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Some advice would be dandy :)

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Chris WoodSome advice would be dandy :)
by on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:33:53 pm

Hi there, I'm doing a project at Uni, I'd like to know if anyone can point me in the right direction in regards to some idea I have.

I need to have three squares, and they need to have thickness, in the same scale as a coin (so they are wide and flat, but still have discernable thickness) I do not have any clue how to make 3D objects with depth in After Effects.

When these images rotate round on the X-axis, there needs to be a live (as in playing, not still) video that is on the flip side of the square, so I guess I could mask it, maybe? Or even just have the video 'hide' behind the square, inverted, and have it flip round with the square?

Finally, I want the squares to have a pretty high-quality frosted glass kind of look to them, so they will be translucent.

If anyone can help, that would be awesome. I will be googling to try and find the process of this myself, but of course any help is a blessing.

Thank you very much.
- Chris

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Some advice would be dandy :)
by on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:49:18 pm

What you're looking for can't be easily created in After Effects. AE is not a 3d program. It's gained a lot of useful psuedo-3d functionality over the past five versions, but it's still not real 3d.

That being said, you could create what you're looking for as far as squares with thickness and video on the opposite side. In more than one way.

If you don't want to use any third party plugins, you'll need to have a solid for the front, solids for the four sides, and a solid for the back. I would suggest putting a null object at the exact center and parenting the six pieces to it. That will make for much easier movement later.
Mask your video so that it's the size you want and parent it to the backside solid.

The frosted glass look is very tricky in AE. Since AE's not a 3d program, you won't have things like refraction available to you.
Here's a tutorial [link] that may prove helpful in giving you an idea of what's involved.

Now, you could use Zaxwerks 3d Invigorator and you'll actually have a decent 3d object.

You could also probably use Freeform which comes with CS5, but I haven't used it at all yet.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Eddy RoseRe: Some advice would be dandy :)
by on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:54:12 pm

goddamn beat me to it :P

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Eddy RoseRe: Some advice would be dandy :)
by on Feb 28, 2011 at 11:52:56 pm

first off lemme say this would be SOOOO much easier to do in C4D even at a newbie level.

I can tell you 3 ways to make 3D objects in AE

1. Zaxwerks 3D invigorator (read the darn instructions if you're going to use it and remember it's a render whore.)
2. Run a script that will create a 3D square/rectangle out of layers and modify it to your needs. (This is what I would do if I really couldn't use C4D. You can easily find a script online or just carefully make the box yourself in AE with 3D layers. Word to the wise though, remember to pre-comp the 3D layers you will be using to make the box so you can easily change them.)
3. Create a 3D layer the size and shape of the object you want, duplicate it and move the duplicated copy one pixel back in Z space. Repeat until you have desired thickness then parent all those layers to a 3D Null.

As for the video on the front and back...I don't know what you're going on about with regards to a mask, don't do that! Just put the video you want on the face on the front layer of the box and the video you want on the back on the back-most layer of the box!

As for the translucent frosted glass look...Well that depends on what method you use. Get back to me.

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Chris WoodRe: Some advice would be dandy :)
by on Mar 4, 2011 at 5:52:22 pm

Hrm, you think it would be easier to do in Cinema 4D?

I'm all up for learning a new program. I do want to have something, however small, some progress to be done by the 14th.

That's 10 days :D

Could you please enlighten me on how I could go about creating these three rotating objects in Cinema 4D, then bringing them into after effects to apply a fancy background and put videos on the back side (not the front sides)

Thank you very much.

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Chris WoodRe: Some advice would be dandy :)
by on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:24:33 pm

Oh Wow, I just started up Cinema 4D for the first time and it took about a solid 20 minutes to do what I wanted, now I have a glass-texutred 3 squares that move forward, spin around. Now I need to somehow export the animation (help with this please *1) and then assign the video to the back-side of the player.

I have all the settings set up, render to 720p, render alpha, as per following a video tutorial, but when I click render a window pops up and it only renders one frame, how do I get it to render all frames? as an After Effects Composition. Thanks :)

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Chris WoodRe: Some advice would be dandy :)
by on Mar 4, 2011 at 11:52:05 pm

Derp, I just didn't have "Render all frames" set. It's on frame 299 out of 301 now.. Hopefully it goes into AE properly :D

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