Archive for the ‘3d animation’ Category

3D Worlds in After Effects

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I want to put someone inside a virtual world (based on their own paintings), ultimately to be rendered out as a Stereographic 3D movie, but with development in progressive stages/generations, initially based on readily available standard tools and techniques, later proceeding to specialist 3D modelling apps etc.  How to proceed?  Some possibilities that come to mind are:

  • Initial development using only “Planar 3D” as in After Effects
    • I believe this is possible to some extent, using native features of AE.
    • In my earlier post on Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 – Orientation, I noted the existence of Mocha LE, a tracker, included inMocha 2.6, the awesome roto program with a tightly integrated planar tracker.
      • {The planar tracker is (primarily?) ..used as a “roto assist” to speed up the roto process…
        ..and also the tracking data can be exported to a wide variety of programs such as Nuke, After Effects, Combustion and many more for corner pinning, stabilizing, and match move that suite.
  • Subsequent development using “Full 3D” as in Blender etc.  Some relevant previous entries in this blog are:

So I did a web-search: Google: [after effects 3d]

World / Object Creation:

    •  Real (green screened) rap artist and audients, where the rap artist appears on a virtual a giant stage surrounded by replicated audients.
    • Explains the conceptualization, storyboarding, and high-level aspects (no screenshots) of designing a world capable of representation in After Effects, along with building and testing experiences.
    • How to make a truck out of a single flat surface with cut-out sections and folds.  Like you would make one out of a single sheet of cardboard (like a cornflake packet).
    • Links to tutorial and support-files.
    • Similar to the truck, flat sheet (“texture”, obtained from an actual photo, realigned and stretched to remove perspective effect in photo) folded into a 3D building object.
    • Video tutorial and project files are provided.
    • { has both free stuff (tutorials etc.) and pay-stuff.  Well-worth a check-out.}


  • DaVinci Resolve Lite – free
    • Re: After Effects Tracking (by Todd Kopriva, Adobe Tech. Support, on Jul 10, 2011)
      • If you have After Effect CS5, you have mocha—and it’s often the easiest and best way to do tracking for the purpose of compositing.
    • Q: “Mocha, or Camera Tracker?” (by andrew donaldson on Sep 8, 2011)
      • {Mocha (LE) comes with CS5.5, Camera Tracker is a third-party add-on}
      • I need to create something similar to this:
      • …. would liked to use similar techniques, especially with the web pages tracking the buildings in city shots.
      • I have tried to use mocha to track the side of a building, but its not proving ideal. Obviously the motion tracker inside AE won’t give me the depth/perspective.
      • So what’s the best way to do this?  … Is Syntheyes/Camera tracker the way forward?
    • A1: (by ben g unguren on Sep 8, 2011 )
      • The general rule of thumb is that Mocha works great if your graphics are ATTACHED to an EXISTING surface (like a logo on the side of a building, or changing the words on a sign). If you’re trying to add something in 3D space (like graphics that “hover” around the building, and seem to actually be there), then you need a 3D solution.
      • Mocha and AE’s internal trackers give you 2D solutions. Mocha’s solutions are a bit more sophisticated, producing corner-point information that mimics 3D, but [this is key] it doesn’t produce a 3D camera.
      • Syntheyes and similar apps will give you an animated 3D camera as well as target points that simulate the world you’re tracking (target points for the ground, buildings, etc — whatever you’ve managed to track and can get a 3D “solution” for). This is A LOT more information than what Mocha or AE’s internal tracking can get you.
      • One other point: when the camera is only panning and tilting (not actually changing it’s own position) then a 2D solution can (sort of) mimick a 3D camera solution. So if all you’re doing is panning and tilting, then you could track that in Mocha, then use that data to animate objects (that are given perspective, for instance). You would be able to achieve a lot of the graphics in the video you linked to using that technique, as they’re using a lot of static cameras.
    • A2: (by Tudor “Ted” Jelescu on Sep 8, 2011):
      • I agree with Ben.
      • In most of the shots from your example Mocha can be used. I suspect that some of those shots where not really video files, but still images cleverly transformed in a 2.5d comp where camera moves can be animated in AE – so no tracker there.
      • Here’s a good tutorial for what Mocha can do:


Avid MC: Titling

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Below is a list of are some video tutorials I found on the web, illustrating how to do titling in Avid Media Composer.  There are several options (tools/plugins) in the Avid suite, from simple to more sophisticated (and complicated). Notably, the Marquee tool can automatically generate a set of lower thirds and text animations etc. in consistent style based on text in a simple text-file.  Really useful for apportioning the work between different people or simply editing the text on say a mobile phone (maybe even with dictation app).

Pre-Visualization Apps (for Storyboard / Animatrix / Virtual Studio)

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

General & Surveys:

Specific Applications:

3D Modelling / Animation / Rendering Apps

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

The consensus is that for work-alone people, the most suitable apps are:

  • Daz 3D (free)
    • Seems like it focuses on use of prefab(-ricated) objects and scenery more than sculpting and extruding etc.  Just my initial impression, could be wrong.
  • Carrara (~$150)
    • “really noob-friendly interface”
    • But no dynamic materials, hence for example you can’t drape cloth.
  • Blender (free)
    • Rich in features but confusing to a newbie, easier to move onto once Carrara has been mastered.  Changes its interface every year…
    • “quite a few studios are using Blender alongside their existing workflow”

But for people in industry, who have to collaborate, these are only useful for learning the general principles.  Instead they use Maya

2D to 3D Movie Conversion

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Great article by Studio Daily at, on the 2D⇒3D conversion company In-Thre  from this article I learnt that:

  • Some new movies, not just legacy ones, are being converted from 2D to 3D (stereo).  This step is being planned as part of production.  Don’t know why they can’t just shoot it in stereo (cost? maturity? conservatism?) but that’s how it is.
  • The method: a tech & manual rotoscoping pipeline (production line) where images are masked to create layers and artistic judgement is applied to the appearances of individual objects.  As one would imagine, no simple “magic solution”.  However beyond those basics they have their own patented 2D⇒3D inference algorithms operating on individual objects even at sub-pixel level.
  • Not quick or cheap: “for a 100-minute or 120-minute 2D-to-3D conversion, you would need about 300 to 400 artists phasing and out of production over about four to six months.”.  Clash of the Titans was so-processed in under half that time – possibly explaining some negative press (mentioned in the article) regarding the quality of its 3D.

The interviewee in the article was from In-Three.  Their website explains:

  • Dimensionalization is a method developed by In-Three of converting 2D content to stereoscopic 3D content.
  • There are various approaches to creating 3D content: capturing 3D using dual camera rigs, rendering 3D using dual “virtual” camera rigs within a computer graphics environment, and creating 3D by converting 2D content with processes such as Dimensionalization.
  • Dimensionalization is trademarked because it describes a patented process which gives the unique, depth, shape and perspective to each individual object on a pixel or even sub-pixel level. Throughout our process, there are a multitude of “special and unique techniques” our experienced stereo team has and continues to develop, so that you can be confident that we bring the tools and the skill to any conversion project.
  • The Dimensionalization process is covered by a number of U.S. patents. These patents make In-Three a leader in the development of intellectual property surrounding the conversion of two-dimensional films to stereoscopic experiences.

FCP – Great set of free (TipWare) tutorials

Friday, January 8th, 2010

This guy, AppleShakeguru, is knowledgable not only in the tools & features but also the practicalities.  His style is to first walk thru at pedestrian pace, sometimes fumbling (as any new user might), so the details can come out.  Then he runs thru afterwards, so it all clicks together.