Monday, 16 January 2012

Collide Number One

Working from my sketches I have started to stitch together my third piece of animated type. Within my sequence there are 2 main movements/keyframes. The first being when the letters from my word hit in the centre of the frame and the second when the word explodes outwards. The collision of my letters will only take up a 5th of my 5 second time limit, I want the 4 other seconds to exaggerate the fact the letters then disperse in different directions. Having a longer duration for the letters to disperse out of the frame gives me the ability to make them appear as if they're moving in slow motion.

The timelines I've been working from are below, a much easier to understand development from my original drawings;

Below are some screenshots of the significant movements of my type when working within after effects. I started by just using the position and orientation tools to achieve their basic movements over my time period then used a series of shorter durations where the opacity is dropped to make it appear like each character is moving at speed.

So far the overall effect of my clip seems to communicate the word collide well, but the frame itself and the feel of the video is lacking a lot of depth, It needs some shadow. In the previous 2 clips I've produced I had a play around with lighting and camera's but I felt I didn't fully understand their abilities until speaking to Lorraine this week, major help! The guidelines below have been a big help as well, Just simply reading up on the exact use of each drop down has made a big difference to my understanding of After Effects;

Light settings

Light Type
Parallel emits directional, unconstrained light from an infinitely distant source, approximating the light from a source like the Sun. Spot emits light from a source that is constrained by a cone, like a flashlight or a spotlight used in stage productions. Point emits unconstrained omnidirectional light, like the rays from a bare light bulb. Ambient creates light that has no source but rather contributes to the overall brightness of a scene and casts no shadows.
Note: Because the position in space of an Ambient light does not affect its influence on other layers, an Ambient light does not have an icon in the Composition panel.
The brightness of the light. Negative values create nonlight. Nonlight subtracts color from a layer. For example, if a layer is already lit, creating a directional light with negative values also pointing at that layer darkens an area on the layer.
Cone Angle
The angle of the cone surrounding the source of a light, which determines the width of the beam at a distance. This control is active only if Spot is selected for Light Type. The cone angle of a Spot light is indicated by the shape of the light icon in the Composition panel.
Cone Feather
The edge softness of a spotlight. This control is active only if Spot is selected for Light Type.
The color of the light.
Casts Shadows
Specifies whether the light source causes a layer to cast a shadow. The Accepts Shadows material option must be On for a layer to receive a shadow; this setting is the default. The Casts Shadows material option must be On for a layer to cast shadows; this setting is not the default.
Press Alt+Shift+C (Windows) or Option+Shift+C (Mac OS) to toggle Casts Shadows for selected layers. Press AA to show Material Options properties in the Timeline panel.
Shadow Darkness
Sets the darkness of the shadow. This control is active only if Casts Shadows is selected.
Shadow Diffusion
Sets the softness of a shadow based on its apparent distance from the shadowing layer. Larger values create softer shadows. This control is active only if Casts Shadows is selected.

Camera Settings
The name of the camera. By default, Camera 1 is the name of first camera that you create in a composition, and all subsequent cameras are numbered in ascending order. You should choose distinctive names for multiple cameras to make it easier to distinguish them. 
The type of camera settings you want to use. The presets are named according to focal lengths. Each preset is meant to represent the behavior of a 35mm camera with a lens of a certain focal length. Therefore, the preset also sets the Angle Of View, Zoom, Focus Distance, Focal Length, and Aperture values. The default preset is 50mm. You can also create a custom camera by specifying new values for any of the settings.
The distance from the lens to the image plane. In other words, a layer that is the Zoom distance away appears at its full size, a layer that is twice the Zoom distance away appears half as tall and wide, and so on.
Angle Of View
The width of the scene captured in the image. The Focal Length, Film Size, and Zoom values determine the angle of view. A wider angle of view creates the same result as a wide-angle lens.
Enable Depth Of Field
Applies custom variables to the Focus Distance, Aperture, F-Stop, and Blur Level settings. Using these variables, you can manipulate the depth of field to create more realistic camera-focusing effects. (The depth of field is the distance range within which the image is in focus. Images outside the distance range are blurred.)
Focus Distance
The distance from the camera to the plane that is in perfect focus.
Add this expression to the Focus Distance property to lock the focal plane to the camera's point of interest so that the point of interest is in focus: length(position, pointOfInterest)
Lock To Zoom
Makes the Focus Distance value match the Zoom value.
Note: If you change the settings of the Zoom or Focus Distance options in the Timeline panel, the Focus Distance value becomes unlocked from the Zoom value. If you need to change the values and want the values to remain locked, then use the Camera Settings dialog box instead of the Timeline panel. Alternatively, you can add an expression to the Focus Distance property in the Timeline panel: Select the Focus Distance property, and choose Animation > Add Expression; then drag the expression pick whip to the Zoom property.

The size of the lens opening. The Aperture setting also affects the depth of field—increasing the aperture increases the depth of field blur. When you modify Aperture, the values for F-Stop change to match it.
Note: In a real camera, increasing the aperture also allows in more light, which affects exposure. Like most 3D compositing and animation applications, After Effects ignores this result of the change in aperture values.
Represents the ratio of the focal length to aperture. Most cameras specify aperture size using the f-stop measurement; thus, many photographers prefer to set the aperture size in f-stop units. When you modify F-Stop, Aperture changes to match it.
Blur Level
The amount of depth-of-field blur in an image. A setting of 100% creates a natural blur as dictated by the camera settings. Lower values reduce the blur.
Film Size
The size of the exposed area of film, which is directly related to the composition size. When you modify Film Size, the Zoom value changes to match the perspective of a real camera.
Focal Length
The distance from the film plane to the camera lens. In After Effects, the position of the camera represents the center of the lens. When you modify Focal Length, the Zoom value changes to match the perspective of a real camera. In addition, the Preset, Angle Of View, and Aperture values change accordingly.
The units of measurement in which the camera setting values are expressed.
Measure Film Size
The dimensions used to depict the film size.
Below is A preview of my video using both lights and a camera. I didn't change the movements of the camera too much throughout my video as I thought a horizontally fixed position seemed to work throughout. At 0.00 my spot light is panned over the top of my letters slowly moving below them by 5.00, I like the effect this creates, as its subtle and just stops the type from looking so 2D.

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