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Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6

From: After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

Video: Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6

In this chapter we are going to cover the features that have been made possible by the introduction of the Ray- traced 3D renderer in After Effects CS6. If you have access to the Exercise Files, make sure you're in the CS6 version and that you open the project file that's ends in RT, which stands for Ray-traced. I'll double-click that. Now something I want to warn you about up front, is that the Ray-traced 3D renderer can be very slow in After Effects, unless you have a specific family of video cards. Go to After Effects > Preferences > Previews, then in the Fast Previews section, click on GPU Information. As of After Effects CS6, you need to have a video card from NVIDIA that includes CUDA acceleration in order to really accelerate Ray-traced rendering. Otherwise, you're going to find all the functions in this chapter to be exceedingly slow.

Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6

In this chapter we are going to cover the features that have been made possible by the introduction of the Ray- traced 3D renderer in After Effects CS6. If you have access to the Exercise Files, make sure you're in the CS6 version and that you open the project file that's ends in RT, which stands for Ray-traced. I'll double-click that. Now something I want to warn you about up front, is that the Ray-traced 3D renderer can be very slow in After Effects, unless you have a specific family of video cards. Go to After Effects > Preferences > Previews, then in the Fast Previews section, click on GPU Information. As of After Effects CS6, you need to have a video card from NVIDIA that includes CUDA acceleration in order to really accelerate Ray-traced rendering. Otherwise, you're going to find all the functions in this chapter to be exceedingly slow.

In the movies on Ray-traced image quality, and also on the new Fast Preview options in CS6, we'll discuss ways of balancing off quality and performance, but your best bet is to either get a laptop or a workstation that has an NVIDIA CUDA accelerated GPU in it. Also make sure you download the very latest drivers for CUDA, because this is one thing that After Effects is proven to be very sensitive to. Old drivers may cause you issues. First, we're going to discuss Beveling and Extruding. I am going to open up my Comp RT-1.

In After Effects CS6 only two types of layers may be extruded and beveled, Text layers, which were discussed in an earlier lesson, and Shape layers, which are discussed in a later lesson. Additionally, you need to choose the correct rendering engine to extrude these layers. For example, this Text layer already has its 3D layer switch enabled. If I twirl down, you'll see I have my normal Text properties, my normal layer Transform properties, and Material Options, those options which are specific to 3D layers.

These are the options you see with the previous generation renderer. It used to be called the Advance 3D renderer, it's now called the Classic 3D renderer. To change the rendering engine used, you can go into Composition settings underneath the Advanced tab, or just click on this renderer button in the top right corner of the Comp Panel. You'll now see a pop-up with two choices, Classic 3D and Ray-traced 3D. You need to select the Ray-traced 3D renderer in order to get beveling, extrusion, and other features we'll be discussing in other movies, such as bending layers, transparency, reflections, et cetera.

The first time you do so, you're going to get a warning dialog, and it's worth reading this Alert. Whereas a 3D rendering engine does give you lots of capabilities, it also takes away several capabilities. Ray-traced 3D layers cannot use blending modes, track mattes, layer styles, masks, effects, or the Preserve Underlying Transparency switch. You choose only one rendering engine per composition, although each composition can have a different rendering engine. So you might find yourself splitting up work between different types of Comps or 2D and 3D layers.

I'll click OK.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

54 video lessons · 13975 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      2m 47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Comparing 2D and 3D
      5m 30s
    2. Rotation in 3D
      4m 47s
    3. Keyframing in 3D
      4m 55s
  3. 15m 9s
    1. Multi-planing workaround in 2D
      3m 21s
    2. Using 3D views
      6m 45s
    3. Natural multi-planing in 3D
      5m 3s
  4. 13m 9s
    1. Keyframing a fly-in
      5m 24s
    2. Editing 3D motion paths
      5m 43s
    3. Auto-orienting a layer along its path
      2m 2s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Adding a camera to a composition
      9m 0s
    2. Comparing camera presets
      2m 48s
    3. Using the camera tools with the active camera
      4m 48s
    4. Using the camera tools in the alternate views
      4m 50s
    5. 3D view options
      1m 58s
    6. Animating a 3D camera
      6m 20s
    7. Creating an orbit camera rig
      5m 42s
    8. Extending your camera rig
      4m 31s
    9. Auto-orientation with 3D cameras
      7m 33s
    10. Depth of field blur in CS5.5 and later
      5m 47s
    11. Controlling the focal plane in CS5.5 and later
      5m 12s
    12. Iris properties in CS5.5 and later
      6m 16s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Creating a 3D light
      6m 35s
    2. Working with Point lights
      3m 20s
    3. Working with Spot lights
      3m 48s
    4. Creating shadows
      10m 13s
    5. The Light Falloff feature in After Effects CS5.5 and later
      5m 19s
  7. 48m 6s
    1. Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6
      3m 26s
    2. Extrusions in CS6
      3m 39s
    3. Bevels in CS6
      5m 39s
    4. Bending layers in CS6
      5m 35s
    5. Transparency in CS6
      4m 20s
    6. Refraction in CS6
      4m 6s
    7. Targeting Surfaces in CS6
      3m 23s
    8. Reflections in CS6
      7m 35s
    9. Environment layers in CS6
      5m 40s
    10. Quality vs. speed in CS6
      4m 43s
  8. 11m 33s
    1. Quizzler challenge for CS6
      1m 42s
    2. Quizzler solution for CS6
      9m 51s
  9. 41m 6s
    1. Vanishing Point Exchange in Photoshop Extended
      9m 18s
    2. Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects
      4m 38s
    3. Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 7s
    4. Creating 3D objects using Repoussé in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 46s
    5. Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier
      8m 17s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Introduction to dimensional stills
      3m 41s
    2. Cutting up the source image
      2m 25s
    3. Repairing the layers in Photoshop
      8m 26s
    4. Animating the resulting layers in After Effects
      6m 26s
  11. 25m 27s
    1. Rotation vs. orientation
      3m 15s
    2. Understanding the axis modes
      4m 4s
    3. Scaling issues in 3D
      4m 57s
    4. OpenGL acceleration in CS5 and earlier
      6m 23s
    5. Fast previews in CS6 and later
      6m 48s

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