Friday, 11 March 2016

Extended Design: Market Background and Parallax

With the feedback from the silent crit in consideration, I redrew the main building elements with more detail, I added small cross hatch elements and small brick details to the walls especially on the foreground elements as this detail would be seen more in the parallax animation. I also separated each building and signs onto separate layers so that each layer could be animated separately once transferred to After Effects; I wanted to animate the sign moving using 3D layers. Drawing this amount of detail on each building took awhile, it took less time than I had originally planned which was surprising as the amount of marks that I made on the wall surface and bricks seemed to take awhile. My tutor Annabeth suggested to make a stamp or brush to copy the marks, saving time on the process. I did try this with the clone tool as a quick test, but the marks felt out of place and I used the transform options to change the perspective, which felt that it took more time, so I decided to continue drawing the marks rather than copying them.

I really enjoyed drawing more detail on the buildings as it gave each element character in comparison to the previous version of the background. I felt that the previous background looked flat purely for the matte block shapes of the buildings that lacked any form of detail/distress. I still need to decide on the colour scheme for the market stalls, the red hue that I have chosen as a stand in doesn't clash with the main character as much, however it does blend slightly, so the only factor that makes the character stand out is the pale tone to his skin palette. I decided to leave this change for a later date as I wanted to test creating the parallex in after effects before painting more highlights or shadows in the image.

Example of lines 
Finished lines for first market background
For my first test, I opened the photoshop layers into after effects, separating each element into its primary plane in another composition. This made it easier to organise the amount of layers and consideration of the movement within the parallax. I made the each plane 3D so that when I created a Camera layer the frames would work with the movement. I then used the position key frames to move the planes off screen as the Camera zooms into the composition. This worked quite well, however I wasn't sure about the timing for the elements moving, I initially thought that each plane needed to start and end moving on the position key frame at differing points.

I asked my tutor for advice on the timing of the movement in each plane. Feedback was positive however each element needed to start and end together for the movement to work successfully as the movement so far was quite jarring, which I agreed with. My tutor, Matt, also tried to help me with the 3D layers, as the way that I had animated it in after effects was the old fashioned way with moving each element as the camera zooms in. We tried to make each layer work with the 3D layers and camera, moving each layer on the x axis, however each layer wouldn't work as the layers were floating in the air in comparison to the actual bottom of the planes. Therefore the way that I had originally animated the parallax was the best solution as the 3D layer path would create too many problems that I wouldn't be able to fix. Additionally this means that I won't be able to create shadows on after effects, I would have to paint these elements in photoshop now that I can't use the 3D layers.

However I did experiment with the light layers in after effects. These layers highlighted the image, which worked quite well, and I was able to tint the image with a purple hue to work with the main colour scheme. Even though that I can do this in after effects I would much prefer to do this in photoshop so that I would be able to use more blending modes, gradients and adjustment layers.

The only problem that may arise from this parallax, is moving the signs using 3D layers. I still need to test this element in after effects however the most likely solution will be to animate this movement in photoshop timeline. 

Testing different light and shadows in After Effects

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