This course builds upon our extremely popular After Effects project-based courses, with a creative concept that has a bit of a laugh with some of Hollywood's current offerings. For this course, the profs and members will be creating effects, graphics, and animation for a :30 trailer promoting our fictional movie "Chutes and Ladders". As a stark contrast to giant killer robots -- or battleships -- New York City is "invaded" by giant smiling cardboard cutout characters who build ladders between buildings and run slides to the street.
Leading the course is fxphd prof Danny Princz, who is serving as co-director of the project along with the The Diamond Brothers (Jason and Josh Diamond). The course
will cover a variety of subjects during the term, starting out the actual shoot as well as a discussion about the concept, since it's the creative that drives
everything else down the line. Next, Jason and Danny will work through the edit and talk about prepping the files for post.
Danny will be heading up the compositing for the course, but he's brought in some friends to help with the various tasks. Michelle Higa will work through the process
of character animation. Instead of using a separate 3D program, she'll be working through how to work in After Effects with the most flexibility. She'll start by
building a reusable character rig in After Effects and then work on animating the character for one or more of the scenes (as time allows). She'll also work through
the caveats of working in AE, such as the various angles from which we'll see the characters. Also, Lloyd Alvarez will spend several classes creating the titles for
the trailer as well.
Class 1: Preproduction/shoot. The concept drives the project, so Jason and Danny sit down to discuss the creative. We then travel around New York City grabbing shots
from ground level as well as various rooftops.
Class 2: Character Design/Rigging. Michelle Higa takes over, covering how to build a suitable animation rig with the puppet tool and expressions. Part 1.
Class 3: Character Design/Rigging, Part 2.
Class 4: Creative edit and post setup. Jason works through the editing of the spot, from logging to completion. He'll be showing the creative edit process, sharing
early cuts that were later tossed out or revised.
Class 5: In this class we set up the "character reveal" shot by camera tracking the scene, building our first "chute" and blocking out the timing for out character. We
take our first look at the camera tracker in CS6 and dealing with lens distortion. We then dive in to 3D extrusions with the new Raytracer renderer, system
requirements to use it, and some of the benefits and limitations. We also look at a workaround to "bend" the 3d extrusions to get curved and twisty slides. Finally we
bring these together to block out our initial chute animation and character timing.
Class 6: In the second look at our "character reveal" shot we import and tweak our character animation, look at creating a variable sized ladder, and start bringing
all these elements together in addition to dust, debris and smoke elements.
Class 7: Finalizing the look for the "character reveal" shot.
Class 8: Title Design part 1.
Class 9: Title Design part 2.
Class 10: The descending slide through clouds shot.
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