Workflow for creating parallax


I have a comp where the foreground clip is a static tripod shot of two talents talking in front of a window. I’m filling the window now with a blurred nighttime cityscape clip. The final comp render was gong to replace the original clip in After Effects where I’ had already added camera movement using Sapphire S_Shake on top of the static tripod clip.

Im realizing now that to add more realism, I’ll need to have some parallax going on with the cityscape background, since I’ve added some small camera pans, etc with S_Shake, so I was wondering if there’s any particular known workflow to use as a starting point to create realistic parallax?

Can/should I do this in Silhouette?
Is parallax motion simply generated if I push the Z coordinate of the cityscape fairly far away from my foreground Z, and then any panning movement i add on top would have parallax automatically because of the Z-offset?

Or is parallax created using some expressions in AE to move the background in the x, y directions as a percentage relative to the S_Shake movement or?

Lastly, if it’s recommended that I do this all in my Silhouette comp, is there a way I can pull the camera motion data I already had created using S_Shake in After Effects and use it in Silhouette, rather than trying to match the motion visually?

Thanks for any help on this!!

Most people make parallax with divided layers of detail on 3D cards and use a tracked camera. Or they 2D animate some cheats. If using 2D cheats, comp it anywhere, if using 3D your mileage is going to vary and you’d probably really want something more along the lines of Nuke or similar.

Ah ok thanks for info Mary. The 3D card route sounds like a good choice for me to try out first in AE.

Just wanted to confirm, would the x,y movement of Sapphire S_Shake allow for parallax if I apply it to my foreground/talent layer and I have my background cityscape layer offset in the Z-direction?

Or would I actually need to do my x,y movements with a Camera in a AE in order to see parallax movement?

Thanks for any additional help on this!

You need to use the camera.

Ok, so to use the exact x,y bobbling motion of the S_Shake in AE, the only way I can think of is to place a copy the S_Shake from my foreground layer onto a layer that just has a giant dot on it, then use Mocha Pro to track the movement of the dot and export the inverse movement so that I could lasso my AE camera’s x, y to the Mocha tracking data.

Does this make sense? Is there an alternative way to get the S_Shake movement onto the AE camera?

Thank you!

S_Shake is a 2D effect, so you’d need it on the final frame.

Hi Mary, I tried this out might be useful.

Cool, thank you, glad you found a solution and I hope it helps someone else on our forums.

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