Breakdown: The Council Arts Camera Slide Effect

I linked up with The Council to edit their video for the song “Council Arts”. After receiving the footage I saw that a lot of the group and solo shots were against a black backdrop on a tripod with fixed zoom. I saw an opportunity to add a dynamic element to it by adding in some digital camera moves in After Effects - here’s how i did it:

  1. So first I had to create the landscape of the scene essentially, or else what would the camera slide across to show? Nothing, that’s what! I achieved this by using stock AE plugin CC repetile to repeat and invert the footage along the x axis only so I could slide along horizontally in any direction.
  2. I then created a 3D Camera and parented it to a null object for better control. When you parent a camera to a null object you don’t have to worry about the camera’s point of interest value.
  3. Next I plotted the camera moves along the timeline. I initially used a random after expression to generate the moves but it didn't always land where I wanted it to so in the end I did this manually and ultimately had more control.
  4. I wanted the video to be gritty so I added footage from Video Copilot’s Action Essentials package. They are keyed and mostly practical effects so it looks natural. It’s really awesome and can be used in a myriad of ways. Endless possibilities.
  5. I wanted there to be a little jerk when the camera stops on the subject so I utilized this inertia bounce expression from Dan Ebbert. I just fiddled with the variables until it looked right to me.  I also turned the motion blur on and it helped to bring everything together as one.
  6. I lastly used Trapcode Particular to add some light dust particle effects.

The rest is History.


Big up everyone involved in making the video a reality:

Artist: The Council

Director: Scotty Dreamkiller

Camera: Warren Buckle