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Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity

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Bill Collins
Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 8, 2014 at 11:19:35 pm

Basically, I don't like how AE handles opacity for extruded shapes in Ray-traced mode, and I'm not sure there's an easy fix. I've searched the forums a bit for an answer, apologies if I missed something that's been said.

For example, I'm doing a pretty simple 3D text animation where each character rotates and fades in. Rather than each character fading in evenly, all facets fade in at the same rate, so that back faces can be seen until the characters reach full opacity. It's like the characters are made of glass. I'd much rather they fade up with the same occlusion that they'd have at full opacity, as if a black solid on top was fading away.

I realize there are ways to hack at this, using masks and whatnot, but it's a lot easier to incorporate as part of an animation or expression. Am I missing something, or is this a limitation of extruded objects? Is there indeed a way to change the way opacity works with these objects?

Thanks in advance.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 9, 2014 at 1:03:22 am

I'm having issues understanding what you wrote in your second para. I suggest that you rewrite it such that it is clear what you are currently achieving and what you intend to achieve.

Cheers
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

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Bill Collins
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 9, 2014 at 9:17:15 pm

Fair enough, my description could have been clearer. How about I just show?

Here's what I don't want:


Here's what I do want:


Obviously, I can pull this off by cheating (in this case just fading out a black solid) for each character, or some other barely-clever solution. But I'd rather find the elegant (and probably obvious to many of you) solution.

I dislike how the first example, made with a simple animation, makes the words render like increasingly opaque glass until it hits 100% opacity. In the second, it's like a solid object materializing before your eyes.

I hope this clears up my intentions.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 9, 2014 at 10:59:00 pm

Apply Text Animator Properties for Front Color, Side Color, Bevel Color and Back Color. Set all of them to black. Then animate y-rotation as you have done. Don't add the opacity Animator Prop.

Nest this into your final comp and set its Blending Mode to Screen or Multiply. You can even add Pixel Motion Blur or ReVIsionFX's RealSmart Motion Blur into the mix.

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Adobe After Effects CC ACE/ACI
Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor


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Bill Collins
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 10, 2014 at 12:59:13 am

Clever solution, but it doesn't seem to work in this case because this is a ray-traced comp. I'm using ray tracing so that I can use extrusion for text and other shapes. I could be missing something, but I've tried several different variations, nothing works.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 10, 2014 at 1:07:04 am
Last Edited By Roland R. Kahlenberg on Apr 10, 2014 at 1:12:09 am

It works here. What I've done is to achieve a fade in with each character looking like it's a full block/extruded object instead of seeing the 4 semi-transparent sides during the fade-in.

Which part exactly have you not been able to follow/execute, as per my suggestion in my last post? The workflow entails the following -

1) In a Ray-traced Render comp, create a text animator group for y-rotation & black color for each of the four sides. Animate the y-rotation to suit your needs and the colors such that the characters start with black as its color.
2) nest this comp into a comp set to Classic 3D Renderer
3) Apply Screen Blending Mode to the nested (Raytraced Comp).

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Adobe After Effects CC ACE/ACI
Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor


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Bill Collins
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 10, 2014 at 1:41:32 am

I should say right now - I'm using CS6, perhaps that is affecting things. I assumed this basic of an operation wouldn't change much going to CC, but I can't be sure.

So my initial error was that my main comp was inadvertently using a Custom Camera instead of Main Camera, making my sub-comp of the text animation not show up. Fixed that, my bad!

However, the blend mode still seems to be ignored. I have Continuously Rasterize OFF.

Assuming this solution does ultimately work, would it mean I would not be able to utilize the camera easily? Essentially, I'd be stuck with a 2D layer on top.

Perhaps what it all comes down to is that what I want to do simply doesn't work well with AE's ray-tracing mode.

I very much appreciate the advice, by the way.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 10, 2014 at 2:45:07 am

The innards of the Ray-traced Renderer today is very much identical to what it was when it was released.

Here's a CS6 AEP to show you what I've done -
http://www.broadcastGEMs.com/mediastreamer/bGEMs_Example_RayTracedComp_plus...

I used Calculations to use its internal Blending Mode to overcome the rendering order limitation of the conventional Blending Mode as the latter renders after effects are rendered. This ends with semi-transparency issues. With Calculations this issue is resolved.

I've also linked the camera in the two comps so that the text is very much a 3D layer. You may have to switch the linking direction to suit your needs based on which camera acts as the master.

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Adobe After Effects CC ACE/ACI
Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor


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Bill Collins
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 10, 2014 at 2:52:07 am

Wow, now that's above and beyond. Thanks man, great lesson!


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Extruded Text / Shapes & Opacity
on Apr 10, 2014 at 8:32:29 am

You're most welcome. Don't forget to increase the Ray-traced comp's anti-alias setting. You should also be aware now that once you nest a Ray-traced comp, you can treat it as any other layer and apply effects, mattes, blending modes etc.

HTH
RoRK
Latest AE Workshop - MoGraph Intensity - Shapes & Text

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Adobe After Effects CC ACE/ACI
Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor


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