Video Tutorials [ScreenCasts]

Kickstart Video Brands Online Forums Help Desk FotoForm Video Tutorials [ScreenCasts]

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This topic contains 42 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  David Hawkins 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #55739

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    I’ve heard from some customers that it can be quite difficult to get started with FotoForm so this screencast thread should hopefully help. If there’s something you don’t understand, please be as specific as possible and I’ll find time to record a quick screencast video to show you step-by-step.

    Bookmark this page for updates!

    #55744

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    FotoForm ScreenCast:
    Complete Video Walk-Through [Time-Lapse] – Watch at 1/2 speed on YouTube to slow video down.

    UPDATE: Download the demo project for this video here so you can follow along!

    TRANSCRIPT:
    Hello, and welcome to this commentary on the complete FotoForming process; a double speed tutorial which you can slow down in the YouTube player to 1/4 or 1/2 speed.

    So let’s get started right from the beginning!

    We’re going to extract our ZIP file to a folder of our choice, and double-click the C3D version of FotoForm over the RT version. You can read why in the HELP folder within your ZIP file.

    Inside of After Effects we’re carried through the basics of FotoForm, before launching into Photoshop where we can prepare our photos for animation.

    On loading, you’ll see some condensed written documentation in the form of two layers, which you’re welcome to read at your convenience.

    Next, we’re ready to drag in our photo to the template, as well as the optional FotoForm Guides Colour template that you can access in the downloads section of the forum.

    After dragging them both into the FotoForm Template, we can tap ‘B’ on our keyboard to select the paint tool, and select coloured layers within the FotoForm_Guides folder to help us discern between layers before zooming in, and carefully cutting the separate layers for animation.

    For more simple 2 and 3 layer FotoForms you may want to consider skipping this colouring process, as you might be able to discern between layers up close, without different colours applied. This mountain template, for example, could perhaps be split up without colouring, because there are only two FG layers, and one BG layer. Even zoomed in, it’s relatively easy to identify the separate layers. But given that this is a training video, it serves as an example that can guide you through your first basic projects as you learn the process, as well as future projects as you increase the number of layers.

    Consider the Manhattan FotoForm you saw in the trailer, which would have been very difficult to cut up without some colour guides.

    So once done, we can tap ‘W’ on our keyboard to select the Quick Selection tool, and follow the onscreen key taps in the video, as the artwork is selected and isolated.

    You can see here that we’ve zoomed in on the artwork, and as you might imagine, 4, 5 and 6 layer photos may be quite difficult to cut efficiently when up close.

    With a clean selection of our first layer, we’re ready to click the “Select and Mask” command in the navigation menu for the paint tool, drop down on the “Output to” menu, and select “New Layer” and tap “Ok”.

    Then we’ll ensure we replace this layer with the associated placeholder below. In this case, number 01. It’s essential that this format is used, because these are the placeholders which are pulled into After Effects automatically.

    Now we’ll repeat the process for each additional layer in our artwork – renaming as 02, 03, 04 etc – until we reach the background.

    Layer 1 will become our background, and we’ll replace it with the BG placeholder before producing our CLEAN PLATE which will be the BG with the FG layers removed.

    When we’re ready, we’ll tap S on the keyboard to bring up the Clone Stamp Tool, and follow the onscreen prompts for controlling your selection.

    A word of advice: FotoForm allows you add a Depth of Field blur to the BG later, so it doesn’t need to be perfect!

    Basically what we’re doing here, is copying a pattern into the pastebin with the circular selection, and then applying that to another area of the canvas; altering the hardness of the brush to smooth the transitions between the stamps, and the original canvas.

    We’ll repeat the process for any FG layers that contain other FG layers.

    With that done, we’re ready to save the files to replace the placeholders, so that they’re pulled automatically into FotoForm later.

    We’ll delete the FotoForm_Guides before we use a script to save all layers in one simple process.

    We’ll dropdown on File > Export, and select the “Layers to Files…” command.

    We’ll ensure the filetype is PNG-24 to retain transparency, and confirm that “Trim Layers” is unchecked. The we’ll hit RUN, and all of those layers are going to be replaced, including our new artwork. Don’t worry about the FG layers you didn’t change as they can be manually disabled within FotoForm later.

    Now for After Effects! Upon opening you should see that the artwork updates automatically.

    The first practical step within After Effects is to setup our perspective. Using the EFFECT CONTROLS panel we can enable/disable the help, and begin using the other controls to conform the 3D space roughly to the scene observed in our photo.

    This is the space in which your selected camera moves around in, so be aware that making the scene too small may produce photo cutoffs where the camera moves beyond the assigned 3D space.

