Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Animating in 3D space in After Effects, part of Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Working with Type (2014).
- With the animation presets, there are also several available for 3D space. You can make text tumble or revolve using all three dimensions. Let's make a duplicate composition here. I'll just select this and press ctrl or cmd + d and then we'll rename it Text Block 3D. Open that up. Make sure that text is on and then we'll remove the two different animators. It goes back to static.
You can also take these effects off for now. If I browse my animation presets, you'll notice that under the text category there's actually a 3D category, 3D Text. This category is not extruded rather it's just a simple move in three dimensions. Now, the camera angle it often shows you is a skewed angle to the side but this particular one is quite nice. There's basic Rotate Cascade or a cascade where they spin on.
There are several choices to choose from and all of these can be quite useful. Not only can they move in 3D space but all of the other things you learn about, including motion blur and blur transitions and scale and skew, can also be applied. When you find one you want, simply double click and I'll press space bar. You see that the 3D movement is happening revealing the letters.
Now, that was a reveal in. Additionally, you can go a little further down after the text has been in place for a while. I can navigate in here either using the browse command or just look through and, in this case, I'll take out. Additionally, if I just do a filter on the word out, you'll see several different exiting transitions from all the categories identified. In this case, let's do Flutter Out From the Right or Flip Out Rotate.
I'll highlight that layer. Put the play head where I want that to start and then drag it on. You'll notice a second animator is applied and then they pull back out. Remember, "u" for user keyframes let's you see those. Now it's time pretty simple to adjust the timing. If we take a look at that 3D space, you'll see that they rotate in.
I like that but let's make it a bit better. First of, I'm going to turn on Motion Blur. It's on for the whole comp and the layer and that's gonna make that look a bit more realistic. Next, let's add a 3D camera. Layer, New, Camera. In this case, I'll stick with a 50mm camera, which is pretty standard. Right here, the layer is already 3D. What I'm gonna do is rotate the camera around so let's use the Transform properties here.
We'll rotate the point of interest and the position of the camera. What I'd like to do is have this swing a little bit. An easy way to see this is to look at Custom View 1 and I like to look at two Views here. Makes it easier to see things. I'll set this one to show me the front view through the Active Camera. Then I'll look at this one from the side and turn off the pixel grid.
Now, it's pretty easy to rotate the point of interest and the camera position. There we go. Let's pan that point of interest over a little bit. Then, we'll come here a little earlier. Swing the other way. There we go.
Adjust the point of interest slightly. Move the camera in on the z axis and because I'm looking through the Active Camera, and this Custom View which shows me an overhead view, it's pretty easy to frame things up. There we go. I like that. Now, let's just spread those keyframes out so that this matches the beginning of the animation.
We'll sync this to the end. "U" for user added keyframes. We'll just do that for both layers and now it's pretty simple to line these keyframes up so the animations are in sync. Let's take a look at the Active Camera. Now, with the animated 3D camera you could see better that the characters are indeed moving through 3D space and that the camera creates an interesting arc as this moves around.
In this case, it's a little bit close to the action so I'm going to adjust that slightly. Let's pull the position out just a bit. There we go and then I'll right click on this keyframe and tell it to Rove Across Time so it creates a smoother position. The Rove Across Time option will automatically position the keyframe to cut down on any bumps in the motion path.
So now we have the characters moving in 3D space tumbling in. The 3D camera moving across the surface of that title. As it gets to the other side, it will then animate out. Now, right now, I'm doing my RAM Preview at a fairly high quality. If I pull this down, you can see more options about the preview. Let's just expand that. Let's drop this here to half quality and tell it to skip every other frame.
Now, the RAM Preview happens much faster. This draft quality of half screen quality and half the frames makes it much easier to work out your timings. You'll notice that the 3D animation loads quite quickly and this gives you a really good idea of what's happening with the the comp. Feel free to also drop the resolution further because in this case we're only looking at quarter size so I could actually get away with quarter resolution. This preview is almost done so we'll see it finish out.
There it is and those characters are definitely moving in all three dimensions. There's my 3D text. Comes in, swings across and animates out. Remember, everything is fully editable so if you wanna adjust the timings just pull the keyframe in and it adjusts but, if you do make that change, you may need to re-preview to have those new frames cached.
You'll get a pretty good idea on how everything is working. Just click to load. The new timings will be processed. You can now watch your animation play back in real time.
- Designing lower thirds in Photoshop
- Creating alpha channels in Photoshop
- Designing 3D type in Photoshop
- Distressing text
- Creating a watermark
- Animating text with After Effects
- Using and customizing animation presets
- Extruding 3D text in After Effects
- Creating titles in Premiere Pro
- Adding a logo to a lower third
- Linking text