Animating a Propeller in 3ds Max - Part 4 - Motion Blur with Adobe After Effects

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Industry
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
Subject
  • Animation
  • 2013
  • Simulation and Effects
  • Workflow
Products
  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Intermediate
Duration
7 min

Animating a Propeller in 3ds Max - Part 4 - Motion Blur with Adobe After Effects

In this tutorial, you create an animated bitmap to simulate a spinning propeller. Only this time, you will leverage Adobe After Effects, a compositing software, to create a Motion Blur Effect with the propellers.


Notes

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2013, After Effects CS5.5
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2013 or higher.

Transcript

00:00:02 --> 00:00:09
In the last movie, you learned to create an animated bitmap to simulate a spinning propeller using only 3ds Max.

00:00:10 --> 00:00:18
If you're comfortable using compositing software, you may find it easier to create such an effect using applications like After Effects or Combustion.

00:00:18 --> 00:00:23
If you recall, early on you saved a single frame of the propeller in a static position.

00:00:24 --> 00:00:30
You will use this static frame and animate it in a 2D application to create a similar effect to what you achieved earlier.

00:00:31 --> 00:00:39
Let's try it first using Adobe After Effects, a very popular and powerful application that makes a good companion to 3ds Max.

00:00:39 --> 00:00:42
In After Effects, start a new project.

00:00:42 --> 00:00:46
Import the propeller.png image you saved earlier.

00:00:48 --> 00:00:52
Drag it down to the timeline to create a new 30-second-long composition.

00:00:52 --> 00:00:56
30 seconds is more than you need, you'll fix that in a second.

00:00:56 --> 00:00:59
The propeller appears in the composition window.

00:00:59 --> 00:01:05
Go to Composition > Composition Settings and set the duration to 2 seconds.

00:01:05 --> 00:01:09
While you're at it, change the background to white to see the propeller better.

00:01:10 --> 00:01:16
As you recall, this image file has alpha information and thus lets you see what lies behind it..

00:01:16 --> 00:01:19
Now expand the propeller track and its Transforms.

00:01:20 --> 00:01:26
Enable Animation mode on the rotation track. This will let you create keyframes to animate that layer.

00:01:26 --> 00:01:31
Go to the end of the animation and specify a number of turns for the propeller.

00:01:31 --> 00:01:36
A value of 2 should be fine for now. You can always change it later if you need to.

00:01:36 --> 00:01:39
Press the Space bar to view the animation.

00:01:40 --> 00:01:44
To add Motion Blur, it is much simpler here than in 3D software.

00:01:45 --> 00:01:51
Simply activate that property at the track level and then enable Motion Blur for all layers.

00:01:52 --> 00:01:58
Playback the animation again. Once it caches the information, it then plays in real-time.

00:01:58 --> 00:02:03
As you can see, it's much faster and not nearly as taxing as in 3D.

00:02:03 --> 00:02:11
To adjust Motion Blur quantity and quality, you can either alter the animation (in this case the number of revolutions of the propeller),

00:02:12 --> 00:02:14
or you can edit the Composition Settings.

00:02:15 --> 00:02:22
To alter the animation speed, go to the end of the animation and change the increase the number of revolutions to 10.

00:02:22 --> 00:02:27
Try it again. An interesting effect, but not exactly as anticipated.

00:02:28 --> 00:02:31
Increase it again to about 20 or 21.

00:02:36 --> 00:02:39
That's more like what we were expecting.

00:02:43 --> 00:02:49
If you feel that the amount of motion blur is inadequate, you can adjust it at the Composition Settings level.

00:02:50 --> 00:02:58
In the Advanced tab, you can adjust the Shutter Angle value. The higher the value, the more blur you get.

00:02:59 --> 00:03:05
Bring it down to about 120, or experiment with other values you care to try.

00:03:05 --> 00:03:12
The Shutter Phase is similar to the Shutter Offset value you learned about while setting the effect in 3ds Max.

00:03:12 --> 00:03:18
In a normal situation, it should be equal to a "negative-half" value of the shutter speed.

00:03:18 --> 00:03:24
So if you set the Shutter Angle to 120, Shutter Phase should be set to -60.

00:03:24 --> 00:03:31
You can adjust the samples for more blur quality but as you can see, 16 samples should be more than adequate.

00:03:32 --> 00:03:41
Ultimately, you only need to render out a handful of these images, probably a range between frames 16 and 30 for a perfect continuous loop.

00:03:42 --> 00:03:46
Adjust your Work Area accordingly to that purpose.

00:03:50 --> 00:03:54
Finally, add the composition to the Render Queue.

00:03:55 --> 00:03:58
Set the Render to the Work Area only,

00:04:00 --> 00:04:06
and choose an image type with Alpha channel, such as TIFF Sequence with Alpha.

00:04:08 --> 00:04:12
Finally, choose an output name and folder;

00:04:16 --> 00:04:17
and click Render.

00:04:18 --> 00:04:26
When it's done, and it should be quite fast, you now have an opacity animated map that you can use in 3ds Max.

00:04:30 --> 00:04:40
The process is the same as in the last movie, mainly using the TIF sequence as an opacity map, with transparency based on the Alpha channel.

00:05:08 --> 00:05:17
Also as you did earlier, you can use the composite map in 3ds Max as an added effect to better define the propeller "circle".

00:05:55 --> 00:06:04
The end result is quite similar to what you have seen before but was a bit easier to produce, mainly if you are familiar with After Effects.

00:06:36 --> 00:06:42
In the next and final movie, you achieve yet again the same results using Autodesk Combustion.
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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • 2013
  • Simulation and Effects
  • Workflow
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