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Shadows appear before objects in 3d projected shadows!

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Brian LynnShadows appear before objects in 3d projected shadows!
by on Sep 17, 2009 at 12:49:56 am

I have a project where I've created a brushed aluminum background in Photoshop and then used the same background to cut out some words from the aluminum.

In AfterEffects I have imported both graphic elements and started a new comp. I have set each layer to 3d, added a light, and a camera. I have offset the cutout text layer on the Z axis so it "floats" over the full background.

I am using the light to create a drop shadow that separates the text from its identical background, animating the light a bit to give a dramatic movement to the shadow itself.

I am animating the Z axis position of the text as well...

The effect is a plain solid aluminum background that looks like it cuts out some letters, they move closer to the camera, and their shadows move across the background further separating the text from its background...

The problem I am having is even when both layers are on the same Z position you can still partially see the text!

I have almost fixed this by animating the opacity and starting the text closer to the camera to sort of simulate the float... the problem I am having is the shadow created by the text onto the background appears way ahead of the text itself. This gives away the gag! I was hoping to find some clues on how I might approach this differently, or possibly animate the shadows on and off...

I could pre-render the text shadow and use it as a different layer but I have a TON of these to do and I was hoping to avoid that step...



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