View Full Version : Background / Foreground Plates for Animation

12-27-2009, 08:51 PM
I have started working on a composition for my latest animation. The different layers will be used for background and foreground plates.

Took the bottom two photos at my local botanical gardens. The banana tree photo taken in my parents garden. The palm trees taken from my apartment window.
I want to amalgamate these into a lush "foresty" composition. I can then use the layers in After Effects as plates for the animation.

I am not very experienced with painting vegitation, so any tips would be welcome.

12-27-2009, 11:27 PM
I've done a bit. Will post again later once I've put in more time.

12-28-2009, 01:23 AM
Been working for a few hours. This is as far as I've got. A lot more work to do on the foreground.

Time for Sunday lunch and nap :)

12-28-2009, 05:19 AM
Hey, nice work and love seeing your progression. I hope you'll keep posting your steps all the way through to the end. Instructive.

If you're interesting in vegetation suggestions, go to the tips and tricks section of the forum and review the many fine tutorials that have been posted there. Quite a few deal with flora of all types. They are instructive and fun too.

Great to see your work here. :)

12-28-2009, 05:27 AM
Don't forget, for distant foliage you can easily use a selfmade sticker ! great going so far !

12-28-2009, 05:48 AM
Thanks for the input. I'll take a look at the tutorials.

Also will give the sticker idea a try - I didn't think of that. Maybe the banana leaves will work with a sticker or two.

Will be posting again a little later.

12-28-2009, 08:29 AM
Here's the finished product. I know I could spend a lot longer on getting it right, but I am working on a tight deadline for this animation, and fortunately animation is more foregiving than stills.

Now I need to switch to After Effects and finish compositing this for the opening cut of the animation.

I'll put a youTube link here once the opening scene is roughed out so that anyone who is interested can see where this composition ended up being used.

12-28-2009, 08:41 AM
Woaa ! That's a big change ! that's really good !

12-28-2009, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the comments.

Here's the youTube link the the part of my animation that uses this composition:


12-29-2009, 12:11 AM
This is totally awesome, Mike! Thanks for sharing your technique and the steps involved into making all this happen as part of the animation process. I saw the YouTube video and it was just great! I would loved to see more animation works.

12-29-2009, 05:28 AM
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the video clip too. I'll keep posting work-in-progress items as I get to each clip in the animation.

01-02-2010, 09:49 PM
This is great, I'm in pre production for my first solo short animation though I will be doing things somewhat differently I find ArtRage a very nice tool. What animation package are you using?



01-02-2010, 10:10 PM
Please share your work-in-progress. I'm always interested in see how other animators work.

My "tools-of-the-trade" are Lightwave 9.6, Photoshop, ArtRage, After Effects and Final Cut Pro. I'm starting to dabble with Apple Motion too.

What are you using ?

01-04-2010, 01:40 AM
Undecided. I've used Animation Master for years but have switched to Blender recently. I also use VUE for landscapes and intend to use it to generate the background plates and landscape layers for my short.

I just have to decide between AM and Blender for Modeling Texture, animation and rendering. I'm more comfortable with AM but Blender is definitely more versatile. I'll be using Blender for the post work.

I cut my teeth on the feature length Tin Woodsman of Oz and am working on the sequel, The Scarecrow of Oz. I thought a 3-4 minute short would be a nice break :)



01-04-2010, 07:10 PM
I've never touched Animation Master before. I have dabbled with Blender. I am so used to the fast workflow of LW that I found it a little slow to work with. But I think that's just because I have used LW for so many years now.

I do own Vue6Xtreme. Great application, but unbelievably buggy. I've never really got it to behave itself in both Windows or Mac. So I usually only use it to generate the odd tree or plant or rock for use in LW. I am reluctant to do whole projects in Vue due to its crash record.

I found quite a few animations for Tin Woodsman of Oz on youTube. Can you direct me to your one so that I can take a look ?

01-04-2010, 11:45 PM
People say that a lot about VUE but I've not actually had any problems with VUE yet (VUE6 through 8 Infinite). I'm not looking for the integration - just simply to use it as a landscape plate generator.

This site won't let me post URLs yet so just type in Hash Tin Woodsman of Oz and you should get many of them.

They (Hash) finally got around to creating the DVD and released it last month. The project was a tool to get people creating and animating with Animation Master and they weren't overly picky about peoples abilities so the quality varies from shot to shot. The DVD was edited together somewhat better than the Youtube files. Roughs of some of the shots I worked on are on my web site - but I can't post the URL :(



01-05-2010, 01:57 AM
Thanks for that. I've started watching some of the parts on youTube. Some great work in there. Quite difficult to co-ordinate I imagine.

You should be able to place a URL by selecting some text and then hitting the Insert Link button on the toolbar above your comment.

01-06-2010, 12:46 AM
When I try to post a message with a URL, the forum reports an error stating that I haven't been a member long enough to do it.

01-06-2010, 05:37 AM
That's wierd. I am a pretty new member too and I was able to post URLs from the beginning. Maybe you should contact the administrator and ask them about this.