Join Eran Stern for an in-depth discussion in this video 3D camera tracking, part of After Effects Guru: Integrating Type into Video.
- The next (mumbles) is a bit technical but critical as well. We'll use the 3D camera tracker effect to analyze the shot and solve it. This is usually a straight forward process but it will involve a few minor adjustments in order to make the next steps easier. So beside a 3D camera solution, we're also going to add a shadow catcher in the light. Both will play an important part when we'll extrude the text later on. - [Man] So, now that we know more or less the direction that we're going to take this, we can turn off the eye for this font and we can get into business, meaning that we need to actually solve the camera.
Then we'll add back the text and design the final look for it. I'm going to select this layer and let's go to the beginning. Then from the Animation menu I'm going to choose Track Camera. This will apply the 3D camera tracker effect and of course, it will start the analyze process which is two steps. The first step will track the image and then it will try to solve the camera. Now of course you can work in the same time or you can just take a look here of the info panel of the effect and get a sense of how much time it will take it to finish.
This is what I'm going to do and if there is a need, you can always open up the advanced settings and define your specific needs. But in this case, it's really going to do a nice job on its own. Now when the camera tracker is finished you can scrub the timeline to check the result. The next step will be to create camera and couple of other elements. This is very important. I do want to create everything in one go because I want them to react with each other.
Now of course I can always add them later but this is the safest and simplest way to achieve what we are after. So first I need to identify a target over here because my plan is that the tittle will stand on this edge. So I'm just moving my mouse and every time After Effects sees three points that it can triangulate between, it will show you a preview of this target. So if you see something that you like, you can just click and basically if you want to improve it you can add sheaths and add more points and this is what I'm going to do.
I'm going to add extra points that I see which I think will help us to solve it better. Once I get to an area which I'm happy, I'm going to click and drag this target. This has two purposes. First I can see if the perspective is working and second, when I'm going to create all the elements in a moment, they will be generated in the middle of this target. Now we can right-click on it and we can choose the first option, Create Text and Camera.
This will create text using the last font that we've set up, in my case, Bauhaus 93. Once again, if you don't have access to this font, you can use whatever you like. Don't be alarmed if you open the project and After Effects is yelling at you that you are missing this font. Okay, I'm not going to treat this font yet because at the same opportunity, I'm also going to right-click when the target is still selected and I'm going to create a shadow catcher in the light.
And as I mentioned, this is the easiest way to go because everything will be generated using the same target so it will be easier to control later in time. Now, after you've created those three elements. Text plus shadow catcher in the light, then we can reselect the text and then we can press R and work on its orientation and rotation. Usually when you create text, After Effects don't really get it in the first time.
So if this is the case for you as well, you can start to play with your rotation and we'll start to change the Z-value and then I may want to change the X-rotation and I'm actually going to set it to positive 90 degrees. It's hard to read the text at this point but if I'm going to move the cursor, we can see that indeed the text is sticking to the plane. Meaning that the 3D camera that we created was a success and it looks like the text is well integrated into the scene.
So you need to find the important frame and then design the text so it will be readable. I'm going to leave my audience at least maybe two second to read it. So I'm going to do all the preparation here at five seconds. Now I know what I want to write over here, I already did it previously. I will say goodbye to this layer because the orientation is obviously wrong and I'm going to double click on this text and I'm just going to start all over again.
So time for and then a return in order to create the second line and fun all in capital letters. Now I can return to the arrow tool and then take this tittle up and I also want the anchor point to be at the bottom. I think it will be more easier for us to control. I'm going to switch tools to the anchor point, then I'm going to start to drag and then hold Command or Control in order to activate the snapping options and then let go when I see the double arrow.
Now I'm going to double click inside the text, make sure that I'm selecting only the first line, and then let's reduce it to something maybe like this. I think that I didn't get all the letters. So I need to reselect it once again and then maybe something like this. So 100, let's give it a round number 160. Now select the word fun and we want it to be something like this so in this case, maybe 340 and we need to work on the (mumbles) so once again, double click in order to select everything and then, let's just open this space, the gaps between those two lines.
Something like this should work. And once again, we need to place the text on the edge of this table and again, I'm going to move the anchor point to the bottom. Now this is a little bit of a back and forth game here until you find the right numbers and the right angles. I'm just testing this result to see how this looks.
Okay, this looks nice. I'm going to leave it like this but I will select the light. Press P and make sure that we can see all the numbers and I want to move the light so it looks like it's casting the shadows at the correct angle. You need to find some reference in your shot in order to determine where the correct angle is. I'm just trying to eyeball the correct angle. Now it's a little bit difficult to see where the shadow catcher plane is in 3D space.
So first, I want to maybe extrude it so it will cover the whole thing and then, as before, we need to work on the orientation. The orientation doesn't seem to match with what we have in the scene. I'm just going to play with those numbers then extend it and then I need to make sure that this plane and this plane are intersecting, meaning that the text really sit on top of that shadow catcher.
I'm going to try to switch views to custom view one just in order for me to see where they are intersecting and I think that they are not in their right position. So we may need to press P and lower the floor so it will look more natural. Something like this should work. And now we have the correct appearance in terms of our shadows. I'm going to press Escape to return to the previous camera view and then I'm also going to try and move this plane so it will actually end on the edge of this deck.
This is once again, a back and forth process where you need to match the angles in order for it to work later in time. So do invest some time in order to fix it in this stage, in order to save some work later on. Something like this should work nicely. Then of course, we need to play again with the direction of the light. I'm just going to maybe pull it away from us, then raise its position to somewhere over here and if you are getting some strange behavior in terms of the quality of the light, you may want to go to the Renderer option and change the shadow map resolution to some higher number.
Let's go with 3,000. This will improve the quality of the shadow. Now this is just a temporary fix because in a moment we are going to convert this from the classic 3D renderer to the ray-traced renderer. I just wanted you to see that you do have control and you can actually set the quality of the shadow to whatever you want. So maybe something like this. I think it looks nice. I do sense that we need another light in order to fill up the scene. Let's go and add a second light.
This will be a point light without fall off and I don't want it to cast any shadows, just want to use it in order to relight my object over here. I may need to play with its position later as well but I'm going to leave it like this for now. So we've solved the 3D camera and then we've created a text and a shadow catcher. Then we've set up the orientation of both the text and the shadow catcher.
And of course, we've edit a (mumbles) light in order to create this. Now this is just a starting point and we'll take it much further in the next movie.
- Analyzing your shot and making mood, story, and type decisions
- Working with lights, shadows, and 3D animation
- Rotoscoping, distorting, and displacing text
- Creating a motion graphics teaser using parenting and shoot-out animations
- Integrating 3D text into live video
- Working with ray-traced type
- Create advanced per-character 3D text animations