Saturday, June 9, 2007

3D Studio Max and After Effects MashUp

Its been a long time since I've written a tutorial and I thought that I should get back to doing what I do best, explaining the simple things that make an animation reel great. So here I'll merge too tricks into one by creating simple loops, followed by using green screen to bring them into Adobe After Effects. Let's get started!


Creating a Loop

1.) Very simple here, to begin let's start by making a sphere.
2.) Now select the motion panel on the right hand side, and click under create key: Position, Rotation, and Scale. Next, select the Y, and then Z axis, and do the same that you did for the X-axis and select position, rotation, and scale. This will create a key frame on frame 1.

3.) To make sure that the sphere ends up at the same spot which it started, move the frame slider, down to about frame 30, and without doing a thing to the sphere, repeat step 2.

4.) Now you can animate your sphere on any of the frames in between 1 and 30 by first selecting the auto key.
5.) Then when you press play you will notice that the sphere always goes back to its original position.

Green Screening & Premiere

An old Hollywood trick for decades, greenscreening has allowed anyone to be anywhere. Now this little ball will be green screened and placed into Premiere.

1.) Go to Render->Environment and click on the Background Color and change the color to green. The key here is to write down the Red, Green, and Blue values because you will need them in the future.

My green values are as follows:

2.) Now Render your movie from frames 1-30, and save the file as an AVI file. Afterwards replay your movie in a video player on repeat,so that you can judge the amount of extra frames you need to make the movie look smooth. This could be by rerendering from 1-32 frames or 1-35. Its up to you.

3.) Break out your After Effects. I am using After Effects 7, but any After Effects version should do as long as there is a CHROMA KEY function.
4.) So to begin, double click on the project panel and open a picture that you would like to use for your background.

5.) Now drag the file to the Timeline Panel. Notice that the file now appears in the composition panel, where you can increase or decrease the size.

6.) Now, let's import your movie so repeat steps 4 & 5 and instead of loading a picture, load the AVI that you just rendered.

7.) So its time to get rid of the green, to do this, right click on the file name in the Timeline view, and follow the path: Effect-> Keying -> Color Key

8.) Click on the eyedropper in the Effects Control Panel on the left, and then click
on the green in the movie.

9.) Remove more Green by increasing the color tolerance. Then adjust the Edge Thin and Edge Feather values to first remove more green and then thin out the edges

Color Tolerance: 196
Edge Thin: 1
Edge Feather: 2.8

Congrats your done, and I hope by this simple little tip, you can incorporate this technique into larger projects. Thanks again, and make sure to visit my other tutorials for more great tips.


Jonathan said...

I've been trying to do something similar but have been running into problems. I have and a model that has many different materials: most are highly reflective and one is a large glass sheet. The problem is that when I set my bakground to say a green (or any color) the model(s) pick up that color and reflect it. Once I bring it into AE and chroma key it out. I am stuck with parts of the original models shapes missing or a ton of green showing throughout the model. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Couln't you just render with an alpha channel?

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, you can exclude your model from recieving the background color.

Anonymous said...

xport as sequence of .png ,then u can import straight into any scene in AE

Josh Garmendiz said...

Very cool tutorial. I'll keep it in mind when I start comibing the two

Anonymous said...

the whole tutorial is done the wrong way. I mean, every single step is wrong. Dont use it!!

Anonymous said...

I found similar information on (not my website)
This may help people looking for information on the topic.

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