Watch this still photo brought to life. Read the PicDrift breakdown below to see how it was made.
PHOTO CREDIT: @ch808_shoots
PicDrift Artist Breakdown:
What makes this animation really work, besides the great subject and the composition, is the movement of the birds. So, I knew I had to spread the birds out in a way to completely surround the girl from every direction. The goal was to emphasize the motion of the birds coupled with the camera move.
After I cut out all of the individual elements into separate layers in Photoshop, I imported everything in After Effects. I created a new camera and turned all of the layers in 3D and spread them in Z-axes to create depth. But, unlike other animations, where I usually have no more than 5 - 6 layers, in this animation, I had to decide where to put all the birds. And not only that, I also had to animate the birds flying in that way to stay on the screen as long as they possible during the camera move. I decided on a "push-in" move, which made the most sense, considering the composition of the photo. I used a puppet tool to animate the wings, which made the birds flying more believable.
I placed a couple of birds way back, more of them in the middle where the girl was, and also a couple of them close to the camera, to get the best parallax effect possible. After a couple of trial and errors, we decided on the final placement of the birds, and added one directly in front of the camera, so we could use it to make a reveal.
The only thing left to do was to spice it up with the lens flare acting as the sun and a bunch of water droplets frozen in the air using 3D particle generator plug-in.