After Effects is not a true 3D application, in that there is no support for 3D geometry and models. It's more like 2.5D -- 2 dimensional, flat planes that can move within 3D space. For this reason, Element 3D is not able to put its 3D geometry into the native AE 2.5D environment. Instead, it handles all of its computations internally, and places the resulting imagery on a flat, 2D solid (don't set the solid as an After Effects 3D layer unless you have a specific reason to do so). Think of it like an incredible 3D scene painted onto a flat canvas. You can put that canvas behind your live footage, in front of your live footage, or both. Since you can link element 3D camera to the comp camera, your imagery will move in sync. Not sure if that explains it well, but hopefully it points you in the right direction.
I'm releasing a 3D short film on Thursday that I created almost entirely in Element 3D. I mixed in live footage (green screened) into the element 3D using the basic concept I described above -- a sold with Element 3D applied, over a layer of live footage, over another solid with Element 3D applied. Here's the trailer (the movie will be there on Thursday as well): http:///www.youmustconform.com
I'm sure there are a few decent tutorials on youtube. I'm posting one about my short there soon.
Great explanation! Thanks for this!
Also I loved the trailer for your video you made! That look awesome! Can't wait to see it!
I have played around with Element for a little bit now, and I see how you can animate the camera giving the illusion that there is a 3d model in after effects. So how could I get the other object to follow with the element object camera? Is there a way to have the camera not only sync with element 3D but also with the other non-element/2D(in 3d space) objects?
Not sure how to word that question, hope you understand. Thank you!
Not sure I understand the question, but here's my best guess at an answer.
If you have a few 3D layers in your After Effects comp, a non-3D solid layer with Element 3D applied (and a model inserted), and a camera in the comp (start with 2-node camera for ease), you should be able to move the camera around and see ALL of your layers (including the Element 3D content on the non-3D solid) moving together. Hope this helps!
P.S. Here's a link to Video Copilot's Element 3D 2 documentation. I learned a lot from this: VIDEO COPILOT | After Effects Tutorials, Plug-ins and Stock Footage for Post Production Professionals
Wow this is a great link! Thanks a lot!