Hi Sonia,

I went back and forth on the final project and finally chose to work on a piece that involved creating a post-apocalyptic world using shots recorded in the city, green screen, and incorporating 2-dimensional images and “attaching” them to objects in my film. This eventually turned into the worst thing I’ve ever created. I would burn it if I could, but it’s on my hard drive, I thought about metaphorically burning the project, but that would be a wholly in-adequate way of erasing it my memory.

You may want to have a few drinks before viewing it, as this may lower your expectations. Eggnog and Whiskey is an excellent choice for the season.

Because my "final" is so bad, and I feel it does not represent my skillset or knowledge learned in the class, I would like to alternatively turn in a project I wrapped up just a couple of weeks ago. Although it was a commercial project, all the creative decision-making was up to and done by me including; the storyboard, location scouting, actors, filming, lighting etc. A lot of my pre and post-work on this project was inspired by and created with techniques we covered in class. I'm much happier with this project and I feel that it exemplifies my abilities in After Effects and use of skills learned in class much better than what my horrendously bad final project ended up being. 

I've included a link to the Ubox for both sets of project files on Canvas and here.

Ubox link: https://app.box.com/embed_widget/s/roh9lqtp5cuk3rodwxlt94j24woyjcve?view=list&sort=name&direction=ASC&theme=dark

Initial final (horrendous)

I feel that my failings on this video was due to the lack of a story line. Without it, nothing had a purpose, I was making design decisions with no real motive. I did however, get a chance to work on green screen techniques, which I now feel much more confident in.

Techniques used in this downfall of human achievement:

  • Green screen
  • Blending modes
  • Motion Tracking
  • Parenting

Alternative final 

I feel that the use of a narrative helped drive this piece in a better direction. The FX are complimentary to story, rather than the driving force behind design decisions. I also don't think that they draw attention to themselves.

My favorite aspect of this piece was the use of a clean plate, which I used for the scene in which Santa runs in front of the store. His suit really "pops" when there is light on it. Simply having him run in front of the store did not give me the color I wanted or separation from the background I needed.

    My biggest frustration was having my white balance a little off. The white gloves and beard reflected the the slightest color imbalance. I had to mask a desaturated layer on every shot that displayed his gloves or beard. This was very time consuming and in the future I will be using clean white light and color grading in post rather than trying to create a "warm and inviting" feel with lighting on set.

    The only aspect that I did not create was the sales banner in the middle of the commercial, but I added the motion to the snowflakes and Christmas decoration.  

    The ending sparkle swoosh was created with the use of a trap-code plugin, from which I created an emitter and a path for it to follow. This section was the only section that was previously created (last year), but I color graded it to look less like flakes of cheddar cheese flying off.

    In the end, I was happy with the result. I planned out every FX that would be used beforehand, which really made the post work go a lot smoother than it normally does. These crucial touches from After Effects really helped establish a better atmosphere and made the character more believable. 

    Techniques used in this 30 second clip:

    • Key framed asking in order to increase exposure in certain areas or correct white balance issues
    • Clean plate method
    • Camera tracking to attach ice and fog to the window in the opening shot.
    • Layer blending modes
    • Color grading
    • Background replacement


    Three Images and window FX