After Effects: Project A to Z

Taught by John Montgomery

Course Number:
Software Version:
Original Run Date:
October 2008 
8 hours 7 minutes 
This course will work through "The Future of DRM" greenscreen project over the duration of the term, with the goal of collaborating with other fxphd members to achieve a final piece. The piece involves a cynical look at where the future of DRM might go. Our talent is sitting at a bar or nightclub having a drink and watching music videos. In order to play the songs, they must work their way through an increasingly complex DRM approval process.

This is a greenscreen project, and we will be distributing all of the shots in the piece as 10-bit RED 1K DPX files, so members will have access to the complete cut for the project. It provides a lot of possibilities for artists to stretch their creative wings -- from designing a virtual environment for the talent (is it photoreal or stylized?) to creating an interactive table UI to developing and integrating a HUD.

The course will be lead by John Montgomery, Mark Christiansen, and Danny Princz, each bringing their own creative thoughts to the process. In addition to After Effects, other applications will be used as well...because in the production of visual effects artists rely on multiple applications. It's a misnomer to think all work for a project is done in one application. We will also provide feedback in the forums on member work that is part of the course -- as one of the best ways of learning is to get constructive input from other artists.
After Effects: Project A to Z
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: An overview of the "Future of DRM"

Brief on tracking the first shot and creating a virtual set. UI creation and alignment with the original footage using Illustrator, Photoshop, and AE.

Class 2: Composite for the first UI closeup

Using Sapphire plugins to enhance the graphics and comp, and a demonstration of how johnmont likes to approach keying in layers.

Class 3: Cleaning up the Beer Pouring

Preview of the associated table graphics. A look at doing the table luma key in After Effects.

Class 4: Biometric hand scanning

Adding and x-ray effect and UI graphics.

Class 5: Tackling issues

Such as refraction when filling up the empty beer glass in the wide shot. Using Trapcode Form to approach the voiceprint verification shot.

Class 6: Keying and grading techniques

A bonus look at keying the scene using another application: Flame's Master Keyer.

Class 7: Tracking the tabletop

Using Mocha for AE, corner pinning, and other techniques to track and finesse replacing the table surface.

Class 8: Event 009, Part 1

Tackling the design of the heads up display using built-in text and modifying animation presets.

Class 9: Event 009, Part 2

Putting finishing touches on the HUD, using lighting and shapes duplication. Also, a look at animating the virtual set LED lights and a render pass tutorial.

Class 10: An overview of the entire project

With an alternate look at the first tabletop scene using expressions and more.