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2.2 Creating the Walls

In this lesson you’ll learn how to add walls in Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D Lite, to create a virtual set that blends with the background footage.

2.2 Creating the Walls

Hello. This is Christopher Kenworthy, and welcome again to the Visual Effects Compositing course. Here we are in After Effects where we've placed these two solids and now we want to put in the first two walls. So we have some textures here, which we can use to replace the walls or to augment what's already there. And, I think it would be good to try and replace a wall, completely. I think I'll use Texture5. So, I'm going to drag Texture5 into the composition. It's obviously quite large. Check its 3D box down here. And then you can see that moves from the origin point that we set earlier and it's up there in 3D space. We actually want it to be in the same place as the green solid. So before we line it up, I might just do some work on the solid itself to make sure it's in absolutely the right place. So I'll hit W, hover over the Z arrow, and you can see the little Z appears when you do that. I'm just going to rotate that around that way, just play that back. That looks a little better than what we had before. And, I think that will do for now. We could keep working on this, but we may as well put the layer, itself, in place and then work with it from there. Just expand the transform properties of the track solid. Now, I click on the anchor point, then go all the way down to the bottom of z rotation and Shift+click to select them all. In actual fact, we haven't effected the X, Y, or Z rotation yet, but you may have done, so it's worth grabbing the information for those. Copy, close that up, go to Texture5, and paste. And you can see that that texture has now dropped into place right where it should be. Having looked at that, in fact, I think maybe that texture has too much detail, and I don't know that that's gonna work for this particular wall. So in fact, I'm just gonna delete it and bring in a simpler texture. Texture four. Make it 3D. We already have our information so I'll just paste and that's gone into the right spot. That doesn't look too bad, but I'm going to try one more. Drag in texture two,make it 3D. Paste in the coordinates we already have. With that in place I'm going to delete the track solid that we used for reference, and now we'll work with this. And you can see that does look to be roughly in the right place, although clearly the angle is wrong here, so I'm just going to hit W. And rotate that so it looks to be at the right angle, play through and looks good. All the way to the end. You can see, perhaps it needs to be a little higher here so I'm just going to hit v, hover over the y, move that up. Now, when I play through, that does appear to be in the right place. However, I'm losing a little bit of the corridor in the background here. So, I'm just going to click on this point and shrink it, just scale it down a little, so that we see some of that corridor in the background. If I do that too much, I'm gonna lose the whole texture. So my other option at this point, is to hit A and drag on this anchor point here and to position it in 3D space. So that now looks good. Let's see if that works all the way through. I can see a little bit of that background corridor and that's all lined up well. And of course, it doesn't look right because it's intruding here through the doorway, so we need to mask that. To do that, I'll just change the blending mode to add. Select the pen tool, and then a draw a mask around the door frame here. Pretty simple mask. Once I've drawn it, I can hit V and just move these points, make sure that we got everything we need. Hit M and key frame the mask path. And move forward a few frames. Click off and then on to select a point. This mask is actually quite difficult to see. Because it's yellow, so I'm just gonna go down here and change its color to something that will be a little easier to spot. It's easier for this particular composition. Now, once you've put in a key frame like this, it's worth dragging back just a little to see if your mask is accurate all the way through, and that is looking accurate. I'll now move forward to the two second mark. That's fine. We'll just wait to where it's going off screen here. I'll just adjust that point up to there. So I'll change the blending mode back to normal. We've now replaced that wall all the way through the shot. I am noting that just here where the camera jumps up, the mask is cutting off the bottom of the image, so I'm going to just drag those points right down there and hopefully that's corrected that. There we go. Of course, at this point, this wall looks a little incongruous. It doesn't look quite right sitting there in the corridor as it is, but we're going to change the whole corridor to suit that wall. And then it will look right. To introduce a wall to the right hand side, rather than just dropping a layer in and hoping for the best trying to arrange it in 3D space, we can use this layer to guide the next layer. Let's pick a texture and I'll show you what I mean. I think we'll use texture one, drag that into the timeline. Make it 3D. Rather than paste in the attributes we copied before, I'll paste the ones we have now for this layer in it's final position. So I'll reveal the transform properties down here, click on anchor point, shift-click all the way to Z rotation, copy. Then I'll select texture one and paste. So that's now in exactly the same place. At this point, is