2D layers can be converted to operate in 3D space and when spaced apart, the shifting of perspective can be achieved.
- Introducing parallax into our scene, can greatly heighten the interest of our animations. Here in this movie we'll see how we can use 3D layers and after-effects to create a multiplane environment for our scene. When I preview this, you can see that we have a sense of parallax here. We get a sense of depth, since our perspective is changing, throughout the entire shot, and we just have this created using 3D layers in multiplane. Let's come over here to our multiplane composition and let's see how we can set this up. Now if you're unfamiliar with multiplane, it's a technique that sees it's origin in traditional cell animation where sheets of glass hold various portions of art, and they're spaced apart. A camera could then move and capture that sense of depth created by the parallax. We'll see how we can do the same thing here, digitally. And the first thing we need to do is change all of these 2D layers into 3D layers. If we twirl this down, under our transform properties, you can see all of these relate to 2D layers. Our position, for instance, has an X value and a Y value. Now to make a 2D layer into a 3D layer, all we have to do is click on this icon. You'll now notice that we gained some extra properties inside our layer. Our position property now has an X value, a Y value, and a Z Value. So let's go ahead and come over here, with our layer selected, come over to View and Show Layer controls. This will turn on the three axes, at the bottom of the screen. And this allows us to grab the handles directly on the Y axis, the X axis, and of course the Z axis. Let me undo that. And switch this back up to fit 100%. Let's come over here to our rotate tool. And, with our layer selected, if we rotate this, you can see that this is just a flat plane in 3D space, there's no depth to this whatsoever. And so that's what the 3D layer switch enables us to do, take these 2D layers and move them around in 3D space. Let me undo that, and then we'll turn off our show layer controls. And I'll hit V on the keyboard to switch back to my selection tool. So, let's do this for all the layers, except our sky layer. And, the reason we want to do this except for our sky layer is because our sky, when we solo this out, you can see is just a gradient in the background. And since we don't need to actually scale that, and we don't need to move that, we can keep this as a 2D layer. Now that we've done that, you can see, inside of our composition window, that not much has changed. And before we start to move around our 3D layers in space we definitely want to take a picture of this to use as reference. So, to do that, let's come over here to our create snapshot. Once we click it, we can always recall the picture that we took, using this button here - Show Snapshot. Next what we want to do is come over here to our View Layout and change this up, from One View to two Views Horizontal. On the right, we have our Active Camera. On the left, we have our Top View. If you don't have this Top View enabled, come down here to this dropdown and select Top. You'll see that we have this white line here, essentially these are all of our layers, living right on top of each other and occupying the same Z-space. So if we select all of our layers and hit P, you can see they all have value of zero. Now because I want my yoga woman to stay at center of our world, let's go ahead and deselect her. I'll hold down Command or Control and click on layer one to deselect it. I also want to deselect our sky. So with all the remaining layers selected, let's push this back in Z-space. We can certainly move this gesturally here by taking the arrow, the blue arrow, and moving it further and further away from our camera. And you can see that, as we do this, we're kind of shrinking down the scale of our active camera view. But in actuality, we're actually moving it further away from camera, it's not scaled, we haven't actually changed out our scale property. So, now that we've moved those layers in place, let's go ahead and de-select our cloud layer, by holding down Command or Control and clicking on layer seven. And let's bring in these remaining layers a little bit. And we'll repeat this process, where we deselect, we move, we deselect and move. And you can see that I'm creating this distribution in Z-space of all this artwork. And by doing this, we're creating a bit of depth and some parallax for later down the line. Now I have this foreground layer, that's these two pieces of art, here in the corner. I actually want this to be in front of our yoga woman. So I'm going to put this into a negative Z-space value here. And now lets come back here, inside of our view layout, and switch back to one View. Let's reference our original picture. And you can see how much depth we've included, and we've shifted some things around, and you can see that some things are scaled out, and need to be rescaled up. So, let's start at the bottom here, and take our clouds, and I'll select all my layers, and hit S on the keyboard to bring up my scale property. And now I can focus in, just on the clouds, and scale this up. Now this does need repositioning, so let's go ahead and turn this little guy on, this Toggle Mask and Shape Path Visibility, and select my layer and reposition this into place. Now, this is obviously not an exact science, and there's a little bit of push and pull here. So, you can do this to taste, and this is kind of artistically up to you. So I'm just going to nudge these guys around a little bit, and size them up, so we have some coverage on the sides here, on the edge of our frame. This layer, in particular, seems problematic. We have this little cutoff right here, let's just scale this up, and reposition this upwards, there we go. Our mid layer, we want to push this upwards a little bit and scale it up as well, to kind of cover that bottom portion of the screen. So, somewhere in here perhaps. Right, now that we've done that, let's take all of these layers, and we'll parent this to our layer one. So let's go ahead and take that and tell layer one to be the leader. And now, with this as the parent, what I can do is come down over here to my transform, and under the Y rotation property, I can start to rotate this. And, note that I have all of this parallax for me, just by rotating this one parameter. And this is great, because now we can animate this and have a bit of parallax inside of our composition. So, let's rewind to the very beginning, and lets set a key frame here for our rotation. Maybe I might want to start over here, and, to kind of compensate for this edge right here, I'll zoom in for my position, and bring this closer and closer to camera, something like this. Let's drop in a key frame there for position and for the Y rotation. And, at five seconds, let's rotate this guy around, and maybe we do a little pull backwards, a little pull out, somewhere in there. All right, let's preview this. Okay, it's looking pretty good. By enabling 3D layers inside of After Effects, we can use the multi plane technique to create parallax for our environment.
- Shape layers and masks
- Track mattes
- Rigging characters
- Using the Puppet tool for rigging
- Adding and adjusting keyframes
- Looping animation
- Animating with motion paths and motion sketch
- Adding cameras for multiplane environments
- Lighting animation
- Rendering animation