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PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?

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Marc Thomas
PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 8, 2010 at 9:12:16 pm

Hi, I'm using "pixel polly" for a Shattering effect on a title at the beginning of a short film (a camera and a light producing text shadows is involved)... I was wondering if there's a way to get the text shadows to react to the "pixel polly" effect as well?

Right now the text breaks apart, but the shadows stay intact even when the text is no longer on the screen.

To be clear, I'd like to use the Shatterize effect on text that is casting shadows so as to have the shadows Shatterize along with the text... is this possible?

Thanks,

Marc


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Dave LaRonde
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 8, 2010 at 9:14:17 pm

Try putting the text in a precomp, and applying the effect to the text, within the precomp. Don't apply it to the precomp layer in the main comp.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Marc Thomas
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 8, 2010 at 9:27:45 pm

Wow, that was a fast response Dave!

Here's the thing, I made a few 3D layers over video so that a title comes down from above and sits on a table (3D layer over the table so the title's shadow is cast on the top of the table).

If I precompose the title without the layers, then there's no shadows on the furniture. And if I precompose with the layers... then the layers show up in the main comp (filled in with white). Then if I change the value of the precomp to "multiply", I can't see the titles anymore.

It seems that whatever I try, there's a new problem.

I hope you can help me solve this.

Thanks again,

Marc



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Walter Soyka
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 8, 2010 at 9:38:25 pm

[Marc Thomas] "To be clear, I'd like to use the Shatterize effect on text that is casting shadows so as to have the shadows Shatterize along with the text... is this possible? "

CC Pixel Polly's 3D space is separate from (but related to) the After Effects 3D space. You'll never get true 3D shadows from it, because as far as AE is concerned, it's a 2.5D layer.

Dave's suggestion should let you fake it with 2.5D shadows, which is about the best you will get from AE. Don't forget to promote the precomp to 3D.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Marc Thomas
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 8, 2010 at 9:58:11 pm

Thanks Walter, I'll definitely try it... but I'm a little confused about how to make the shadows "2.5D"?

Marc


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Walter Soyka
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 9, 2010 at 11:52:47 am

[Marc Thomas] "how to make the shadows "2.5D"? "

Apologies if I'm needlessly overcomplicating this -- unless the effect is very, very slow, I doubt that any viewer would ever notice. Just for clarity, what I was referring by 2.5D is this:

After Effects doesn't think in true 3D; everything in After Effects is two-and-a-half dimensional. You can position a 2D layer anywhere in 3D space and rotate it in 3 dimensions, but everything AE works with is a flat plane with no depth, like a sheet of paper or a playing card.

When it shatters something, CC Pixel Polly gives the illusion of three dimensions, but as you swing the camera around, you see that it's really a flat plane that exists in 3D space. This is the "2.5D" I was referring to.

In this case, if you precomp everything, you can position the precomp in 3D space, and you can have it cast shadows, but it will be a 2D plane in 3D space that's casting the shadow; particles will not cast shadows on each other, and there will be no difference between the shadow from a "foreground" particle and a "background" particle, because to AE, there is no difference in Z-depth.

I'll also note that some effects like Shatter and many of the Trapcode plugins work around this 2.5D limitation by rendering a 3D perspective within their 2D layer of what the composition's camera would see in a true 3D environment.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Marc Thomas
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 16, 2010 at 11:52:59 pm

Ahh ok, thanks Walter. Makes sense now.

I gave up on the "Shatterize" idea because I couldn't get the shadows to react to the effect even when precomposed. I tried for days but I had to give up.

PROBLEM #2

Now that the title is sitting on the table top casting shadows, I created a mask for when someone walks in front of the text...

The mask works fine, but as the person moves in front of the text, there's no shadow from the text until a piece of the letter(s) is exposed... so there's no shadow, then BANG, the shadow pops up.

Is there a way that I can have the shadows visible when they should be, as opposed to being visible ONLY when the text is visible?

Thanks,

Marc


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Marc Thomas
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 17, 2010 at 5:07:03 am

Figured it out:

Duplicate text layer
accept shadows "only" on new text layer (mask on 3D layer)
accept shadows "off" on original text layer (mask letters here)

*Phewww


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Walter Soyka
Re: PIXEL POLLY on text casting shadows?
on Jun 17, 2010 at 1:11:19 pm

Thanks for posting back with your solution!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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