    Following that, we have the tessellation stage, which is easily the most difficult aspect of FotoForm. It’s where we create our 3D geometry for FG layers. It’s worth noting, however, that producing 3D geometry is optional. So consider enabling only one T-Map per layer to fully catch the projection in your first try. The default T-Maps catch 100% of your 4K layers to produce a flat 2D projection. It’s only when you shrink and rotate T-Maps that the surface area catching projections is reduced, and 3D geometry is made.

    Tessellation is highly flexible so you can have a lot of fun experimenting with making your FG objects 3D.

    Following tessellation we have camera selection, which is as simple as selecting a preset in the EFFECT CONTROLS! From experience, animating cameras is one of the hardest parts of photo animation, so when developing FotoForm I knew it was the most important part to get right.

    I recommend selecting different cameras and watching them in the following section. Advanced users can manipulate the keyframes in the TIMELINE below to fully control the animation.

    Lastly in CAMERA SELECTION we enable the camera shake by assigning values of 1 and 200 in the respective fields.

    Just note that the white fuzziness is not a problem, and it will be keyed out automatically in the final, full resolution render.

    Now for OFFSET, where we first disable the placeholder layers that weren’t edited earlier. Primarily, however, OFFSET is to allow us to refine the movement of FG layers in 3D space as the camera moves. To put it simply, this give us full control to ensure that all layers of our scene behave as realistically as possible.

    Follow the video to see what I mean.

    The last stage before rendering is applying FX. In this project we’re going to setup depth of field and add clouds, but there’s so much more you can experiment with.

    For depth of field, we keyframe a blur effect to TESSELLATION_COMP_01, TESSELLATION_COMP_02 and TESSELLATION_COMP_09 for the appropriate camera we selected. This corresponds to layer 1, layer 2 and the BG of our artwork.

    Applying FX is perhaps the most rewarding part of the FotoForming process! With 4 libraries, the best advice is to simply experiment. Push buttons and pull levers. They all work either with a checkbox or keyframeable values in the EFFECT CONTROLS, as shown in applying DOF and Clouds here.

    Last but not least, we are ready to hit that render button! You’ll see the toolbar disappear as we don’t want that seen in the final render, leaving just the 4K frame to watch your photo art come to life.

    Simply watch the video to see how to add your project to the queue and save it in the format you need.

    And that concludes this video overview.

    I’ll leave you by saying thank you for purchasing FotoForm, I hope this video was helpful, have fun creating your art, and feel free to let me know if you need anything else.

    Thank you.

    FotoForm ScreenCast:
    Getting Started In FotoForm

    #56063

    Rick
    Participant

    no audio ?

    #56064

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hey Rick!

    Correct, there was no audio on this one as I wanted it to be super quick and simple. If there’s something specific you have a question about, let me know.

    Best,
    Dave

    #56081

    mguerville
    Participant

    Is there any way you could post a video where you create one from start to finish. I’m not sure how long it would take to go from absolutely zero (copy the foto formfiles to the directory you want, open After Effect…) to the finished product (export from AE to a video file)

    I’m guessing it wouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes for a simple file with just 1 or 2 layers + background. And you could even go fast as youtube allows viewers to slow down the speed if needed

    I know personally I bought fotoform because it sounded like something I could use as a total beginner but in reality a total beginner in AE is totally at a loss what to do to even start (I’m tech savvy otherwise, but wow AE is another level…)

    #56085

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Mguerville,

    Yes, this is actually a good idea. I wanted to avoid long videos if I could help it, then wait for specific requests from the perspective of people new to AE to ensure all videos were very brief, to-the-point and relevant. Having said that, FotoForm is a little trickier for users than I had anticipated.

    Recording a time-lapse style video is a GREAT idea. We get the best of both worlds – good info, but not too boring. Also, the idea of selecting artwork with only a few layers is a good idea – maybe the Mountain demo?

    I’m on this. I’ll start from unzipping the original download and comb through the entire process. I’ll probably use FotoForm v1.2 [C3D] because it’s quicker but presents the same workflow. [v1.2 announcement here for others reading this.]

    Give me a couple of days. 🙂

    Regards,
    Dave

    #56089

    mguerville
    Participant

    Awesome, I look forward to it.

    #57001

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Brief update:

    Video should be published tomorrow. Recording has been finished but I want to add some captions to highlight certain things.

    Regards,
    Dave

    #57007

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Ok! New video up [see above]. If you’re a FotoForm customer, please make sure you submit for the latest version of FotoForm here.

    And thank you Mguerville for the idea of doing a fast video to keep it short. 🙂

    Wishing everyone a productive day,
    Dave

    #57034

    brin145
    Participant

    David,

    I purchased and previewed the software a few minutes ago. I am a novice AfterEffects user. I’ve used quite a few templates and thought I would be up to this skill level. I’m not so sure now. Are these two videos above the only tutorials or are there more?

