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Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier

From: After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

Video: Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier

I've returned to After Effects. I'm going to play around with some of these 3D objects I've been creating in Photoshop. First, I'm going to clear my display by doing Close All and I'm going to clean up by selecting this building that I imported in earlier movies and put it down in the My Comps folder. And indeed select My Comps, because you're going to be importing some brand-new material into it. I'm going to type Command+I on Mac, Ctrl +I on Windows to get the Import dialog. I'm going to go up to the 3D folder, where I've been saving all my files so far. And if you followed along with the 3D model steps a couple of movies ago, select the model you saved from Photoshop.

Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier

I've returned to After Effects. I'm going to play around with some of these 3D objects I've been creating in Photoshop. First, I'm going to clear my display by doing Close All and I'm going to clean up by selecting this building that I imported in earlier movies and put it down in the My Comps folder. And indeed select My Comps, because you're going to be importing some brand-new material into it. I'm going to type Command+I on Mac, Ctrl +I on Windows to get the Import dialog. I'm going to go up to the 3D folder, where I've been saving all my files so far. And if you followed along with the 3D model steps a couple of movies ago, select the model you saved from Photoshop.

If you do not have access to Photoshop or do not perform those steps, instead, you can select TV clock.psd. I'll click Open, and in the next dialog that appears, change Import Kind to Composition - Retain layer Sizes. This will create an After Effects composition for me, return the layers to the required size. This was called Crop layers in earlier versions of After Effects. Then make sure the option Live Photoshop 3D is enabled. This is what allows you to get access to the 3D models saved inside layered Photoshop files.

Now, I will click OK, and you see inside my selected folder, I have a subfolder with my components and a new comp called TV clock. And it is the same size as the file I created in Photoshop. I'll double-click it to open it. It will take a moment to render; 3D from Photoshop is very slow in After Effects, so that's something you have to get used to. Now I will zoom up to 100% to give myself a little bit more room to view this. Here's that model you saw inside Photoshop, and even more significantly, since we applied a movie as the Texture for the face of that TV, you can click at later points in time and see the video actually play inside the TV monitor.

Now, you might have some previewing issues like I have here with the screens going black in between the redraws. I am actually going to change OpenGL off for now, just so I have more consistent playback inside the display. Since the Photoshop 3D plug-in is itself an OpenGL plug-in, I'm not relying on the Fast Previews options to decide how this is going to be drawn. Even though I seem to create just one layer inside Photoshop, you'll see four layers appear inside the resulting After Effects composition. One is the Background. You don't need this layer, so I am going to turn that off for now, so I get transparency.

The Camera is crated for you, and indeed if I press C to get my Orbit Camera tool, I can indeed move around this 3D model. You'll even see a little bit of lighting reflections here as my lights set up inside Photoshop play across this model. Then there are these two different layers named TV, and it's very important to understand the difference between these two layers. The layer named TV is the layer that actually renders. If I turn it off, it disappears; turn it back on, the TV is drawn.

I'm going to type E to reveal Effects, and you'll see there is an effect applied called Live Photoshop 3D. I'll use the keyboard shortcut F3 to open up the Effects Control panel, and you see it has very few parameters; weather or not to use Photoshop's Camera, or your Composition Camera. If you want to reanimate this in After Effects, you need to use the Comp Camera. And also whether or not to use Photoshop's Transformations or allow you to move it around inside After Effects. And again, you want to be able to reanimate this in After Effects, so leave that checked off. There's also a whole set of Transform properties that this plug-in is using to decide how to position this layer in space.

You'll notice all the values are red. This means they've been expressed to another layer, and that other layer is this layer called TV Controller. TV Controller is just a Null Object. You notice it has its 3D layer switch set. You can even turn it off and it won't affect the TV, just the outline of that Null Object, and this is the layer that you actually scrub and animate to move your TV around. Adobe has done this so you can go ahead and keyframe normal Transform properties rather than dive into an effect and try to keyframe those properties.

Now, the first things I am going to do is give myself a nice basic orientation, where the TV is facing at me, 90 degrees, 360. I can scrub these to go ahead and rotate the TV here and animate it, and I could also change its Position by animating these parameters. You'll notice that these parameters don't necessarily work the way you expect them to; Y makes sense, X however seems to work like Z and vice versa. That's why it's often better to position one of these things in space, then move your camera around it.

Now, one thing you might have noticed is that this model is looking jagged and ugly again. That shouldn't be, because you set it to Ray Traced Draft back in Photoshop, which looked better. Well, here is another important trick about Photoshop 3D layers; the layer that actually renders defaults to being in Draft Quality. Draft Quality says use the fastest interactive rendering option. That's great, because it makes it much faster to go ahead and set up camera poses, animation keyframes, et cetera.

When you render, you want to make sure your Render Settings render at Best Quality, and that's how your templates should be set up. You can also preview Best Quality right here on the comp by toggling this Quality from Draft to Best. Now, there will be a pause while it renders, and now you get nice clean anti-aliasing, with some nice lighting Falloff at the expense of very slow interactivity. There we go! So this is actually a sensible tradeoff that Photoshop has given you.

Leave it at Draft so you can quickly move it and position it, and allow your Render Settings to render this at Best Quality. Now, note that I don't have any lights in this scene, and adding lights in After Effects will have no effect on this layer. All of the lighting is done back in Photoshop. If you need to change that lighting or any other parameter, select the layer that has a Live Photoshop 3D effect applied, then go to Edit> Edit Original, and it will now open that model back inside Photoshop. Just to show you how this works, I'm going to go ahead and pick one of the surfaces, change its color, make something in the darker gray, click OK, Save; very important, you must save in Photoshop before toggling back to After Effects, and then this will re-render, after a fashion, with a new color I set up inside Photoshop.

The last tip is, if you want to apply any effects to this layer, again, those effects must be applied to the layer that actually renders, the one that got the Live Photoshop 3D plug-in. Now, importing Repousse objects from Photoshop is just like importing these 3D models, it uses the same underlying technology. I'll choose My Comps, Command or Ctrl+I to Import. I will select the Repousse layer I created, Open. Make sure it's at Composition>Retain layer Sizes. This says Crop layers in earlier versions of After Effects, and that Live Photoshop 3D is enabled.

I'll click OK, double-click the Comp to open it, and there is my Repousse text. And again, it defaults to a Draft Quality, which is more interactive. If I want to see this rendered to higher quality, I toggle, the layer that has the Photoshop effect applied, E to Reveal Effects to Best Quality, and after a fashion, I'll get my anti -aliasing and improved lighting. So that's how you can use Photoshop as sort of a 3D modeling add on to After Effects.

It's not an ideal solution. There are third-party plug-ins that are better. We personally use dedicated 3D programs like CINEMA 4D. However, if all you have access to is a suite like Production Premium, this gives you an option of getting true 3D geometry into After Effects.

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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 · 14474 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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