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Repoussé in After Effects CS5


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Repoussé in After Effects CS5

I'm back in After Effects CS5 and I want to import my Repousse layer. So I do a normal import, File > Import > File, and I pick my file that I just exported from Photoshop, my PSD file. I must open it as a Composition. Not as Footage, but Composition. Click Open. It will take a while to process. And I want to make sure that this checkbox, Live Photoshop 3D, is enabled.

This is what will allow me to do camera moves around these layers in After Effects. Click OK and here is my composition with my Repousse layer. Repousse is render intensive. It will take a while to show up, but there it is. Okay, we have a lot of layers here. Let's sort through them. First off, since I created my template with a background layer, a background is going to come in the After Effects. Well I don't need it. I'll just delete that for now. I've got a camera. That's a basic camera that was in Photoshop and now I have two layers, Extruded and Extruded Controller.

Controller is the layer that I want to animate to move this layer around. I'll take its Transform properties, and go ahead and move things like its Position, its Scale, its Rotation, to do all of my movements. These, however, are just a dummy layer, a null object. You can even turn off their video switch for now. All the rendering is happening in this extruded layer and I'll type E and you'll see there's a Live Photoshop 3D plug-in applied to this layer.

I'll type F3 to open up the Effect Controls panel and you'll see here's my Photoshop 3D plug-in and these red numbers are telling me that all these values have been expressed. Expressions are tying them to the Extruded Controller layer. Adobe reasons that you probably don't want to or may not be able to find all these parameters inside of plug-in, so they gave you this other layer with normal Transform which you can animate instead. And, of course, you have your camera. I'll type c to bring up my universal Camera tool and just do my camera moves around this layer.

Now you might have noticed this text is looking pretty chunky and pretty aliased, not elegant at all. That's because I saved it using that draft mode back in Photoshop. I'd really prefer this to be ray traced. It would render much more cleanly. Unfortunately, the Live Photoshop 3D effect does not have a render quality switch in After Effects. I felt this was a big oversight in CS4, and unfortunately it's still with us here in CS5. The way to remedy this is to select the layer with the Photoshop 3D effect and do Edit > Original.

Command+D on Mac, Ctrl+D on Windows, edit external. I'll go back in Photoshop and open up my Photoshop 3D layer. Here I can go ahead and change the quality to Ray Traced Draft. It'll take a moment to render but it looks much better. I'll save it, then I'll toggle back to After Effects. Once I'm in After Effects, it'll take a moment to pick up that the file's changed, render the ray traced file, but here's the payoff.

That looks much nicer and you can even see some nice shadows, some nice shading, going on here from my lights set up in Photoshop. If I add lights in After Effects, unfortunately it's not going to affect the outcome but the lighting in Photoshop does render pretty nicely in After Effects. Here is the problem with Ray Traced mode. Now my responsiveness has gone way out the window. I'm dragging my mouse and nothing's happening and it literally takes this long for it to render my new position. That is not very interactive at all.

So here's the workaround. Remember this quality switch in After Effects, which weyouprobably haven't touched in years because you've done everything at best quality? Well, if you have a Repousse layer that's been saved as Ray Traced, temporarily put this down to Draft Quality. It'll take it a moment to change, but once it does, you'll find the layer is much more interactive. So keep it in Draft Quality while you're setting up your camera movements, your position moves, your scales, any animation and then when it comes time to render, either switch the quality back to Best at that moment or when you queue up a render, tell it to render best quality so it'll reach in and change that switch just during the render.

And that's the secret to using Repousse. Now frankly, this is no replacement for using something like Zaxwerks Invigorator or a real 3D program. But if you work at a place where they buy you the Adobe Suite such as Production Premium and nothing else, no other third-party software, at least you now have some really nice extrusion tools to extrude type logos and other shapes that you draw.

Repoussé in After Effects CS5
Video duration: 5m 12s 2h 37m Intermediate

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Repoussé in After Effects CS5 provides you with in-depth training on Video. Taught by Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer as part of the After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques

Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
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