How to move foreground objects forward and the background backward in one picture? I would like to recreate something similar like this in gif video. I use Adobe Aftereffects 2022. I do notice that the effects used only two pics on those two scenes but I didn't know how they were able to move foreground objects forward and the background backward in their picture. I never knew they were possible.

How can I do it? A simple example would suffice.



2 Answers 2


You can do this in After Effects and Photoshop.

Bring the original image into After Effects.

Duplicate the layer.

Name one 'foreground' and the other 'background'

Hide the background layer for now.

Isolate the foreground layer. This can be achieved using a number of different tools: Use rotobrush to isolate the foreground layer, or a mask around it manually, or use Photoshop to isolate it (eg using the Quick Selection or Object Selection tool).

Hide your foreground layer, and un-hide the background layer, so you can work on the background.

Use the same mask inverted to isolate the background layer, by inverting the mask or matte you used to create the foreground layer.

Use Content Aware Fill (either in Photoshop or in After Effects) to fill in the gaps inside where the foreground layer was. It doesn't matter if it doesn't look perfect, as most of it won't be seen.

Enable both layers.

Use keyframing on the Scale variable to slowly enlarge the foreground.

Do the same on the background layer, but start with it slightly larger than 100% and slowly reduce it in size.

Isolate some colours, on the foreground or background using the Lumetri plugin - the tools you need are in the 'HSL Secondary' controls. Keyframe the saturation in the Secondary controls to zero, then slowly increase to 100% over time.


I would call this parallax-dolly-in effect, (you can combine it with Ken Burns)

Let me make an illustrated quick tutorial.

1. Take your photo (A) and make a version without the background (B). There are new AI tools to remove complex objects.

enter image description here

2. Now you can add both layers into actually almost any video editing software. You do not need AE.

Animate the scale of the transparent layer as you want. One important thing is to define the center of the element (green cross) (C) so the object remains covering the original location.

enter image description here

3. If the center of the animation is not working, for example, you have two people, and the "zooming" reveals the previous persons or objects, (like the hair in this example)

enter image description here

you need to retouch the background. Use some content-aware removal tool on Ps or the clone tool to "remove" the objects (D) if your software is primitive (like mine).

enter image description here

4. Now you can zoom with the center on a more natural-looking location (E). Keeping the center at "the center" makes the dolly in effect more natural.

enter image description here

enter image description here

You can add "drama" also animating some blurriness when the planes move away, (but that is more software specific) n_n

You can also animate the background, it does not need to stay at 100% scale.

You can also play with the panning instead of scaling or using both. Zooming & Panning is the Ken Burns variation.

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