My Town Commercial – Video Practice

September 24, 2023

Test file to practice in Photoshop and most After Effects; to bring motion to a photo.

The aspect ratio is different than a normal video; changing it to the proper aspect ratio would have cut off some items at the bottom that I wanted to keep for this experiment. This is just a sample/test piece and not meant to be seen as final production.

Started with a photo of a downtown I took about 10 years ago, this photo was also used to show about removing items from a photo so it had a few of these items already done. I opened it in Photoshop to separate out the elements to their own layers and remove them from the areas behind (basic instructions below). The water tower is from another image to add to the background for the town.

I created the final text block in Photoshop and had that as its own layer.

If I were to do this project again, I would take more photos of the area or take individual photos then use them in a collage.

For the layers I added the number to the beginning (when I cut the pieces out I named them by what they are for quicker locating). When in AE I put them in by number for how I need them to show. There was over 20 layers to the file.

I decided to make this a 30 sec commercial since I had 10 groups to show making it an easy 3secs each.

In After Affects, I imported the photoshop file, one layer at a time, working from bottom up. This way I was able to make sure everything lined up correctly. From here I added the text with background (instructions below); The scaling and fade out. With the fade out it removes a piece(s) from the image to unveil the final town message. But throughout the ‘commercial’ the town name is shown, except in one location. While the piece enlarges and text about the feature the background becomes black and white (instructions below).

Separating the image in Photoshop:

Duplicate the background, so you can have the full image if you need to go back.
From here I would select an item, using the content select and lasso as needed.
Copy to its own layer in same location but using Command (CTRL) + J
Then hide that new layer and paint the background from what’s around it, I tried the Content fill a few times but for this image it wasn’t working.
I repeated the above steps through the process, as I worked my way backwards through the image.

For the Black & White Backgrounds:

Created a new adjustment layer: Layer > New Adjustment Layer
Set the time length for it to be 3secs.
Then on that layer I brought over the Black and White Effect.
From there added the opacity starts and stops
Copy and pasted this for each grouping.

Text box with background:

Created a text layer: Layer > New Text Layer (or choose the text tool)
Type in your text, don’t worry about color, fonts, etc you’ll change those later
Then: Effect > Matte > Simple Choker
Change View to: ‘Matte’
Effect > Channel > Minimax
Change channel to Alpha
Increase the radius for the space around the text
Effects > Color Correction > Tint
Within the Tint menu you can select the Text and background colors.
You can save this for use in other projects:
Select all three items (or more if you added extras) in the Effects Controls pallet.
Animation > Save Animation Preset
Save it then you can add to other projects by:
Type in text then animate and either in recent or Apply Animation Preset and look for the animation.

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