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Ancient Structures Scene Breakdown


Scene 1 Opening Scene, Created on Photoshop to represent and look like ancient type, I created a layer mask over the A with the idea to move through it to show the First scene. I put a another layer mask across it to give it a shadow as well.

The rest of the scene is laid behind on a panoramic shot with all the layers ready to move which gives the camera the idea its moving when it is not.

This shows the panoramic background and all the layers used. Some of the key layers were, camera, lights and grey outlines to produce shadowing, these extra layers helped to give my animation a more 3D depth look. I also had various parented layers in this scene due to the nature of animation, parenting moving layers helped to give the movement a more natural feel. It also made it less work.


The rest of the scene is laid behind on a panoramic shot with all the layers ready to move which gives the camera the idea its moving when it is not. Parented the type to the corresponding sand layers to make the movement more fluent.

This is the point where the background stops moving and the actual camera starts to move for the first time. I needed to change scene and the best way I could do this was by moving the camera directly at the type which would black out the screen.

Top view to illustrate my use of Z space. You can see the panoramic background stretching across which gave the same look as the camera moving.

By blacking out the screen all I had to do is add a layer mask which would fade to black as the ‘O’ was coming towards the screen. This allowed me to start the next scene fading out from black. A very simple way to change scene. One problem with type here was it was a Photoshop file and the resolution dropped significantly close up. Should of used a illustrator file.


Scene2 Starting the new scene with a simple Fade in from black and the camera pace roughly the same makes for a smooth transition. The shadowing of the masks and the lighting also add to helping keep the scene dark and consistent for colour. I started using structures I could cut layer masks in to move through.

By simply animating the type to the beat I managed to give this scene a more fluent feel. All I did was parent the text to each corresponding moving tree layer and then individually animate the type to move up using the XYZ space.

One Limitation I found with AE it has a habit of not doing what it should. I had to cut this scene in half as I was originally going to move through this structure to another pyramid but my camera just did not want to move further in Z space so I had to cut the scene to stop at the first door. I liked being able to animate the next scene while you could still see it through a structure, but the one problem it brought with it was having very long complex scenes. So to make things easier for myself I decided to make more short scenes. Where I could just move into an object cut to black and start the next scene.


As I relay heavily on Z-space for my animation I generally split the screen in two views. Top view helps me space my layers appropriately so I get a reasonable level of shadowing and depth across my layers. Top view also helps me arrange my type layers perfectly on top of tree layers so it looks more realistic when animating them. It also helps me to make more sense of my animation by giving me a simple basic view of my images.

This is my layer breakdown for the Second scene. I used the same basic setup as the first one, Black solids with layer masks to produce shadowing, camera’s to produce depth and more shadowing in desired area’s. The Camera’s setup is much like the first scenes although I played around more with field of depth as I was moving through objects, by setting the field of depth I was able to blur out some of the background images and focus on specific text and structures. The blur also took away some of the attention to the small Photoshop cutting errors I had.


Scene3 This is a really simple scene, I experimented with producing a 3D scene in my very early test scenes. What I did was lift the floor up and just build the scene like a 3D cardboard model making the pyramid the focal point.

By putting the text in the middle of the scene around the area the camera would pass through took a bit of attention off the tree line which you can obviously see does not massively fit with the grass but it also makes you focus on the ‘O’ as you move through. I have used this technique a couple of times now and its really simple and effective. I faded the text in slowly to fit with the speed of the camera and the music.

Aim for the black door, turn up the black solid layer with shadowing and fade out of the scene. This is a very easy way to end a scene. As long as it works with the speed of the music and the camera it never fails.


You can clearly see here my floor layer has been lifted in the top view. The images I used were also at a very large scale, which they had to be as a lot of scaling up had to be done so the camera does not catch random image edges.

Just the same basic layer set up as the pervious scene. Trying to keep some constants throughout my animation so its easier and quicker to make as get to know the software better.


Scene4 By opening the scene with structure which constricts the view I was able to build this scene without scaling my objects up too much. You can only see some elements of the scene through the door and by the time the camera goes through the door its close enough to not see the edges of the rest of the images.

The type does not sit very well on the clouds but it looked far better then putting the text in the middle of the screen, parenting the text to the clouds gave it a more smooth flowing look as well.

This was the first part of my animation where I didn’t move into a solid black object but fading out the scene while moving into the pillars really closely worked equally well.


The first image allowed me to keep my images small and in full resolution. This was a really quick scene so you can see all my layers are close together except the background.

Simple layer layout the only addition I have to this is having an extra black square object to fade the scene out.


Scene 5 Simple fade in which I had some problems with as the transition for this scene was slightly harder then the others to get camera pace the same. I layered the pillars across the clouds on Z space which came it a bit of depth moving past 1 pillar at a time.

This Temple had a really good resolution and I made sure to focus on that using my camera, I set the aperture fairly height then made sure by the time it got to the temple it would be the main focal point.


Yet again I had nothing to move into so I decided to move the background really close to the Temple and then produce a layer mask on the background. With the background covering the entire scene it made it easy to put my finishing image just behind it.

I decided to finish with the title I started with. I might of left it on the screen a little bit too quick or faded it out too quickly.

Just some of the camera settings I used for the majority of the project, generally just tweaking the aperture and focus distance depending on the scene. Always easy ease the camera to a stop, just makes it look better.


MAin seqaunce  

main title seqaunce

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