Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Compositing and Motion Graphics

Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby lifeworksstudio on 02/23/2010, 1:25 am

hi Guys, please check out this video as a reference.



i would like to know if I could create a 'simalarish' thing in AE.

The Idea:
The idea is people walking around, and thinking... so when someone "thinks" something a thought bubble animates on above their head. Then the camera goes to the next person and a thought bubble appears. Now obviously the bubbles will be created n post production, what I want to know is if they can be animated and tracked etc in AE using the built in tools and maybe something lke sure target 2??
I am not talking about creating 3D textured bubbles in 3DMax or Maya, I'm talking about creating a fairly 'flat' thought bubble but that does move in 3D space and has some depth to it.

Would appreciate it if anyone can help me out here. :)
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby 2dpostp on 02/23/2010, 2:20 am

you wont be able to do it as extensive as the ref vid without ridiculous masking to draw the people walking around but a speech bubble is very doable. draw it using solids and masks and use the text tool for the information. pre comp it and there's your bubble. draw it in a massive comp then cont rasterize it to maintain the quality. (the little star switch on the layer) depending on your footage the only worry is the tracking but you should be okay. you could track in ae then keyframe approximately animate the xyz rotation to trick the 3d track but again it depends on the footage.
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby phastraq on 02/23/2010, 4:41 am

Your example footage didn't really help me understand what you are trying to do but from your description I think it's doable.

Sure targets shouldn't be necessary and it may be possible to just fake it with manual keyframes if necessary.
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby gregalan on 02/23/2010, 4:05 pm

Hi. In terms of creating a flat thought bubble AE can certainly do that as already suggested, but by the look of that vid (terrific, by the way) I suspect you want it to look more like a piece of paper that is flapping, turning, bending in the environment, has shading and shadow etc., is that right? If that is what you want then try to describe it as exactly as possible and someone may be able to point you into a helpful direction.
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby lifeworksstudio on 02/24/2010, 12:36 pm

gregalan wrote:Hi. In terms of creating a flat thought bubble AE can certainly do that as already suggested, but by the look of that vid (terrific, by the way) I suspect you want it to look more like a piece of paper that is flapping, turning, bending in the environment, has shading and shadow etc., is that right? If that is what you want then try to describe it as exactly as possible and someone may be able to point you into a helpful direction.



http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1724096/v ... h_bubbles/

Please take a look at this example, this will better explain what I would like to create. Except the thought buibbles would look more 'flat' and not interact with the invoronment as these ones do. So based on the look of the first video and this as a reference to what I want to do with the thought bubbles can this type of thing be done in AE alone??? - and any tips on how i should go about it all??
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby 2dpostp on 02/24/2010, 1:55 pm

the ford ads are doable in ae alone but you'll need to take care during the filming as 3d tracking isnt available. but mocha is packaged with cs4. just dont turn the cam while walking around. you can pivot the cam from a static position though as that'll have no parallax. up the shutter speed to limit blurred motion that'll maintain tracking points more. try 1/150 or something depending on the speed of the movements. reelsmart motion blur will imitate the blur back in if your worried about the style of the footage.
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby gregalan on 02/24/2010, 7:08 pm

Still not absolutely sure - but let's get a bubble going and see if that's what you're after. There are a few ways but for the moment:
Create a white solid, with the pen tool create a thought bubble shaped mask.
Either:
add Effects/Bevel Alpha - make the colour anything but pure black, play with the thickness etc
This will give you a fake 3D look which might be all you need
Or
Make it a 3D layer, duplicate it 3 times - more if you want it thicker. Go to the position properties of each copy and move it 1pixel away from the next in Z space; so first layer no change, second layer Z=1.00, third layer Z=2.00.
This will give you a layer with some apparent thickness but you can't turn it totally side on obviously.
How are we going so far? Is that what you want?
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby jules on 02/25/2010, 10:21 am

Something like this? It's not exactly beautiful, but the best I could come up with during my late lunch break...

[ Play Quicktime file ] bubbletest.mp4 [ 1.92 MiB | Viewed 1114 times ]



Might that be helpful? It was easy to track the head of the woman in this shot, but it's not too much work to keyframe a null to follow some movement, either, if you have a more complicated shot...

edit: I wasn't so much about the 3D look, here, but of course you could easily change the overall look to your liking.
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby lifeworksstudio on 02/26/2010, 7:48 am

exactly how did you get the bubble looking fluid? do you have the project file for me?
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby jules on 02/26/2010, 8:39 am

I'm working on it a little more right now. Basically it's just two solids with circular masks and one animated null object. I parented the solids to the null (the second one with a slight offset), used "Time --> Echo" on both (the first with a negative, the second with a positive value), precomped them, blurred the whole thing, brought in the levels of the alpha. That's about it. :)

I'll finish what I'm working on just now and upload the file. It's CS3, I hope that's okay with you.
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby jules on 02/26/2010, 11:03 am

Hm. I'm still far from being content with the result. I guess some more pre-comping would be necessary to get rid of some of the errors and I'd like add a little more structure, reflections etc... The result so far:

[ Play Quicktime file ] morebubbles.mp4 [ 2.29 MiB | Viewed 1061 times ]


I think you'll understand best what I did by looking at the "the_bubbles" precomp and the effects I applied to it in the "_maincomp". You can make this effect infinitely better by spending infinitely more time on it, I'm sure, but for a quick test this is as much as I was willing to do... :)

I'll be offline for the weekend, but if you have any questions, just fire away and I'll get back to you on Monday.
Attachments
bubbles_demo.aep
This is the file without the fg / bg footage. Plain bubbles. :-)
(263.54 KiB) Downloaded 194 times
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby lifeworksstudio on 02/27/2010, 1:00 am

jules wrote:Hm. I'm still far from being content with the result. I guess some more pre-comping would be necessary to get rid of some of the errors and I'd like add a little more structure, reflections etc... The result so far:
morebubbles.mp4

I think you'll understand best what I did by looking at the "the_bubbles" precomp and the effects I applied to it in the "_maincomp". You can make this effect infinitely better by spending infinitely more time on it, I'm sure, but for a quick test this is as much as I was willing to do... :)

I'll be offline for the weekend, but if you have any questions, just fire away and I'll get back to you on Monday.


This is amazing, I cannot believe the result that you got entirely inside AE!! I have been and am still taking your project file apart bit by bit to understand what you did, I cannot believe it is so simple (so far)

Thanks for your inputs.

MUCH APPRECIATED! :)
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Re: Thought Bubbles - Can it be done in AE alone?

Postby jules on 03/1/2010, 9:51 am

lifeworksstudio wrote:I cannot believe it is so simple


Oh, but it is. :-)
I'm back home now and at my own computer, so I could do a small tutorial, should you still need one. Otherwise: have fun with it and I'd love to see a result once you have one. :-)
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