Rabbits Full of Magic

09 October 2008

 

Spooks Album Cover

Finishing the Spooks album cover was a fun experience because while I kept working on different designs in the back of my mind was always a problem with the 3D effect. See, there is little online about how to do 3D art. There are certainly some forums and websites and people have made some awesome freeware software that will combine two separate images into a single 3D image in a number of different styles. Along with the red-cyan thing there are methods involving sequential field swaps and polarized images and other tricks. But the standard red-cyan method, the one everyone knows from comic books and b horror movies, is the way to go unless you want to shell out some big bucks.

The main problem was creating it entirely in After Effects, from 2 dimensional images. You see this done alot in music videos and commercials these days because AE has an easy to use 3D mode that people call 2.5D, which basically means you can take 2 dimensional elements and position them in 3 dimensional space, sort of like making cardboard cutouts or a shadowbox or something. You make a composition, then duplicate it, then add a camera to each one, moving it slightly left one on and slightly right on the other. Pretend they are eyes. Finally, you make a 3rd composition with the two on top of each other and go to effects->perspective->3d glasses. Simple as that.

The problem is figuring out how far away to make the background, how far apart to make the two different camera, etc. Eventually I figured out that using drop shadows greatly increased the 3d effect. I always felt the background was too busy and abstract to be effective for a 3d effect until I created this spiral halftone from a photo of the old Die Slaughterhaus, which reminded me of one of the ideas we have for the video projections, of ghosts flying out of a spiral. No matter how far back in the Z axis I placed it, the background still didn't make the main ghost and text pop out. So I simply went in one of the compositions and moved it right a couple of times, which totally worked, meaning the more separated the images are the more in the distance they will seem when using anaglyph glasses. Also, doing this made it much more psychedelic when you are looking at it without the glasses.

The back cover was funny because Mark had come over with a little brush and some black ink to write out all the song titles and once we got that done we had no idea what to do really. The original idea was going to be a huge graveyard where all the song titles where written on the tombstones, but there just wasn't any time to do this and I had serious doubts about how to make it look right. I was playing around in Blender when I came up with this graveyard-looking Die Slaughterhaus logo with a skull and bat on it. Getting the right effect took 2 solid days of work, even after the damn thing was modeled and was a huge pain in the ass but I really like how it came out.

Now I just have to get together a good amount of psychedelic video stuff for the Halloween show. I already have a bunch of 3d films in my collection (Amityville Horror, Friday 13th, Jaws) and am working on some really wild looking stuff. It will be amazing!

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