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Get up to speed quickly with the new features in After Effects CS6. Join veteran After Effects user Chris Meyer as he explores the key enhancements to this industry standard visual effects and motion graphics software. Chris shares creative ideas and important production advice while covering the strengths of features such as memory optimization with the new global performance cache, 3D motion tracking with the 3D Camera Tracker, and the new 3D rendering engine for ray-traced 3D rendering.
So far, our entire 3D extruded and beveled object has had the same color on its faces, bevels, sides, and backs. Every change we've made to transparency, reflectivity, et cetera, has affected all surfaces equally. However, you can go in and customize each individual surface to your taste. Doing so is not entirely obvious, but fortunately, it uses something you hopefully already know how to use. In the case of text layers, the Animate button for text, which is what you would normally use to animate properties of text, such as Scale, Opacity, Rotation, et cetera, can also be used to single out specific properties of your extruded and beveled text.
Let's say that I wanted my text to be mostly transparent, but I wanted just the bevels to be solid. In this case, I'll choose to isolate the bevel transparency. Right now Transparency is zero, which means it's solid. I can go ahead and increase the Transparency of the rest of the object, so I have got fairly transparent object like that. I'm going to back off the reflections for now, so those aren't confusing things too much. There we go. So I have a completely solid and nontransparent bevel, but I have a very transparent face, sides, and basically all the other surfaces of my text.
I can also go in and say change the color of just that bevel. I'll go back up to the animator, which has my bevel transparency in it, select Add in this case, and choose a Property of Bevel > Color. I'll just make it simple like RGB. It defaults to a rather unattractive red, but I'll go ahead and pick this slightly different color here. The trick to getting nice specular highlights, by the way, is to have something going on in R, G, and B, not just be pure red, green and blue, because it's the addition of the specular highlight on top of the layer's color that creates those really nice color changes in specular kicks like this.
I will click OK, go to my light, press T, pull back Intensity a little bit here, makes it a little bit more subtle. Now we have our nice partially transparent text. I can even turn on my background so I you can see through it, but completely solid bevels. And if you want to, you can go ahead and isolate the sides, the back, many other properties, tweak them, make them different, and if you want, go ahead and animate them by using the same text animators you use for the other properties.
In the case of shape layers, it's just like adding a shape operator, except instead of adding things like Twist or Repeater, you can add these colors, reflectivity, and other parameters for each of these surfaces.
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