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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.
In this movie, I will create additional cameras so you can see how the different Presets compare. To create a new camera, I will right- click on the comp, select New>Camera, and change the Preset maybe to one of the wide angle lenses, like 24 millimeter. When I click OK, you can see that this camera is much closer to the layer. And if I press P for Position, I can get a sense of the differences between the two cameras. And you can have as many cameras as you like; the one on top is the one that renders.
So by just toggling over to the Top layer, you can compare the differences between the cameras in the Active Camera View. Notice with the wide angle lens, the foreground layers appear larger and the background layers appear smaller, compared to the 50 millimeter lens. On the other hand, if I make another New> Camera and use one of the telephoto lenses; let's just pick 80 millimeter, the camera will be much further back and the sense of perspective is even less. Again, you can turn on the layers and compare a telephoto lens to a wide angle lens.
While the differences appear quite subtle at this point, once you start animating a camera, I think you'll find for Motion Graphics having a camera that's closer to your layers will make it easier to have a nice sense of perspective, even when the layers are only a few pixels apart. So I'll delete the two cameras I just created, and I also just want to give you a heads-up on the little gotcha. If you want to play with these presets, make sure that you actually right-click and make a New>Camera or use the layer>New>Camera option.
Don't just double-click your existing camera and then change the preset. Because when you do that, you're only changing the Zoom value, you're not changing the Position value. And when the Zoom and Position values don't match, the layers will appear to jump in space. For instance, if I select a telephoto lens, the layers appear to come right towards me. So if layers that are at 0 (zero) Z are jumping in space, you're probably editing an existing camera. So either start with the New>Camera, or just go in manually and make sure the Zoom value and the Position value are matching, and you should be back to square one.
I'll click Cancel and I'm back to my 50 millimeter camera again. In the next movie, I'll show you how to use the Camera tools in the Active Camera View.
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