Saturday, February 25, 2012

Creating 3D Text within AE

After Effects is a great program for compositing and 'effecting' material. Unfortunately it is not designed to generate detailed subject matter such as 3D text, which is something I need for my latest project. However there are ways of doing it. As I do not own and am not fluent in any 3D programs I have been doing a little research to find out how it can be done solely in After Effects. I came up with two basic methods that seem to be the most practical. One, linked below (top) simply involves layering text into the Z axis and pre-composing it. This method is the simplest and fairly easy to manipulate to you will!

The second method (bottom) involves extruding the text using the effect Shatter. However when you do this (unless you want your text to shatter) you must go into your physics and force settings and bring everything down to zero. This method gives a nice clean look and makes it easy to add texture to the sides of your 3D text.

What is very nice about both methods is they can be done in After Effects without any external plug-ins necessary. 

The first video, though I was not able to embed it for you, has a link to download the project files in case you want to play around with them right away.

Layered 3D Text

The second video is nice because it shows you both how to create the 3D text and how to apply the custom texture to it. It is more complex, but it allows you to manipulate much more about your text.

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