Animate a Double Exposure Effect [After Effects] | Ashley Swapp | Skillshare

Animate a Double Exposure Effect [After Effects]

Ashley Swapp, Here for the snacks.

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10 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. 1 Introduction

    • 2. 2 What's a Double Exposure

    • 3. 3 Source Your Assets

    • 4. 4 Organize Your Project

    • 5. 5 Masking with Pen Tool

    • 6. 6 Masking with Rotoscoping

    • 7. 7 Matte Layers

    • 8. 8 Dynamics

    • 9. 9 Rendering

    • 10. 10 Thank you!


About This Class

Want to create a video that will make watchers do a double-take? Think the opening credits of True Detective. You’re going to learn how to create a double exposure effect that will give your project that cinematic quality.

No prior After Effects experience needed. You’re going to learn everything you need for this specific killer effect. Resources to select your own free stock footage and imagery will be provided.  

By the end of this course you’re going to be able to create a show-stopping scene in After Effects using the double-exposure aesthetic.


1. 1 Introduction: Hi. I'm Ashleigh. Welcome. Super glad you're here. In this course, we're going to be covering how to create a double exposure effect completely in after tax. If you've never used after effects or any other Dobie programs, don't worry. You don't need any prior experience. The course project is going to be a completed video or still frame of your double exposure effect. If you just stumbled on this course, don't worry. We're going to begin with what a double exposure effect actually is. Then I'll walk you through how to source assets. Fear Project after that will jump into after effects to organize our workspace. And then we'll get to the fun stuff actually creating our fact. So I hope you're excited. I'll see in the next video. 2. 2 What's a Double Exposure: So what is a double exposure? By definition, it's the super imposition of two or more exposures or images to, you know, make one image. If you've ever taken a black and white photography class, that's where I first got exposure to it. But now, with all these different programs, you don't need a dark room to get the same effect, which is awesome. Here are some examples of double exposures, which are still images. I aggregated these on Pinterest and take note that when you're looking at these, they have a distinctive look and feel, so you'll want to keep that in mind for your project when sourcing your assets. Here's another example of double exposure in action with footage. This is the opening credits for the show. True Detective, this has a more grungy and dark look and feel to it. I like that it has a lot of subtle movement. Now that you know what a double exposure effect is. I encourage you to do some research and figure out what kind of look you're going for. And then you can dive into selecting your assets in the next video 3. 3 Source Your Assets: in this video, I'm going to walk you through my process of how I selected my assets for my double exposure project. So I've selected three different styles of double exposure that I'm going to walk you through. First is this kind of image takeover, which is this effect where one images kind of replacing the contents of another and the rest of the composition is untouched. The second is an image on an image, which is this the basic image superimposed on another image last, this cut out effect where the double exposures completely displacing another part of an image. In the about top of this course, I've provided links to sites that have free stock imagery and footage. So I'm going to visit this site, and I think I want to start with my subjects a k a. The people, and then source the footage that will use for the double its voter. When you're looking for assets, there's a couple things to keep in mind. One is that if you're using footage, if there's a lot of movement and you're doing an exposure where you'll have to remove a background that could take a lot of time, second is that if you're using free stock footage, you may have to be flexible with what you're looking for. Unless you're okay with paying for, like, the perfect clip for your project. So I'm just gonna kind of open a few different things in different tabs, and then I kind of go back and revisit them. So this is an interesting one, because it's got kind of like the cool look to it. And also, I think this background could be fairly easy to cut out for a double exposure, Frank. So I'm gonna hang on the list. Initially, I had slipped of this would be like, Oh, this might be clip out this like a white back on. You might be able to do something interesting with it, but he's, like, kind of quivering leads. That's gonna be kind of tough to mask out. And I feel like it's gonna be weird to look see the shoot here, but not here. So nothing no to this room, this one again has, like, a lot of movement that's gonna take a lot of work, and you'll see why in the next few videos. But awesome. This one, too. I'm actually into this one. This house, it's very interesting here. I think I could definitely use this. Then I hang on to her. Okay. So I feel pretty solid about these subject choices Now I'm going to try and find assets I can use for their double exposure. I'm not going to make you watch me go through the process of searching families because it could take a while. Basically, once I have my subject, I kind of try to look where clip that's going to look interesting or maybe contrast with the person or subject chosen. And why not? Assets are sourced. So now that you have assets for your project in the next video, we'll get organized so you can start creating. 