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Animate old photos

New Here ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Hello, 

 

I'm an advanced video editor, and I want -for a project that I work- to animate old photos. Is After Effects the suitable software to create animations like these (video below), or should I turn into other alternatives?

 

https://youtu.be/3uaoPYazKhY?t=50

 

* I'm a beginner in photo editing. 

 

 

 

"The Old New World" is a Photo-based animation project. ---------------------------------------------- It's a travel back in time with a little steampunk tim...
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Correct answer by Rick Gerard | Adobe Community Professional

The 2.5D or Kid Stays in the Picture technique you are looking for involves separating foreground, background, and middle ground elements into different layers, doing the best you can to fill in the holes, then carefully arranging the layers in AE's 3D space and performing a subtle camera move. The more planes there are in the image the more difficult it is to do a believable camera move. 

 

I'm not trying to discourage you, but I am trying to give you a realistic expectation of how long this kind of work takes on average. Let's talk about the shot at 0:50:00. At the very least you'll have to separate these elements into different layers.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 10.50.15_1M2Wgn.png

Then you will have to erase all of the details in the shot and fix the background wherever you want to have things moving. All of the cars, people, smoke. All of that needs to be gone and the background needs to be clean. For this shot. I'm guessing about 7 or 8 layers minimum and possibly several hours cloning. 

 

The next step is to either shoot actors to walk down the sidewalk on greenscreen matching the camera angle and distance from the camera so the perspective matches up or creating a virtual set and modeling and animating 3D characters. Generating the smoke is probably the easiest. Adding in footage of cars or making the cars in the scene appear to move is another task. 

 

That shot is about 4 seconds long and if I were to try and reproduce it exactly it could easily take me a week. If you haven't got that kind of time then you have to simplify.

 

You can kind of match perspective in Photoshop using Vanishing Point for some images, even this one, then you can make a little move with the camera to make it kind of look 3D. With some experience and practice, it might take you somewhere around 30 minutes to get a simple move, but making the cars move is going to take a lot of work. There are no automated tools that make this process a click and be done job.

 

Start out simple. Look up Kid Stays in the Picture or 2.5D animation. Most of the tutorials I found with a quick web search were pretty poor so I'm not going to give you any suggestions. If I find a really good one, I'll point it out.

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Animate old photos

New Here ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Hello, 

 

I'm an advanced video editor, and I want -for a project that I work- to animate old photos. Is After Effects the suitable software to create animations like these (video below), or should I turn into other alternatives?

 

https://youtu.be/3uaoPYazKhY?t=50

 

* I'm a beginner in photo editing. 

 

 

 

"The Old New World" is a Photo-based animation project. ---------------------------------------------- It's a travel back in time with a little steampunk tim...
Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Rick Gerard | Adobe Community Professional

The 2.5D or Kid Stays in the Picture technique you are looking for involves separating foreground, background, and middle ground elements into different layers, doing the best you can to fill in the holes, then carefully arranging the layers in AE's 3D space and performing a subtle camera move. The more planes there are in the image the more difficult it is to do a believable camera move. 

 

I'm not trying to discourage you, but I am trying to give you a realistic expectation of how long this kind of work takes on average. Let's talk about the shot at 0:50:00. At the very least you'll have to separate these elements into different layers.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 10.50.15_1M2Wgn.png

Then you will have to erase all of the details in the shot and fix the background wherever you want to have things moving. All of the cars, people, smoke. All of that needs to be gone and the background needs to be clean. For this shot. I'm guessing about 7 or 8 layers minimum and possibly several hours cloning. 

 

The next step is to either shoot actors to walk down the sidewalk on greenscreen matching the camera angle and distance from the camera so the perspective matches up or creating a virtual set and modeling and animating 3D characters. Generating the smoke is probably the easiest. Adding in footage of cars or making the cars in the scene appear to move is another task. 

 

That shot is about 4 seconds long and if I were to try and reproduce it exactly it could easily take me a week. If you haven't got that kind of time then you have to simplify.

 

You can kind of match perspective in Photoshop using Vanishing Point for some images, even this one, then you can make a little move with the camera to make it kind of look 3D. With some experience and practice, it might take you somewhere around 30 minutes to get a simple move, but making the cars move is going to take a lot of work. There are no automated tools that make this process a click and be done job.

 

Start out simple. Look up Kid Stays in the Picture or 2.5D animation. Most of the tutorials I found with a quick web search were pretty poor so I'm not going to give you any suggestions. If I find a really good one, I'll point it out.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 03, 2020

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The example you linked contains tons of full 3D animation which would be near impossible to do only in AE. Of course there's other stuff, too, like cut-out people and so on. If you look up "cinemagraph" tutorials you may get an idea of what works and what not, but if you realyl want that level of complexity and liveliness, then this extends far beyond the AE realm. There's just so much going on. On the other hand of course adding faux perspective/ parallax to static architectural photos is not that complicated. It realyl depends on what's going on in the images you have and what you want to do with them. Actually seeing the photos would be of great help to advise more specificalyl rather than just floating a generic "Can AE do that for me?" question.

 

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Thanks for the reply. The part I'm interested in is the one that you mentioned; "adding faux perspective/ parallax to static architectural photos". That's why I shared the video with a timestamp, to skip the complex intro. 

 

Sorry, for the vague question. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 03, 2020

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The 2.5D or Kid Stays in the Picture technique you are looking for involves separating foreground, background, and middle ground elements into different layers, doing the best you can to fill in the holes, then carefully arranging the layers in AE's 3D space and performing a subtle camera move. The more planes there are in the image the more difficult it is to do a believable camera move. 

 

I'm not trying to discourage you, but I am trying to give you a realistic expectation of how long this kind of work takes on average. Let's talk about the shot at 0:50:00. At the very least you'll have to separate these elements into different layers.

Screenshot_2020-08-03 10.50.15_1M2Wgn.png

Then you will have to erase all of the details in the shot and fix the background wherever you want to have things moving. All of the cars, people, smoke. All of that needs to be gone and the background needs to be clean. For this shot. I'm guessing about 7 or 8 layers minimum and possibly several hours cloning. 

 

The next step is to either shoot actors to walk down the sidewalk on greenscreen matching the camera angle and distance from the camera so the perspective matches up or creating a virtual set and modeling and animating 3D characters. Generating the smoke is probably the easiest. Adding in footage of cars or making the cars in the scene appear to move is another task. 

 

That shot is about 4 seconds long and if I were to try and reproduce it exactly it could easily take me a week. If you haven't got that kind of time then you have to simplify.

 

You can kind of match perspective in Photoshop using Vanishing Point for some images, even this one, then you can make a little move with the camera to make it kind of look 3D. With some experience and practice, it might take you somewhere around 30 minutes to get a simple move, but making the cars move is going to take a lot of work. There are no automated tools that make this process a click and be done job.

 

Start out simple. Look up Kid Stays in the Picture or 2.5D animation. Most of the tutorials I found with a quick web search were pretty poor so I'm not going to give you any suggestions. If I find a really good one, I'll point it out.

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2020

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Thank you so much, sir, for this detailed answer. 

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