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Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow

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Jenny ZhangRamp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 1:50:10 am

I've got a comp with 3 layers with 3D shapes stacked close to each other. The top layers cast shadows on the lower ones. Since 3D shapes apparently don't play well with built-in gradients, I used a Ramp effect to build add a gradient the shapes.

Worked super for the top layer, but if I add the ramp effect to the second or third layer, the cast shadow from the light source disappears. The appropriate "accepts shadows"/"casts shadows" boxes are still checked, and the shadow comes back if I disable the effect.

Do ramps do something funky to the surface of the 3D object so that the shadow can't be cast? Am I doing something wrong? How else can I get a 3D object with a gradient that still accepts shadows?

Totally new to AE, be gentle.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 2:04:03 am

[Jenny Zhang] "Do ramps do something funky to the surface of the 3D object so that the shadow can't be cast?"

Only if the layer with the Ramp effect or any other effect is a nested comp.

If you haven't sorted this out then provide a screencap JPG of your Timeline and Comp Panels.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Jenny ZhangRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 2:17:25 am

Comp/timeline (I hope this is what you meant!)

Ramp applied to just the first layer

Ramp applied to all 3

Thanks for your help.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 3:01:06 am

Looks like I need some re-training myself! ;-) I just ran a quick test and your description of the issue is accurate in that ANY effect applied to 3D layers disaffect 3D interaction. Shadows don't appear and 3D intersections appear incorrect with layers that are within the affected vicinity - ie within range of the shadows and layer intersection(s).

For your case, the Shape Layers' Gradient should sort things out for you. What specific issues are you facing with this workflow?

BTW, if you're new to AE, you're going to hit a lot of walls. I suggest that you look at purchasing the Creating Motion Graphics After Effects.

The COW's AE tutorials by Andrew Devis are good too.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Jenny ZhangRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 3:08:38 am

Well, it's good to know I'm not missing something blindingly obvious at least, haha.

Adding a gradient to a 3D shape didn't seem to change the colour in any way at all, and after a little bit of googling I found this help file which says that gradient fills and gradient strokes are not supported on 3D layers a all.

Thanks for the tutorial recommendations! The COW forum archives themselves have been awesome for digging up answers to esoteric issues.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 3:27:36 am

[Jenny Zhang] "Adding a gradient to a 3D shape didn't seem to change the colour in any way at all, and after a little bit of googling I found this help file which says that gradient fills and gradient strokes are not supported on 3D layers a all."

Hi Jenny, unfirtunately you've misread the info in the link that you provided. That page hones in on extruded Shape Layers. Only 3D Shape and Text Layers can be extruded and only with AE CS6.

However 3D layers (non-extruded) are possible for all visual layers. In your case, from the screencaps you've provided, your 3D Shape Layers are not extruded. If they were, the Geometry Options property will be available in the Timeline. Of course you would first have to enable the Ray-traced 3D engine.

So, you should be fine with the Gradient Fill operator for a Shape Layer.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Walter SoykaRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 14, 2012 at 5:57:06 am

[Roland R. Kahlenberg] "I just ran a quick test and your description of the issue is accurate in that ANY effect applied to 3D layers disaffect 3D interaction."

Continuously rasterized layers like text and shape layers show this behavior. Regular rasterized layers like solids and images do not.

As with many such issues in Ae, ham-fisted precomping can achieve the desired result.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Ramp on 3D object removes cast shadow
by on Nov 15, 2012 at 5:41:22 am

[Walter Soyka] "Regular rasterized layers like solids and images do not."

Yup! I was expecting Shape & Text Layers with effects to restrict 3D interaction between other affected 3D layers - like how a 2D Layer or a Collapsed Transformation nested comp would.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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