Game Development Reference
saturation, and other image properties in controller layers. That
makes this a very versatile effect.
So, what is this effect used for? Sometimes you just want to
disrupt pixels. Let's say you've got some footage of people on the
beach, and the director wants you to change that shot into a day-
for-night shot and also wants you to create a bonfi re next to the
people. We covered day-for-night shots in Chapter 6, and we'll cover
how to create fi re from scratch in Chapter 11. But what about the
distortions that are created in the air above a fi re? In this case, you
could use the Displacement Map effect to create those distortions.
I have a trick that I like to use Displacement Map for. You can
take a photo, paint a quick and rough displacement map, and
then use that to bring the photo to life—rotating the subject a
few degrees. This is great for quick cuts of photos. Years ago, Ken
Burns revolutionized documentary fi lmmaking by moving the
camera around photos, making them come alive. Years later, fi lm-
makers started putting the subjects of old photos on separate lay-
ers in Photoshop and panning around them with virtual cameras.
Using Displacement Map, however, you can add seemingly 3D
twists and turns.
To see this in action, open the Displacement Map.aep project
in the Chapter 7 folder. Go to the Chad displaced comp. There
is another comp in this project called displacement wave. This
comp will not be shown in the topic because the effect is diffi cult
to detect with still images. But you can use this for more practice
with the Displacement Map effect.
I've set this comp up already for you, for your ease of use. But
it's very important to set up Displacement Map jobs correctly or
else the effect might not work properly. So, let's warp on over to
Photoshop, where I created the map we'll be using to displace a
First, I started with a photo of myself (Fig. 7.20).
Next, I duplicated the layer, which you can do by using the
keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J(Win)/Cmd+J(Mac). Then I reduced the
Opacity value for the top layer to about 30% and locked it by press-
ing the padlock icon at the top of the Layers panel. We're going to
paint a displacement mask, and I want to use the top layer as a
reference, but I don't want to accidentally paint on it. Then on the
bottom layer, I paint with black and white according to the depth
of the image or its proximity to the camera. For example, my nose
is the object that is closest to the camera, so it is pure white. The
green background is the object farthest from the camera, so it is
pure black. All the other depths are painted accordingly. Notice
how, in Fig. 7.21, my eyes are darker than my cheeks, because they
are farther away from the camera than my cheeks are.
You might also notice in my displacement map, as seen in Fig.
7.21, that this is a terrible rendition of me. You might be wondering