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Learn 3D in After Effects After Effects CC

Understanding 3D in After Effects provides you with in-depth training on Video. Taught by Ian Robins… Show More

After Effects CC Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Learn 3D in After Effects After Effects CC

Understanding 3D in After Effects provides you with in-depth training on Video. Taught by Ian Robinson as part of the After Effects CC Essential Training
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files (CC 2014.1)
      1m 57s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    4. Understanding and managing applications with Creative Cloud (CC 2014.1)
      2m 32s
    5. Which versions of After Effects CC does this course cover? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 40s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    7. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    8. Different ways to use After Effects
    9. Exploring the interface of After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      13m 22s
    10. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    11. Exploring important preferences, and setting up the cache (CC 2014.1)
      8m 44s
    12. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    13. Video terminology (CC 2014.1)
      6m 19s
    14. Video terminology
      4m 24s
    15. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 36m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation (CC 2014.1)
      8m 52s
    4. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    5. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    6. The power of parenting
      5m 27s
    7. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    8. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    9. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    10. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    11. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    12. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    13. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 1h 17m
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras (CC 2014.1)
      10m 50s
    3. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    4. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    5. Animating cameras (CC 2014.1)
      11m 11s
    6. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    7. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    8. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 3h 40m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects (CC 2014.1)
      1m 53s
    2. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    3. 3D foundations (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    4. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    5. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects (CC 2014.1)
      7m 14s
    6. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    7. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface (CC 2014.1)
      9m 49s
    8. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    9. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files (CC 2014.1)
      7m 20s
    10. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    11. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      11m 7s
    12. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    13. Applying deformers (CC 2014.1)
      4m 50s
    14. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    15. Understanding materials (CC 2014.1)
      10m 29s
    16. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    17. Lighting your scene (CC 2014.1)
      11m 20s
    18. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    19. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    20. Working with presets (materials and lights) (CC 2014.1)
      7m 44s
    21. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 52s
    22. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    23. Adjusting keyframes in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      7m 42s
    24. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite (CC 2014.1)
      5m 49s
    25. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    26. Working with CINEWARE (CC 2014.1)
      8m 11s
    27. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    28. Render settings and the multipass workflow (CC 2014.1)
      7m 28s
    29. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 36m 53s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
    5. Animating text and prepairing templates for use in Premiere Pro (CC 2014.1)
      7m 50s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects in After Effects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

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Understanding 3D in After Effects
Video Duration: 9m 2s 14h 52m Appropriate for all Updated Nov 03, 2014


Understanding 3D in After Effects provides you with in-depth training on Video. Taught by Ian Robinson as part of the After Effects CC Essential Training

View Course Description

Delve into the world of motion graphics, keying, and compositing in After Effects CC. In this course, Ian Robinson lays out six foundations for becoming proficient with After Effects, including concepts such as layers, keyframe animation, and working with 3D. To help you get up and running with the program, the course begins with a project-based chapter on creating an animated graphic bumper. Next, explore the role layers play in compositions and find out how to add style to your projects using effects and graphic elements. Last, see how to build 3D objects with CINEMA 4D Lite, as well as stabilize footage, solve for 3D cameras, and paint in graphics with the Reverse Stabilization feature.

Topics include:
  • Video terminology
  • Creating your first composition
  • Using layers, masks, blend modes, and track mattes
  • Parenting objects
  • Building complex objects with Pre-compose
  • Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
  • Understanding the order of effects
  • Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
  • Lighting a scene
  • Animating type on a path
  • Using Keylight for green-screen footage
  • Rotoscoping
  • Archiving projects
After Effects

Understanding 3D in After Effects

When you're working in After Effects, you can work in After Effects in a number of ways. You can work in two dimensions, traditional 2D. You can work in what I would called 2.5D, where you have flat planes in 3D space. You can work in true 3D, where you have 3D planes in 3D space, and then you can work in Cinema 4D, which is also true 3D. There are a couple different iterations for each one. So I figured I would just take you through the process and in that process you would see the different variations and some of the different settings we can adjust to move throughout all the different dimensions of After Effects.

In our composition here 2D, we have a 2D layer and we have another layer. I know these layers are 2D because if we go to the switches and loads area here, you can see I don't have any dimensions set up. Now if you don't see these switches and modes in your project, your interface may look like this, so you can toggle To make sure you have these modes. I'm just clicking this button in the lower left corner so we have both. In a 2-D environment, if I wanted to add perspective to this text, a traditional way would be to go up under effect and go to perspective.

And I could choose radial shadow and this way I can kind of fake 3D. If I move the light source here I'll move the shadow and I can get kind of a cool, funky, retro look but that's 2D. So I'm going to go to my project panel here and duplicate our 2D project and I'll do that by pressing Cmd + D. I'll rename this 2.5D and double click. Instead of having to use radial shadow, I'll just go ahead and delete that. In two and a half D, what I can do is make our 2D layers live in 3D space. So in this column here, underneath the box, we'll just click and drag and make sure both layers become 3D layers.

Now, notice with Layer 1 selected, now I have these control handles. That's a dead giveaway that I'm in 3D space inside of After Effects. Now I'll go ahead and double-click on the text, and we'll call this 2.5D. Now we can select our gray solid. Let's rotate it so it becomes a ground plane. I'm going to press the W key and I'll hover my mouse over the X axis. And I'll rotate it in the Z. I'll press V to grab my move tool and grab my control handle there.

