Monday, March 1, 2010

TV Title Sequence Write Up

Den Tots

Opening Scene 21/04/09

For the TV title sequence for Den Tots I had the idea of a variety of different and stylized worlds each interacting with one another in a limited amount of space.

I imported the jpeg “Sea and Ice” from the assets folder along with the jpeg “Clouds”.

Having planned to use the spherize option in After Effects I wanted the world to repeat its rotations without a visible beginning and ending line. In Photoshop I made the image half the size of my preset composition and duplicated it and then reversed it along its X axis and matched it up. I repeated this for the Clouds image.

In After Effects I created a main composition called Comp 1. I added a new solid layer and called it Stars. On this layer I added the fractal noise effect and greatly reduced the scale. I increased the contrast and lowered the brightness until the image looked like a star filled sky.

I created a second composition named Sea and Ice and placed in the layers of the Sea and Ice and the Clouds. On the Clouds layer I added a motion tile, keyframed the tile centre and moved it forward so the clouds moved and the animation looped.

I created a new solid layer and moved it to the top of the composition. I added a fractal noise effect and keyframed the offset turbulence and the evolution of it. I then changed the screen mode of the layer to Hard Light.

I opened Comp 1 and placed the Sea and Ice composition in. I selected the spherize effect from the effects and presets and dragged it onto the composition. I adjusted the light intensity and height up and changed the light colour to a turquoise blue and changed the light direction to come from the upper left of the screen. I then converted the layer to a 3d layer so that its Z position could be altered and duplicated it. On the original layer I changed the radius to 200 and parented the new layers radius to the original. I lowered the light intensity and changed the colour to a dark blue to add more of a shadow to the under left side of the planet. I tested the composition to make sure the clouds rotated and that the surface of the planet rippled slightly.

In Photoshop I cut out a picture of a small cliff.

Using the pen tool I removed the grass and the water from the image leaving only the rock. In After Effects I imported this Photoshop layer and positioned it in the foreground of my scene.

I selected the layer and precomposed it as Land Comp 1. I added a new solid layer named Fractal and placed it beneath the Cliffs layer and again used fractal noise. In the effect settings I changed the fractal type to swirly. I reduced the scale of it and keyframed the evolution and the offset turbulence. I converted it into a 3d layer and rotated and positioned it to appear as though it were water flowing towards the screen. I added a new solid layer named Colour and placed it under the Fractal layer.

Using the hue and saturation effect I changed the hue to blue and reduced the saturation and the lightness to make the water look dark and murky (as one would expect to find water in space).

On the Cliffs layer I used curves to match the lighting of the cliffs to the lighting of the original composition. In the main Comp 1 I converted the Cliffs layer to 3d.

In Comp 1 I added a new solid layer and named it Clouds. Again using the fractal noise effect I reduced the scale and keyframed the evolution. I added a mask to part of the layer and set it to subtract. I then reduced the opacity of the layer and keyframed the opacity up and down on the timeline.

I added a camera layer and keyframed the zoom and the point of interest. To keep the motion of the camera fluid and smooth I only increased the zoom and point of interest by the same amount each time, the zoom by 400 pixels and the point of interest by 250 pixels, and keyframed them at regular intervals.

Second Scene 20/04/09 – 21/04/09

I moved forward one second on the timeline and animated the Camera layer to zoom in and move to the right.

I used a space ship from the assets folder and took it into Photoshop and added a Chrome filter to it. I then took the image into After Effects and dragged it out to the timeline of Comp 1. I precomposed the layer and named the new composition Spaceship. On the spaceship layer I added the CC Glass effect and changed the property to alpha. I adjusted the softness and the displacement until the image looked as 3d as possible.

I created a new adjustment layer and added CC Particle World. I moved the layer to the bottom. I changed the animation to explosive and changed the particle type to shaded sphere. I moved the position to appear as though it were coming from the spaceship. I increased the velocity to make the jet of particles look as though it were propelling the spaceship. For an added cartoon like effect I increased the birth size of the particles and reduced the death size for a greater variety in sizes. I increased the birth rate for extra particles.

In Comp 1 I brought in the Spaceship Comp and changed it to a 3d layer. I rotated it on the X axis and keyframed its Z position to fly across the screen, towards the planet in the distance.

Third Scene 24/04/09 – 26/04/09

After moving the cameras point of interest further to the right the Cliff layer the edge of the image became exposed. To solve this problem I duplicated the layer and flipped it horizontally and matched it to the edge of the original Cliff layer. I moved the timeline forward to four seconds.

I imported the Photoshop file “Castle” and opened a new composition. I imported the file as editable layer styles and brought each of the layers into the new composition named Castle. The castle is made up of many different towers.

On each of the tower layers I added a wiggle expression to each of the towers with different value so they wiggled at varying speeds. On the grass layer I added a hue and saturation and reduced the saturation of the green. I brought the Castle composition into Comp 1 and used the curves to match the shadows to Comp 1.

I positioned the Spaceship to fly up to the castle and stop next to the castle. To give the illusion of the spaceship coming to a gentle stop I went back into the Spaceship composition and, on the same place in the timeline, keyframed the opacity of the particle layer to 0.

