How to Animate a Photograph – After Effects Tutorial

How to Animate a Photograph – After Effects Tutorial

November 8, 2019 9 By Peter Engel


Hey guys Flat Pack FX here and
today I’m going to show you how to take your still images and make them look 3d.
so stick around you’re watching Flat Pack FX. So welcome back to another
tutorial guys and in this one I’m going to show you how to make this effect
where we take a still image and make it look 3d now this effect you can apply to
any still image you have and I’m also going to show you how to do it entirely
inside of After Effects now there are tutorials out there would show you in
part how to use Photoshop but I just thought it’d be easier if we use After
Effects right through the process now in this case I went online and found these
free images and I’ve put links in the description below if you want to follow
along with me okay so I’m gonna right click and create a new composition you
can call this one whatever you want I’m also going to change this to be HD 1080
25 and then hit OK next I’m going to take my image and drop it straight into
the composition then I’m just gonna simply just resize this so it roughly
fits in our composition now the first thing we have to do is separate our
image into different layers so the way we do this is we’re firstly going to
duplicate this layer down here and turn off the bottom one and I’m gonna cut out
this guy here I’m gonna use my pen tool and just draw a really rough mask around
him like that then I’m just gonna come up to effect down to keying and I’m
gonna add the extract I’m just gonna drag down on this white point in order
to remove the background like that then just gonna rename this one to be gone
that one off turn on my background layer then I want to select one of these
cliffs down here so I’m gonna cut this element out here so I’m gonna go back to
my pen tool and I just want to start drawing a mask around the outside of my
layer here now if you’re new to masking I will be doing a masking video soon but
in the meantime the key with this is just to keep making small little changes
so if I click I create a point if I click and drag I can create a curve to
my layer to use that to get around corners and follow the contours of your
shape more so using my spacebar to move around with my hand
tool and then we’ve created our first shape here I’m also going to rename this
one to left cliff and I’m going to duplicate this turn off the background
layer again I’m just gonna delete the mask on that layer then I’m gonna go
over here and start on this cliff rename this one to cliff so it’s easy to follow
also just gonna grab my pen tool here and just start drawing a rough mask
around my edge now this really doesn’t have to be perfect because the effect
happens quite quickly we don’t really notice all the imperfections so it’s
just a matter of trying to get it as close as you can and obviously the more
time you spend on it the better it’s gonna look okay so now we’ve got our
three elements they’re gonna take my bottom layer here I’m gonna duplicate it
again gonna rename this one to background so BG then I’m gonna delete
the mask on that layer so we’ve got all of our layers separated now in two
distinctive elements the next part of this is I’m gonna turn off these top
layers we want to remove on our background layer these top layers so
these two cliffs and we want to remove this person from our scene now this is
where it can become a bit tricky depending on how complicated your photo
is and the way we do it is by using what we call the clone stamp so Photoshop has
a clone stamp that you can use otherwise there is one built into After Effects
and we find it by coming up here to the tools panel and clicking on the clone
stamp then we have to double click our layout so we enter into the layer menu
now the other thing you need to make sure is under window there brushes and
paint are both selected and that’s these two menus here the bottom one paint just
make sure that these settings match mainly these two up here both of a
hundred percent and the brushes what we want to do here is we’re going to change
the diameter and we can also change this hardness setting of how soft we need it
to be so I’m gonna scale this diameter up and I’m simply gonna hold alt or
option on my keyboard to bring up this little icon and this is basically the
point at which we want to copy our layer from
and paste it too so if I hold this down I’m going to select part of the part
that I want to actually copy so this part here and then I’m going to bring my
cursor over to where actually want to copy this to and I’m just going to click
and you can see that it’s taken this part here and copied it over to this
part if I continue to click through it’s continuing to move back at that same
angle and you can see that if I now move over here I can take a section from here
and repeat that process so you can see I’ve remove that top part now the key
with this is to keep moving the section of where you keep taking that part from
now this does take a little time just to slowly work your way through but if you
make a mistake just use your ctrl Z to go back now I’m also using my spice ba here to
switched between my hand tool to move around my image and we basically just
keep repeating this process now they are the good thing about this
for these clips you don’t have to completely remove them we only have to
remove around the edges because we’re not going to see the entire thing behind
so it’s just a matter of slowly working through this so you start to get
something you’re happy with now the best advice I can give you is to keep
changing the point where you copy the image from and to also mess around with
the brush settings to get the best results now don’t be afraid to change
things up and remove things out of the image because people won’t know what the
original image actually looked like you can even completely remove the
background and just add a whole new background in if you didn’t want to go
through this process now once you’re happy with that we’re going to come back
to our main composition here and the last part of this is now we should have
all of our layers separated we need to actually go through and add a 3d camera
I’m gonna make all of these layers 3d and then I want to create a new camera
and I can just set this to be 28 millimeters and hit OK and then we want
to click on this button here and change this to be two views horizontal that’s
going to bring up these two windows here now what we need to do is we need to
select our different layers and separate them out into the 3d space so most
distant image is going to be our background obviously I’m gonna select
that layer and shift it into the distance here I’m also going to hit ass
on the keyboard and just scale this up just so fills the back of our frame
again then I’m gonna grab our left cliff here and I’m gonna move that closer to
camera and I’m also gonna scale this one down this time just so fills the edge of
our screen I’m gonna leave the person image where they are and I’m also going
to grab this right cliff just move this one back slightly and then scale this up next I’m just going to come back to my
one view here and what you can do is come down to the transform under the
camera options click a stopwatch for point of interest and a stopwatch for
position then go across to roughly three seconds bring the end of your
composition in by hitting n on the keyboard create another two key frames
then I’m gonna go to my camera tool and I’m simply just gonna move this around
and you can see this effect already starting to work I’m gonna go back to my
original keyframes and go the opposite direction what I’m also going to do here
is on the last keyframes I’m going to go to the track Z camera and shift in and
you can see a bit of the backgrounds coming through there so I’m just gonna
scale this up slightly just to hide that small gap and you can see if I play
through that it actually looks pretty good there’s only one part here and that
is this cliff here is just sticking through so I’m just going to shift this
back just so we can hide that slightly and the other thing you can do is we can
add a bit of a depth of field so if I come down to the camera options I can
turn on depth of field I’m gonna drag this aperture up to around there and
then I can shifter the focal distance just so my person and this rock are in
focus and when we play through that this is what you have now so that looks much
better than what we had before there is a bit more touching up work that I could
do on the backgrounds to tidy that up but overall that looks pretty good now
there’s one more element I can add to this and that’s to actually add a little
bit of movement into my scene by automating things within my scene it’s a
really quick way to do this is select is to select the thing you want to move
come up to the puppet pin tool and I’m just going to draw some pins on my
character here and if I just shift across now on the
timeline to the end of my timeline and select my character again can then
select my puppet tool and simply just drag some of these points around and
that’s just going to add a little bit of movement to our scene so that’s how we
actually create this effect now also applied this same principle to this
image here of these fighter planes and I separated out the layers from my
background and then I add a little bit of depth of field and a bit of movement
on my planes and this is the effect we get so there you go guys I hope you’ve
learned something in this tutorial thanks very much for watching and
remember flat pack effects is the flat pack anyone can build