This was a tricky sort of a project. The client came to me and said, "We've got a new building that some of our employees will be moving to, and we need a video to get them jazzed about the facility". The only creative that I would have to work with would be a bunch of still photos. What to do! It would be easy enough to drop them on a timeline with some pan-and-scan and music, but it called for something with a bit more visual dynamism. I decided to use the 'ole "Simulated 3d" look.
Update: This technique is also referred to as the "Ken Burns" (or maybe it's Ben Kurns) effect. Once you've probed my page, do check out another 'how to' at Bob Donlon's excellent blog.
Further Update: A debate broke out on the After Effects list that this is not, in fact, the 'Ken Burns' effect. Decide for yourself at the wikipedia article discussing it. One might argue, though, that this technique needs a name, and so I might humbly suggest calling it the "Alan Shisko Effect" :)
The premise is simple: using photoshop, cut elements out of a picture so that you have (at a minimum) foreground, mid-ground and background layers. Bring it in to After Effects, distribute the layers in a 3d composition along the Z axis (the back and forth dimension) with some scaling applied to match everything up visually, then make a little camera move. If done carefully, you'll end up with an effect that looks as though you made the shot in the actual building with a dolly or track.
Take a look at the video (Quicktime, 22mb, 2:30) to see the final result, then watch this clip (Quicktime, 9.5mb, 11 minutes) to see an overview of the technique in production.
It wasn't just the client that was happy with the end results: the piece garnered a Gold at the 2006 Promax/BDA awards in New York this past spring! Whoo hoo! And that was on top of a silver awarded earlier in the same ceremony!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Posted by Alan Shisko at 10/19/2006 11:33:00 AM