Whew! Talk about a crash course in Keylight, Trapcode Form, Transparency, animating birds drawn in Illustrator, to merging two After Effects files into a single project, mixing audio in After Effects (which is grueling to non-existent), to using my newly-discovered "Fractal Noise" for some ground fog as well as more believable smoke effects, to figuring out how to use a Solid Layer and a Mask to create a shadow under my feet:
Today was quite exciting for me as I put together individual elements in the hopes of creating a rough template I can use sometime in the near-future for the documentary.
I know, I know, it's very rough and not entirely believable (or believable at all), but I still understand the rush that so many motion graphic artists must get from creating this kind of visual art!
As I mentioned yesterday, there will at least a couple of sequences of a Shaman either transforming into his or her Spirit Guide or simply dissolving into the air to reach the "Underworld or the "Spirit Realm" (depending on which culture we're referring to). Transformation is actually a key element of the Shamanic ritual, and this is why I'm focusing so much on transformation of one object into another. That, and Trapcode Form makes it just plain fun.
EXTRANEOUS INFO: The Shamanic transformation is accomplished through various means to enter altered states of consciousness, some of which include the trance dance of the San people, to the Peyote ritual of the American Indian, the ingestion of Amanita muscaria by the Siberian Reindeer people, the drinking of Ayahuasca by the Uno de Vegetal Church (which is now legal in the United States), and many others that don't necessarily involve the use of entheogens.
I'm determined to find a way to portray these kinds of transformations in a way that doesn't rely on the stereotype I've seen too many times in shows of the wavy lines and strange echoes. Tall order especially for a newbie-hack like myself, but that's also why I'm looking for a skilled motion graphics artist who can help out (paid motion graphics gig, of course).
Well, I'm off for now. Hope you enjoyed the crash course in Shamanism, and see you in 24.