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Digieffects Camera Mapper Tutorial - Lake Posted over 9 years ago by N/A - Posted in Tutorials


Well here's my first attempt at a tutorial, I'm not quite ready to do a video one yet but hopefully within a couple of months and a bit more proficiency I'll be up to it.


I bought this image from www.istockphoto.com in a hi-res format to allow for easier slicing. The first port of call for this was Photoshop CS4 where I created 3 layers, the water, the mountains and the sky. I found the Quick Selection Tool and Magic Wand did 99% of what I needed and there was about 10 minutes of precision selecting afterwards. The angles that are going to be used in the final composition meant that I didn't have to worry too much about cloning and stamping out the mountains from the sky, which saved a lot of time! I then name the layers and save this as a standard .psd file.

In to After Effects

So over to After Effects, first thing's first I import the Photoshop file as a composition and then click in to it to get to the layers. The basics of Camera Mapper mean you need 2 cameras, create the first one and name it 'Projector' move this to the bottom of your stack (I use a standard 35mm), Ctrl+D to duplicate the camera and call this one 'Main' this just needs to be above the projector camera in your stack but I like it to be at the top.

Solid Layers

You will need a Solid for each layer plane you use in your project. In this example I used 4, one each for the sky and water and one for each side of the mountains. Lets deal with the sky and water solids first, make them a 3D layer then move the anchor point to zero, this lets you easily rotate the solid from a horizon point down for the water and up for the sky.

Because the sky in this image is very clear with no detail I could expand it and move it further back to allow for the mountains. If I left it where you normally would (rising from the horizon) then the mountain solids would need to be further forward and make the perspective difficult to get right. Now for the mountain solids these need to be angled like an open book to allow for realistic movement when zooming in to the composition.

Camera Mapper

Now apply the Camera Mapper effect to the solids and set the Projection Camera to 'Projector' and the projection layer to the layer you want to 'Map' (Once you've chosen the right layer then you can click the eyeball and hide it on the original layer you will still be able to see it mapped on to the plane layer). Once you've done this for all 4 layers you are ready to animate the 'Main' camera within the composition. I've gone for a really soft slow pan, with a view to it being used as a title for a movie set in the wilderness. Don't forget to change the Alpha handling to source so it uses the Alpha setting of the layer you're mapping on to the solid.

Camera Mapper

So it's really starting to take shape now, It's a subtle effect but I've used Digieffects Aurorix (TurbulentFlow effect) on the water solid to emulate the waters surface.


Last thing is the title which is just a text layer and then under neath just the same text layer flipped over with a Gaussian Blur effect of 2.5 and a layer mode of 'Overlay'.

Buy it Now!

That's it in all it probably took me an hour or so to do the v1 of this project and now I've got it down to about 30 minutes. Being able to take a beautiful still image and create moving intersects or transitions for in between scenes is really cool, so make sure you buy your copy of Camera Mapper from us NOW!!!

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