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Just for fun:  Can you guess how I did this?

Mar 6, 2012 8:28 PM

A few months ago a thread here discussed different way to stroke 3D objects in After Effects.  There were lots of clever suggestions.

 

I made a TV spot last week that uses growing 3D ribbons to spell out the 2012 in the product title.  There are straight planes and curves within the ribbon paths, and lighting and shadows were required to match the original album art it replicates.  I needed to get the job done quickly and didn't have time to use a 3D application, so I used (what I think) was a rather innovative approach.

 

So, for a bit of fun, can you pick how I did this?  The project is created entirely in AE, in one composition. 

 

Apologies for the heavy compression in the video.

 

 

 
Replies
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    Mar 6, 2012 9:41 PM   in reply to Andrew Yoole

    I may have used FreeForm but you could also stack up a bunch of animated lines as 3D layers in Z space and then just animate the start and end point of the line or use a mask. I kind of think you may have used shape layers. I've used a simple expression to Extrude in AE.

     

    Here's my comp using stroke on a solid. Simple expression for z position separated into values. I also added an expression to colorize hue. Parenting helps move the stack of layers around and maintain a straight extrude. Take a look at the complex expression…

     

    Screen Shot 2012-03-06 at 9.35.56 PM.png

     
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    Mar 6, 2012 11:24 PM   in reply to Andrew Yoole

    Before reading Rick's response, my guess was going to be similar: a bunch of stacked shape layers with animated paths (perhaps using Trim Paths)...

     

    ... but I'm curious to read the real answer.

     

    I really like the result. It's simple but appealing, and it's not a look that I have seen done much elsewhere.

     
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    Mar 7, 2012 4:46 PM   in reply to Andrew Yoole

    Elegant solution!

     
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    Mar 7, 2012 4:59 PM   in reply to Andrew Yoole

    Nice, Andrew!

    Just curious, in the original approach, the 3D layers had cast shadows set to "off", right?

     
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    Mar 7, 2012 6:14 PM   in reply to TimeRemapper

    Love it! Nice work. Innovative approach.

     
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    Mar 8, 2012 8:17 AM   in reply to Andrew Yoole

    > So in the end, I used text layers!  Each ribbon is simply a long string of Helvetica "I" characters, with their kerning pulled back so all the characters touch.  Convert to per-character 3D, rotate X axis 90 degrees, and apply mask as text path.  Then I use a simple Text Animator on opacity to draw the lines on or off. The great advantage of this is no cumbersome stack of layers.  Each colour is one layer, so there's just five layers in my comp for each object. The "20" is one object, then the "1", then the "2" - 15 layers in all for the whole thing.  Changing colours is as easy as changing a single text layer. <

     

    Remarkable, Andrew. I don't think this has ever been done before. I never could have thought it up, my mind does not work like that.

     

    Will you create a tutorial for us boneheads or just upload one of the layer's project files?

     
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