worth renaming things. We really should keep a good track of what we're doing because this is going to be a complicated composition by the end. So, I'll click on texture two, hit return or enter, and I'll rename this left wall. And then I'll click on texture one. Hit return or enter and rename it right wall. And to move this into position, you just use the arrows here. Be careful not to just grab the thing and move it, because when you do that, the way After Effects works means that you're going to position it quite randomly in 3D space. If you use the arrows to move it, you have much more control and you don't get any surprises. The other thing is, you don't want this wall to go any higher than the one on the left, so don't use the Y axis at all. If you do, it's gonna be much more difficult to align a ceiling element later. So hover over the Z arrow here, and just click on that and drag to the right. If it's moving too slowly, hit shift and it will move in larger increments then when it gets to roughly the right place, you can let go. Then, again making sure you're hovering over the Z axis, you can adjust that. And what you're aiming for is to get this looking so that it's aligned with the plane of that wall. Let's play through the whole clip, see how that's looking. So we probably want to rotate this. I'll hit W, hover over the Z, just rotate that until it's aligned at the top here. I'll go back. It's not looking too bad. I'll do a little more rotation. See how that goes, and we'll play through. And because that isn't still not ideally lined up, we perhaps need to reposition it to get it to line up better. So I'll bring it closer in, using the Z axis. Again I'll rotate, but this time rotate back the way we were before. Pull back out, and that looks much better. As we play through that, that feels like another wall in this corridor, going off into the distance. It does feel a little larger and longer and as it's going off further into the background, but that's okay for now, I'll just let it do that. And once again, I want to mask this off so I'm going to change the blending mode to Add. And do some masking now. Select the pen tool, click around the edge of the wall as well as I can see. I can't actually see it very well right now because the nature of the layer. So, just hit V, drag that point into position. That's looking good, there. All right. Make sure I get these points at the bottom and drag them, out of the way. When that's lined up, I can hit M. Keep throwing the Mask Path. Move forward a second. And I think I've gone too far to really be accurate there, so I'm gonna come back. To the half setting point. Then I'll work with the points. I'll just play back, make sure that's matching all the way through. It is. I'll just adjust this like that. And if you ever have trouble with masking, you can, of course, check out the masking course which I created some time ago, which should help you with any of these points. But you can see really this is quite a simple masking job, you're just going through and making sure these points match up. When you're pulled it out this far, it's quite difficult to see detail, but you're more able to see the handles and the mask and I find that's often a good way to work. So there, that appears to be working all the way through. And now change the blend mode back to normal, so we can check it, so that works fine. I'm just gonna drag the corridor dark layer in, and then switch off the visibility in the corridor layer so we can have a look at those walls in situ. However, one option we have here is to not simply replace the wall, but to texture the wall. It's going to change the color of the right wall to yellow, which makes it easier spot in the timeline. And then, I'm going to cycle through the blending modes. I can do that down here with this tap, or I can just hit shift and plus. And, I'm looking for a blending mode that adds texture to that wall, that one multiplies quite good, without obliterating it. I quite like that. So, keep looking through. And also overlay there works very well. You can see, however, that the layer is not properly aligned with the top of the wall there. My intention here was not to texture the entire wall. Instead, I want to mask it off a little. So I'm going to select the pen tool again, and within this mask, just going to draw another approximate shape like that down here. Change from add to intersect, and now we need to hit F and drag the feather up. I'm gonna change the color of mask two, so that it's easier to spot, make that a green one. There we go, now when I click off you can see that I've feathered that so that it doesn't appear to be covering the whole wall but is blending into it. I don't really like the way that's looking at the moment. I'm gonna increase the mask feather. And that's looking better to me now. I can, of course, select the mask and just get hold of these individual points. And move them around. I think I'd like it to expand all the way out this way. That looks good. But we can let it soften here as it gets towards the ceiling there. I'm going to want to color correct the left wall to match what's there because it looks very out of place at the moment. But we'll leave that until we've added some other lights and other features and are working on the final look here. But so far, we've managed to add a false wall and we've made the other wall look grimy and dirty, and we're making this look like a more interesting space. In the next lesson, we'll look at how to add a sign onto this wall on the left.

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