    Thanks,
    Brinda

    #57035

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hey Brinda,

    Thank you so much for purchasing! These are the only videos thus far but I recommend the following:

    1. Enable all help overlays for each stage in the FotoForming process
    2. Watch the time-lapse at 1/2 speed on YouTube [even better, take notes, which will help to reinforce lessons]
    3. Use the forum to ask questions! Feel free to ask anything you want, I’m happy to help. You can create new threads also if you feel it’s an important aspect of the product that many users could benefit from. I will say though, it would help if you asked specific rather than vague questions/video requests as I can help you better with specificity!

    I made FotoForm as intuitive as I could to all learning levels for AE, but I know I haven’t covered all angles for beginners. I also designed the help overlays on the – perhaps flawed – premise that new users could benefit from a small nudge and then learn themselves. I’ve found that I learn best when I experiment myself.

    Ultimately, I set up the forum for transparent feedback and communication so feel free to make requests and say what’s on your mind. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Dave

    #57039

    brin145
    Participant

    Thanks, Dave. Yes, I’ll watch and follow along with the tutorial on half-speed. I’ll be sure to respond with specific questions as I have them!

    #57040

    fmedia
    Participant

    I started the FotoForm C3D. At Step 04_Photoshop I get a Expression-Error. I use AE in german. Same at the following steps.

    #57041

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Fmedia,

    Please send screencaps of every error and I’ll look into that for you.

    Thanks!
    Dave

    UPDATE:
    Screencap received, thanks.

    Ah yes, my expressions are not universal. 🙁

    I’ll look into this and see if I can fix this for you. Please give me a few days.

    Kind regards,
    Dave

    UPDATE 2: FotoForm Update [v1.2.4] available
    FotoForm now includes compatibility for all languages in After Effects. If you’re using an earlier version of FotoForm and would prefer your native tongue [German, Spanish etc], just submit the form at the following link and I’ll send you the latest version –
    http://3dmybusiness.com/fotoform-update-v1-2/

    Kind regards,
    Dave

    #57048

    bewe
    Participant

    Sorry. I’m unable using your videos. They are lacking important information. Who is able following the cursor? When you can add music you also can add audio explaining what you do.

    Just bought FotoForm 1.2.2 by the beginning of this week. Now I recognise there is a multilingual update 1.2.4, but the link provided leads to a form where I shall buy the latest update. Buy! Buy! Buy! What about delivering usable products?

    A slightly frustrated german user.

    #57052

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Bewe,

    Sorry for the confusion. Hopefully the following helps:

    1. I recommend playing back the video at 1/2 speed in the YouTube player. I state this in the video post above, “Complete Video Walk-Through [Time-Lapse] – Watch at 1/2 speed on YouTube to slow video down.” and also in the video itself near the beginning. I wanted to create an engaging video but I know I can’t view things from the same perspective as new users so please let me know of ways I could improve this for you.

    2. Buy, buy, buy? I’m not sure what you mean. The form is simply to confirm you’re a customer as there are unfortunately many people in the forum who gain access without having purchased the product. I’d love to offer the convenience of a simple download page but I need to protect the work I’ve done. Incidentally, if purchased through VideoHive you can simply re-download the item, but with deal sites, this is not possible I’m afraid.

    Apologies for the inconvenience but on your receipt there should be a purchase code/transaction-ID. Simply enter this into the form and I will send you the update. I would never double-charge for product updates.

    I’ve had other deal site customers submit this form for the update without issue. If you have any questions please let me know.

    Kind regards and sorry for the frustration,
    Dave

    UPDATE:
    Update Request Form page has been updated to state ‘free’ access upon order confirmation.

    #57063

    sknifton
    Participant

    wow. i’m writing off this purchase as a $25 lesson. i’m sure you’re comfortable with the workflow since you devised this — but for someone trying to make sense of this out of the box … it’s baffling. i’m pretty astute at photoshop, and very astute on after effects … and i can’t figure out what the hell to do with this app, or even where to start. you
    really need some help organizing your instructions. i can’t believe anyone can figure this out the way it’s laid out now.

    #57067

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hi Sknifton,

    I’ll split this reply into two parts:

    FEEDBACK

    Thanks for your feedback. Sorry you weren’t happy with FotoForm. If you have a moment, please explain what your expectations were coming in.

    On a scale of 1 – 10 what did you expect? [1 being a one-click PS Action, for instance. And 10 being the complex learning curve with a new Adobe product, for instance.]

    Also, in the same scale of 1 – 10, what do you believe you actually received?

    This would be super helpful for me to consider in future versions of FotoForm.

