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Figure 7.21 The displacement
map that I painted.
Fixing Displacement
to control this effect. Using subtle changes to the Max Horizontal
Displacement property, we can now animate the displacement. To
get the most out of this effect, I usually animate this property from
a small negative number to a small positive number. Figs. 7.22 and
7.23 show the extremes of the animation. I've actually exaggerated
these values a little so that the changes are obvious. This exaggera-
tion has caused some ugly distortion on the edges of my head. But
I personally allow a little bit of ugliness at the extremes (the lowest
negative and highest positive max displacement values) because
the ugliness will only be visible for one frame, but it will allow for a
wider range of movement.
Often, when you
create displacement
maps, you'll realize
after animating them that
they are “off” a little.
Remember that you can
re-edit these Photoshop
fi les to update the paint on
them, and you don't need
to adjust your After Effects
project at all. Simply open
up the folder containing
the original Photoshop
fi les (this will not work with
compositions, even if they
are created from PSD fi les),
right click on one of the
original Photoshop layer of
the updated document, and
select Reload Footage.
If the edges start to pull away from the sides, you can select the
Wrap Pixels Around option, which will copy the pixels from the
other side to fi ll in the gap. The results of this option aren't always
great (depending on the similarity of your edges), but they often
look better than not having it on.
The results here are fairly realistic and creepy. We've essen-
tially brought some life to this photo, and it didn't take long at
all. Through the skillful painting of our displacement map, we
avoided having to even make a selection, let alone cut up any
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