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A control room with After Effects touch

There’s so much joy to use just learnt knowledge in practice, don’t you think? That’s why I got so excited working on this week’s challenge which was to record one or more short video clips and to use them in an e-learning project. Literally couple of weeks ago I worked on a few videos in After Effects so wanted to refresh my knowledge and have fun in the same time.

My idea was to show sort of ‘control room’ in my flat with monitors transmitting live what was going on in front of the house and in the garden so I shot two videos: one with a view on the road (with our recyclables already being collected – didn’t plan it!) and an empty garden (looking forward to the weekend and a yummy barbecue food).

I found a nice background with two monitors on a desk, so the main thing was to make the videos appear realistic on the screens. This is where the mighty After Effects helped me.

The videos weren’t the best quality, quite dark and shaky, so I had to:

  • use the Warp Stabilizer VFX to make it more stable

  • adjust brightness and contrast

Having my videos looking better I could focus on the background. Two masks (screen areas) were added to the image which was my top layer. Just under I put the videos.

The garden view was shown on the monitor on the right which is standing straight in front of you, so the only adjustment I had to make to the video was to scale it properly. The other monitor is turned so I couldn’t just place the road view video under it without any action as it would look unnatural. The layer had to be converted to a 3D layer so the video could be rotated on the y-axis.

The last touch was to put some subtle light reflections on both monitors in the corners. I’ve rendered the whole composition with Adobe Media Encoder but my .mp4 was over 70MB, so thanks to Handbrake I was able to reduce the file size to 4.5 MB. Job done.

(click the image to launch the project)

I was so pleased I learnt this AE trick couple of weeks ago – this challenge was perfect to use it.

So, here’s my own control room. Be aware – I’m watching you ;)

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