3D Animation intro for Journey

Journey Intro.

The Journey intro clip is an introduction trailer for the Ideas in Context module, or Journey, a travel book based on the history of Dublin.

This comp was assembled using imagery from that project along with some new elements and a soundtrack. Using all the techniques learned in the composition of all the previous clips I was able to render them as 3D, add a camera and give it a track through the scene, and also introduced kinetic type that was synced with the soundtrack.


Critical review.

The idea for this project came through an idea I had for another animation which had an aerial view of the ground getting closer then swooping out over a precipice. When told we had to make our animation based on the journey project I incorporated the original idea and used it to create a flyover of the city of Dublin with key landmarks popping up on the way.

I created rough storyboards based on the idea generated and tried to keep to these but I couldn’t keep to it exactly, elements changed as I began the process of actually putting it together on screen.

I am quite please with the opening clip where the camera falls through the clouds. I researched how to make a Photoshop brush that would simulate clouds and was able to do this successfully. I then placed then into the comp and reduced the opacity as the point of view passed through.

The overall end result is not too bad at all, however I’m not entirely happy with the images used for the landscape or the buildings. The landscape is very pixelated and the images of the buildings don’t really suit this project I feel. They are taken from the original Journey project and just don’t seem to fit.

I am pretty happy though with the camera movements and the kinetic type. Also, I was able to find an effect that added flames to the GPO element which I think looks really good.

Given more time and experience I think a project like this needs to have the elements created from scratch rather than using a compilation of elements from other projects.

The type used in the animation is too simple for exhibition standard I feel, it should have had perhaps some texture applied to it. I am happy however with the timing of it with the soundtrack.

The soundtrack was taken from 3 sections of 2 different audio clips. These were edited, duplicated and pieced together on the timeline so that they matched the video.

This was a really interesting project with a steep learning curve in some areas, but a lot of the techniques used have been covered in the previous animated clips so it wasn’t too bad. I did find it a very time consuming and detail focused task and while I don’t normally mind that it was difficult to manage within the timescale.


Images of the early storyboards.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Image of an early concept where perspective is used to have a stream of landmarks and info fly past on 2 sides.

Early idea.

An example of one of the animations I researched showing simple camera movements.


Disco Bob.

Disco Bob is a simple task showing the use of the puppet pin tool to reshape & animate the character. Pins were placed in numerous places on Bob and as the timeline moved forward the pins were moved. Being linked to the character this meant that Bob would move along with them.

The logo at the end of this clip was just used as a test for another modules movie clip.


Georgian Street.

This is where were introduced to 3D animation. This composition is comprised of the ground, house, sky, tree, bird, street lights and car.

After preparing all the elements by removing them from their original image and creating an alpha channel, where the have a transparent background or partially see through, they were placed in the scene. All elements then had their 3D toggle selected which allowed me to place them in a 3D scene where the point of view could be changed on any axis.

I then introduced a light source for the sun, and a camera which could be moved to change the point of view.

In the settings panel I adjusted each element to be able to either cast a shadow or have shadow cast upon it. For example, the street lamp could cast a shadow on the building if the sun was shining on it, but the sky could neither cast a shadow or have a shadow cast onto it.

The building was given the appearance of 3D by attaching a side wall and light was introduced to both the street lights and under the hover car.

To change perspective a camera was introduced. This was then moved through the scene in much the same way as any element is animated, this includes using Bezier handles to smooth out the motion.

All the elements were placed on different planes so as to give the impression of depth. The parallax effect between the elements as the camera moves give a very realistic look to the scene.

The light’s in the street light and car were introduced by using a new solid yellow or blue solid and adjusting its properties for blur, diffusion and transparency. The blue light was parented with the car so as to link the movements together. What ever movement the car made is also made by the light underneath.

The bird was thrown in for good measure.


Bouncing Ball.

Similar to the weighted ball, this exercise was to show how movement could be given to an element to give it the impression of gravity and elasticity.

Again using the Bezier handles combined with changing the shape of the element gave it the appearance of gravity and the ability to bounce naturally.


Weighted Ball.

This was a very simple exercise in principle, however it took quite a bit of adjusting to give the ball the appearance of weight. Once the movement of the ball was introduced the Bezier handles were again used to adjust the speed at which the the direction of the ball changed. This gave the appearance of a heaver ball that bounces less & less each time, giving the impression of weight.


Bird Loop.

This comp brought together a few more tools covered over the past few weeks, namely using the pen tool to create a mask which will allow you to either cut an unwanted piece of footage out, or to give text the appearance of swiping in from the side.

Rotoscoping was also covered here to cut the bird from a clip and to animate it. A scene was created with different layers, offset to give the appearance of depth. The animated bird which had been removed by rotoscope was introduced, duplicated and moved around the scene. Other elements of the scene were animated such as the moon and the water.


Pink Tulip.

This is a lovely little clip, simply showing the use of a mask to isolate an area, and the use of filters and other controls to change things like colour saturation over time. Though you could use any kind of suitable effect, colour was used in both the foreground layer and the background layer separately.

The pen tool was used to create the mask for this clip.

Bring on the night.

This video shows the use of masks to hide areas of the clip, and to slowly reveal the title.

The shape tool was used to create the mask for the scene simply by drawing an oval. However, the pen tool could also have been used to create an irregular shape mask as in the case of the title.

The slow revealing of the title was accomplished by changing the shape of the mask in the timeline.


First animation. BeeMovie.

This is the first composition worked on for this module and it involved learning how to get elements to move around the screen, rotation, scale, text and sound.

Probably the most useful skill learned in this comp was how to use the Bezier handles to smooth out the motions of the elements as they moved around the comp. A very useful first exercise.


All animations can be found on my Vimeo page.



Making an environment map. https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/atv/cs6-tutorials/3d-environment-map.html


Audio File https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMI4X8OOMOg


Flame effects. https://www.rocketstock.com/free-after-effects-templates/fire-in-after-effects/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s