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

Rotation vs. orientation


From:

After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Rotation vs. orientation

I mentioned earlier in this lesson that we recommend you use Orientation just to pose a layer and that you use X, Y, and Z Rotation to actually animate that layer. Let me demonstrate to you why that is? First I am going to put these layers in the same Position Z and I'm going to drag Enter a New a little bit higher Dimension, a little bit lower, so we can see them both clearly at the same time. Let's say that I want to animate a crazy rotation where X, Y, and Z all rotate several hundred degrees almost two full revolutions.
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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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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 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.

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
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Rotation vs. orientation

I mentioned earlier in this lesson that we recommend you use Orientation just to pose a layer and that you use X, Y, and Z Rotation to actually animate that layer. Let me demonstrate to you why that is? First I am going to put these layers in the same Position Z and I'm going to drag Enter a New a little bit higher Dimension, a little bit lower, so we can see them both clearly at the same time. Let's say that I want to animate a crazy rotation where X, Y, and Z all rotate several hundred degrees almost two full revolutions.

I'm going to keyframe X, Y, and Z Rotation for the Enter a New layer and keyframe just Orientation for the Dimension layer. I've got my starting pose of 0 degrees, and I want to go same 2 seconds in, press N to enter my work area here, and enter for the first layer 700 degrees, Tab, Tab, 700, 700. Then for Dimension, I'm going to enter the same amount, 700 degrees for X, Y, and Z. Already you have a clue as to what might be going on here.

X, Y, and Z rotation took my 700 degrees and turned it into one revolution, which is 360 degrees+340=700, make sense. But you might have noticed down here that Orientation is taking my 700 value and converting it just to 340. There is no revolution parameter. As I press Enter, you see it did the same thing for this rotation. Well, let's go ahead and press 0 on the numeric keypad to RAM Preview and see what actually happens.

What's going on inside the first layer where we animated X, Y, and Z is indeed doing the crazy rotation that we asked for. However, this second layer dimension where we animated just Orientation is not doing what we intended, it's just taking the shortest path in-between keyframes. And that's why we recommend you don't use orientation for animating rotation. It is just going to take the laziest path, it's not going to do what you actually asked it to do, like for this first layer where we animated rotation.

However, it's really nice to have those Orientation and Rotation properties for a layer. Let's say for this first layer, Enter a New, we wanted to start off by having it point upwards, I am going to put my Current Time Indicator back home, take the separate Orientation parameter, scrub the X value until it's pointed upwards like that. Notice it did not change any of my values for my rotation keyframe animation and now as I RAM Preview, it would do the exact same animation, just starting off and ending in a different Orientation for the layer.

So it is very handy to use these properties together, but remember, Orient is Pose, X, Y, Z is Animate.

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


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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.
 
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