Tutorial: How to Animate Still Photos in After Effects
One of the post-production techniques I've yearned to know more about was animating still photos. We've seen this used in countless film intro sequences, and now motion graphics artist and director Joe Fellows shows us how to achieve this 3D effect in After Effects. By separating the background, mid, and foreground, you can animate your photos creating a parallax effect that will turn your simple 2D still images into moving 3D storytelling devices. Check out the tutorial after the jump.
We've seen this effect in the title sequences and end credits in films, where still photos are animated to have 3D look -- mostly in recent action films. A still shot shows up on-screen, and it appears to be moving in 3D space, the camera zooming or tracking forward toward the subject.
According to an article from The Creators Project, Fellows worked on the 2D animations for Ad Hoc Films to create incredible visuals for the World Wildlife Foundation, using their photo archive to create the parallax effect show in the video below:
If you're wondering how to create the effect, never fear. Fellows walks you through the process in the tutorial below. Mind you, this isn't necessarily a step by step deal -- you're going to have to know a little bit about After Effects, namely how to isolate elements to create a solid background from a still shot, and how to create keyframes to animate individual pieces from the photo. Fellows uses a tablet (like a Bamboo) to work on the stills.
Check out the tutorial below to learn how to animate photos in After Effects:
What do you think of the tutorial? Do you have any tips on how to animate still photos that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments.