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Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.

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Luke Ogden
Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.
on Jan 27, 2011 at 5:33:13 pm

Hey guys,
The Project is an animated music video using mainly hand painted assets, i've setup a camera rig using Andrew Devis 3 part tutorial "animating a camera" which will follow the animating assets in 3d (2.5d) space. the video will last approximately three minutes but i intend to export small segments and assemble in a 720p FCP sequence.

I was just wondering considering i'll be animating the camera to move thorough the music video (it follows a river) how should i set up my composition?

secondly, once painted what is the best way of getting my assets into AE, was thinking scanning then then making an alpha in photoshop OR vectorizing them in Illustrator. The main thing I'm worried about is having loads of these assets slowing down render times and just slowing things down gererally. Some of the assets will be close to the camera so maybe vectors will be better

thanks in advance

Luke


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.
on Jan 27, 2011 at 5:35:52 pm

We can't say; there's insufficient information, and I suspect you don't have it, either.

You need to sit down and start drawing storyboards to flesh out the pictures in your mind.

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


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Luke Ogden
Re: Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.
on Jan 27, 2011 at 6:15:48 pm

The storyboards are done, 1553_largestoryboards.pdf.zip
they're not exactly conventional, but give quite a good idea of how the shots will go from one to the other and the timings. In the past my use of after effects has been to create sub 30 second title sequences or sending specific shots from fcp to AE to do something specific with. I'm just wondering if my approach should change and how i should handle the water colour assests mainly.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.
on Jan 27, 2011 at 7:36:37 pm

Wow! You did your homework -- congratulations.

My rule of thumb when using bitmapped artwork for 3D is to keep it a tiny bit bigger than necessary to maintain a 1-to-1 pixel ratio when the camera is at its closest to it. It can be tough to figure, but it's worth it.

If you plan to use one version of that river artwork in various sections of the project, you may want to consider making one HUGE river layer in photoshop, then producing sections of it if only a certain section is needed for a shot, and scaling the layer in Photoshop to make a different version if a wide shot of a long section is called for.

The same would apply for all the different-looking pieces of river artwork you'd make.

The goal is to keep the size of the layers used in AE under control. You can waste a lot of time in AE by making layers unnecessarily large, then scaling them down. AE still has to deal with all the pixels in the oversized layer, even though the layer is scaled down. It's far better to do the scaling in Photoshop where it's done ONCE, rather than on each and every frame of the animation.

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


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Jon Bagge
Re: Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.
on Jan 28, 2011 at 8:50:25 am

Also bear in mind you can use proxies in AE. So even if you bring in quite large PS files, you can render a still proxy at 1/4 or maybe 1/9 resolution.

In most cases this will allow you to work faster, and you can turn off proxies for the final render. In fact the default 'best settings' render has proxies turned off. You may want to change this while doing preview renders.

But in the end you may find that some layers aren't seen that close in your animation anyway, and you can keep the proxies even for the final render. I do this quite frequently. I like to bring in quite large files just in case I need them, knowing it's easier to make/unmake smaller proxies than to have to go back and scan at a higher resolution.

--------------
http://www.jonbagge.net
Jon Bagge - Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Advice for Large AE project with hand made assets.
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:29:51 pm

My approach on a similar project (using drawings that were scanned and then re-drawn in AI) was to break the music video in separate setups for shots and think on transitions. For example, when the camera follows the river coming down over the waterfall and you have a full frame of the water only, that would be a good seamless transition point in between two scenes.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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