Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating 3D text, part of Element 3D Essential Training.
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So far we've been looking at 3D objects that come with Element, but now we're going to look at creating 3D objects from scratch in Element; truly one of Element's greatest benefits. Now, what we're going to look at in this movie is the ability to create 3D text from scratch, which is absolutely incredible. Now, the text we're going to be creating isn't going to look quite this great, but towards the end of this training series, I'm going to show you how to add all the polish that I added here; all the shadows, and everything else that makes this look great.
And we'll talk about how to do that later, but as you can see, this is really high-quality. This is only 50%. If I zoom in, we can't really see everything, but you see the shallow depth of field, you see the bevels, and the lighting on the bevels. It just looks incredible, and it renders remarkably fast as well. So let's get to the 3D Text Start composition, and let's go head and create some new text. I'll choose the Horizontal Type Tool, I'll just go head and click, and because this is so magical, I'm just going to create the word MAGICAL. I'm going to choose the Selection tool, and move this into the center of the frame, and I'll go over to my Character panel here, and scale this up.
Of course, you don't have to have this font. It doesn't really matter. Whatever font you want to use will work fine for this trick. Actually, I'll make this a little bit bigger, just so we can see what we're doing here. Even a little bit too big for this composition, but just so you can see what's going on. Now, I've already added the Element 3D Effect for you on the Element 3D layer, and what we need to do, before we click the Scene Setup button, is we need to go to Custom Layers, Custom Text and Masks, and in a Path Layer 1, we need to choose the Text we just created, which is the MAGICAL text in my case.
Now, once we've done that, we really don't need this text layer on, so I'm just going to turn off its visibility, but as long as loaded into Element here in the Custom Layer section, we're good to go. So I'm going to go head and click Scene Setup, and nothing will be different; it will be blank. That's totally fine. Don't worry. Just go ahead and click the Extrude button. Click Extrude, and it will automatically look in the Custom Layers area for the layers to make 3D, and there you have it.
Click and drag, and now we have full three-dimensional text right here inside of Element. It's just that easy, and it renders just that quickly, which is really remarkable. Later in this chapter, we'll also talk about Bevel settings. I'm going to use my scroll wheel, and zoom a little bit closer, so we can see its edges. By default, it creates a nice smooth edge, but you might want a rougher edge, or a bevel on that, and the Element 3D allows you to do that as well. And of course, we're not really talking about materials yet, but you can go over here down at the Material and Bevel Browser, go over to Presets, and we can click on some of the materials that come with Element 3D.
And we can drag and drop -- let's say, for example, Glass. We'll drag and drop Glass on this, and now we have this beautiful, glassy MAGICAL 3D text, which is really cool. Go and click OK, and then there it is in our scene, and we can select this camera, or better yet, choose the Unified Camera Tool, and click around. We could zoom in with that right-mouse button, and we have 3D text in our scene from scratch, and this renders faster, and looks better than any other solution I've ever seen for After Effects, which is absolutely incredible.
- Assigning objects to groups
- Adjusting basic object transform properties
- Creating 3D objects from text and masks
- Working with bevel presets
- Creating custom materials
- Adding illumination
- Creating bumps with normal maps
- Using replicator shapes
- Animating with the animation engine
- Creating a shallow depth of field