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What is this effect called?

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Andrew Childress
What is this effect called?
on Jul 13, 2009 at 7:17:27 am

Hello fellow After Effects fanatics. Care to lend me your minds for a moment?

Check that video out and fast forward to about 2:51.

I like the way that the text "Infiltrate The Mansion" is done; written at an angle and seamlessly into the video.

I'm getting ready to undertake a big project and would like to do something similar for it.

Basically I'm looking for something similar to that effect; 3D text integrated at an angle in full motion video.

Pointing me to a tutorial would be just grand.

Thanks if you can help, and thanks if you can't. :)


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Joey Foreman
Re: What is this effect called?
on Jul 13, 2009 at 9:27:09 am

Well, i'm sure you realize that this wasn't shot on video. Since it's animation, that text was literally textured onto the wall surface. It probably originated in photoshop, and was animated in AE or Shake with a mask reveal.
To do this in live-action video, you'll need to set up tracking markers in the shot where you want the text. Then you can use MochaAE in AE 9 if you have it, or depending on the complexity of the camera move, you may to buy a dedicated 3d tracker like SynthEyes.
As for getting the text to look painted-on, a combination of transfer modes and displacement mapping will do the trick.

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Mike Park
Re: What is this effect called?
on Jul 13, 2009 at 2:24:51 pm

Try this tutorial,
It may be exactly what you are looking for.

Best of luck

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Michael Szalapski
Re: What is this effect called?
on Jul 13, 2009 at 2:53:49 pm

To answer your titular question, there are at least two effects here (depending on how you count them). Compositing and Tracking.
1) Tracking - As mentioned by a previous poster, Mocha in the newer AE or the regular tracking tools in older versions may do it for you, or you may need an actual 3d tracking program. However you do it, the basic thing is: you need to get information into AE on how the wall moves in relation to your comp window.
2) Compositing - As mentioned by a previous poster, you will need to use blend modes, masking, color correction etc. on your text to make it appear to naturally appear in the scene.
3) Rotoscoping Some people consider this part of compositing, other people would list it separately because it's so time-consuming and complex. Basically this involves cutting out foreground objects (people, poles, etc) on a duplicate footage layer above the text layer. This enables the foreground objects (such as the person in the video you posted) to appear in front of the text.

Another important part of compositing your text (or any cg element) into your scene is to match the video noise and grain in your scene onto your cg element. Sometimes this can be accomplished simply by applying the noise effect at a very low percentage, other times it requires more complex Match Grain functions.

So that should help you with the names of the effects for which you were looking.
Good luck.

- 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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Andrew Childress
Re: What is this effect called?
on Jul 14, 2009 at 3:53:16 am

Thanks all for the help.

Man, After Effects is pretty tough. Granted I've only been working with it for a couple of weeks, but I feel I'm not making a lot of progress.

Going to keep working on it, I'm still open to more tutorials and whatnot to help me along the way.

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Craig Stewart
Re: What is this effect called?
on Jul 15, 2009 at 5:10:49 pm

If you have not yet, check out the AE Basic Training series of tutorials on They're a great way to get up to speed on the basics of AE.

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