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not the usual reflection question...honest

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andrew donaldsonnot the usual reflection question...honest
by on Dec 11, 2011 at 4:15:35 pm

Hey peeps,

I'll try to make this short and sweet.

Im making a promo for an iPad product and Im creating some graphics with the iPad floating around in 3D space showing all its lovely features, etc.

My question is that to cast a 'fake' reflection on the 3D floor i would usually duplicate the item, flip it on its y axis add some feathery blurry masking and hey presto. done.
But this time the iPad will be slightly off floor level, moving at different heights from the floor and sometimes rotating from portrait to landscape (thus being on a different edge and a different distance from my fake floor).

I know Andrew Kramer has an old plugin, but that really just keeps the reflection right up next to the text/layer.

Does that make sense? Im sure there's a way of not having to keyframe the distance of the iPad's reflection.

Thanks for your help guys!

AECS5 OSX Leopard, etc, etc.

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: not the usual reflection question...honest
by on Dec 11, 2011 at 6:15:28 pm

I think this is a point where you need to learn Expressions. It might be as simple as pick-whipping the position of iPad reflection to its' hero version, while reversing the position in space. This will not give you true reflection, because (of course) angle of incidence equals angle of reflection.

My guess is that you want something that looks right, not necessarily real. I think if you read up just a bit on expressions, you could pretty quickly put one together that does the trick. Here's a good place to start:

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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andrew donaldsonRe: not the usual reflection question...honest
by on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:33:54 am

Thanks for all your help and suggestions guys!

Joseph, that video on Adobe TV was almost exactly what i was looking for and it has defo helped me out of a hole.
-On a side note, for an offical Adobe tutorial style video it was pretty poorly done! Although i learned what i needed, i would have though Adobe would have at least invested in some screen capture software, which they might even make themselves..?!!

Anyway, back on point!

Thanks alot for your help, and for anyone looking for something slightly more reallistic than the old y-axis flip trick I'd defo try this!

Thanks again, i love the cow!

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Erik WaluskaRe: not the usual reflection question...honest
by on Dec 11, 2011 at 6:29:02 pm

You might also try to just pre-comp the ipad animation and then duplicate that pre-comp in your main comp and do the standard flip and feather reflection treatment. That way the moves all match and the feathering/transparency of the reflection will be consistent.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: not the usual reflection question...honest
by on Dec 11, 2011 at 8:24:12 pm

Here are a couple of plugins that will do that for you:

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Darby EdelenRe: not the usual reflection question...honest
by on Dec 12, 2011 at 7:02:13 am

If all of the AE animation you want to reflect is done in real AE 3D then you're in luck: this is super easy.

Do all of the 3D animation of your objects (except the camera!) in one composition with a 3D "floor" layer rotated 90° on the x-axis at the center of the comp. Set this floor layer to be a "Guide Layer" (right clicking the layer is the easiest way to do this). This floor layer is just a guide, so that you know where your reflective floor will be in the final composition. You shouldn't move your objects below the floor layer unless you want some weird funky results in the final comp.

Once you've finished your 3D animation, put 2 copies of this pre-comp in the final composition, set them both to 3D layers and turn the collapse transformations switches on. Now open the scale property of one copy of the pre-comp and set the Y-Scale to -100%.

Boom, reflections.

The reflection will respond correctly to camera movements. You can add effects to the reflection layer. I often use a Tint effect to reduce the saturation and Levels effect to bring down highlights a bit or shift the gamma in the reflection.

You can even use Compound Blur and Set Matte to fake blurry falloff reflections (I can expand on that if you want). I sometimes even use a Displacement Map effect to simulate a bumpy/textured floor.

Darby Edelen

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