Join Ran Ben Avraham for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the sphere's color map, part of After Effects: Bouncing Animated 3D Sphere.
- [Instructor] Our first step will be to create the texture map for the 3D sphere. Our texture map will need to be in a very large scale and in a two to one ratio. But why is that? Well we can create a 3D sphere out of any layer in After Effects and that layer can be in any size and in any ratio. So for example, let's create a new layer, control+Y. We'll create it in the width and height of 500 by 500.
So that's a ratio of one to one and a relatively small scale. Now let's add a random texture here so we can see what's going on in our 3D sphere. We'll apply to it fractal noise. Wonderful, now let's apply the CC sphere effect. Wonderful, so there's our sphere and it seems quite fine now, doesn't it? But what should happened once I want to increase its radius? Let's see.
So as we can see, our texture is becoming very blurry as we scale up our 3D sphere and that is the reason we need a large scale layer. So let's go into the solid settings, control + shift + Y, and double its size by four times. So I'll lock the aspect ratio and I'll set it to 2,000 by 2,000 and we'll hit okay. Now the 3D sphere hasn't changed but we can now clearly see the texture.
So everything's fine up to this point, right? But why do we need the two by one ratio? Well to truly understand that, let's take a snapshot and once again we'll go into the solid settings, control + shift + Y, and this time we'll set the height to half the amount of the width. So that will be 1,000. We can see our texture isn't blurry at all, however the texture is now not stretched across the sphere.
To really see the difference we will hit F5 to switch between the snapshot we just took and the current view. So this is the snapshot, this is the way that the sphere looked when the solid was 2,000 by 2,000 in a one by one ratio. And this is how it looks when the ratio is two by one. Once again, one by one ratio, two by one ratio. So we need to keep a two by one ratio to keep the texture from stretching across the 3D sphere.
Wonderful, so now that we have this knowledge, we can delete this solid, we don't really need it. And let's create a new composition, control + N. We'll create this composition in the dimensions of 3200 by 1600 which is two by one ratio and from my experience it's a large enough scale for the texture not to get blurry and we'll hit okay. Wonderful, let's back up here. And now let's create a new solid, control + Y.
We'll make sure it's the comp size and its color is white. Wonderful, let's rename the solid to background. And going back to our project window, inside our assets folder, inside stills, we have the logo illustrator file, we'll drag that in. Now in the project window the texture map composition isn't inside the comp's folders so to keep a clean house, we'll place it there.
We'll take a look in the comps folder, and place the texture map composition inside the pre comps folder. Wonderful. For our logo layer we'll enable the continuously restorize button which will make sure that our illustrator file will continue to be sharp even if we'll scale it up which is exactly what we want to do. Let's hit S and scale it up just a little bit. Something of this sort should do. Wonderful, at this point our sphere's texture map is complete.
Pre composing the texture map allows us not only to build multiple layers for our texture map, it also allows us to animate or change the texture map during our animation so even if you don't need more than one layer for your texture map, it's always a good idea to pre compose it.
This is a project-based learning experience. Each step of the process is rich with object lessons that are applicable to the variations that a motion design and compositing artist will face in the real world.
- Creating a sphere
- Adding reflections and color correction
- Creating squash and stretch animation
- Expression linking a sphere's rotation properties
- Connecting a sphere to a position null
- The bounce-decay-stop expression
- Animating the position and rotation
- Animating the sphere color map
- Creating an automated shadow