ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

3D rings

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
kim bui
3D rings
on Nov 14, 2017 at 9:26:06 pm

I've been searching high and low on the internet for something that helps and I think I've reach the point where I have no idea where else to go.

I created an animation in After Effect where it's basically my company's logo (well part of it) and a few rings rotating around it.

Reference picture: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ozcp9xh8fs5q5yq/Capture.PNG?dl=0

It looks really cool as is, but I think it'll look even better if the rings themselves weren't flat. How can I make the rings look like a 3D object where it's a rounded ring? Best comparison I can think of is the rings that Sonic always grabs in the games:

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/sonic/images/0/01/Ring_SatSR.png/revisi...

Thanks for your help!


Return to posts index

Richard Garabedain
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 14, 2017 at 9:50:04 pm

Really...you must not have tried very hard,...there is element 3d...not to mention the faux 3d technigue of stacking layers..Or heck you can Even just change the COMP SETTINGS to RAY TRACE...and extrude some geometry


Return to posts index

kim bui
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 14, 2017 at 9:56:22 pm

I obviously been looking under the wrong keywords since you make it sound so easy compared to this newbie. Now that I have a direction, I can search for those. I'm not sure what a ray trace is but not everyone can be an expert or know where to start to even look. We all gotta start somewhere. Thanks for your somewhat help.


Return to posts index


Kevin Camp
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 15, 2017 at 3:38:29 am

Element 3D is a third-party plugin from Video Copilot. Raytrace rendering is an option in the Comp settings that allows you make 3D objects in after Effects (vs the 2.5D, flat layers in 3D space). The layer stacking method is taking several flat 2.5D layer and offsetting them slightly so they seem like a solid 3D shape.

The ring shape in your example is called a torus, Element 3D should be able to create that shape. I don't know that AE's Retrace options can do it. Layer stacking wouldn't work well for that shape.

After Effects is also bundled with Cinema 4D lite, it can create a torus and would also be a good option, though learning C4D and AE and the way they integrate is a little daunting -- they are not very similar and the integration isn't exactly intuitive. but there are tutorials :)

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


Return to posts index

kim bee
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 15, 2017 at 3:34:03 pm

Thank you for your answer! I appreciate it! You mentioned Cinema 4D is integrated with After Effect. I found it in the effects panel but it says "no cinema 4d file detected". I haven't had a chance to look up what I can do to avoid that (just got into work :)), but you did give a clearer path to follow.

I am up for the challenge of learning something new after I get over that first hurdle. And now that I know what the 3d ring is called, it should make things a bit easier to figure out (hopefully). Thanks so much!


Return to posts index

Kevin Camp
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 15, 2017 at 5:39:39 pm

[kim bee] "I found it in the effects panel but it says "no cinema 4d file detected"."

That's part of the non-intuitive relationship between C4D and AE... You have to launch C4D from AE. Open AE and then choose file>new>Maxon Cinema 4D file... that will create the C4D file within AE and launch Cinema 4D.

To create a torus in C4D, you can simply choose it from the built-in platonic shapes... in the row of icons at the top, click and hold the blue cube icon to show the available platonic objects and select the torus.

to see how the integration works, simply save that C4D file, go back to Ae and drag the C4D file int he project window to a new comp, and you'll see the torus in AE. if you make any changes in C4D and save it, it will update in AE.

that's the basics, but you'll want to learn more basics of C4D particularly texturing, lighting and animating... all of that will need to be done in C4D.

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


Return to posts index


kim bee
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 15, 2017 at 7:45:21 pm

I figured that all out after a little Googling and then ending up on Lydia. But thank you for the walkthrough. ☺ I'm sure it will help others also since the forums I initially found were unanswered. I've been watching some tutorials and as I learn more about it, I managed to adjust the torus (which is a really weird word btw) to how I want it. I'm sure eventually I'll get to the part on how to do all that keyframe I intend to do for it.

A question though, do the expressions on AE work the same way on C4D? Can I use the expression on AE for the torus itself to rotate around an object in C4D? I noticed that when adjust the composition of the C4D file in AE, it acts like a 2d layer which defeats the purpose of building it in C4D. I'm trying out different things to see what works and I'm starting to understand the integration little by little.


Return to posts index

Kevin Camp
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:25:38 pm

i don't know if you can do expressions in C4D.... you will have to do your animation in C4D (as you found out).

if you can live without the torus, you can make a 3D ring in AE (the difference being a torus has a circular cross-section and a ring had a rectangular one).

in the comp settings, goto the 3D render tab and set it to either raytrace or cinema 4d (if you have an nvidia gpu, raytrace may be faster, if not definitely use the cinema 4d option).

create a circle with the shape tool and set the color as needed (don't use black, at least not for now). then from the 'add' menu to the right of 'contents' for the shape layer, choose 'elipse' to add another circle to that shape layer. then, from the same 'add' menu select merge paths. in the merge paths settings, set the mode to subtract.

to extrude that ring, make the shape layer 3D. since you've changed the render engine to be a 3D engine, you'll have geometry and material options as properties for that layer. in the geometry options, increase the extrusion depth. to better see the extrusion rotate the shape on it's x or y axis.

if you are using an expression for rotation, you can likely use the same expression on that extruded shape layer.

you need to add some lights to get shading on the ring, and reflections can be difficult (it will only reflect other 3d layers, and i don't know of an easy way to create a 'sky' object for reflections).

Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


Return to posts index

kim bee
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 15, 2017 at 11:40:12 pm

For now that will do while I learn the C4D program.

I managed to get it to look like a really thin wedding ring where the angles are more angular than rounded if that makes sense. Is there a way to make it look slightly more like a torus by rounding the edges a bit? Lighting was never my strongest point but I think I got it in a good spot for at least one of the rings.

Again, I really appreciate your advice and help on this. :)


Return to posts index


Kevin Camp
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 18, 2017 at 1:39:33 am
Last Edited By Kevin Camp on Nov 18, 2017 at 1:43:12 am

you can actually make a torus (or pretty close). you'll have to make the ellipse paths nearly the same size, then set the bevel style for the ring to 'convex' and the extrusion to zero. then increase the bevel depth and you'l get a very torus-like shape (in my testing it looks just like a torus, but you may find some imperfections).

--- edit ---

one issue with this method, is 10 is the maximum bevel size, so that will limit the thickness of the ring quite a bit.


Kevin Camp
Art Director
KCPQ, KZJO & KRCW


Return to posts index

kim bee
Re: 3D rings
on Nov 20, 2017 at 4:34:04 pm

You are genius. This will do nicely. This newbie truly appreciates your help. Thank you so much. ☺


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]