And now we are happily living in 2.5D space. But with the addition of being able to rotate our layers in three D space, we can now add lights and cameras. So I'm going to go up under layer and choose New > Light, and I'll just choose the spotlight with cast shadows, and click OK. Now, I'm actually lighting the scene. I can move my light around the scene. If I hold down Cmd or Ctrl on Windows as I move around, you can see I'm sort of changing how this 2.5D works.

Now within these settings I have material options. Let's go ahead and select Layer 3 and press AA. Since it's a 3D Layer I have the ability to make adjustments to things like whether they cast shadows or accept shadows or lights or what have you. Let's actually select Layer 2 and press AA and turn Cast Shadows from Off to On. Now in order to better see our shadows, I'm going to go create a new camera. So I'm going up to layer, and choose new camera.

I'll choose a two new camera and click OK. We'll explore what all these different things do later. But again I just want to take you through all the different levels of dimension. Now in the toolbar, I'm grabbing my unified camera tool. I can click inside my object and just orbit around. And here you can see in 2.5 D space. I'm very happily existing with lights and objects and materials. Another iteration of this is using a different renderer inside of Adobe After Effects. That will give us 3D.

I'm going to select my 2.5D comp and press Cmd+ D to duplicate and this time let's call it 3D. And I'll underscore it and call it Adobe 3D. Now, if we double click this composition, and it's open. And if we go over here to the right, see how we have a renderer? If we click on this button that says classic 3D. We can change the renderer from classic 3D to retraced 3D. When we go to retraced and then click okay, its going to take a second for our scene to process, but what that gives us is a whole new set of options for our different objects.

If we select our text layer here, layer three, and press aa to open it's material options. Notice now that I have a geometry options. So if I wanted to, I could extrude this text in 3-D space. Let's go ahead and change the extrusion depth. I'm going to go here under my extrusion and just click and drag and let's extrude this out to around a value of 93. In order to speed this up a little bit, I can change my preview settings in the bottom right of my composition panel.

So I'll click here and I'll just chose fast draft. With fast draft, I can now see the dimension I've added to my numbers. If I click through here, here you can see, this is no longer 2 1/2 D. So I will now, double click this and call it 3D. Now I could continue lighting this and make change, but I think you understand. In Adobe 3D, you can extrude text and shapes, and you can even bend objects. So like my layer solid here. If I pressed AA, I could open up some curvetry options. So let me go ahead and change the curvature by just clicking and dragging. Now I'm getting a bending floor which is kind of fun, so let me go ahead and move this.

I'll press C to grab my unified camera tool. Really you can see we do have true 3D inside of Adobe After Effects. But, what if we want crazy materials, and textures, and all kinds of rigging, and other destruction options, and things like that? Well, that's when Cinema 4D comes in. In order to create a Cinema 4D file, let's go ahead and duplicate our 2D projects. I'm just going to have that selected and press Cmd+D. Let's call this 3D Cinema.

Now, when I double-click that, I'm not going to use any of these layers, so I'll just turn the visibility off, but we can go up under the Layer menu and choose New > MAXON CINEMA 4D File. Now, I need to specify where I want to save that, so I'll just call this, you know, c4d Sample3d. I'm going to save it into my Chapter 7 folder. Now in here, I have a full-fledged 3D application with 3D render capabilities and the whole nine. So very quickly, I'm going to go here to my Create tools and I'll create some text. Of course, I'm going to want this text to say 3D. And in order to create 3D text in Cinema this way Im going to go ahead and extrude this text.

So, I'm going to add this into an extrude nerves, and I can make adjustment to my extrude nerve's object and make it really large. I can add a light into this scene, and position that. I could add more than one light into the scene. Let's say I want to add a spotlight. I could go ahead and do that. I have 3D adjustment tools, so I can rotate around and really kind of have fun. I have world transform. As you see the possibility are relatively endless. I could come down here and create a texture. Let me go create a preset in my materials.

Let's go to Glossy and we'll choose Glossy Blue. That looks kind of fun. Let's drag that on. Now, when I save this I can go back into my After Effects project It'll take a second, but now there's my 3D layer. If I change my renderer from Software to Final, it'll take a second, but now I have true 3D. I could have more come back and forth between cinema and after effects using Cineware, but that's a video in and of itself.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to create dimension inside of After Effects. We have 2D, 2 1/2 D, 3D and 3D cinema. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects CC Essential Training .

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Q: This course was updated on 6/18/2014. What changed?
A: We added new movies to the "Fundamentals of After Effects" chapter, reorganized and re-recorded the "Up and Running" and "Keying Green Screen Footage" chapters, and added new movies on Color Finesse 3 and masking individual effects.
Q: When I try to open a project file, After Effects tells me I need to update my system, since the file was made with version 13.0. But I already installed the most recent After Effects update. Why can't I open the project?
A: In the latest round of updates, Adobe chose to create a completely new installer for this latest version. While you may have updated the version of After Effects CC you have installed (12.x), there is an entirely new After Effects install for 2014 (13.0). Check for an After Effects CC (2014) item in the Creative Cloud app and download and install it from there. 
After you install the new version, you should be able to open 13.0 projects. After Effects CC (2014) will coexist with the older version of After Effects on your machine. If you currently have any shortcuts on your computer to launch After Effects, you may have to go back into the Programs folder and create a new shortcut to the newer version, After Effects 2014.
Q: This course was updated on 11/03/2014. What changed?
A: We updated 25 movies to reflect changes to the Creative Cloud 2014 release of After Effects. This includes the new optimized user interface and enhanced Cineware and CINEMA 4D Lite pipeline. The new movies are labeled with the "(CC 2014.1)" tag.





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