Learn about creating 3D, extruded text.
- [Instructor] After Effects, of course, is used for quite a bit of motion graphics work, therefore the Boris set of effects includes some great ways to create 3D text right to that effect. Let's give it a try. With a new project here, I'll make a New Composition, and a new Solid, just to test this. Onto that solid I'm going to apply some 3D text. And this is underneath the 3D Objects menu, and we're going to start with Extruded Text. When you choose that, brings up the Boris Text Editor.
I can backspace and type some new text. I can highlight the text, and choose different kinds of fonts, change the font size, choose bold or italic or underline. If I had more than one word, I can adjust the paragraphs, and so on. After you're satisfied with the text, you can simply click the Apply button, and it will appear as 3D text.
Now initially it looks flat, because you're looking at it from the front, but there is a bevel and there is an extrusion. In terms of the effect, there are a huge number of properties you can adjust. We'll just touch on a few of these to get you started. For example, there's controls over the extrusion. I can make the extrusion deeper. Again, I can't really see it too much because of my camera angle. I could see a little bit right here. You can also adjust the size of the bevel, and the style of the bevel here if you want to. Aside from controlling the extrusion, there's built-in transformations, so I can scale it, rotate it, move it back and forth, and so on.
For example, I can move it closer to the camera or further away with Position Z. There's rotation controls for rotating, and there you can see the full 3D text nature. Can scale if we want to, reduce the opacity and so on. Now initially the 3D letters are just gray, pretty much like default materials inside 3D programs. But there's also built-in materials here. Material roll out, and there's a long list of texture files that are built-in to the program.
For example, pick Aluminum Brush, and the material has many of the common attributes you'd find in 3D programs, such as Ambient, Diffuse, Highlight, Opacity, and so on which you can adjust. There's also a built-in Bump File you can use if you want to. Or turn it off. So quite a few controls for material. In terms of the lighting, there are built-in lights. In fact there are three lights you can use. If you go up to the top, you can turn these on or off, Light one, two, and three.
Now I can also understand After Effects 3D Lights and After Effects 3D Cameras. If you make a light or a camera through the Layer menu, like New Light or New Camera, it can use those. You turn on these check boxes, Use Comp Lights, and Use Comp Camera. Now one note though, this is not a full 3D object that integrates into the After Effects 3D space. Understand the cameras and lights, but it's not really in the 3D space as you would expect. If I go to Four View, over here, same view from every single camera.
So not fully 3D as you might be used to working, but you have all the controls you need in the effect to position it, scale it, rotate it, and also to position, scale, rotate, and adjust all your lights and cameras that might be built into the effect. I'm going to go back to One View, and I'm going to turn off Use Comp Lights, and leave off Use Comp Camera, and just use the built-in ones. In terms of lights here, I have the first light turned on, and you can have a Point light or a Spot light, or a Spot light with Shadows, I'll switch to the third one.
You could see it start to work. In terms of position it, you have two targets, Source XY and Target XY. Source is the body of the light, and Target is where the light is working. Now if you can't quite get the handle, just use Target interactively like this, and there we go. In terms of the angle on the Spot, you can make that wider, and also adjust the intensity and the color.
You can add more than one light, if I go back up and turn on Light Two. I can make Light Two a different type of light, like just leave it a Point light, and then position that relative to the text. There is one more really interesting material quality you can get to. If I re-expand Material, there's a built-in Reflection, and it has its own environmental maps. So for example, I can choose a classic Chrome environment, and make it look reflective.
And this will change as I move the text. For example, if I go back to Transformations and Rotate, you'll see the reflection crawl across, which you would expect. In terms of the Camera, there's also that built-in camera, and you can move that if you want to. It comes in a couple different styles. The Position Camera, you can choose an XY Position and the Z Position. So you can push closer or further from the text. Or move left, right, up, down.
There's also a Orbits Camera, which just works through Tumble, Spin, and Rotate, or a Pan, which works with Distance and Advance. So you can pan across. Moves quick, so you might want to enter the numbers by hand there. I'll just leave it on the Position. Alright, so that's a brief introduction to the 3D text. You can type your own text, have it extruded, control the extrusion, assign a material, use one or more lights, adjust those, and also use the built-in camera.
You have enough controls to make a full 3D scene just with that text, and you can animate all those properties, so if you want the text to rotate, to spin, you can do that. You want the camera to move, you can do that. If you want to move the lights over the timeline, you can do that also. So quite a few controls to make your 3D text.
VFX expert Lee Lanier begins by exploring shared Boris Continuum controls, and then shows how to apply stylistic effects. He explains how to work with the PixelChooser and Boris Lights, and discusses how to color grade and warp footage. He also takes you through using the Boris Chroma Key Studio and working with Mocha Pro for motion tracking, as well as how to add particles and work with 3D text.
- Overview of Boris Continuum
- After Effects preferences
- Applying stylistic effects
- Relighting with Boris Lights
- Adjusting colors
- Changing the time of day
- Warping footage
- Keying green screen
- Motion tracking
- Adding particles
- Working with 3D text