As many of us often do, we get into the situation that we need to implement photos into a video (documentary, image film, reportage,… you name it) The easy way of doing this is to simply zoom into the photo or pan over it. If you want to give your photos more “life” you begin to draw masks and animate single parts of the picture to give the illusion of some camera movement. This can be very time consuming. So I started to build a tool wich helps me do this and cuts the time doing so tremendously. I have been using and improving it for over half a year now and it has already saved me so much time.
This is what you can do:
define a mask (often a simple & quick rough mask will work perfectly)
8 layers will be generated from this mask
define the layer size
you can pull the layers in two different ways at the same time: 1) The weighting is more defined at the outside layers 2) The weighting is more defined on the inside layers
push camera or object in & out
Pull focus (between innermost and outermost layer)
define edge blur of layers (feathering)
Activate “Visual Help Mode” to make adjustments easily visible
two resolutions: 1920×1080, 3840×2160
NEW: SECOND MASK with own set of Layers
OPTIONS FOR SECOND MASK:
Second Mask can be made of two separate masks
6 Layers will be generated of this/these mask/s
Move with weighting on inner layers to give impression of turning the object
Expansion/Contraction with weighting on inner layers
Layer Edge Blur
Parent Object to first Mask (movement and blurriness)
I’ve found that randomly playing around with the options yields fun and crazy results, it’s really easy. There are many possibilities to animate your photos. Try it!
It is pretty easy to use, but there are some tricks i’ve figured out to get some cool results. So I have made a 45+ minute tutorial to show you different kinds of approaches for different types of photos.
Please keep in mind that this is no “super magic tool”, and there will still be some kinds of photos which will work better then others. Especially photos with many things in the foreground and background are more difficult. But for most of the photos I have tried it on, it worked great.
If you have any wishes or ideas that you want me to implement, don’t hesitate to write me! I’m always happy to get some input and feedback. This will help me improve the tool!
What you get:
Photo Animator V2 After Effects CS4 project file (Will work with CS4 and higher)
over 45 minutes of video Tutorial with project files (links to photos in document)
PDF document with the controls explained
Release note Version 2.0 October 31, 2015:
Second mask with own set of layers and controls added (see above)
Expansion/Contraction can now be done both with weighting on inner Layers and outer Layers at the same time
Own mask(s) can be drawn. No manipulation of existing mask anymore
Motion Blur can now be enabled
New, more detailed 45 min video tutorial