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Doing A Few Of My Favorite Things

I’m having so much fun that this can’t be WORK!!!  I’ve been wanting to create some 3D graphics to use as an introduction to a video and this little fifteen second clip is turning into a great adventure.

Step one of this new project is to create a test shape of some sort.  I decided to make a building.  I like buildings.  At first I thought I would do watercolor paintings of the building.  I needed to do the front, back, both sides, and the top of the building.  I dug out some templates and rules and started drawing all of that out.  Not fun, I decided.  I have Adobe Illustrator and have been intimidated by it, but decided to give it a try.  What’s the worst that could happen – maybe it wouldn’t be fun.  For some reason I took to it right away.  Before very many minutes had passed, I had the front and side.  It was even easier to do the back and other side.  I used the first two as my template.  Doing the top took a little thinking.

Donny's Pet Shop - front and side

Donny's Petshop - rear and side

This was really fun!  What would the next step be?  Should I print them out.  I have a Canon Pro 9500 Mark II and recently (after having it for almost two years and never using it) started experimenting with it.  I discovered I can not only print on the good and expensive papers that are created for such a printer, but I can print on regular watercolor paper.  Before doing that, however, I wanted to make sure that my idea would work.  I tried importing the drawings into Adobe After Effects (I have the Creative Cloud and am using the latest version – and loving it!).  Much to my surprise and delight, the buildings came in without a background.  I had wondered what extra steps I’d have to take to make that happen and it happened on it’s own.

Once I got the pieces into After Effects, I made them three dimensional and pushed them around until I had them put together like a real building.  I’ve done other 3D projects, but they’re few and far between.  I forget how to do it.  A while back, at a film conference, I bought a training DVD from Josh Fozzard of PickWhip Studios.  It has a couple of lessons on 3D work in After Effects.  I popped in the DVD and watched his demonstration (yet again) and followed along.  When it worked and I found myself looking at a 3D pet shop, I was pretty happy.  Oh, I know it’s a simple little building and has no texture, no color, and no interior.  Still I’m very pleased – not because I think I created a masterpiece of work (NOT!), but because I thought up something I wanted to do, thought it over before jumping in, thought about what tools I have and need, and then I brought what was in my imagination into reality.

The next step is to watercolor the printouts, scan them, get the new pieces into After Effects, and see how it looks.  There’s really no practical use in doing this step.  I know it’ll work.  The practical next step would be to see if I can add some other items, such as more buildings, people, trees, the road, and things like that.  I’m going to do the watercolor part to build up my courage for that next step.

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