4. 4 Organize Your Project: okay, Before we jump straight into after effects, I'm going to go over how I organize my actual folders on my desktop or hard drive wherever you're saving your work. When I first got started, I was just saving everything in one big folder and it turned into a small nightmare. So don't be me. Learn from my mistakes And this is how it said of my folders now. Okay, so I'll have, like, one big KUNA folder that holds all my sub folders. So skill share double exposure for this project. Then I'll start with at least three folders just initially. The first is assets. This is where you will keep all of your stock footage. Project is where I save my aftereffects file and then exports is where I have all my render safe too. So they're all in one place. Okay, now that that's out of the way, we could jump into after effects, so open up after effects than open a new project. Now, if you're new to after effects that your workspace to essential graphics which isn't a window workspace, central graphics This is a workspace that I'm using. So that way it'll look the same to you. Over here on the left is your project panel. When I get started, I like to create an assets folder and drag and drop off my assets and contents in here. So let's go ahead and name this assets and then club all these click and drag it in here. Then I'll create a comes folder. This is where I'm going Put compositions which are components of my larger projects. You don't need to worry too much about what a composition is right now. But if you're in after effects and you hit command or control and to create new that that that's what you're creating and then finally a project Boulder. This is where I keep my compositions that have other compositions in it. So in this case, I can carry three double exposure effect compositions that we outlined earlier Now, one final tip on the projects panel and getting organized. If you select an asset here and hit, enter easily. Change the name and I like to do this. Get beginning of a project, especially since these names don't mean anything to me, um, in their downloaded form. So there you go. Now we're ready to jump into after effects and start creating our double exposure projects . 5. 5 Masking with Pen Tool: So in the last video, we set up our workspace with three double exposures we want to create and I've pulled the footage into each of these compositions to get the double exposure effect for any of these projects, we have to remove the background of at least one of the assets. So, for example, for this one, I need to remove the background from this girl holding flowers because I want the trees to take up the space where she is. But have the background be blank for this one. I want to overlay this guy on top of the city, but I need to remove the dark background from him and the last one the same thing. I need to remove the horizon from the background of this guy. So there are lots of ways to do this in after effects for footage. I'm going to cover two of them masking with the pen tool and rotoscoping. You might prefer one technique over the other sometimes depends on the project, but I'll teach you both so you can choose. I'm going to start with this girl in the flowers in the project panel. You can select your footage and then drag it to this composition tool and it will create a new con for you. I'm going to drag it down here to my cops holder. So I'm only going to be making columns that are five seconds long to string these together . So I'm going to look for the five seconds that's going to work best for me and this project . Now that I have only the footage I mean to mask, I'm going to use a pencil to max out the background of this. So select the footage and go to the beginning of your timeline and click on the pen tool just up here. Or you can just hit g quick tip. If your mouse is hovering over your composition in the viewing window, you can zoom in and out by scrolling your mouse or track pad. Also, if you hold down the space bar, you will get the hand tool. This comes in super handy when you need to zoom in now and move the comparable maxing. So this footage is kind of dark, so I'm just gonna brighten it up a little bit. Let me see where I'm asking. So what? I'm going to do first is show you how this type of mask operates. And then I'm gonna time lobster actually going through and like being really detailed about it, cause it could be a little bit tedious so you can click on the footage making outline. And once the shape is complete, you create a mask, hit em to bring up mask settings. The default is ad, which means everything in the shape will appear. If you want to do the opposite, you can drop down or hit inverted right here. And it will cut out the place where that you're a mass cas. If you hit an F, you will also bring up mask feather so you can kind of get this fathering effect if you don't want a hard edge. Super important because this is footage. Your points are going to change as you go through the footage. So go to mask path. So said a key frame here by clicking on the stopwatch and you could get here. Just buy it, selecting your footage, hit em and get this little twirl down Carrot. Last path is right here. The very 1st 1 hit the stock watch and it will set key fearing right here. That way, when you make a for when you make a change further down the timeline, it's not going to affect work that