Virtual Cinematography

Table of contents:

A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.

Orson Welles

As visual effects artists, we strive not only to re-create the natural world realistically, but also the camera's view of the world. These goals are by no means the same. The camera sees only a limited piece of the world, and from a specific perspective.

Capturing a scene from this perspective requires a host of decisions that constitute a full-blown storytelling art known as cinematography. After Effects offers compositors the opportunity to re-create and even change some of these decisions, long after the crew has struck the set and called it a wrap. The title of the chapter may seem grandiose, given how many fundamental cinematographic choices are out of reach to compositors, but thinking like a director of photography and understanding the workings of the camera are the goals if you're going to fool the viewer into believing your effects shot.

This far-reaching chapter deals with several aspects of replicating a physical camera in After Effects and matching, influencing, or changing the camera's perspective; you can

  • Take control of the After Effects 3D Camera to replicate the settings of a physical real-world camera
  • Interpret, manage, and re-create other effects of using a film or video camera, including grain and lens distortion
  • Make 2D source appear three dimensional
  • Re-create both the look of camera blur and the effects of depth of field in the camera
  • Explore the looks of different cameras, including the fundamental distinctions between film and video

These seemingly disparate points all involve understanding how the camera sees the world and how film and video record what the camera sees. All of them transcend mere aesthetics, influencing how the viewer perceives the story itself.

D Pick Up the Camera

Section I. Working Foundations

The 7.0 Workflow

The Timeline

Selections: The Key to Compositing

Optimizing Your Projects

Section II. Effects Compositing Essentials

Color Correction

Color Keying

Rotoscoping and Paint

Effective Motion Tracking

Virtual Cinematography


Film, HDR, and 32 Bit Compositing

Section III. Creative Explorations

Working with Light

Climate: Air, Water, Smoke, Clouds

Pyrotechnics: Fire, Explosions, Energy Phenomena

Learning to See


Adobe After Effects 7. 0 Studio Techniques
Adobe After Effects 7.0 Studio Techniques
ISBN: 0321385527
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 157 © 2008-2020.
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