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Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects

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Roman Holtwick
Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 21, 2018 at 11:37:02 am

Hello folks!
This is my first post on this account, my old one was inaccessible and had a lot of outdated information in it too, so.... just for the record!

On topic:
For a bigger conceptual photo project involving light painting along with the neon look, I recently took a look at the app "Holographium". It allows you to type text and symbols which are then extruded and shown as cross sections over time, so you can paint these awesome holographic texts:





Since the app isn't updated anymore, nor are there any working similar apps (I'm on ios, assistants often have android, i searched both, nothing seems to work) I thought about how to recreate this myself. This would even give me a lot more control and possibilities!

I thought about creating some 3D stuff in AE (which I'm familiar with for special effects in live action and some animation for LED screens) and putting the rendered video on my smart phone or tablet. That would be perfect!

But how do I achieve this?
I positioned the camera in a 90° angle and flew through the extruded text I made as an example.This does NOT show cross sections (of course). I assume there is a very simple way to do this, something from the effects panel or so should be able to do the trick, right?

Thanks in advence everyone!


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 25, 2018 at 9:31:49 pm

Element 3d can definitely do that if youve got it?


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Roman Holtwick
Re: Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 26, 2018 at 1:36:45 am

I do have Element 3D!
But never used it for something like this.
How would you go about it? I only experimented with text in AE itself yet.

Also make sure to read the answer I posted to Steve above since there seems to be some major misunderstandings in what I want to do.

Thanks! :)


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Steve Bentley
Re: Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 26, 2018 at 5:16:52 am

Ok good that clears that up (we've made some LED sticks that do what I was describing, you wave them through the air and they create a still that just seems to hang there, so that's where my brain went).
I haven't played with booleans in Element 3D (I'm not even sure if it has them) but in C4D you would drag (animate) a "cutting" object through the object you want to slice, and both objects would be childed under a boolean object. Create a movie of every frame and voila, there's your growing or sliced cross section.
In your case, the cutting object could be a big cube with a slice out of it (a boolean in itself) so that the bulk of the cube makes the bulk of the other object disappear and only reveals the main text object's geometry in the slice.
The text object should be a shell object with wall thickness, otherwise the boolean is going to reveal a flat face at the cut point instead of an outline. (and a pure shell I don't think will show its edges as the faces techincally have no thickness). ONce you have a shell you can use the cloth tool to add thickness to the shell.
You might also be able to do this with a shader, but it would have to be a true 3D shader that goes all the way through the object. You could use the gradient shader available in each material (set to object space and 3d) to create a high contrast mask to revel the slice. I'm not sure if that gradient should be in the transparency channel or the alpha (the former I'm guessing) but it would depend on the shader.



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Kalleheikki Kannisto
Re: Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 26, 2018 at 7:30:00 am

In Element 3D you can use an animated texture with transparency to this effect. See attached. The blue text is not the effect, it is a reference layer that shows the position of the text. To see the effect, you need to preview. AE CC 2017, Element 3D V2.

12478_e3danimatedsweep.aep.zip

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 26, 2018 at 3:47:15 pm

you create 2 copies of element after you have your scene set up. then. on the top copy you go to camera settings in the element 3d tab and go to far and near cut off. adjust them so that you get only a slice of your 3d text in the middle. then make it a different texture lower the opacity and set blending mode to add..now you move your camera around and see that it makes a pretty good cross section


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Light Painting - show only cross sections of 3D objects for advanced light painting effects
on Jun 26, 2018 at 3:49:19 pm

you can even invert the geometry on the 2nd element layer so that we see the inside geometry of the object rather than the outside...You invert it inside the element 3d scene setup


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