you've already done back here. Another thing while you're masking is you can get more precise edges when you click and pole to get what's called a busy a handle. This allows you to create curved edges. Now, keep in mind, the more points you put on your mask path, the more points you will need to update. So I'm going to duplicate this by doing command or control D, and then we'll move on my ass and put it underneath. This is gonna be used as my reference. So I'm going to take down the capacity so I can see the difference. So as I spread through, I can see Does that look how far she has moved, Right. So what's nice about the mask is that you can move it and manipulate it pretty easily. So if I click on the mask path here, and I actually just use my arrow keys to kind of nudge it over, and I can go in and see what they're like, this is down to that until there, So I can just gonna move around. It's more besides edges here, all right? And, you know, it looks like pretty okay just for, like, doing it really fast. But you can imagine how long that would take if I had looked 50 points just right here to get all the little curves. Because, you know, as you scrape through, it's going to keep changing, even if it's subtle movements. And if you don't have that many points, you've been kind of no correct pretty easily and just kind of, like script through, like, get like a relatively good mass going. Okay, so key takeaways when you're masking, keep the number of points you're using in mind. Be sure to set the stopwatch on your timelines. Your mask path is saved. And also be sure to save your work a lot. In fact, we're going to do that right now. It's Dave. And remember our handy dandy project Boulder. We already made. I'm just gonna name this and they were getting good to go. All right. In the next video, we will go over rotoscoping, which is another technique for masking 6. 6 Masking with Rotoscoping: Okay, so in the last video we covered how to mask using the pen tool in this video, we'll go over how to mask using the road, a brush tool that comes with after effects. Now which technique you use is completely up to you. I just want to give you some options, so we're going to use the clip of the grip, shock and hands for this example. So we're going to click and drag this into a comp. And again, we only need five seconds. So I'm going to trim this up in order to use the road a brush click on the icon up here in the mini bar or hit Option W on Mac or all W on PC, Then double click on your footage. It's going to open a layer window, and you can see your mouse icon has turned this into this green duct. Now, a couple of things before we start, you can change the size of this brush by holding down command on Mac or control on PC, and then click and drag your mouse. We'll see now the default will be this green tool to add to the mast area to get this red tool to get this red tool to remove space, use Ault drag on windows or option drag on a Mac. To start, you just need to click and drag on top of the footage like this, and just keep doing that until you have the whole area that you want. Mast wrote. A scope. Then you'll be able to see back in your palm that its mast here tricky thing about this is that sometimes it doesn't quite know where you especially like right here where there isn't quite enough contrast. So you have tow, use the negative tool toe. Put that back now. The tricky thing about this tool is that it's great until it's not so. You need to go frame by frame and check the rotoscoping because sometimes he forgets what it's doing, like here. And then you need to actually go in and where you go to school, Pless you like. Remember how we want this but masked great good line? No, For the most part, it's pretty good about finding the edges, but in some cases you're gonna have to get really granular with edits. You hear so small. Another tunes section but there you have it. Mast out. So again, the technique you choose, it's up to you. And sometimes it depends on the project orders. Personal preference both requires some time invested from. But then you have this beautifully mass calm to work with. In the next video, we'll go over how to use your mass layers to get your double exposure effect. 7. 7 Matte Layers: So now that you have masked footage or images, you are ready to create a double exposure array. We're going to be using something called Matt Layers to achieve this effect. A mat layer is essentially an invisible layer that controls the opacity of the layer that's directly beneath it in your workspace. That definition is going to make more sense in just a minute here. First thing you want to do is if you don't see a track matte column down here, come down here and click on toggle switches modes and you'll see a pop up right here. So in this first composition, we want the trees to kind of take over the silhouette of this girl. So we're going to put the mask Earl on top of this trees layer. Then we're going to go to the track matte and click on the drop down menu and select Alfa Matt Girl flowers. This is basically saying I want you the trees layer to use this layer above you as Matt meeting today. It only showed you the silhouette of where the girl is pretty simple right now for this last comp, I've mask both pieces of footage the mountains and this guy in the horizon, and I want to kind of split him and have the mountains be one side of him. But I don't just want a straight edge. I think I want to be kind of jagged, like the mountains. So I'm going to rotate the mountains and line up where