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Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape

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Jackison FalkreathCreating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on May 19, 2013 at 11:47:15 pm

I'm trying to make a wireframe landscape but I am very new to anything 3D.

What I'm looking for is like what you'd see in an old Blade Runner movie, or Star Wars: A new Hope or something.

The closest thing to it I could find to what I'm trying to achieve, would be the landscape grid that appears several times during the music video Zoom by the Last Dinosaurs. (0:09 Seconds.)

I've managed to get a really bad one going, it's not what I'm looking for. It is instead a grid with diagonal lines in each section.
I don't particularly need help in animating or making the grid glow, I just need some help in actually modelling it properly.

Thank you.

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John CuevasRe: Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on May 20, 2013 at 11:51:22 am

Not sure if there is a standard plugin that will accomplish that in AE, but it's easily doable with Trapcode Mir

Getting Started with MIR - part 2

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"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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Ollie InglisRe: Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on May 20, 2013 at 8:31:49 pm

Looks like this was created in Mir, or cinema 4d. There is a project file on this website for something similar which you can download and learn from called "potus 3012" or "narrow gultch". Hope this helps.

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Walter SoykaRe: Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on May 21, 2013 at 4:33:57 pm

Mir or Plexus would make this pretty straightforward; you could also do it with Form.

If you're using CS5 or CS5.5, you could use the bundled FreeForm in conjunction with Grid (though the results of the displacement will probably not be as sharp as generating with Mir/Plexus, unless you work very large and scale down). For other versions you'd have to purchase FreeForm separately.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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jb biaggiRe: Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on Jul 29, 2013 at 4:13:02 pm


I think Im trying to do the same thing as Jackson but I definitely don't find how to achieve that effect on AE with Trapcode Mir…

Well, I understood that with Mir I would not be able to get rid off that typical diagonal line which is inside each square, let's see this particularity as an enhanced grid effect.

So I downloaded example comps from Trapcode/Red Giant ( ) and started to play with a comp called techno/techno bend, but it's now two days I've been trying to find a way to keep the vertices visible but with a solid non-transparent background having exactly the same shape as the vertices. The idea is to keep this technical look effect given by the vertices but without the transparency of the polygons made by these vertices which can be confusing most of the time.

Here is a capture from this pre-made techno comp:

And here is a capture of the Red Giant Mir presentation video ( , on which it seems to be possible to keep the vertices visible on a same shape non-transparent background:

Does anyone have an idea how this "visible vertices on non-transparent background" effect was made possible on After Effects with Mir? Is the solution lying in a particular use of lights?

Many thanks in advance for your help,


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Harry FrankRe: Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on Aug 21, 2014 at 3:10:19 am

Sorry, I know this is very very late. But I just happened to stumble upon this.

To answer your question, that image was made of two passes of MIR with the settings duplicated between the two layers. However, I think this overlay feature (wireframe over phong) is in the upcoming version of MIR.

Harry J Frank
Product Evangelist | |

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andrew birdRe: Creating an 80's Wireframe 3D Landscape
by on Jan 27, 2015 at 9:46:24 pm

Never too late!

I have been wondering the same thing. I use Mir which is wonderful but the control is somewhat random.

Any advice on how to control 3D wireframe shapes and build a wireframe city which grows into life out of neon-wireframe lines as the camera tracks through? Sounds like a C4D or Modo thing already to me!

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