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Fake 3D Text - Problem ...

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David TunnellFake 3D Text - Problem ...
by on Mar 14, 2010 at 4:02:38 pm

I have been fighting with this for days and serching for answers.

How do I make this work?

I created a text comp, make the text a 3D layer and duplicate it. Then on the copy I add this expression to the position value+[0,0,index] and duplicate the copy say 20 times (this expression moves each copie back one pixel in Z space.) This makes text that appears 3D. Now,

I take that text into another comp. But alas, it looks flat, until I click the continuous raster/collapse transformation button. Once clicked it looks 3D. But now several other problems occur. The first layer of the text will often be misaligned with the copies, as if the first layer is moving back inZ space behid layer 2.

If you add a reflection using the standard duplicate, rotate, linear wipe technique, the copy gets misalligned and if I rotate the text comp, the reflection rotation changes? If I use AK's VC Reflect the rotation gets thrown off?


David Tunnell
TunnellVision Productions

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Alperen T. AyhanRe: Fake 3D Text - Problem ...
by on Mar 14, 2010 at 5:51:58 pm

let's take a look at this;
I hope this will be helpful..
After this vc reflection pl. looks great :)

Always cinema...

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Darby EdelenRe: Fake 3D Text - Problem ...
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 2:19:56 am

I can't recreate your problems. Are you using any layer styles (these break 3D sorting) or effects applied to the text pre-comp (applying effects to compositions with collapsed transformations behaves predictably, but probably not the way you'd expect)?

I can also tell you that linear wipe is the wrong thing to use in this scenario. When you collapse transformations on the text composition the angles in the linear wipe effect (and transform properties of all other effects applied to the layer) are no longer in layer space, but in composition space. So if you orbit the camera around the linear wipe will remain 'static.'

What I usually do is create a new 'Floor' solid, apply a radial gradient with white at the center of the layer, going out to black, make the layer 3D, set its lighting properties all to 'Off' (no shadows, no lights), pre-compose it, collapse transformations, make the pre-comp a 3D layer and rotate it 90° on the X-axis. Then apply Channel > Set Matte to the text reflection composition and use the 'Floor' composition's luminance as the matte. Bonus points: add a Blur & Sharpen > Compound Blur to the text reflection composition, point it to the 'Floor' composition, set it to 'invert' the blur to create a diffuse reflection.

I realize this is a complicated explanation that I've run through so I've attached a simple file that shows this setup.

Darby Edelen

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David TunnellRe: Fake 3D Text - Problem ...
by on Mar 16, 2010 at 1:40:56 pm


Thanks for the input. My problem was the collapse transformation button. That button gives me fits for a variety of reasons I won't go into here.

1 - Yes I would have effects applied to the main text layer. Usualy a bevel on the face copy and the back copy.

2 - Your method is very cool and elegant way of handling this.I love the way the refelection reacts to camera moves. I REALLY dig the use of the radial gradient for the floor.

3 - After much experimentation I came up with this method. I had two problems, one was getting the text reflection to work right. But, if I bring the text in to the main comp, duplicate it and rotate it 180 degrees, then instead of using the VC reflect or the linear wipe, I use a mask on the reflect copy and then feather the mask and lower the transparency, then when I parent the reflect copy to the original, the reflections stays perfectly no matter where you put it in space and no matter what the camera does

As a side note, you use light for color, if you make the floor and the text faces white, then key frame the light color, you get the the changes in color across the comp over time. Additionally, since the video in the example below on the screen is in a sub comp and then the "collapse Transformation" button is on for the video frame in the main comp, if you turn off "accept lights" just for the footage in the screen, it is not effected by the light in the main comp, that causes a cool effect.


David Tunnell
TunnellVision Productions

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