Back in September, we started using a program called Adobe After Effects (AE), which is a high-end motion graphics program.

AE is a powerful program that gives us the ability to create 3D graphics and animations, 3D text, a great range of color correction, and a huge array of special effects. It has been, without a doubt, a fun toy to play around with/.

We’ve used After Effects for various projects since September. We used it pretty heavily in a recent project for our client, X-Cel Contacts. We’ve mentioned them before in a couple of our blog posts.

For the project, we needed to create a couple of workflow graphics and intro pieces to make the overall video much stronger and more visually appealing. Naturally, we turned to AE to help our conceptual designs and ideas come to life.

The opening shot called for an exterior shot of Walman Optical’s office building, with a timelapse of clouds flying overhead. The shot would also need to steadily zoom in, while text flew all around it. “That’s not incredibly complicated,” you might say. Well, you’re partially correct. The actual animation was pretty easy. However, preparing the assets was a little bit more of a chore.

We took a still image of the building front, then added clouds flying over the building and then placed in the text. The still image that we took had some distracting elements that we deemed necessary to remove.

We took out anything that would pull a viewer’s gaze away from the main text. That meant handicap parking signs, reflections of cars, building numbers, and a few other things all had to go.

We also needed to add X-Cel’s logo to the building, and cut out the sky so that we could add our clouds to it. This is just one example of the power of Adobe After Effects (and Photoshop).

Below is a timelapse showing how we used AE and Photoshop to create the intro piece.