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Atmospheric Experiments

Creating Short End Sequence

It has been a very long time since I've put up a piece of experimental work. Most of what goes up on this site is commercial, or at least festival work. Anything like this normally gets left unfinished, but I've enjoyed playing around with this and it now contains a number of techniques I want to demonstrate. It’s also an experiment in hosting some of my material in HD on vimeo.

Atmosphere and Particles

Another major element of this scene was to create a moving atmosphere using particle systems in After Effects. In the past I've worked a great deal with 3D cloud effects in Lightwave and Vue, but I like the rapid implementation of the particle systems in After Effects and was able to quickly tune it to give a slightly graphic look that suits the project.

Matte Painting and Multiplanes

The initial idea was to create a scene that used matte painting in layers in the 3D plane. In years gone by Disney used massive cameras and enormous glass plates painted with oil paint to pull off this trick, but now with the aid of digital layering, that part is relatively straightforward, although the painting element still takes skill.

Walt Disney explains how the multiplane camera was originally developed to a create dramatic sense of depth in his films.

A couple of the digitally painted greyscale layers used in the project.

A further subtle effect is the unusual use of Trapcode Particular (another particle plug-in) that has been used in this scene in order to create the bent and twisted steel rods in the foreground, to give that extra sense of depth.

Matte painting and 3D layering in After Effects.

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