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Freeform and 3D Mapping? Are they good bedfellows?

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Jason McKee
Freeform and 3D Mapping? Are they good bedfellows?
on May 21, 2010 at 10:19:56 pm

Is it possible in AE CS5 to use the new DigiEffects plugin Freeform to create a 3D landscape that can then have footage 3D Camera mapped to it? I wouldn't want to have to precomp it ahead of time since this would make the Freeform layer appear as a 2D plane. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
-jm


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Freeform and 3D Mapping? Are they good bedfellows?
on May 22, 2010 at 4:40:35 pm

If I understand the question properly, you want to map video from one of those new 3D video cameras onto a Freeform layer.

You have to understand that 3D video just creates an illusion of depth: it's composed of two images, simulating binocular vision. The pictures themselves contain no z-information... and which image would you choose to map on the Freeform layer when you need both?

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


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Jason McKee
Re: Freeform and 3D Mapping? Are they good bedfellows?
on May 24, 2010 at 9:30:39 pm

sorry I'm not sure if I explained myself clearly. I essentially want to do this:

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorial/3d_camera_projection_2/

but with 3D Camera projecting onto a 3D mesh as opposed to a 2D plane which is actually closer to this:

http://www.3dfluff.com/cameramapping/cameramappingtut.htm

I'm just curious if I would be able to use Freeform to create the mountains in the distance like in the second example. thanks.
-jm


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Freeform and 3D Mapping? Are they good bedfellows?
on May 24, 2010 at 10:07:18 pm

I've never used this technique -- I've never had to.

I get it in principle, and I'm pretty sure you'd have to be careful on 1) the scene you choose to use as the projection and 2) where you place the mountains on the freeform layer. I wouldn't count on it doing any more than selling the 3D illusion with camera movement along the z-axis.

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


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Jason McKee
Re: Freeform and 3D Mapping? Are they good bedfellows?
on May 24, 2010 at 11:35:14 pm

Yeah you re definitely limited to Z space movement and just a tad bit of X and Y movement but it can be a pretty cool technique. I know they used this technique quite a bit in Avatar when creating the wide shots of the vast terrain:

http://media.fxguide.com/fxguidetv/fxguidetv-ep082.mov

Within the first 15 seconds of this video you can see how WETA (using Nuke) just created a matte painting and then 3D Camera projected that image onto a 3D mesh to give them some realistic 3D paralax by adding a slight 3D camera move to the scene.

haven't tried it yet but I was just curious if After Effects now, by using Freeform can essentially do the same thing.

-jm


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