CI Network New Zealand

For this project my brief was pretty open but I had to include graphic elements from the Crime and Investigation network’s existing identity along with key words and footage from various ci programs. The channel tagline was “look closer” so I decided to use glass panels similar to the glass slides one uses to examine specimens under a microscope.

CINZ_002

After extensive testing in Cinema 4D I decided to create a single hero plate and then duplicate that in After Effects. I would have loved to do all the animation in Cinema 4D but there wasn’t time.ย The main vision base was cut to an audio track which I then used to get the timing for the camera moves. All of the movement is done using the After Effects’ camera. Depth of field is used throughout to push and pull focus onto the main hero panel.

The background is a combination of an existing ci background and Fractal Noise. The color grade was done using the Curves effect and Add Grain was used over the whole thing via an adjustment layer to help integrate all of the elements and to give the spot a more filmic look. ย Prior to the final render the project was set to float to minimize banding and blow out the whites while leaving subtle details intact.

CINZ_001

The comparison movie will give you a clear idea of what the base edit for this spot looks like. You’ll notice that some of the shots in the final spot differ from the edit. In those cases I replaced shots with others that I felt worked better, particularly some of the darker shots. Also notice that much of the vision is poor quality; to clean it up I used the Remove Grain effect as well as tweaking the contrast of many shots for consistency and clarity.

Discuss
  1. philback
    Reply

    I’m new to AE and motion graphics in general… typically, how long does a project of this type usually take? How much time is normally allotted? I appreciate your detailed explanations — thanks!

  2. DAVE TAVERNIER
    Reply

    Amazing work John! I love it! You’re a hugh inspiration!
    Dave

  3. JD
    Reply

    Thanks. I had about a week’s planning time in which I prepared example frames, created my glass material, received the base edit etc. The work in AE took a week (about 8 hours a day). Working with this many layers and using depth of field can slow things down.

  4. Steve
    Reply

    Hey John, I’m fairly good at AE but are looking to get up to speed on some 3D software. I’m familar with Invigorator and the like but I’m really tossing up between Lightwave and Cinema 4D, is there one tool or program that you prefer or find easier to use – I for one don’t have tons of 3D experience. Thanks in advance.

  5. JD
    Reply

    I haven’t used Lightwave but have been enjoying getting up to speed with Cinema 4D. It has a great reputation for ease of use and is very approachable for beginners. It is also well integrated with After Effects.

  6. simka
    Reply

    Hi John…Like always you work ist fantastic.I would like to ask you…How are you editing the sound to match so good with video material?Thank you!

  7. JD
    Reply

    The basic audio was given to me with the base edit. I then decided how many “moves” I wanted based on edit points/audio cues. So I matched my graphics to the audio, not the other way around. However, once I had finished the graphics the audio was again adjusted (certain swooshes and other sound effects were added) to enhance the moves.

  8. Dave Tavernier
    Reply

    Hi John,
    How did you make the piece so seamless? Did you set up the graphics on a larger plane than what is seen by the camera? Thanks for explaining!

  9. Steve
    Reply

    Can you give us an idea of what the “base edit” looks like when it arrives on your desk?

  10. Steve
    Reply

    Oh, and GREAT work by the way!

  11. JD
    Reply

    The whole thing can be broken down to about 10 moves. I did single moves in some precomps and multiple moves in others then placed each of the precomps into a main comp where I added flashes between some of the transitions. The whole spot was created in After Effects CS3 but could have been done in AE 7. When you do the main vision edit first (with the base audio) that drives the whole animation and allows you to synchronise the camera moves. I used the exact same camera rig as the Fox Classics spot. Do a search and you can download the project file the rig.

  12. Joss Monzoni
    Reply

    Hey John,
    Amazing job as always… how can you do the sound matching with the footage so precise without using an editig program? I was doing a job last week and I had to use Final Cut because whith AE was impossible (for me)
    Thanks!

  13. JD
    Reply

    AE has a number of features for zeroing in on audio tracks including audio scrubbing (hold down Command or Control and move the Current Time Indicator) which I use all the time to find the exact moment I want a move to start. I’m going to do a more detailed breakdown of this job sometime soon.

  14. fReezEr.
    Reply

    Its Great work. John ! Tell please how you Synchronize visual effects & all video with audio in this promo movie ? Do you using an Video Editing Program or……….all work will created in After Effects ? And what version of After Effects you use 7.0 or CS3………Thanks very mach for answer

  15. Jose Luis Salcido
    Reply

    John!

    tu trabajo es EXCELENTE!

    Bravo!

  16. Dan
    Reply

    Great job there. Could you explain how you set this comp? Are the comps all set in 3D space and the camera just move between them? How you put the videos on the glass plates? i guess you did them in Cinema 4D but then how you add the videos? It would be great to see this project in details.

  17. Dave Tavernier
    Reply

    John,
    Did you use an expression on depth of field? IF so can you explain?
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Dave Tavernier
    Reply

    “When you do the main vision edit first (with the base audio) that drives the whole animation and allows you to synchronise the camera moves.”

    What do you mean by “main vision edit?”

