Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video Add 3D depth, part of After Effects CC 2019: New Features.
- [Instructor] In the past, 3D Channel Extract and a few other effects in the 3D channel category of effects have not been applicable to 3D created in After Effects. They only worked on important 3D animations. Now these effects, which also include depth matte, depth of field, and fog 3D just work when applied to a nested composition that contains After Effects' 3D enabled layers. So here's an animation that is working for me as far as the animation goes but it looks super cheesy at the end when I actually want this little logo to fade off in the distance.
The logo is made up of a text layer, and a shape layer and so even if I could say apply depth matte to just one of these layers and have it do something, it's not really what I want to do. For depth matte to work, I'm going to choose both of those layers and say Layer Pre-compose and I'll just choose the defaults for that. And now if I go back and apply the same effect, you can see that it is now reading the 3D depth of that layer, I'm going to invert it and add a little bit of a feather.
Okay to move on I already have this nested in this work in progress comp and over here I've already applied 3D channel extract, now this is the most powerful of these effects in the 3D channel category that apply to 3D depth. And this has been upgraded, this latest version. So for example it now has anti aliasing, it also works at 32 bits per channel. The anti aliasing obviously gives a lot more subtlety to that matte as you can see before and after.
And so to apply it we would turn off this top layer, enable the one below it, and apply a Luma Matte which is now going to basically comp it in with that depth applied, so you can see as it moves off in the distance it's just fading out and that's what I want. So 3D channel extract is the most powerful of these effects but let me show you some of the other ones. I have them pre-applied here so I'll just go through them.
The depth matte as you saw basically does the same thing, it's just a bit cruder in terms of how much leeway you have to adjust it, depth of field is going to set a focal depth which I can adjust so that solid line you see there is where the depth is in focus and of course I can adjust the amount of defocusness and the width of that area. And then fog adds color to the foreground and fades it off into the distance, maybe not quite so applicable in this case, but sometimes useful.
You can also apply this to pre-comps that use the cinema 4D renderer so here I have some extruded text just solo it for a second so you can clearly see it. And I have that integrated in with the depth matte effect applied, so that again as it heads off into the distance, you just see it fade out of sight. When does this not work? Well when you have third party effects, for example one of my favorites trap code particular, you're not going to see these effects actually working the same way on those.
So overall, these are great additions to After Effects despite that they don't solve every 3D situation.