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

Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects


From:

After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects

Now that you've defined your Vanishing Point Exchange surfaces inside Photoshop, you need to get this out of here and in After Effects. To get this out of Photoshop, you still need to be in the Vanishing Point dialog, open from underneath the Filter menu, and you go to this very innocuous little flyout menu, click on it, and there is a command for Export for After Effects (.vpe), Vanishing Point Exchange. You'll note that you can also make some very simple DXF or 3DS models as well, but I want to choose VPE. I'll select that.
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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

Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects

Now that you've defined your Vanishing Point Exchange surfaces inside Photoshop, you need to get this out of here and in After Effects. To get this out of Photoshop, you still need to be in the Vanishing Point dialog, open from underneath the Filter menu, and you go to this very innocuous little flyout menu, click on it, and there is a command for Export for After Effects (.vpe), Vanishing Point Exchange. You'll note that you can also make some very simple DXF or 3DS models as well, but I want to choose VPE. I'll select that.

I am going to create a New Folder, because this is going to create a lot of individual images, plus a Vanishing Point Exchange file to bring them together. I'm going to say AEA building, Create, and I'm going to name this BuildingTest.vpe of course you can name it whatever you like, and click Save. Once you've exported your VPE project, click OK in the Vanishing Point dialog and you still need to save the image itself.

When you save it, you'll save the Vanishing Point information along with it. So in my case, I'm going to do Save As, and give it a new name such as in progress. By saving the file you'd be able to come back and tweak the information later rather than start from scratch, by saving it underneath a new name, you'll keep the original file intact as well. I'll click Save. And I like Maximum Quality for images like this. Now let's switch back to After Effects and import our new file. As a result of this, it's going to create a composition. So I am going to select my Comps folder, then choose File>Import>Vanishing Point.vpe).

I will navigate to the folder I created, AEA building, and you'll notice it has a lot of individual .png files, that represent all the individual rectangles I defined, and a BuildingTest. vpe file. And I will Open. I have all my individual files now, and if I double-click, you'll see all these surfaces have been flattened out with the perspective removed. That little tidbit makes it very easy to go and later touch these up, by the way, with Paint or Clone tools, and finally a composition called BuildingTest.vpe.

Now in my composition I have a number of individual layers, again, representing each of those rectangles I define, and again I want to emphasize by double-clicking on one, they've had their perspective removed, they are now flat views on these model pieces. There are some of those edges, overhang, and then the larger surfaces of the wall. You'll notice that all of these have been Parented to one Null Object called Parent. I'll go back to my Composition.

That means if I press par for Rotation, I can rotate just that Null and move all of the model pieces as a whole, same for Shift +S, scaling them down and scaling them up, animating their Position, et cetera. Photoshop also creates a camera for us, already positioned and spaced around the scene. If I type C to bring up my unified Camera tool, right-click to bring up the Orbit tool, you can now see that I can drag this building around and look at it from a 3D perspective.

We can even tilt up on it and see the underside of that overhang. Now, this is pretty cool, and this works particularly well for interiors, where you've got some nice squared off hallways inside the building and for also nice office buildings from the outside. However, I am missing information, and I do have wrong information, such as around these roof edges. Again, you can go ahead and select any one of these pieces. So for this portion of the building use the Paint and Clone tools inside After Effects, or choose Edit>Edit Original, and open these individual pieces back in Photoshop, where you can use its tools, like Content-Aware Fill, the Clone Stamp tool, et cetera, to go ahead and extend out these pieces or repair problems, such as along the edge of this roof.

So that's the basics of Vanishing Point Exchange. I know a lot of people got excited about this, because they thought of it as a way of creating virtual sets. And that is true, but don't expect miracles, it's not perfect. It will work in a pinch, it will certainly work for low budget stuff, or visualization, or web sites, but I wouldn't rely on this for my next multimillion dollar blockbuster.

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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