I want the jacket edge to be. And then I want to make sure my mountains are on top and then select Alfa inverted Matt. So instead of telling the layer below, you shall only show it's overlapping. It's going to say wherever we overlap, don't show that. Now you've got this weird extra footage over here that isn't being covered. One easy way to get rid of this is a mask on the main footage layer, so you can create this by selecting the footage, grabbing the shape tool or hitting Q. And then just mask out this part of the footage and then to complete this look, bring in the mountains layer again. So just click and drag this competition and position it where you want it. Now for the last project, you actually don't need any map layers. You could just use masks and blend modes. So what I can do here is say this guard there's this mode that you can play with right here , which, if you're familiar from Photoshopped or Illustrator, these are the same kind of blend modes and something like this. You kind of just start playing around with different looks and see what looks good. That's actually kind of interesting. So deterministic with that, if you hit t, you could bring up capacity and kind of change how this one's and school appear to talk, and then you can kind of see that you have this like hard edge. I don't really like that. So if this selected, I'm going to come here to my shape. You see, we have sex and then create a last here and then well down the path clear. And I'm gonna father this and it inverted so that it is cutting out this part of the footage and even just gonna play around with it and see what starts look good. Tom, we had a followed behind it. So this is where you can start playing around with really like the look and feel that we talked about earlier you know, like, do you want this to be really bright and sunny? This kind of feels a little bit glum. Gear. So how do you kind of bring those elements? And so you just can't keep playing around with it, So that covers how to technically create the double exposure effect. Now, if you want to take it to the next level in the next video, I'll show you how to make the examples that we use for this tutorial a little bit more dynamic and put together. 8. 8 Dynamics: So, as I'm sure you saw in the project overview that the final product that I had was this which looks very different from this right, which also looks very different from this and this. So how do we achieve those looks? I'm gonna walk you through how a ultimately got to this finished product. Okay, so we'll start with our image takeover com first, and I know that there's no right or wrong way to do this. This is just a stylistic preference. And just to kind of bring a little bit more interest to your project. So I'm just gonna start playing around with this and can narrate what I'm doing. So first things first thing you wanna add a solid background to this so you can just right click and great new solid. And I think I want to go with something white in super high contrast from that down here. Okay. I think that this background looks a little bit dark to me, so I'm gonna go over here and type in loom itri color clicking dragon onto our trees. This is kind of a catch. All for different photo correction or footage. Correction. You can do So I'm gonna go into curves, bump up the brightness a little bit greening. Since it's kind of Foresti, it's, like, kind of messed around with it. Um, again, there's no right or wrong way to do this. Kind of just like, what? Looks cool. What looks interesting. So Okay, that looks pretty nice. Um, been hit t to bring up the opacity here. Kind of tone this down a little bit. No, I think that this is pretty interesting. This image takeover fact we got here, But I really like the girl's face. And I like the details clothing. I think that it brings a little bit of interest to it. So I'm gonna duplicate this layer by going coming and d and turning this back on. Remember, this is still our alpha. This is our that. So that's we don't change it. And you see what's tribal Demetri over on her, too. Wound? Can I just changed some stuff up, make you know I want to be cooler. Change this mm like that, and then duplicate for again and actually bring it. Meet the trees. She's obsessed. Okay. No, it's a passive down. So she's like coming through a little bit moment do like this. But I feel like keeping you See her face here with the trees are gonna select our trees layer and then come up here to shapes and just put a mask like progressively feather This so that there's no have minds that Yeah, I'm not what you kind of like see her face a little bit more. I'm also gonna add another solid. I'm gonna make this one darker. Look, one thing you can always Teoh I thought too aggressive is Do have been met and always make your complicate a little bit of that service or another mask. The project of mass. Really, Father. This that you won't want to be, like scuba obvious. No, I feel like that. Like this coming over here. Shadow over there. We're just playing help. Most people. All right. Um, the one thing I think I want to do is actually grab some articles. And I love adding a little bit of, like, organic movement to my compositions. So I'm gonna grab this, Just drag it Dragon in here in the news. I've been yet, and obviously this is not OK, so we're gonna change the blend mode. Maybe go, uh, soften business could change the capacity if you want. It's well, I just kind of gives it, like a nice flurry, a little bit of movement, you know, else. Now, if you don't, you could