A very useful thing about vector shape layers is that they can be turned into 3D objects with ease inside of Adobe After Effects. So what steps do you need to take to create 3D objects? In this video, author Richard Harrington demonstrates the steps necessary to extrude a logo in 3D in Adobe After Effects.
- One of the key advantages of vector shape layers is that they can be extruded and animated right inside of After Effects using the built-in 3D engine, but you may need to make a few changes to your composition setting first. Let's go ahead and promote this to a 3D layer. I'll do this by clicking the cube switch, and if I twirl it down you'll see that you have some controls. We don't need to worry about the content, but let's look at what's being shown here: material options, geometry options. Well there are no geometry options until I change my renderer.
If you click change renderer, you'll have a couple of choices here and you'll see the ability to use cinema 4D, if you'd like, and now you get some basic geometry options. Or you can use the older Ray-traced option if you want, and this is good for extrusion of text and shapes. Now, you can use either one that you choose. The big difference between the two is that you lose refractions and a little bit of changes in some of the environment layer behavior. But this is fine, you can decide what you want to use.
Since I'm just going to use the environment layer only in the reflections, I'll use the newer cinema 4D workspace and click OK. When I do that, you'll notice that the geometry options become available. So now we can control what happens with this object. To make this a little bit easier, I'll select the object and press "r" for rotation, and I'm just going to tilt this on the Y-axis with the orientation property. This'll make it a bit easier to see the edges.
Now, let's twirl that back open and you'll see here, for geometry options, that we can adjust the depth of the bevel. As we increase this, this controls the bevel. Now, that's the curved edge so don't go too far. I'll go with a value of four and set my bevel to angular. Now, that changes the shape of the bevel dramatically. Notice with different shapes how it's going to push that out.
Let's go with a value of one for a moment and push out the extrusion depth to 20. And you see that that gives it a bit of thickness. Now, once you do this, it's very difficult to see things until you add a light. So let's start by adding a light to the scene. We'll put an ambient light in the scene and that's going to bring up the overall lighting, and then, let's add a additional light to the scene as a spotlight and that's going to shine on our object.
The layer is currently black so it's a little hard to see things, but as we start to adjust properties here for the reflection intensity and other options, we'll be able to see things better. We just need to actually give it something to reflect. Right now this 3D object is basically sitting in empty space, and the lights are shining on it, but there's nothing for it to build on, so we need to move forward and tweak things a bit.
- Acquiring and scanning logo files
- Working with Creative Cloud Market templates
- Prepping a vector logo
- Creating a layered file for animation in Adobe Illustrator
- Animating a vector logo
- Creating cast reflections
- Filling a logo with a pattern