CC Bend

Explorer ,
Aug 09, 2022 Aug 09, 2022

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Hi, 

Im trying to animate some leaves on a tree swaying slighty by wind, from a still 2d image using CC Bend. 

Ive tried Bender and Puppet tool also, but not really achieving the ideal realistic effect that i want.

Ive yet to try masking or cutout the leaves as a single image that then can re-add back after.  

Does anybody have any advixe on the best way to do this, please.

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Explorer ,
Aug 09, 2022 Aug 09, 2022

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This is what im trying to animate, made more difficult by struggling to not affect the building too.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 10, 2022 Aug 10, 2022

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That is a very low-resolution screenshot with hardly any contrast. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate the leaves from the background and fill in the holes.

 

To create realistically moving leaves, you must have them on a separate layer. All of the tools you have tried distort the whole layer pretty uniformly. An animated displacement map may be a better approach. Before you do anything else, you need leaves on a separate layer and a clean background plate.

 

To make the branches and leaves on a tree realistically move in the wind, you will need many different layers moving gently in realistic ways. A 3D app like Blender will be a better option than trying to do it all on a single still image. C4D Lite, which comes with After Effects, does not have sufficient tools to create a realistic 3D tree with leaves blowing in the wind.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 10, 2022 Aug 10, 2022

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The real answer would be to create it using 3D animation. Such stuff is notoriously difficult to animate after the fact due to how it works in real life. That said, Puppet Tool and Liquify are way to go. You just have to chew through it, possibly with the help of some expressions and a script like DUIK to rig bones for the branches. Other than that it may really be worth exploring other techniques liek the 3D stuff I mentioned or adding stock footage trees on top of a cleaned up plate.

 

Mylenium

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Community Expert ,
Aug 11, 2022 Aug 11, 2022

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I think you can get away with a displacement map here - assuming this is in the background.  Yes, you can go for a full 3D environment, but static matte paintings have been fooling audiences for decades.

 

  • Create a new solid and add Fractal Noise to it
  • Animate the evolution and transform > offset to create movement
  • Turn off the layer's visibility and add the effect Displacement Map
  • Point the effect to your fractal noise layer and choose Effects and Masks
  • The whole video will distort, but now you can add masks to your fractal noise layer to limit its location OR you can duplicate the video layer and mask off just the tree (and remove the effect from the lower video layer)
  • Once you have everything set up you can change the noise type, scale, brightness and contrast until you get something approaching realistic.
  • At this point, add something else to your comp as a distraction - birds flying is a good one, animate the clouds moving.  In short, create lots of different areas for your audience to focus on.
  • Finally, add some grain to the whole shot to make it seem like it was shot on video

 

David F Samberg (director of Shazam, Lights Out, Annabelle Creation) has a YouTube channel where he makes short videos - in this video he mentions how he took a static shot and made it look like a movie camera was recording:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEGDH905guc

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Explorer ,
Aug 11, 2022 Aug 11, 2022

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Thankyou all, ive managed to solve it by using CC Slant instead and with a wiggle expression too. 

Made it look quite realistic which i was ideally aiming for.  That effect is great for animating grass too.

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