotate around the earth
3. animation stops on one photo, it enlarges, and displays a video
4. video stops, video/photo panel goes back to original size, and rotation resumes
5. repeat steps 3 and 4 two more times
6. exit animation

So basically 3 videos will play but we want more photo panels around the globe so it will rotate past a couple and play the 3rd, 6th, and 9th photo panels.

What I need is suggestions on how to best complete this project, should I use stock video or is it easy to build a globe in 3d space and rotate some photos around it? Also, how long do you think a project like this would take for someone with intermediate experience in AE? I am not an intermediate user but I need to know how much time to estimate for billing. Also, if you could estimate how much time it would actually take me (I know this is asking a lot) I would really appreciate it. Any questions or suggestions, please dont hesitate to ask.
-Chris


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Dave LaRondeRe: Noob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 5:53:11 pm

I can't help with the clever way to begin and end, but here's how to do the middle:
  • In a 3D comp, use CC Sphere to make the globe; you can get spherical Earth maps in the proper 2:1 ratio from NASA. The layer will be 3D to accommodate the photos orbiting it, but the sphere will NOT be true 3D, which requires working in a 3D application.
  • At the same XYZ position as the sphere layer, place a 3D Null.
  • Add the first photo, make it 3D, parent it to the null, and THEN move it back the appropriate amount in Z-space.
  • Rotate the null appropriately for the number of pictures; if you have 9 pictures, rotate the null plus or minus 360/9 degrees.
  • Repeat the process of adding the picture, parenting, moving back in a-space and rotating the null until done.

You can then animate the nullrotation, and the photos will orbit the sphere layer. When rotation stops, you can either scale the target video layer up, or move it up in z-space.

You can control the play of the target video layers through Time Remapping.

Time: I'd allocate 16 hours to do it. I don't have a clue how much time you'd take.

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


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Noob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 5:58:54 pm

Here's a tutorial on making a planet and here's a tutorial on making it work with AE's 3d space. You'd want to use your photos and videos rather than images of earth's surface.

How long your project would take to do matters a lot on the skill of the AE operator - as you've mentioned, but it also matters how you want it to look. I'm assuming you don't just want the globe on black and I'm assuming you don't want really sharp, unnatural animation. What sort of things you're looking for in all the details will make a big difference.

This sounds like a project I could get a rough of in about a day.

Since you're essentially new to AE, you might want to spend some time with these (free!) resources to give yourself a foundation from which to work.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Noob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 6:01:53 pm

I see Dave posted first! Darn my cold/slow fingers. (Office heat isn't exactly working...)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Christopher LindseyRe: Noob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 6:16:53 pm

Thanks a lot guys. This helps tremendously. I'll keep you updated as the project progresses. we're just in concept stages right now but I'm sure I will be starting soon.


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Christopher LindseyRe: Noob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 6:56:42 pm

on a side note, does NASA provide these images for free or are they something I can get at a cost? I need to make sure I'm not violating any copyright laws. thanks.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Noob Starting AE project.
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 7:20:49 pm

I'm almost 100% sure they're freebies. Look for "blue marble".

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


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