My idea was to have a laser appear from the spaceship and blow up the castle. Obviously since this title sequence is for toddlers and young children I had to make this as comical as possible. I intended the explosion not to look realistic but still look impressive.

I began by making the different parts of the laser in Photoshop. I imported these layers into After Effects and opened them in a new composition named Laser. I positioned the first keyframe on the timeline where I wanted the laser to appear in Comp 1. I made the laser far too large to realistically fit onto the spaceship. On the arm of the laser I added a mask and animated the position of the mask to make the arm appear gradually. Next I moved forward the appearance of the first ball part of the laser and set its scale to 0. I moved forward on the timeline and brought the scale back up to 100% so it appeared to grow from the arm. I repeated this process for the other layers.

To make the laser beam I created a shape layer using the rectangle tool making it long and narrow and rotating it.

I added a glow effect to it and increased the intensity, radius and threshold of the glow. I changed the glow colours to a light and a dark green. I animated the shape layer to grow out from the barrel of the gun.

Next I created a new adjustment layer and opened the advanced lightning effect and dragged the layer to the bottom. I keyframed the direction and changed the glow colours to a very light green. To have this lightning appear at the same speed I added a mask to the layer and set it to subtract and feathered it slightly. I moved the mask to the same time as the shape layer moves. I moved forward on the timeline and keyframed the opacity of the beam and the lightning to 0 to look as though the shot fades off.

Finally I was ready to make the explosion. Using the tutorial of an exploding world as a reference on I started by adding the shatter effect to the castle layer.

In the force 1 option I keyframed the radius to the point on the timeline I wanted the explosion to occur. I changed the pattern to glass and set the repetitions to 60. I increased the strength of the shatter and keyframed it increasing in strength.

I copied the tutorial to make a shockwave blast come from the explosion. I made a new composition named Shockwave and in that composition I made a new solid green layer. I double clicked on the circle tool to create a mask and set it to add. I duplicated the mask, decreased it in size and set it to subtract and feathered both masks. I took the Shockwave into Comp 1 and turned it into a 3d layer.

I rotated it to appear almost flat and angled and reduced its scale. I added a keyframe on the timeline to coincide with the beginning of the explosion and further on I increased the size of the shockwave and added another keyframe reducing its opacity so that it fades out at the end of the explosion. However in the tutorial Andrew Kramer uses footage of a real explosion in his composition. Since I did not have access to footage of a real explosion in the assets folder and because it would have been unsuitable for a Den Tots title sequence I decided to make a very cartoon like and alien explosion. In a new composition named Explosion, using a similar technique, I created a new solid layer and added a glow to it. I used masks to create a circular shape and set the glow colours to match the laser beam, light green. I increased the intensity, threshold and radius of the glow. I duplicated the layer, removed the glow effect and added fractal noise and keyframed the evolution and the offset turbulence. I then set the screen mode to overlay and took the Explosion composition into Comp 1.

I positioned it behind the Castle layer and reduced its scale. I added keyframes to the explosion increasing its scale to match the shatter effect of the Castle. After the initial increase in scale I added another faster increase in the scale of the Explosion layer. To match up with this I went back into the Castle layer and at the same time the Explosion layer begins its second increase I keyframed the Z position of the Castle layer to have it fly past the Camera layer.

Forth Scene 27/04/09

For the next part of the animation I imported the Photoshop file Octopus and brought it into a new composition.

After watching a video on youtube to study how an octopus moved I used the puppet tool to animate the arms of the octopus in a swimming motion. I brought the Octopus comp into Comp 1 and placed it coming from the bottom right corner just after the explosion. I keyframed the position of the Octopus swimming across the screen.

Next I imported the Photoshop file of Pirate Ship.

I tried several effects until I came across CC Blobbyize which had a cool effect on the pirate ship making it look more life like and intricate the image had previously been.

In its own composition named Pirate Ship I used CC Particle world in mostly the same way I had used it for the spaceship to create a jet of particle to look like propulsion. The only difference being that I changed the animation to Fractal Uni and altered the size, velocity and rate of the particles.

Fifth Scene 28/04/09

By the time this stage of the animation was reached I had used up around 12 seconds which meant that I would not be able to fulfil the Brief’s requirements of a 4 second Logo. John showed me how to create a time remap so I created a new composition and named it Den Tots and moved Comp 1 into it. I used the time remap to shorten the length of my clips so far to 10 seconds.

For the final scene I simply had the spaceship again fly across the screen but this time it had the Den Tots Logo behind it.

As the spaceship flew off screen the logo became detached and sprang into the centre of the screen. I just keyframed the position to give the logo a spring.

Music 28/04/09

For the background track for Den Tots I had selected the music well before starting the animation. I used the song “Huddle Formation” by “The Go Team” and edited it in Audacity down to 15 seconds and used fade in and fade out effects. I exported it as a WAV and brought it into After Effects.

Rendering 28/04/09

I selected the options for the render and changed the file type to Quicktime, Photo Jpeg with millions of colours and rendered the movie.

