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How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects

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aaron jacob willmanHow do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 13, 2010 at 10:23:25 pm

Hi everybodies.

I'm sure we all know about Photoshop and Illustrator having these great built-in 3D beveling now...my problem is, this having been the first time I ever used illustrator to create a 3D object, how do I get it to look 3D after I import it into After Effects? the file looks right upon putting it into the timeline... I have taken all the steps in AE: Importing it as cropped layers, placement of a camera layer, etc... but it still looks like a 2D flat image that's able to be manipulated in 3D! Am I doing something wrong in the export of the Illustrator file? Or, is this just something that doesn't translate between Illustrator an AE?


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Joey ForemanRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 13, 2010 at 11:04:10 pm

It doesn't have anything to do with improper translation between the apps. Illustrator creates flat vector artwork. AE has no way of knowing that you want to "extrude" those letters into 3d space. In fact, AE doesn't even do 3d extrusions. It's not a 3d program.
Its "3d" is fake. Some call it 2.5d. You can manipulate it within pseudo 3d space, but nothing in AE will give it actual depth.
Now there are plug-ins such as Zaxwerks 3d Invigorator which does do 3d extrusions within AE.

http://zaxwerks.com/invigorator_pro/index.shtml

You can fake a 3d extrusion by duplicating the text layer several times and offsetting it in the z direction, but, there are limitations. You can also hack the Shatter effect, and get decent results. Creative Cow guru Aahron Rabinowitz has a video tutorial on how to do both of these.

http://cowcast.creativecow.net/after_effects/episodes/3D_Text_POD_iPod_Lo.m...

The most effective (though far from the easiest) way to make real 3d text would be to use a dedicated 3d program. One of these is free- Blender, an open source 3d animation program. But put on your climbing gear...it's a steep learning curve.

http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/

Good Luck.


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aaron jacob willmanRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 14, 2010 at 1:31:54 am

you know, on my way to work, I thought the exact same thing you said... that AI is not a 3D program. I'm going to give C4D a spin and see if I can wrap my head around it.

thanks!


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Joey ForemanRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 14, 2010 at 1:46:55 am

Okay, but that's a really expensive investment just for 3d text.
Like I said, Blender's free, and 3d invigorator's $250.


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aaron jacob willmanRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 14, 2010 at 5:18:34 am

Yeah, that's a very expensive program for just 3D text. I'm currently broke, so even 250$ is a steep investment. I think I'll go with Blender for 3D text and simple Logos.


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Joey ForemanRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 14, 2010 at 6:54:54 am

I'm just going to go out on a limb and say this:

I think the look of 3d text is pretty much dated these days. It just sort of has this inherent cheesiness wherein its supposed to look as though it was built out of real material like a monument. And that sort of die-cast metal shimmering in outer space is just as bad. And it completely calls attention to itself like hey look at me i'm TEXT.

I think audiences these days expect text to simply convey information. Sure there are ways to stylize it so it integrates well with the surrounding graphics.

But I think the 3d look has had its day, really, unless maybe it's some kind of big, bold sports-y thing, and, even then...

Just something to think about before you invest all the time needed with Blender just to get down the fundamentals (several weeks, if not months) to pull off something this simple, and IMHO, outmoded.

Not that I don't think every motion graphic designer should have at least some basic 3d chops.

I'm just saying...3d text gags...so 1983.









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Antony BuonomoRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 14, 2010 at 11:01:46 am

Absolutely agree. Avoid when possible.

A



Vertigo Productions

http://www.vertigo.co.uk


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aaron jacob willmanRe: How do I get an illustrator's 3D image to be 3D in Affter Effects
by on Feb 14, 2010 at 8:40:58 pm

I agree. But I also think that in today's "one-must-do-the-work-of-twenty" workforce, not to have some 3D in your skill set is death.

Being a *real* 3D animator takes YEARS to perfect. I know guys I went to school with that do this stuff for a living and they had to really work at it to get it to look... "not terrible."


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