After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
Illustration by John Hersey

Repairing the layers in Photoshop


After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Repairing the layers in Photoshop

Once I'm done cutting it up, I will now switch to Photoshop, import that file, open Samoan cut-up.psd, Open and now you'll see I've these individual layers for the full frame background and the pot, wall and a little bit of that fan, the left pole, the right pole and the man. Now since nothing was obscuring the man, the foreground pole or the pole in the left, I don't need to do any further touch up work in any of these layers, they are fine as they are.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
4h 49m Intermediate Oct 19, 2011 Updated Dec 06, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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 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 library.

Topics include:
  • Keyframing motion paths in 3D
  • Managing multiple 3D views
  • Auto-orienting cameras along a path
  • Creating shadows
  • Understanding Vanishing Point Exchange
  • Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended
  • Scaling in 3D
  • OpenGL acceleration
After Effects
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Repairing the layers in Photoshop

Once I'm done cutting it up, I will now switch to Photoshop, import that file, open Samoan cut-up.psd, Open and now you'll see I've these individual layers for the full frame background and the pot, wall and a little bit of that fan, the left pole, the right pole and the man. Now since nothing was obscuring the man, the foreground pole or the pole in the left, I don't need to do any further touch up work in any of these layers, they are fine as they are.

However, I do have bits of obscured for this pot, wall and fan, and then there is the background, it's going to need the most work. What I need to do is remove these objects, such as this pole, this pot, pole on the left and most importantly this man so that I've a clean plate that only represents everything that's behind those individual layers. That's going to be the most labor- intensive part of this whole process. Again, I'm not going to go through all of the steps here, but I want to give you a few ideas at how you might go about it.

First, I'm going to turn off these guides, since I don't need to see them for this work. And I'm going to focus on something simple like this pot, plus this wall. As I pan around this final composite in 3D, I'm going to be basically peeking around, this pole, looking at what's behind it on the left and looking what's behind it on the right. Therefore, this layer needs to have some actual information to look at behind that pole. But I want to keep this masked outline that I've already created. So with the pot+wall that is selected, I'm going to lock my transparency, so I don't alter the Alpha Channel of this layer.

Once I've done that, I'm going to use just the good old-fashioned Clone Stamp tool to extend this wall. I'm holding on Option on Mac, Alt on Windows and clicking to get my reference. I'm going to choose a slightly larger size here for my brush, maybe around 40 pixels or so, and then start dragging in through here to extend that wall across the pole. Very simple. Now I'll do the same thing over here.

Hold down Option on Mac, Alt on Windows to get a reference point. Move to where they line up, and then paint in that missing area as well. So now I can peek around the back of the pole by this much on the left and this much on the right. Next, I need to paint in part of this pot and this is going to be bit trickier. Actually here where it's dark it's not so bad. So I'm going to hold down Option or Alt, get a reference point. Just fill in these dark areas to start with. Clean that up a little bit there. I don't need to go all the way, so I don't anticipate looking all the way behind the pole, but I need to do a fairly good job.

It's going to be tricky now, as we're extending this pot, I could use the Clone tool to try to extend the colors. Well, frankly it would be even better at this point, would be to take a selection of this area of the pot, flip it over and paste it in on top, so we at least have a nice mirror image and things would match up nicely. Otherwise I am stuck with doing some cloning like this, which is going to give only so, so results, to be honest. I'm just doing this quickly to give you an idea what you might need to do.

Here on this other side it's very easy to replace the man's arm with this fan. I'll just Option+Click and start painting out parts of his arm. Again, I have the lock Transparency turned on, I did not alter my Alpha Channel, and then I need to do the same thing coming in the opposite direction, painting over parts of the wall and other objects on this side. I don't have a lot of material to work with, so I'm not doing a fantastic Clone job here. I'm doing what I can. Okay, and a little bit of this area down here.

I should go much further than that, but you get the idea. The background is a real challenge. Fortunately Photoshop has a few different tools to help make this easier. In addition to the Clone Stamp tool, which we've been using, and the Healing Brush tool which is also very useful, a relatively new feature in Photoshop is Content-Aware Fill, where it try to automatically fill a selection for you, based on other content in the image, and this gives you a great head start to painting out objects in the background. Indeed, Photoshop did not have this when I recently worked on the image.

I did everything with the Clone Stamp tool, but let me show you how I would tackle this with Content-Aware Fill. First, let's get rid of this pole. I'm going to select the pole, I'm going to up to Selection>Load Selection, load my selection from the Transparency of that pole, click OK, reselect my background and say Edit>Fill>Content-Aware Fill. You can also use solid colors et cetera.

Click OK, you see Photoshop thinks for a little bit and then fills in that pole the best it can from the content around it. I did a pretty job around here, but you see on this other side we're getting parts of the guy's ear and parts of his shoulder and stuff like that. We also have some manual cleanup work to do on there, but let's keep moving forward. I'll clean up the pole on the left, rather than use the Select menu item, all I need to do is Command+Click or Ctrl+ Click on the layer to load a selection. Select my background again, Edit>Fill>Content-Aware>OK.

Not too bad, I got a little bit of his arm here, but we can take care of that. This is a good start. Then finally, the man; he is the biggest part to cut out of here. I use the shortcut of Command+ Clicking or Ctrl+Clicking on the man's layer to load a selection. Click to reselect the background, Edit>Fill>Content-Aware>OK. After a moment of thinking, not a bad start, a lot easier than hand cleaning the whole thing. Command+D or Ctrl+D to release my selection, now I need to basically paint out all of these weird artifacts.

For example, this outline of the pole here is something that the Healing Brush is very good at, so I'll select Healing Brush. Again, get a slightly larger brush size around 30; just start dragging down this line. And as I do so and release, you'll see it nicely picks up the foliage and repairs this area. Get rid of that nail, that's repaired. And go up through here and I replace that pole with this roof. I can also do a little bit of cleanup here on the wall. That's nice.

I still have my pots in here, and actually since that's a separate layer, I can either clone this out or again take advantage of Command+Click or Ctrl+Click in the layer to load the selection. Select my background again, Edit>Fill> Content-Aware and use Photoshop to go ahead and get rid of some of that as well. Actually that worked out pretty well. Command+D or Ctrl+D, a little bit of Healing Brush, clean up those outlines, and this goes so much faster now. Not bad, in Photoshop CS5 or later than it did before.

Now with the man, this is a bit harder. I can use the Healing Brush for some of the outlines like this, get a little bit more there. Once I get into more complex areas like this pole that was behind, that's not something the Healing Brush can fix. I'm going to need to use the Clone Stamp tool to clone that pole back in and do other repair work around the image. No one said this was easy, and no one said it was completely automated, it does require work, but at least you now have an idea of some approaches to go ahead and repair these images to create a nice background plate and clean up some of your foreground layers as well.

Once you're done, I'm going to turn my layers all back on, and resave this as a layered Photoshop file. Samoan cut-up cleaned.psd, Photoshop Format, layers, Save. Click OK. Now that we've prepared the image, we can go back to After Effects and animate it.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: This course was updated on 12/06/2012. What changed?
A: This was a more extensive update than the other After Effects Apprentice courses. We added three new movies to Chapter 4 that cover 3D camera features in versions CS5.5 and later, such as depth of field blur. We added a new chapter on the 3D ray-traced renderer in CS6, and another chapter featuring a Quizzler challenge for CS6. Lastly, we added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files, and added new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.