Evaluation 28/04/09

When coming up with my idea I didn’t fully take into account the 15 second limit on the animation. My idea involved a lot of random worlds which only worked if the viewer would have been able to see many of them. Instead I feel now the individual items and scenes in the finished piece don’t fit well together and look like separate animations cut together. If I were to do this project again I would devote more time of the animation and focus more on the spaceship with its lasers as I like the way it turned out in the title sequence.


First Scene 31/04/09

From the assets folder I took the image P1010875 which is a stain glass window.

I brought it into Photoshop and warped the image to the dimensions I wanted. I added a plastic and mosaic effect to the image and imported it into After Effects. I created a new composition called Dancer and brought the image in. I turned it into a 3d layer and duplicated it and rotated it in 3d space to create a room.

Next I imported the footage of the dancer on a green screen and used Keylight (1.2) to remove the green, adjusting the screen gain until all the green had been removed.

I converted the layer to 3d and duplicated it. I put the duplicated layer below the original on the timeline and added the Hue and Saturation effect. I brought the lightness down to 0 and reduced the opacity of the layer to 50%. I then moved the layer to look like the shadow of the dancer.

To add the light effect I used a tutorial from called Light Effects.

I created a new composition named Light Streaks. I added the CC Particle World effect and reduced all the settings in the Producer and Physics to 0. I created a new Null layer and pickwhipped the X, Y and Z positions of the Particles to its position. I added expressions to the X, Y and Z manipulating the width and height of the Particles.

I added a wiggle expression to the Null layer and brought the composition in the Dancer comp. I duplicated the layer, changed them to 3d and put one above the dancer layer and one below. I keyframed the opacity of the layers to give the appearance of the light streaks travelling through the dancer.

I added a 35mm camera layer and keyframed the point of interest and position so that it quickly zoomed into the dancer.

Second Scene 05/05/09 – 07/05/09

A problem appeared when the camera zoomed into the dancer the image became broken and pixelated.

I added a new solid black layer, turned it into a 3d layer and reduced its opacity to appear as the camera zoomed in. I created another solid layer making it skin tone coloured and placed it behind the black layer so that as the camera zoomed past it would see the black layer for a second and then the skin layer. I created another layer and added Fractal Noise to it setting it to dynamic progressive, inverting it and reducing the scale. I added a Hue and Saturation to the layer and changed it to a red blood colour. I positioned the layer behind the skin tone layer to appear after.

Based on a tutorial on I created a new composition called Blood and added a new solid layer.

I added the Fractal Noise effect and set it to dynamic progressive. I reduced the scale and increased the complexity. I added a Hue and Saturation and made it a dark red and reduced the saturation. I also added a mask, set it to add and feathered the appearance. This would act as the background.

I created a new layer and since I don’t have the plug in for Particular I added CC Particle World. I set the animation to fractal uni and changed the particle type to shaded sphere. I set the colours of the particles to red. I adjusted the settings of the producer to disperse the particles more and reduced the size difference percentage to keep the particles the same scale. I decreased the birth rate and set birth and death size to the same. I wanted the particles to last as long as the scene so I also increased the longevity.

I duplicated the layer and made the particles white and much smaller and increased their velocity to act as white blood cells.

I duplicated the background layer and rotated it in Z space and flipped it along its X axis. I then moved it over to its side so that the camera could pan further to the right without the background going off the scene.

I brought the Blood composition into the Dancer comp.

Third Scene 08/05/09

I made the Blood layer a 3d layer and placed it behind the other layers and animated the camera layer to fly to this layer and stop and then to move to the right as if through an artery.

To simulate the camera travelling even deeper into the body I created a new composition called Vessel used the same technique as I used for the blood. I changed the animation type to viscose and changed the producer to come from the centre of the composition. I added a mask to the layer, set it to subtract and feathered the effect behind where the particles appeared from. I brought the composition into the Dancer comp.

I animated the camera to zoom through the Blood layer, pause briefly on the Vessel layer and then zoom toward the dark area on the screen.

Forth Scene 10/05/09

At this point in the composition I want the camera to zoom back out from the dancer and for the Red logo to appear in the background. I marked the timeline at the time in the composition when the zoom out was to occur and reduced the majority of the layers’ opacity to 0%. I keyframed the camera to zoom out quickly to reveal the logo.

I added an easy ease to the final keyframe to allow the camera to slow down as it reached the end of the animation.

I took the logo from the assets folder and brought it into Photoshop where I added a glow to it. I imported the image into After Effects.

As the camera zooms out the Light Streaks are still playing around the dancer.

Music 10/05/09

I made a new composition called Red and brought on the Dancer composition. I edited the song I wanted to use on audacity, shortening it and adding a fade in and fade out, and imported it into After Effects. I added a marker on the timeline indicating where the music kicked off and use the time remapping to synchronise the animation with it. I then rendered the movie as a QuickTime animation.

Evaluation 10/05/09

If I were to do this assignment again I would experiment with making layers and compositions a larger size than the screen and allow the camera greater freedom to move around. I would have liked to have tried other particle generators in After Effects to see how well they worked instead of CC Particle World, such as Particle Playground. I would also have attempted the tutorials on 3d to create items for use in the assets folder.


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