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Text shadow x-axis

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Hamza AlSadr
Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 2, 2013 at 1:44:57 pm

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here and I really love this community and glad that I joined it.

I have a question; how can i make a shadow on text to make it look like its sitting on a plane thats invisible? image has an example.

My method was to create a white plane in 3d right under the text rotated in the x axis and let it accept shadows but not accept light and then turned that layer into multiply. And I pushed the background layer way back in the Z-axis so it doesnt disrupt the shadow.

This method seems to be working but I dont want to have to repeat it everytime I have a different set of text. Do i precompose the text layer with the light in it?

I also want ONLY the text to have a shadow.

Please help me out I need to finish this project as soon as possible.

Thank you!




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John Cuevas
Re: Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 2, 2013 at 5:29:54 pm

I would make a precomp with the text. Enable 3D, press AA and select Cast Shadows On, Accept Lights-off. Drop this into your final comp and enable the Collapse Transformations buttons(looks like a little sun). Now set up your infinite plane comp. When you need to make changes you just need to change the text in the precomp. Last press Cntl+K to make the background color the exact same color as your solid.

Here's a simple example project to illustrate the technique: 6468_precomptextcs5.5.aep.zip

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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Hamza AlSadr
Re: Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 2, 2013 at 6:47:14 pm

First of all your explanation plus the example is really a nice way of helping out. Thank you so much.

Second, can you explain to me whats Collapse transformations button and set up your infinite plane comp?

Your comp is exactly what I want, but I just wanna learn what I'm doing instead of just following rules.


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Hamza AlSadr
Re: Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 2, 2013 at 6:49:30 pm

Ah I see why you asked me to make the same background color.. but then my colors are gonna keep changing so how i can change it everytime?


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John Cuevas
Re: Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 2, 2013 at 8:06:27 pm

Can you explain to me whats Collapse transformations button and set up your infinite plane comp?

Collapse transformations allows you to set up precompositions, but when you press the collapse transformations button, instead of giving you a flat layer---it brings forward all the transformations in the precomp. For instance you could set up 2 objects in 3D space rotating around each other, drop them into a new comp and they will retain there 3D infomation. Then you could move both images together as a single layer in the final comp.

In your case I used collapse transformations so that we could enable 3D and have it cast shadows in the final composition. If you turn off collapse transformations, the layer would be 2d and wouldn't cast shadows.

Adobe Help Collapse Transformations

Tutorial explaining Collapse Transformations

Because you wanted to be able to change the color all at once I updated the project. I added another solid to project and placed it at the bottom of the layer stack(IN MY EXAMPLE I have multiple solids, turn them off and on to see how it works). In the shadow-floor layer, I turned Cast Shadows to "ONLY". Now the floor is invisible except the shadow. So whatever layer you are using for your bkg will create your infinite plane.

Look at my new example project: 6469_precomptextcs5.5v2.aep.zip

Finally if you are new to AE and really want to learn, I strongly suggest you check out the links and info here(in part 4 there are links to great free online tutorials to learn the fundamentals of AE): Getting started with After Effects (CS4, CS5, CS5.5, CS6, & CC)

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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Hamza AlSadr
Re: Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 4, 2013 at 8:17:51 am

thank you for the thorough guide. are there any other methods is that the only way?


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John Cuevas
Re: Text shadow x-axis
on Sep 6, 2013 at 11:05:31 am

There maybe other methods, but I can't think of a quicker or easier approach to what you are trying to do.

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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