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Kevin Pedersen
rounded rectangles
on Aug 13, 2011 at 9:19:40 am

hey all

im working on a project where i have to create a row of rectangles with rounded edges. On one of the sides i have to be able to play images or video back. All sides has to have a gradient. Also i need to be able to move the camera around them.
I've tried the 3d square tutorial in after effects but that only appears to me to be working with hard edge squares.
I've been looking around the internet to find some inspiration but nothing so far. Any ideas on how i create this?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 13, 2011 at 3:16:06 pm

Kevin -

Do you mean you want video mapped on one side of each rectangle and a gradient on the "back" side? If so, I would suggest either using two rectangles, then spacing them 1 or 2 pixels appart, and parenting the positions, so that they animated together (if you're animating them). Using the shape tool will get you the rounded rectangles:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS21FE7A70-CDA2-432f-A5E0-0FF2...

Another possibility would be to use the Card Dance plugin, which allows you to specify what is mapped on the front and back of each rectangle, although I don't think you can have rounded rectangles.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Kevin Pedersen
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 13, 2011 at 3:47:01 pm

hey joe
Thank you for the reply. Im not sure that you got my description right so i've upload a rough of what i have done so far. Remember it has to be rectangles with rounded edges with gradient on all sides







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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 13, 2011 at 8:33:35 pm

Ahhh...rectangular solids! I'll have to think about this one. Thanks for clarifying it.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Brian Charles
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 13, 2011 at 9:44:37 pm

If you really want rounded 3D shapes you will need a 3D app or a plug-in like Zaxwerks Invigorator http://www.zaxwerks.com/invigorator_pro/index.shtml

On its own After Effects is not capable of anything but 3D rectangles.



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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 14, 2011 at 4:48:47 pm

Brian is right - I've been thinking about a workaround which might use angled rectangles to cut the curve of the corners, but it would be more work than it's worth.

If you can sit tight for a bit, Video Copilot is just about to release Element 3D, an affordable plugin which looks as if it will put real 3D capability into AE, including 3D text, shapes, and other features which aren't yet being discussed:

http://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2011/07/first-look-at-new-plug-in-element-...

Short of Zaxwerks, which I don't like because of it's limited shading capabilities (it just looks flat (Phong) to me, even with custom reflection maps), I would take a hard look at Element 3D when it comes out this month. Of course, you're probably on a deadline, and maybe can't wait for it, but I'm going crazy for this to release (and I own and use 3DS Max 2011). For projects which beg for 3D, but don't have the full 3D budget, this will be killer! (by the way - I have no affiliation with Video Copilot, but I love their Optical Flares lensflare plugin, and other tools for AE).

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Kevin Pedersen
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 14, 2011 at 4:58:23 pm

thank you very much guys. I've been digging deeper into my problem and gotten sugestions that cinema 4d, blender might hold a solution. But that means a new program/language to learn which is over budgetting the problem :-)
I'll think of another way of doing the illustration needed for the project and then wait for videocopilot for there products. They have a way of making learning simple and entertaining :-)


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: rounded rectangles
on Aug 14, 2011 at 6:46:04 pm

Yeah, Kevin -

Any "real" 3D package has a big learning curve associated with it. That's just the nature of the beast. I've been working with Max for over 8 years, and I'd say I probably know maybe 20 percent of its' features.

Finding another way to do what you're trying to accomplis is always a good thing. There's never any one right way to accomplish a visual concept, and coming up with new ones expands our creativity. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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