Target: Destroyed

2nd practical exercise with After Effects in my Advanced Motion Graphics lab. Quick 11sec animation that gave me headaches.

So, once every 2 week we will have to make something during lab. Pressure is on, especially when things do not go to plan as expected. In this animation I used 3D Extruder script to give illusion of 3D text. All layers are stacked on top of each other, but offset in Z space. So, it looks like text is “fat” and has some depth.

With new CS6 suite from Adobe, you can extrude text etc yourself without any plugins. But its a bit tricky, if you do it for the first time. Thats why I didn’t want to mess with it too much first time. Also, with my method I added nice metallic texture to the front of text.

The whole animation is “messy”. it has scratches, dust particles flying all over. All of this to give it a bit of depth and feel of space. I didn’t want to go for clean and neat look.

Also, to increase “reality” of 3D space, I added depth of field to 3D camera. However, that increased render time substantially.

Final touch was adding CC Force Motion Blur effect. By using extrude script, you can’t really have motion blur as it continuously renders the images. So, they feel fake and plastic. You can try to force motion blur, by going into compositions and precomps within comps. Kind of After Effects inception. Its a bit complicated and can break links easily. Therefore, I added motion blur to final image and it worked quite well.

Final touch was adding explosion to the end with simple filter.

Next time I will do something much simpler, so my render time is quicker (about 4hrs …) and it doesn’t crashes, when trying to arrange all the pieces around. Here is the final video:

Technical bits:

  • After Effects
  • Particular 2 for dust particles
  • 3D Extrude script for creating 3D text
  • Sure Target 2 plugin for animation camera
  • various little After Effects built in effects
  • plenty of coffee and stress as render kept crashing 🙂