STEP 1: Import files to your project
Import your image or image collage into After Effects. We will use this
file as a landscape and create an aerial camera that will fly over it.
Drag the file into your timeline.
STEP 2: Convert your layers to "3D Layers"
Select your layer(s) in the timeline. Go to "LAYER" in the menu bar and select "3D LAYER."
You’ve now added more options into transform in your timeline. You can
control the orientation of your picture and X Y Z rotations.
STEP 3: Add a camera
Go to "LAYER" in the menu bar, select "NEW," then select "CAMERA." Adjust the camera settings as per your needs and click "OK." A new layer named "CAMERA" will appear in your timeline.
STEP 4: Add your view
You want to be able to see different views of your picture other than just the active camera view. Go to "VIEW" in the menu bar and select "NEW VIEW"; you can change into the different custom views on the active camera menu at the bottom of the window.
STEP 5: Change the position
Start by adjusting the position of your background to determine the
route the camera will take. Click the layer of your imported file,
toggle down the arrow and open "TRANSFORM." Move the image on the view window and adjust your keyframes.
STEP 6: Adjust point of interest
Now you can start animating the camera. In the timeline, open the "CAMERA LAYERS" and select "TRANSFORM." Adjust the keyframes of your point of interest.
STEP 7: Adjust orientation and rotation
In order to make the camera movement more fluid and achieve a real
three-dimensional feeling, adjust the X, Y and Z axes of the picture.
STEP 8: Adjust zoom
To give the impression that the camera is flying towards a specific
spot-and/or away from it-adjust the zoom on the camera layer under "OPTIONS" in your timeline. Zooming in and out works great when you are rotating the camera.
STEP 9: Adjust speed
You want to be able to control the speed of your camera. For example,
you might want to start slow and speed up when you are zooming in, and
slow down when you are flying away. You can adjust the speed value of
the position and rotations by clicking the arrow next to it and
adjusting your keyframes.
Beatriz Helena Ramos Founder/Creative Partner Dancing Diablo Studio, Inc.
Beatriz, a native of Venezuela, founded Caracas Comics Studio, the
first comic book retailer in Venezuela, when she was 22. In 1996, she
moved to New York and worked for MTV, Nickelodeon, Disney and Cartoon
Network. Not content with being just another cog in the wheel, Beatriz
founded Dancing Diablo Studio, Inc., in 2002. The studio is known for
its fresh, innovative take on animation.
Beatriz Says Keep In Mind…
Always be aware of your keyframe interpolation. If you want to be able
to smooth the camera movements when necessary, click the keyframe while
pressing the control key and choose " Keyframe Interpolation."
Choose Bezier if you want to have a smoother movement. Adjust the
keyframe on your timeline; choose linear if you want a more rigid
As an optional second step, you can import an existing animation. I
like to import stop-motion animations and place them over the image so
that "the landscape" will be moving at the same time that the camera is
flying over it.
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