Furthur work on shot 1 and 2 was completed yesterday, with the addition of smoke layers. I tried a new smoke technique using alpha layers in Photoshop which allows for more flexibility. Using this technique, you can axe out the black backings generated by the Clouds filter in PS. This means I can overlay the files directing in After Effects without additional filters. This change of technique was necessary given the clouds will be sitting on top of the artwork for these shots, rather than behind it. The clouds made a dramatic difference to the shot, though the look isn’t as “thick” on screen as I expected (or as visualised in the storyboards). If the clouds are much thicker they will look cartoonish, so the technique can be considered successful, even if the result is a happy mistake. To make the clouds a bit more realistic I used the eraser tool to punch some holes in the overlay graphic. When the clouds are placed over the top of the bright fields layer, stronger colour can be seen through these holes, giving the effect of dappled light on the paddocks. I had one slight glitch with this in that there is one hole that wasn’t subtle enough, which I just can’t find again and reshape. That’s what I get for generating random/natural patterns!
I also added in the opening dialogue text, which has worked exactly as planned, and padded out the bookends of the shots ready for transitions.