It’s 2D but Not As We Know It

I’m always very interested and eager to expand and develop my skill when it comes to Graphic Design/Animation techniques, particularly when the effects are pretty inspiring.

I’ve been playing around with Adobe After Effects and whilst this piece of (astounding) kit has many bells and whistles, it can be extremely daunting for someone self-taught like me to use it and actually produce something interesting and credible.

Until now, that is.

Allow me to introduce you to the ‘Parallax’ technique.  This is where you take a bog standard 2D image and animate it so that it appears to have depth and basically creates a 3D illusion.

It’s a very effective, inspiring and downright awesome effect.

Here’s the technical bit: it involves cutting the foreground from the background (you need to fill the background afterwards…this part is BORING), then import them separately into a video editing application and resize/pan them individually.  Once you combine the two images, it looks as though the ‘camera’ is moving through both images.

Sounds complicated, right?  Well, it did take me an entire weekend to master the intricacies of trying to pull this off but after many (failed) attempts, LOTS of cursing and a few punches aimed at my cushion, I was able to produce a (sort of) convincing animation.

Let’s not forget that the original image I used was computer generated via 3D modelling/rendering, so basically the entire animation is a work of fiction and illusion.  How clever.

This would be a very cool way to present an online  portfolio or submit concept ideas to a client.

Cue deep and mysterious background music…


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