definitely be okay with you know, this white space. If it if you don't like that, you can also do our trees. They're bringing dad here. I don't have to do. Oh, this is like our original trees footage you asked on the scale. Really feel it up from then on capacity. So it's a it's super subtle, but then you kind of get, you know, it's like bringing in the trees were former. It's incorporating background. Any definite dust particles kind of like brings it all together just really subtle. But it just have a little bit of interested local copies. Repent brings it all together. Okay, so I think that once in a good place, I like that moving on. Okay. For this next one image on image comp, I thought it might be more helpful if I kind of broke down how I got to this and result because a lot of this is just kind of playing around with layers, manipulating pieces of footage. So here is the end result. Now I added a light gray background, and you'll see that I actually have the original footage. The city and steam haven't duplicated, so one has very, very light capacity. It's only 5% and I haven't moving very slowly across screen, and that's to create kind of this parallax effect. So there's the other one. So one is kind of staying stagnant, and the other one is moving slightly faster than the other one. You can see this one. Is it full pastie? Totally normal blend mode, and I just added a mask of top. You see what that looks like? So really hard edges right at in a mask, really feathered it out and then added this on top. So it's the exact same landscape, but it just looks more dynamic now, right? And then I also added particles that this one again super low capacity, you can barely tell that it's there. But it's all about several details. And then lastly, the part that we wrote a scope hands Munchak have it moving in from the side when you're like one mode and it's about 2% opacity, so that's barely there. But it kind of has this, like industrial kind of really feel to it. So actually, like a really super simple composition compared to the girl with the flowers and trees and background. And so just illustrating that it doesn't have to be really complicated to get something that's really interesting, all right. Going to do the same thing with this hot out, double exposure effects. So again, this is actually pretty simple to do. I just kind of committed Teoh having this look of, like, kind of like a dark, almost English feel. So we in the previous videos, you know, we cut out this jagged edge from this guy and then use the mountains to kind of fill in the empty space. All I did here was I went into each one of these. Constant added an adjustment layer and you could do that by right clicking new adjustment layer. And then I just clicked and dragged a black and white and limit tree color on top of it. And you can grab these from three stocks over here. So black and white lumet tree down here and all this does is exactly what you think you might do is exist black and white and then kind of made the contrast a little made this a little bit broader and then I did the same thing with mountains, made it black and wait and then kind of bumped of the brightness a little bit. And then in the actual calm, something similar to the girl with the flowers added is in green and blue ink footage, which again, kind of just like give it a little bit of movement in the background, got a layer back here. It just kind of softens it all up. And then instead of doing a total vigna on the whole thing, I actually added this solid and you could see the mask is actually this box right here. And I had to just move down as the comp went on. So I kind of just gradually gets a little bit darker, so you know, nothing too crazy. But you get a pretty cool effect here. And in the next video, we'll talk about how to export your final project 9. 9 Rendering: So when you're all done with your project, it's time to export its even. Share it in the project tab, so make sure you're in the composition you want to export, then go to file export and click adobe Media Encoder Que. Now you can also just use the add a render queue. I personally like the encoder, because then I can keep working on other things in after effects. If use the render queue, you can't navigate anywhere else. Well, it's rendering, but the sittings are pretty similar, so if you click on the preset, it will open up your settings. You'll want to export in H 0.264 format, and you can click on the output name to change the name and where it's being saved. Update the dimensions here, etcetera and then hit OK, and then if you enter, it will start rendering and that's it. You will be able to view your magnificent double exposure project in just a few moments. 10. 10 Thank you!: So that's it. Now you know how to create a double exposure effect in after effects. Thanks so much for sticking through to the end. Digital high five. All of you. Whenever you're done with your project, please post in the projects tab. We would all love to see what you came up with. And if you post on social, be sure to tag me at Sloppy Joe and I'll give you, like, if you have any questions, feel free to post them on the community tab. And if you like the course, please leave me a review and shared with any friends that you think might also enjoy it. Go ahead and follow me on steel shares. So you receive any updates to this course or any new courses I post again. Thank you so much for taking this course. I hope you had fun and that you enjoy incorporating this effect into your projects. Do you? Next time