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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.
The next subject I want to talk about with 3D is the concept of Multiplaning. To clean up my display, I've closed my previous comp. Since I'm going to show you two different ways of doing this, I'm going to select this composition and do Command+D on Mac, Ctrl+D on Windows to duplicate it. And I'll open up my duplicate to start out. What we have here are a wide variety of layers, representing shrubbery, different buildings, even clouds in the scene. And as we can see from the way these layers overlap, the shrubbery is closest to us, the skyscraper and the clouds are further away.
Now, normally when you're driving down the street looking out the side window of your car, things close to you move by faster. Things further away, such as clouds in the distance, appear to move slower. This is a natural phenomenon in the real world. However, that's not the way things happen normally in a 2D composition in After Effects. I'm going to press Home to turn back to Time 0. I have all of these layers Parented to my Null Object so they all move in unison, and I'm going to press 0 on the numeric keypad to equip a quick RAM Preview.
Since all of these layers are tied to the Null, they're all moving at the same speed, and for reasons we just mentioned that's not realistic. Things closer should be moving faster, thing further away should be slower. Well, I already have the Null animating. I'll press U to reveal its keyframes, and in a 2D composition I could go about manually animating these layers at different speeds. I'll go back to the start and say, this tree and this house should be moving faster, because they are closer.
To make my life a little bit easier I'm going to go ahead and Parent that tree to this house. That means I only need to animate the house and the tree will come along for the ride. I'll press P for the house to reveal its Position, enable its keyframing, and say, okay, I need you to move faster, so I need you to start further over to the right, at the beginning of this animation, I'm going to press End, and say you need to move further over to the left when you end this animation. That way the house moves faster than my other layers.
And just look at one other example. I'm going to look my two clouds back here. I'm going to Parent one cloud to the other just to simplify things. Select the last cloud, P for Position. Make sure my Current Time Indicator is at the start, enable keyframing, and in this case the clouds don't move as much. So they need to start more towards the center, press End, and End closer to the center. And again, as I drag my Current Time Indicator, now I'm finally getting that Multiplaning look. With the house in front, the closest object is moving faster.
The object furthest away is moving slower. But you can quickly see how tedious this becomes. This still isn't very realistic, I need to do these intermediate buildings, I need to this further away buildings, it's a lot of work. Well, Multiplaning is something that just comes naturally in 3D space. And that's what I want to demonstrate to you in the next two movies.
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