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Mike Thomas
Need to decide whether to buy
on Jul 1, 2011 at 11:28:10 pm

So I'm preparing to shoot another film project and I'm thinking of learning AE in order to add things to my footage such as signs...instead of making actual signs then filming them as I've done in the past. There is a newer movie out called "Monsters" in which all the road signs, billboard signs and more were added in post. How difficult is this sort of thing to learn? I have Photoshop skills but I've never used AE before.

Things I want to do: Add a business's name to a fence so it looks painted on, change the words on an existing road sign, add words to the side of a bus, etc...

Is this sort of FX work fairly easy to learn and is AE the program I would want? Thanks.

Mike D

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David Johnson
Re: Need to decide whether to buy
on Jul 2, 2011 at 2:41:49 am

Sorry I can't take the time to hunt down and send links to tutorials, but the straight answers to your questions are: yes, the things you mentioned are among the kinds of things AE is very good for (as good as or better than any other software) and "easy" is a relative term ... AE is not the kind of software one can learn in a day or week by just clicking around on a few things, but the things mentioned aren't terribly difficult either. That said, if your standard is film level, you may be better off having an experienced compositor do them than expecting to get photo-realism after dabbling in AE as a beginner for a few days or weeks ... or even months or years depending on how much time one puts in and how good one is ... the bottom line is what level of passable is considered acceptable for a particular project.

I hope my two pence is helpul. Best of luck.

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Todd Kopriva
Re: Need to decide whether to buy
on Jul 4, 2011 at 11:30:26 pm

Here's a very simple tutorial that I made that shows how to use mocha for After Effects:

This should give you an idea of how easy it is to do the sort of sign-replacement work that you're referring to.

Gareth Edwards did the sign-replacement work (as well as all other compositing) in _Monsters_ using After Effects and Photoshop.

Start here to learn After Effects.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
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