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This installment of the After Effects Apprentice series introduces 3D space in Adobe After Effects. Authors Chris and Trish Meyer highlight key design considerations for working in 3D and provide step-by-step instructions for enhancing a scene with 3D lights and cameras. The course explores integration between Photoshop and After Effects, including modeling 3D objects with Repoussé extrusions and creating dimensional still images, and offers tips on using the different Axis Modes and maintaining maximum quality in 3D. There's also a chapter dedicated to the ray-traced 3D renderer, introduced in After Effects CS6, which allows you to build 3D layers into your composites, with realistic motion blur, depth of field, and reflections.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.
There's one last trick I want to show you before we move on. You may remember that 2D layers could orient along their path; well, 3D layers can also automatically orient along their paths. I will select the word Under here, right- click on it, go to Transform, and Auto-Orient. layers default do not Auto- Orienting, we have to manually animate the Rotation parameters. But if I say Orient Along Path, watch what happens to this layer here, it automatically rotates a little bit, so that it is pointing along that path.
Now as I drag my Current Time Indicator, you can see that layer automatically swivel to land into position, like so. Let's do the same thing to Pressure, I'll right-click, Transform, Auto-Orient, Orient Along Path, okay, and now you'll see it does the same thing, they both rotate in position as part of their slam down here. And you can also see the alternate views, how they are indeed rotating to make this happen. Now, when you apply Auto-Orient, you may occasionally notice that the layers are not pointing the right way.
This is the case where you want to press R for Rotation and use the Orientation parameter to add any initial orientation you need to your layers, to have them face the way you want along the path. I'll press P to just get back to Position. Now, note that we have done all of this animation so far without creating any cameras or lights. All you need to do is enable the 3D layer switch for a layer and start moving it around in 3D space. However, things get even more interesting when you can introduce your own camera to the scene, and that's what Trish is going to discuss in the next chapter.
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