Damn it after effects

Another after effects post so i’ll keep this short.

We’re doing yet another project about animating a piece of text for 8 seconds about media. I’m not doing that cause i can’t decide so i’m using basic text.

I don’t think i can do it because i don’t trust my ability in after effects to do a solo project. It’s tough but all i can do is do my best which isn’t too good.

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 3.02.56 PM

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More robot stuff

Robots are a common theme that seem to happen a lot in this course so far, and it tends to be pretty good. This so far feels like kind of a mix of the two, I can see the good side of it with how much you can do with this animation side of after effects, but at the same time it’s after effects, and as always it is somewhat confusing and annoying to work with, though this isn’t nearly as bad as other projects.

This all followed up from the last lesson, in which we took the robot model we were rigging and planned to make an animation out of it using the rigging knowledge we had gained. It was pretty interesting to use after effects in a way like that, and it did give some interesting insight onto how it all works, much more differently than previous projects I had done with the program.

It’s still a lot of information to take in though. Like other projects there was a lot of room for error, though I was told this lesson itself wasn’t too much about getting things perfect, more getting things into a way that makes sense for us. Even then I didn’t like the idea of too much trial and error given how I tend to do with after effects projects, so I tried my best to avoid that. I will need more time with this.

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Same old same old

After effects never changes really. I might as well just copy paste my last post about after effects. I do try hard to make this stuff work but I’m really doing my best to also not have to constantly ask for help with it. I mean this is a very hard topic to do but even then I want to show how good I am and if I’m struggling with this stuff then it really doesn’t show my strengths.

This was all about masks and effects, getting an effect to appear like a glow under the skin. We had all our stuff provided for us including tutorials, and yet despite all of this I still haven’t been able to make it work. It just seems like I do the steps but it doesn’t work out like it is supposed to, which I’m sure is a clear reason why it didn’t work out, but even then I get really disappointed about it.

I just really don’t get how after effects can get any better. Every lesson feels like the exact same one, me trying to remember a sequence of things in various menus and failing badly at it whilst needing to get a lot of help in the process. Am I ever going to get better? I don’t even know at this point, but I’m running out of time before the examination time starts, so I’m getting worried now.

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Why is after effects like this

I don’t really know what else I can say about after effects that I haven’t already said. I’ve made my thoughts on how I feel about the program, being a tangled mess of menus and options where all it takes is one slip up to completely ruin a project. I’d like to think I would be past this part of the program as a learning curve but it simply isn’t happening right now.

Today was about rigging a robot model in order to make the body move for an animation. I already know how much of a pain that can be in Maya, but in after effects it gets even worse. It started off fine, just a little confusing in terms of what tools was needed to use to set everything up, but the actual rigging part is where it all began to go down the drain pretty badly.

It became an utter sea of options to go through and linking multiple different assets/layers with each other. Some things needed to be done with Alt clicks rather than normal clicks, it was getting far too confusing for me and I got lost in the process. I’m pretty sure it’s the only way to do it as well, no alternate or easier ways to rig, so really I’m kind of stuck unless I can learn to memorize the process.

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The sky is falling

Today in effects it was all about sky replacement, which is a strange thing really. At a basic level it’s really easy to do but at an advanced level it gets pretty complex with everything you can do. I was looking up tutorials and there’s so many different ways just to do the same procedure, it’s really interesting but also kind of confusing to focus on when you’re looking it all up.

There resources were all set up and it was mainly a free reign lesson really, we could do anything we wanted with the sky replacement so it did allow for some experimental stuff, which did mean I got to see about lots of different ways and effects to use when it came to it. Whilst I didn’t get around to everything  there was to offer, it was still good to see how the procedures went.

I should’ve really tried with multiple different kinds of images and skies, considering how many were offered in the resources file but still I’m happy I could wrap my head around some parts at the very least. Maybe we’ll get to do more in future considering what we could do and how much there was, but for what could be a one off lesson I feel it was pretty good at least.

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Projects Projects and More Projects

As I’m sitting here I’m stressing about all the things I need to do and what else I have to finish before a deadline so I don’t end up failing this course and all of a sudden I’m given another project and another deadline. At this rate I’m going to have to invest in spending money on getting the programs here for my home computer. I mean sure Maya costs hundreds but I got no choice now it seems.

I already actually knew about this project from the start since it was known as the project where way too many people did Lightsabers for it and it made grading very boring, but I had no idea it was a year one project, I was sure it would be in the second year. Regardless we need to start thinking of what to do for it and hopefully I get enough time to think about it rather than getting two weeks or something.

I’ll probably do something simple as hell for this given my skill level, which could prove hard in a way given how it’ll need to be more precise if I’m going to do my VFX on something so small. Plus I mean it’s going to be hard enough as it is given I need to think about composition and lighting and other fancy terms for making a scene look good. Might as well get to thinking about it since I have like one or two already.

Continuing on with Effects

Effects is slowly but surely making more sense, even if I still need to be hand held through it all I can probably say I have something to show for myself even if most of it isn’t entirely my own work. Regardless I got through the lesson and am still trying my best to get to grips with the program, even if it’s still a maze of a program filled with all sorts of menus to figure out.

Today was about green screens and keying, taking some stock footage with a stock environment and making it work. Using transparency, getting the colour and lighting right, making the stock footage fit in well without standing out, and finally taking out the background elements so it’s a perfect fit. It’s a lot of work and a lot of menus, but I got most of the way through it all.

I feel like I’ll get there eventually, coming from something I used to struggle a lot with, but even then it just feels like I’ve replaced something else I struggled with into another thing to struggle with, seems like I’ll never be on board with something all the time, there’s always something that I struggle with no matter what. If this keeps up all the way until the main assignments it’s not going to be good.

keying