Elli Mayhem (ellimayhem) wrote in fau_digicomp,
Elli Mayhem

Motion Graphics and Z-Depth

We should have Shake back today. After we have covered the topic of Z-depth the rest of the day will be devoted to letting you practice making motion graphics in Shake. If you are in the animation class and are not creating your titles for it as your final project in this class, think of today as the opportunity to get your titles done. And if you are using your titles as your final in this class, you can work on your final today!

As we discussed in class in the past couple of sessions where we had no software, another important application of digital compositing software is in the area of motion graphics. All of the operators we have discussed this semester come into play when creating a dynamic look. Motion graphics are not only extremely important in advertising and broadcast television but are also the backbone of a compelling title sequence. Remember, there is much more to a title sequence than text.

Z-Depth is really very simple. As you recall, our old friend the alpha channel is a greyscale image that maps the opacity of an image. Well, Z-Depth is another greyscale image - only this time instead of mapping the opacity, we are mapping the depth perspective of the image, with white being at the front, black in back, and varying shades of grey determining how near or far the object is to the camera. Maya allows us to render our images with a Z-depth channel attached, and this can be very useful in avoiding depth issues when compositing rendered layers. In addition to its proper use, the Z-compose layer node in shake can be applied to elements without a Z-channel to create some really keen effects.

General Announcements

Tuesday will be a work day and I will be showing some of my title seqences and helping people work on theirs. Please do not feel compelled to be on time on Tuesday - this is everyone's first class of the day so I am giving you the opportunity to go and vote before you come in to school without fear of missing new material. I know schedules are hectic and it can be difficult to find time to get to the polls so I thought I'd make it a little bit easier. We will cover tracking and stabilization on Thursday, and the following week get into rotoscoping.

The Palm Beach International Film Festival has announced its 2nd Annual Festival Poster Design Competition. There is a $1000 prize. I will be forwarding you the info and entry form so keep an eye on your mailbox for that and good luck to those who decide to enter.

Also don't forget the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival is happening at Cinema Paradiso on Friday Nov. 5 and in conjunction with that we will be having a guest speaker from Rhythm & Hues Studios! You definitely don't want to miss out on this.
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