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After Effects

We started learning about Adobe After Effects, a video editing and compositing tool that I enjoy immensely. I spent more time than I should have going through After Effects tutorials and learning about what this tool can do. This tool is super useful; there were many moments when I realized that some cool thing I've seen can be easily done with After Effects. I want to become proficient at this and use it for creative work.

We were asked to build a short composition with animated shapes but I got carried away building an animated character that walks across the screen. The character is built in Illustrator and animated in After Effects. I added some sound effects using Premiere. Enjoy!

The character's legs are animated with rotating null objects that have carefully chosen anchor points. The pairs of legs rotate around the null objects at the same speed but in the opposite direction.

This could easily be expanded to a longer animation that features the same character walking across the screen and pausing to interact with its environment or other characters. I will consider this for our project due in a few weeks.

I also experimented with special effects, including image stabilization and camera tracking. Camera tracking is great and is essential for adding 3D objects to video. I recorded some footage with my phone using a camera stabilizer borrowed from the ER. The camera stabilizer is critical for a moving camera because After Effects' camera tracking functionality seems to get tripped up by a camera that wobbles.

Here's a small demo of what I was able to accomplish. There are some small flaws but the concept works as I intended. It was difficult to figure out how to do this and particularly tedious getting everything to line up correctly. Nevertheless, I am happy and will explore this further in the future.


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