ARTC 4440, Spring 2011
Advanced Digital Video Art
Heather Elliott-Famularo

Assignment #3:
Visual FX tests in After Effects CS5, part 1

Due: Thursday, March 24

Now that we have learned several techniques in After Effects CS5, create examples to demonstrate your understanding of the techniques and expertise. You may use the plates you shot in Assignment #2, footage you shot in previous projects, or you may shoot new footage. Render out each of these files as .mov files and put in the homework folder when complete.

Create a NEW AE Project, and import your video footage. Then create new compositions for each of the following tests. Make them look convincing! They need only be 10-20 seconds long.

List of FX to try:

  1. Puppet Tool: Animate a still element using the puppet tool. Remember that you must start with clean layers with alpha channels in Photoshop and import the .psd file BONUS: Animate two elements in one comp.

  2. Rotobrush: Use the Rotobrush tool to isolate one moving element in an otherwise busy scene. Place the element in an alternative setting. BONUS: add a drop shadow or play with lighting to make it look more convincing!

  3. Keylight: Use some of the green screen footage we shot as foreground elements, composite them onto a background layer using the Keylight filter. Adjust as settings to key it perfectly. HINT: Open both files in Final Cut first, and use the color-corrector 3-way to color match the levels of the two clips. Then export them as QT movies and import them into After Effects. Don't forget to use a simple mask (pen tool) on the layer if needed. Consider adding shadows, etc. as needed. Try to make it convincing OR give it a motion graphics look (with intention). BONUS: composite multiple elements together on the background or try different backgrounds.

  4. Blending Modes: Use one of the Layer Blending modes to blend two (or more) layers in After Effects. See if you can create a "mood" with the composite. BONUS: use several layers and several modes to create a comp of changing modes that show a progression.

  5. Animation Presets: In the Industry, Time is Money! Using After Effects Animation Presets save time and often look great as they are! Bring some still elements into After Effects and apply one to get some nice animation/effects. BONUS: Add a couple of animation presets to one layer

  6. Transformations: Use the Transformations (Position, Opacity, Scale, Rotation) to animate a few objects in a scene. Keyframe the Position and try the various Bezier adjustments to smooth the motion. BONUS: use several layers and several modes to create a sequence of changing composites that show a progression.

  7. Text Animation: Create a really cool Title Sequence for one of your projects. Animate the text, try some cool effects. Carefully select your FONT (so that it is appropriate for the words) and watch your leading, kerning, and tracking. Be sure to stay within the Title Safe Zone. BONUS: Animate to music. (not copyrighted, of course!)

Render out all of the movies, and save them to the HW folder in Assign4-AE1.

Then, take your two favorites and upload them to your Vimeo account.
See Our Vimeo Page

Back to Syllabus