3D Environments in After Effects

I had a few minutes to experiment with the new environment feature in After Effects CS6. This was just a quick attempt to composite a "3d" image using HDRI (High Dynamic Range Image) texture maps on top of 360-equirectangular video footage which is used to control reflections and lighting in AE. Keep in mind that the camera "moves" are just a 2.5d illusion – the physical camera never moved in the source footage, which was captured by a single, stationary camera array. Compare the original footage to the final result to see if you can figure out how the camera "moves" through dimensional space in After Effects. You notice it most visibly when the camera looks straight down at the people in the front of the stage (heavily distorted in the source footage). The text and soda can object were only added as visual reference points. Thanks to Stereo Total for providing the source footage.

Donation Box / Prototype

This is a quick prototype of the donation mechanism that will live next to my multi-touch table. This is where participants drop their donations when they engage with the test. The servo is a little jittery at the moment but this prototype is helping me work out some of the final design and engineering issues. I wired a rotary knob and a reset button so I can control the movements during testing. The final version will be controlled by the multi-touch table and a signal will be sent to the donation box to tilt the floor according to the outcome of the game. I'm planning to have all of the pieces laser cut so everything should move as smooth as silk when finished. The donation box will be divided down the middle – if you win, the floor of the donation box will tilt to drop your money into the “matched donations” side of the canister and if you lose, the floor will drop your money into the “unmatched donations” side.