This post ties right into my Keepin’ It Real blog. My short, June Gloom, is almost done and I don’t mind sharing a couple more frames before the finish line. The below frame is from a 3 seconds long clip, right after the long shot of the prison pickup. I felt a need for the prison to be in it in order to reinforce the location and help the story line. Since it’s a handheld shot, I started with motion tracking along with establishing a cut off line. The red squares are the trackers and the purple line is my vertical guide.
I prepped my prison picture in Photoshop, a combination of a still and a screen-grab of the actual footage. I composited the jpeg in After Effects and made it into a 3D layer. I assigned a virtual camera to the layer, which had created the desired perspective (after some adjustments to the x, y and z axes).
But it was too sharp, as you can see, so I added a lens blur to soften the image and the edges. I also created a null object with the tracking info and linked my jpeg to it. Now my prison was nicely moving (shaking) along with my footage.
Lastly, I changed the depth of field settings of my AE camera to the one we used during the shoot for a more realistic feel. It’s not as noticeable here as it is on the big screen but the closer parts are actually more in-focus then the further ones.