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Reflecting objects onto one another in Z space

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Eric Nicastro
Reflecting objects onto one another in Z space
on Dec 22, 2010 at 5:35:24 pm

I'm guessing the answer to this will be to use a 3D tool, but I don't have access to one, only Afters Effects CS5.

I have two layers of text flying through Z space, one in front of another until they meet at a common point with one layer higher on the Y axis than the other. What I want to do is reflect the text in the front, onto the text behind it. I of course followed the route of using lights and enabling reflections, but that didn't work. Is this doable in After Effects CS5 and how of a degree of difficulty is it?

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Reflecting objects onto one another in Z space
on Dec 22, 2010 at 7:22:00 pm

There is no such thing as real reflections in After Effects without 3rd party plugins or somewhat complicated setups, but it is sorta possible. There is certainly no "reflection" setting you can turn on. If you're talking about the specular setting in the material options, that is only referring to its reaction to lights in the scene.

You might try faking it by duplicating your reflecting layer and your to-be-reflected (TBR) layer and using the reflecting layer as a track matte for a repositioned version of the TBR layer. Besides moving the TBR layer, you'll need to change its blending mode.

With a bit of work, you might get away with it.

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