  19. JD
    Reply

    No expressions used for depth of field, just keyframes for “Focus Distance”. The main vision edit is the edited footage that the client gave me – it is always visible in each shot and drives the pace of the spot.

  20. DT
    Reply

    John,
    I downloaded the camera rig [thanks for sharing] but where are the camera options [i.e. focus distance]?

  21. axel
    Reply

    Awesome! Nothing more to say… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I would be interrested in what the “edited footage that the client gave me” looked like. This would be an awesome example of what your work flow was on this project. I was working on something for a pharmaceutical client where I wanted to achiev a very similar look, but failed badly because the whole project was unorganised from day one and me and my co-worker (he did the editing) are very unhappy with the result…

  22. JD
    Reply

    You can find the Focus Distance by selecting the Camera layer and pressing AA on the keyboard.

  23. DT
    Reply

    John,
    Do I have the right file? All I am getting is the anchor point popping up when I press AA. In the camera setup project there is a comp ‘MAIN’ with 2 layers: a “Master Controller’ null layer and a nested ‘cube_precomp” layer. The “Master Controller’ null layer has a Camera listed under effects with no camera options. What am I doing wrong?

  24. Michele
    Reply

    Great work John. I love the color scheme. If you’d like to do an interview about the project at Toolfarm, drop me an email. It sounds like there are a lot of people interested in your technique!

    So why do most of the people on the voice over have American accents? Not enough crime in New Zealand? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. jim
    Reply

    There ya go again John copying my stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

    this is a fun project .

  26. Bulent from Turkey
    Reply

    John you are my hero! Thanks for all free tutorials..Your CSI ( Opener )spot is my
    dreamjob. Sorry my english is not enough
    (for now).. See you

  27. Alex Massey
    Reply

    Hi John,

    Long time viewer first time commenter :p I thought the Fox Classics was as good as camera moves between footage plates could get, but this is in a class of its own. Great work

    Best

    Alex
    Young After Effecter from the good ol’ UK.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Alex, welcome to the conversation ๐Ÿ˜‰ Having a great music track for timing made creating the camera moves easier. Best, John.

  28. Craig Wall
    Reply

    John, simply outstanding…technically and artistically.

    Did you use Planespace or Echospace at the end when you had lots of 3d duplicates?

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Craig, thanks. The layout at the end was done manually. Best, John.

  29. Jim Hines
    Reply

    I don’t know whether to be inspired or defeated : – )

    Great work.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Feel inspired Jim, feel inspired! ๐Ÿ™‚ Best, John.

  30. Javier
    Reply

    Great John!! Great!!

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thank you Javier.

  31. Klas
    Reply

    Hi John, that was very nice!!
    I really liked the rythm of the project.

    //Klas

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Klas, it’s amazing what you can do when the client supplies a music track from the start of the project. I’ll be posting another tutorial today that uses the music to drive the animation via Trapcode Soundkeys. Best wishes, John.

  32. Hussin Khan
    Reply

    Hey JD, fantastic job as usual! I have a question though. I am a LightWave artist but you mentioned C4D has better integration w/ AE. I need to know how easy is it to port C4D animations over to AE before I invest my time and money. Any clues? Thanks in advance!!

    Hussin
    Coventry, UK

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Hussin, I’ll be posting a tutorial later this week (recorded eSeminar) that touches on exporting to After Effects from Cinema 4D. Best, John.

  33. Leo
    Reply

    Amazing work there, John, as always. I’d love to see a workflow on this one (hint, hint!) ๐Ÿ˜€

    Know that what you do for the AFX community is greatly appreciated.

    Cheers!

    Leo
    Kansas City

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Leo, I’m not planning any tutorials on this one, sorry about that. Best, John.

  34. aidan
    Reply

    hey john, this is very cool. and im from new zealand, this threw me abit, how does new zealand play into this? i dont have sky tv, maybe thats it. oh and i have a job interview tomorrow for an editing job. thanks bod ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. John Dickinson
    Reply

    Hi Manuel, you’re welcome. Greetings to you in Argentina! Best, John.

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Hi Manuel, I use a now extinct application for mac named VisualHub . I compress to H264 then open the movie in Quicktime, resave it as a .mov, then rename the .mov to .flv (simple!). If anyone knows of a good replacement for VisualHub I’m all ears! ๐Ÿ™‚ Best, John.

  36. Jonas Haugen
    Reply

    Amazing work! love it.

    Greetings from Nรƒยธtterรƒยธy, Norway

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Thanks Jonas.

  37. Brandon
    Reply

    How did you execute the glass panel in C4D? I’ve been experimented with the Banji material and cannot achieve decent results.

  38. mohmmad
    Reply

    hey john .. can tell us more about the palte setup .. what kind of lights you used .. have you used any kind of an hdr image..
    because i was sturgling with c4d in the past few days to get a nice looking glass plate as in your project ..and i’v even dowloaded the glass textures that you menshined but it seems imposibble for me to do it..
    thanks ..

    • John Dickinson
      Reply

      Mohmmad I kept it really simple. Just a glass texture from the C4D library as I recall and some basic lighting. A decent hdr would definitely help. Best wishes, John.

Leave a Comment

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>