After Effects and Element 3D tutorial
Do remote control Fidget Spinners exist? Who knows? It’s easy to imagine NASA developing one in their secret laboratories, but since you are reading this on a website dedicated to special effects, you can probably guess that reality is different. 🙂
You need three things for this effect. The first is dexterity. On the original footage, when the camera zooms out from the table the Fidget Spinner is no longer there, because the camera man snatched it. Once you are aware of this trick it is very easy to notice that the toy disappears from the screen for a few seconds. This is why it happens.
The second element is the fantastic Camera Tracker of After Effects. It’s unbelievable how easy the controls are. It literally takes only a few clicks and it automatically models camera movement. After that you can place any 3D layer into the scene and the virtual camera will follow it the same way as a camera man would on the original footage.
Last but not least is a nice little plugin for After Effects, called Element 3D by VideoCopilot. If you have spent a lot of time creating special effects you definitely met this plugin. If not, get it ASAP. The plugin enables the use of 3D models with lots of options and lifelike effects. So the Fidget Spinner itself was created with 3D models. Similar models are all over the internet. You just need to look them up on google.
This is it in a nutshell. The details are in the video. And of course it goes without saying that you can do a lot more with this technique. Almost any kind of object can be placed into a movie this way.