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pixie no text.gif

For this project, I wanted to experiment with live action footage, motion tracking, and a little bit of 3D animation, so I gathered two of my cousins for help, and from that came this project.  

First I explained the type of camera move I had in mind to my cousin, and after many takes, I picked the one I thought would work best.  Once I had that, I brought the footage into After Effects and used the 3D tracker function, which then creates an AE camera matching those tracked movements. 

behind the scenes 

plate with track points

original plate

AE camera

During this time I also went ahead and added some slight color grading

Once I had a camera track that I was satisfied with I moved on to Cinema 4D to create the 3D butterfly

3d butterfly.gif

I found a photo of a blue morpho butterfly online and did some adjustments before i brought it into C4D as a texture

after importing the AE camera into C4D I was able to create a spline to which I attached the butterfly.  This would act as a track for the butterfly to fly on in tandem with the camera move.  This buttterfly animation is expressed as its own layer back in AE.  

butterfly track.gif

In order to sell the fact that the butterfly was flying by my hand and on my clothes I used Keylight.  The front fingers and the thumb were keyed on separate layers.  The light on the clothes and my face worked the same way. 

priginal plate

front finger track

thumb track

final result

After adding several layers of glow to the butterfly it was time to add sparks that followed ithe butterfly around, adding to the magical otherworldly effect.  For this I used two layers of particle world, which I attached to the butterfly using a null.   

The fireworks at the end are simply a few particle world effects.  

Although tthe breakdown of this project seems rather simple, this was one of the more difficult ones to pull off.  Surprisingly, We had to do many takes while shooting since sometimes the movements weren't right, or a car would pass by, making us move, and at times there would be rain.  (totally gives me a new appreciation for crews and helping hands on a film set)  

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Some other challenges were arranging all the different assets in AE, figuring out hte colorizations for the hands and how to execute the butterfly in Cinema 4D.  Nevertheless, I am very thankful for the experience and knowledge gained.  

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