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Slicing animated 3D object

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Marc LehmanSlicing animated 3D object
by on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:27:15 pm

Hi,
I have a 3D cube that spins in a comp (created by lining up 6 solids in 3d space).

What I want to do is view it in 10 different z-depth slices (imagine an MRI).

I can't seem to come up with a solution. My initial thought was to make a 3D black solid and use it to bisect the shape, which works for the first slice, but I can't see through the first chunk to get a second slice. I need a way to mask off the first chunk to get the second slice, third slice, etc.

Thoughts anyone?
Thanks!


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Slicing animated 3D object
by on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:44:17 pm

the easiest way would be to use a 3d app to create your cube and slice it there. For animation in AE you could export the slices as individual objects, bring them in AE using Zaxwerks Invigorator Pro and animate them there by linking each object/slice to a 3d AE layer.
A more complicated solution would be to build all your slices using 3d layers positioned in AE 3d space - basically a "box" for each slice.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Kevin CampRe: Slicing animated 3D object
by on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:59:00 pm

you don't have any boolean functions in ae, where you could set one shape to remove part of another. it's not really a 3d modeling app.

you could create your cube 10 different slices. maybe try creating a shallow box where your top, bottom, left and right sides would be 1/10 the current depth. pre-comp that then duplicate that pre-comp 9x in the project window so you have 10 separate comps. bring those into a new comp, check the collapse transformations options for each layer and distribute them in z-space (you'll need to do that manually, ae's distribute is xy only).

now you should be able to set the opacity of each slice pre-comp as needed.

you can add the front and back solids in the appropriate pre-comp, or in main comp as separate layers.

to get control over the cube in the main comp (so it can move/scale/rotate as one, you can parent the precomps to a 3d null (also, enable 3d transforms for the precomps).

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Marc LehmanRe: Slicing animated 3D object
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 4:52:40 pm

I uploaded a video of slice #1 doing my strategy of bisecting the shape with a black solid. It works but only for the first slice. http://reels.creativecow.net/film/demo-of-slice-1

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how creating the slices first could work, since the box will be spinning and rotating.


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Kevin CampRe: Slicing animated 3D object
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:07:34 pm

you really won't be able to do this in ae... i'm not sure that you'd be able to do it in zaxwerks pro-animator or invigorator either (but i'm no expert with zax).

you could do this with a true 3d modeling app (like c4d for instance)... you'd have your tumbling cube and then another static rectangle performing a boolean operation to remove the portion of the cube where the 2 intersect.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Marc LehmanRe: Slicing animated 3D object
by on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:33:24 pm

Thanks Kevin,
That's what I was thinking too. I guess it's about time I jump into true 3D


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