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Old April 11th, 2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
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3D titles

I've got a quick question. I've been noticing a lot of really cool 3d titles in commercials lately and I'm wondering how difficult it is to do them. One that I've seen a lot is the Lexus commercial: (http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/02...-features-of/).
There is also a commercial on Discovery about the new season of "Deadliest Catch". The words move across the screen and look like they belong, but are obviously 3D. So, with all of that being said, what program would I use to do something like that? I'm a wedding videographer and would really like to have the bride/grooms name on some static shots (church wall, following a fence, on a table). Is this way more difficult than it seems (usually is). I will be attending NAB this year and plan on looking for software, but I'd like your suggestions first.

Thanks in advance,

Chad Dyle
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Old April 11th, 2008, 09:16 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 1,116
Easiest way to make 3D titles in AE, with anomations, is to use Zaxwerks Pro-Animator (http://www.zaxwerks.com).
For the effects used in Deadliest Catch you need 3D tracking and a 3D program. If you use After Effects the best combination is to use SynthEyes for 3D tracking ( http://www.ssontech.com) and Cinema 4D for the titling. SynthEyes is a phenomenal piece of software. It's being usie on major feature films but it's still very affordable. The downside is the pretty steep learning curve, like with everything 3D. The site has actually a good number of tutorials that should get you up to speed. With the trackers obtained from SynthEyes you can export them to C4D and create the 3D text attached to the trackers. You can then export the whole thing to After Effects and finish the comp there.
Paolo http://www.paolociccone.com
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Old April 14th, 2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
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For a shot like the lexus ad, where the camera is not moving, you could get away with photoshop. Just apply some beveling, drop shadow and your choice of distort, skew and/or perspective effects to a text layer.

With most pro-grade compositing tools (AE, Shake, Nuke ... even FCP Studio 2's Motion) you can cheat subtle camera moves against flat surfaces using 2D tracking on four corner points. This allows the compositing tool to adjust the position and perspective distortion of a flat-ish overlay to match some flat surface in the shot ... even if it's moving a bit.

If your camera is going to be moving dramatically, you'll likely need genuine 3D tracking software to achieve the effect. Paolo mentioned Syntheyes. MatchmoverPro, Boujou and PFTrack are a few other packages out there the perform this style of tracking.
These programs calculate 3D positions of objects in frame, as well as the camera that shot the footage ... but honestly, the work and expense would likely be overkill for most wedding situations.

I think if you're clever to mix moving shots with lock-offs, and just apply the text effects to lock-offs using photoshop, maybe add one or two subtle camera moving text composites ... you'll have everyone impressed by your amazing titles and effects without getting into the learning curve, expense and effort of investing in 3D matchmoving.

Good luck!
Nick Jushchyshyn Matchmoving, Compositing, TD
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