You need to clean up your text. This error points to "illogical" non-convex curves or otehr issues like multiple anchor points in the same location, self-intersecting shapes, non-contiguous contours, to thin areas and so on. Whatever it is, only meticulously prepping your shapes will fix it.
Unfortunately, that isn't the problem. But, I do have more information about how this error is occuring. The error occurs not when making the shapes from the vector layer - that works OK. But, as soon as I try to make the new outline layer 3D by clicking the 3D box on the layer, I get the error.
To test this further, I created a box in Illustrator. I typed the letter "I" in the box, created outlines for the letter and made a compound path for the cutout shape. So, in other words, the simplest shape I could possibly make that still gives me the look I want. I imported the file to AE, made shapes from the vector layer...OK. Turned the layer into 3D - boom - got the error.
Is this a bug?
I am having this same problem also. I can tell it's from the font I'm using, I believe it was created for our network in-house. I can type in text just fine as long as the layer is in 2D, but once I convert it to a 3D layer (or open a project with 3D layers in this font) I fet an error.
Seems like the solution would be either
1) DOn't use 3D layers for text
2) Clean up that font.
Unfortunately, 1) is not possible because this is an established animation for network tune-in end cards and can't be changed at the moment. I would love to 2) clean up the font, but I'm not sure how one does that (I'm an animator).
Mac OSX 10.7.3
2x2.66 6-core Intel
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
AE CS6 126.96.36.1998
edited to include screen cap of the fonts in question!
To respond to your two solutions...
1) I'm in a situation where I must use 3D to match other 3D text and graphics on screen. There's just no reason why these two programs shouldn't work together better.
2) The font in question is Helvetica Neue. I can't think of a more generic "vanilla" sans serif font than that one. Like I said in my test graphic (white box with the letter "I" making a cutout), there's literally 8 points in the entire shape. So, something else is clearly wrong and there's no need to "clean up the font."
Somebody on the COW forum suggested I try expanding the appearance from the object menu in Illustrator before export. I will try that tomorrow when I'm in front of it again.
I can't say anything beyond what I already stated. We had this error a couple of times on the forum over the last year and if cleaning up the contours or using a different font doesn't resolve it, I don't know what else to advise. I won't rule out that it is some bug of sorts, but I suspect the files would work just fine on anotehr system, so investigating this from afar by opening the project files would not be that helpful...
That is exactly the kind of font you should not use. If you inspect it in AI based on the converted contours you will no doubt see all sorts of issues like unconnected paths, holes inside holes/ intersecting other holes and so on. Without a lot of extra preparation this will never work, I'm afraid...
What I did in the final analysis to get things to work (I'm on a deadline, just like everybody else), was to switch fonts a few times until I fould something that would work. I ended up using Brandon Grotesque instead of Helvetica Neue, which I think we would both agree are pretty similar sans serif fonts. But, for some reason, it likes the one and not the other.
I did have a colleague in another state duplicate my workflow and he got the same result (error at first, then OK when switching fonts), so, in my opinion, that spells B-U-G. Plus, I have multiple other AI objects within the same comp, all with shapes made from vectors - highly complex shapes at that - and AE has no problem with them.
Any time that you think that you have encountered a bug, please report it here:
(That's the same bug-report form that you get by choosing Help > Send Feedback in the After Effects application.)
This is an old post but if someone is still having a problem with this error, the best way around it is to change the font (not ideal) or convert your text to a shape before making it a 3d layer. Hopefully this helps