Join Chris Meyer for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding the dial, part of After Effects Apprentice 15: Creating a Sports Opening Title.
The next thing I want to do while building our 3D world is to add another element that Trish showed you how to create earlier. I am going to back to the Project panel, choose the Dial layer, and drag it into the center of this composition. Now you might remember, your Dial layer was indeed a 3D composition. I'll look at it from one of the custom views. But currently in the Main Comp it's flattened it to being a 2D layer. 3D pre-comps do need a little bit of extra management to make them look right in a final 3D composition.
Drag your Current Time Indicator to where you make sure you see all your dials, all the elements have been built on, and for now let's go ahead and solo just that Dial layer. I'll also return back to switches so I can see my 3D layer switch. Now right now this is a 2D layer. I need to enable his 3D layer switch to make it a 3D layer. However, we solved the problem. I'll press R to reveal rotation. As I rotate it you'll see that it's just a flat layer. But that's not right. You made a 3D composition. Why is it just 2D here? Well, whenever you nest a 3D composition into another 3D composition, most of the time you want to enable the collapse transformation switch for that pre-comp.
What that does is, in essence, bring all the layers in that pre-comp forward into the current composition. Then when they are in this composition, they can pick up the camera, the lighting, basically all the 3D-ness of this comp. So I will enable that switch for this layer. You'll see the Dial has changed, and now as I rotate around, you'll see that we do indeed have our 3D widget. It's no longer a piece of flat 2D artwork. That's far more desirable. I zero this out, turn off Solo for now and it's part of our world, including intersecting with the floor.
Now that I have the Dial in the same composition as my video, I can see that the colors that I chose weren't exactly right to go along with this video, you'll probably want to edit those. Well, let me show you a trick for doing that. It's called edit this. Look at that. What do we want to edit is the Dial layer's effects that give it its color. For example, the event names layer has a tint effect applied. I'll press F3 to open up its Effect Controls panel. I want to edit its tint while looking at the final composition.
To do that I'll go back to the Dial comp, bring the Effects Control panel forward, lock it so that it remains forward, then bring my main comp back forward again. By doing so, I can make changes to the Tint effect back in the pre-comp, and that'd be reflected in this final composition. For example, let's pick color, based on, say, the dirt in the video, like that. That might be bit on the dull side. Let's pick a brighter area like this or even like this area.
Ah, that matches much better. I like that. When you're done, turn off the Lock icon. I'll go back to my Dial layer, pick one of the rings, look at its stroke color, lock the Effect Controls panel for this stroke, go back to my Main Comp, and decide what color I want that ring to be. Maybe I'll also pick up some color from this comp. Now we have some nice whites, off whites inside the board and his tennis shoes and his helmet. Let's use those. And I pick a color from, say, his shoe here, use that for one ring, unlock it when I am done, go back to the Dial comp, pick the other ring, lock the Effects Control for that stroke, go back to my Main Comp, and eyedropper a different color, like maybe this yellow outside the deck of this board. And there is my second color.
And again unlock when you are done. So now I have some colors for the Dial that are better matched for this video.
The After Effects Apprentice series was created by Trish and Chris Meyer. These tutorials are designed for After Effects CS4 through CC, and can be used on their own or as a companion to the Meyer's book, After Effects Apprentice.
- Building a 3D world
- Working with layered Illustrator files
- Synchronizing to music
- Using text animation presets
- Rendering strategies
- Working with widescreen video, including 4:3 center cut and safe area considerations