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fxphd | The Project

AFX211 After Effects Project – The Open (part 1)


Work on an After Effects project from concept through compositing and design. Part one of a two part course.


AFX211: After Effects Project – The Open (part 1)

Building upon the popularity of fxphd’s first After Effects project-based course, AFX208, begin work on a new project from concept through compositing and design.  During this project, we’ll be creating a new animated show open in the style of programs such as “Top Chef”, “Project Runway”, and “Make Me a Supermodel”.  Leading the course will be Danny Princz, a New York City based artist who has taught several courses in the past.  Also helping out will be Mark Christiansen, author of “Adobe After Effects CS4 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques” and fxphd dean John Montgomery.

The project focuses on using After Effects but like most real world projects, we will also be covering other applications for tasks such as 3D camera tracking, creating and rendering cgi for the virtual set and more.

The opening project will be completed in two courses, AFX211 and AFX212

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fxphd | The Project

Class Syllabus

Class 1: Working through the concept through design and storyboarding.  It’s incredibly important to nail down the look and feel of the project before diving into production.  Guest designer Mark Ward.

Class 2: On-set for the shoot.  We’ll be documenting what happens on set and the process beforehand.  The goal is to share tips to make your on-set experiences more comfortable and less stressful.

Class 3: The edit.  We’ll look at working through the edit from a creative standpoint as well as a technical one using both Final Cut Pro and Premiere CS5.

Class 4: Diving in and starting the compositing and design.  Approaches to working which, if done correctly from the start, will make your life much easier.

Class 5: We take our blocked out “Magician” scene and start to integrate more elements from the board and push it toward a final look.  Using provided 3D camera track data in AE, current options for 3D text in CS5 as well as creating a template for reuse, and build out the base environment.

Class 6: Laying the technical ground work for the Perfectionist, shot with an extreme wide-angle (fisheye) lens.  Keylight techniques, lens distortion, Shape Layer usage as an alternative to Illustrator, and tracking with Mocha AE.

Class 7: We create the “magic” for the “Magician” scene using the built-in plugins in AFX as well as enhancing the effect with particular.

Class 8: This class brings the Perfectionist shot closer to the design from the storyboards using Photoshop CS5 to create 3D text and various methods to composite the title and talent over an aerial city shot.

Class 9: The Prodigy scene is roughed out using a 3D camera solve, elements from the Magician scene are re-used to start building the comp.  A simple cube is built in AE as a stand-in element for the Prodigys geomtric animation.  AE’s 3D lights and shadows are used to further integrate the elements of the comp.  The True Comp Duplicator script is used to save time.

Class 10: In this class we animate the stand in cube and use a building block for the geometric animation from the storyboard. Option parenting is used quickly to create offset blocks.  AE camera Depth of Field is used to integrate the elements as well as a layer style based Light Wrap.  A solution to banding issues is addressed in 8/16bit.

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N.B. There is no after sales support offered for this course.


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