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Does 3D act as 3D in AE?

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Olly Lawer
Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 12:10:41 pm

I understand that AE is not true 3D. Meaning that although you can animate text in 3D, it has no inherent depth.

I understand there are plug-ins (please recommend) that you can buy to allow you to use true 3D text in AE.

I'm guessing that, for example, if we had a 3D chair modelled in 3D Max we could bring it into AE and pan around it in true 3D with camera and/or position tools of the object?

Olly Lawer


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John Cuevas
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 4:33:45 pm

Andrew David did some tutorials for the Cow about the various methods extruding text in AE, including one where he discusses the powerful zaxwerks plugin. Zaxwerks can actually take 3d objects from other programs and import them into AE, you can then use the AE camera with the objects. But if you were going that route you might as well animate the object in 3D Max, use the plugin Max2AE and bring the camera data into AE.

Mettle has a couple of great plugins for extrusion in AE, Shapeshifter and Freeform(the basic version comes free with AE).

Finally CS6 will be able to fully extrude and ray trace shapes and text!!!!

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Olly Lawer
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 4:40:40 pm

Great. I'll take a look thanks.

So is this possible with what you talked about: http://vimeo.com/m/37462638

Olly Lawer


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John Cuevas
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 5:04:24 pm

You could build that in AE - probably pretty easy when the CS6 version comes out. The simplest way to build something like that would be to create it all in a 3D app, but there are different approaches to accomplishing something like that.

You could build the text document in illustrator, save it as an .AI file and bring it into zaxwerks and animate in AE. Zaxwerks probably would be overkill, it includes a lot of extra features(bevels and multiple materials that wouldn't be necessary to create that video.)

Or build the entire thing in AE in a precomp and then use Shapeshifter to extrude it. Check out the tutorials and previews over at Mettle, it's a pretty cool plugin.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Olly Lawer
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 28, 2012 at 5:06:21 pm

Brill. Thanks!

Olly Lawer


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 2:39:12 pm

If you plan to use ShapeShifter AE from Mettle you can build your text in a precomp and then extrude the precomp using SSAE. This way you can easily change the design of your text (especially in a project like the one you posted as an example).

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Olly Lawer
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 2:47:13 pm

Cool thank you!

I see that AE CS6 is due out in early May and does all the things Shape Shifter does (correct me if I am wrong!).

Be be wise to upgrade instead?

Olly Lawer


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Does 3D act as 3D in AE?
on Apr 29, 2012 at 3:01:56 pm

As any new technology, there's a slow start with 3d text in AE. The raytracing is awesome and there's great things to come, but unless you have a killer nvidia card and perhaps a iofx card, I would not count on using that for heavy duty 3d text projects where the client wants everything done yesterday.
SSAE is currently much faster and you can get away with a lot using the right reflection maps and glows, especially if you work in 32bit.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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