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Duration: 0 minutes 3 seconds


Compositing in After Effects is in many ways very similar to working in Photoshop. If you are familiar with layers, masks, blending modes and/or filters, compositing in After Effects should be a breeze.

Click here to go to Part 1

Step 5: Importing Footage

Open After Effects. Press Ctrl+I for Windows or Cmd+I on the Mac to import the render passes. Navigate to correct folder and select all files by pressing Ctrl+A/Cmd+A. Make sure to check the box called Multiple Sequences. Then press Open (Fig.01).

Fig. 01

After Effects is now going to ask you whether the Targa files are premultiplied or not. As we checked the premultiplied box when outputting the files from 3ds Max, they are indeed. We didn't set any background color in Max and so it should be black, which is the default. As a result, we'll choose Premultiplied - Matted With Color and make sure that colour is set to back which is the default in After Effects (Fig.02).

Fig. 02

As you are importing four image sequences, you'll be asked the same question four times. Answer Premultiplied - Matted With Color every time.

Step 6: Layers & Blending Modes

Now that the footage has been added, you need to drag it down to the time line. Start with your main pass, in my case "city{0000-0100}" and scrub to a place in the time line where you are able to see both the city and the sky (Fig,03).

Fig. 03

To add a bit more light and a hint of global illumination, we'll add the occlusion pass next. This pass goes above the main pass (Fig.04).

Fig. 04

To see the main pass through the occlusion pass, we need to change the blending mode for the occlusion pass from Normal to Soft Light (Fig.05).

Fig. 05

You might need to press the middle button in the lower left corner to get to the blending mode options (Fig.06).

Fig. 06

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