    MORE DETAIL

    AE does perhaps have a steeper learning curve than PS, but making FotoForm intuitive to use was the number one priority during development. This includes the workspace setup tutorial, custom UI and various one-click features like the pre-animated cameras and help overlays. These are features which weren’t strictly required for AE users with a basic understanding of AE tools and compositions.

    All other photo animators I used for AE during research required you keyframe your own cameras. They require a knowledge of keyframes where these are only optional in FotoForm – to give you an indication of how much more difficult photo animators were in AE.

    However, knowing some would find it more difficult than others, I also created a dedicated online forum for users to make requests and share their opinions transparently and publically, as you have done here – which is fair enough. 🙂

    To finish out here, this is a product catered to designers – people who are more open to learning new workflows/tools if it means it will create something unique and interesting. It is not for the person who wants a one-click solution to all, then done. Products that fit that description tend to be poorly made in my experience, or produce effects/looks which are quickly overused. FotoForm is a powerful product that can produce unique and eye-catching results, but you ultimately get out what you put in. I included everything that I would want myself as a designer/animator.

    If you have any specific questions I can help you out with, please let me know. I’ll be happy to help.

    Best,
    Dave

    #57071

    deanloh
    Participant

    I’m playing the YouTube screencast at half speed. Before I could get far I’m already stuck with this:

    Option what

    Can you tell me what command is it?

    #57072

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hey Dean,

    This shortcut is CTRL + ALT/OPTION. It changes the brush size for quick selection, clamp and other tools in PS. 🙂

    #57073

    deanloh
    Participant

    Thank you David for the speedy reply. If I may speak for the rest of the folks here, I think the problem we have is not whether your screencast is too fast or slow. It doesn’t matter if there no narration. But at the least you should refrain from using shortcut keys throughout, but show us exactly which tool you used (by moving your course to menu and show us what you clicked). Say for my case, there was no way I could guess the keys you have pressed was ctrl+alt and was it for…

    I’m quite good at making instructional videos. How about I make a proper tutorial videos for your product, every copy you sell, I get 40% commission? (But you need to first teach me how to use it)

    #57077

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the feedback, Dean! It’s a valid point, for sure. I’ll pass on the offer, thank you.

    #57078

    deanloh
    Participant

    I was just kidding about the commission part. But if you could read the underlying message, it may just take someone who will create some proper instructional videos to take your business away. So don’t let that happen.

    #57079

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Haha, thought so but you never know on the internets! 🙂 I’m hoping to find some time in the next month or so. I’ve added it to the list of stuff to possibly do. If you could link me to some of your past instructional videos I might consider a one-time payment for a good video. Do you have a decent mic/studio setup? Let me know what you’d charge at [email protected].

    Thanks!

    #57083

    deanloh
    Participant

    I was really kidding. I only make videos for my clients, mostly for showing them how to log in to their WordPress to perform typical content update (I’m a website builder). I hardly have time for sleep at the moment, let alone taking up gig for making videos…

    On the positive note, I think I’m getting the hang of your tool now. Can’t wait to show you what I will accomplish soon. Stay tuned!

    #57087

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Great to hear! 🙂

    #57102

    miho
    Participant

    Hey David!
    What an amazing job you did there! Well done!
    I downloaded yesterday and was shocked by the possibilities of your setup. On the other side I was totally unable to follow the steps the first three times I tried. The videos above help a lot, thanks for that! I’ll give it another try tomorrow. I am super excited to do the first ones soon … Cheerz from Austria!

    #57106

    David Hawkins
    Keymaster

    Hey Miho, thanks for your kind words! Yes, the objective from the very start was to create a tool that was adaptable and applicable to as many projects as possible – in this case, photos. The risk in that is losing some user-friendliness but I think we made the right choice in the end.

    Having said that, I’m aware there is a learning curve with a broad product like this. On one hand it’s fun for people who design for a living, but it can also be pretty daunting. If you have specific areas that you’re struggling with in the process, let me know and I’ll help you out. Don’t struggle alone. 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Dave

    #57110

    miho
    Participant

    A super fast workaround for PS users working with other languages:

    If you use PS in any different language it does not work properly in many scripts, actions or templates in general. But, there is a super fast insider trick:

    – open folder: Programs – Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 – Locales – de_DE – Support Files
    – There’s a file called ‘tw10428.dat’.
    – simply put any character in front of the file name, e.g.: ‘-tw10428.dat’
    – Now your PS CC starts in English 😉

    If you want it back to your original language just delete the character and re-open PS.

    #57114

    miho
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply, I totally want to use it and dive deeper and deeper into it. The learning curve is growing very slowly, but I am sure if I once got it I could not stop animating my pics anymore 😉

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