8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2009 4:01 PM by yenaphe

    Precise 3d-techniques in AE

    Andy Bay Level 1

      Hi guys!

       

      I'm thinking of trying to build something very complex out of small solid planes in AE's 3D-world just to see how far the limits of AE's "3D" capabilities can be pushed. The way I think is that very many things can be built with just rectangular and triangular planes as long as you have enough detail and work in a very small scale on important areas. Basically one could even create a "round" shape like a discoball just out of very small square solids right?

       

      I asking in forehand if you have any tips or advice on the subject so that I don't fall into any pittfalls while trying this.

       

      What interests me the most is that is there ANY good way in AE to make sure that the solids snap to each other in the 3D world so that there will be absolutely no gaps between two solids?

       

      Is there some things I should take into consideration while doing this? Any good techiques?

       

      I'm also interested in any tutorials on the subject or complex previous works that has been done with just by using AE's 3D functions.

       

      ANY help will certainly be appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

          What interests me the most is that is there ANY good way in AE to make sure that the solids snap to each other in the 3D world so that there will be absolutely no gaps between two solids?

           

          Use square pixels in your Comp Settings. Even if the format you're going uses non-square pixels, you can always nest and fit this intermediate Comp in an ouput Comp which uses non-square pixels if necessary.

           

          Use the "Alpha Add" blending mode to mantain seamless junctures.

           

          I can't recommend enough Red Giant's PlaneSpace (formerly Digital Anarchy's 3D Assistants). It automates the assembly of different 3D paterns (boxes, spheres, etc) using regular 3D layers in AE.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

            What interests me the most is that is there ANY good way in AE to make sure that the solids snap to each other in the 3D world so that there will be absolutely no gaps between two solids?

             

            No, not at all. Since the filtering is always applied uniformely, it also always filters the edges. Even Alpha Add blending mode does not avoid that issue entirely. The stinker here is, that your layers are not geometry, but textures/passepartouts/cutouts on an infinite plane. If you want an honest opinion: As much as I love AE, it simply sucks for that kind of stuff and you would have much less frustrations with a 3D program. Even ther free Blender does this a 10000 times better then AE. Well, and for shapes - yes, Planespace, obviously, but also Trapcode Echospace and of course a fancy little collection of 3D objects with fuzzy edges.

             

            Mylenium

            • 3. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
              Andy Bay Level 1

              Thank you very much for your help!

               

              I actually noticed the importance of square pixels in an earlier project. I was using a 16:9 comp in trying to build a perfect 3d-square and that had me stunned for hours So it's a good tip indeed!

               

              PlaneSpace seems really really good! But it has me wondering, if the same things that it does could be achieved with a script/expressions? I would hate to pay 200 bucks and then notice that someone has a script that can also distribute layers in 3d-space like PlaneSpace does!

               

              Anyway, I did some testing and I have to say I'm starting to get really excited! I mean, if you use 1x1 pixel solids then you can basically create a perfectly round 3D ball in AE right (or atleast a ball that is round enough to seem perfect from a pixel based computer screen)? That's really cool, now I'm thinking of all the possibilities of this.. 

              • 4. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
                Andy Bay Level 1

                Ah ok, I just received Mylenium's reply. Thanks for that information too! I don't know why, but for some crazy reason i feel like giving it a go in AE although I also use Blender too once in a while. It's just that I feel like I'm "at home" when I'm using AE, I just love this program so much that I would like give this a shot. But it's good to know about these issues that you pointed out!

                • 5. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
                  Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                  I wouldn't use AE as a modelling application, but motion graphics/design oriented pieces have lots of room for simple proto-modelling, and since you're not trying to achieve a photo-realistic living room, the limitations may not be problematic if you take them into account. AE may not be the best application to build a seamless model, but it can be amazing to make a sphere with animated text layers, for example. And in those cases, juctures are not that critical.

                   

                  Some of what PlaneSpace does can be achieved by scripts, and there are specific ones to assemble spheres, boxes, etc. But PlaneSpace is more complete and comprehensive. A great investment, I think.

                   

                  Also, there's no problem with 16:9 frame aspect, but with achieving a 16:9 frame aspect by using anamorphic, non-square pixels. Use a square pixel 16:9 Comp preset and then nest the result in an proper, non-square pixel 16:9 Comp.

                  • 7. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
                    Andy Bay Level 1

                    Thanks Todd, very inspirational indeed! With some imagination, I think you can do very very interesting 3D things in AE!

                     

                    This clip might be familiar to you guys, but it also demonstrates AE's 3D capabilities in a very nice way:

                     

                    http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/building-a-3d-world-in-after-effects

                    • 8. Re: Precise 3d-techniques in AE
                      yenaphe Level 4

                      For my movie project I did a script that did a lot of stuff you can find in Planescape, but then I discovered it, bought it, and only use my script for specific tasks not available in Planescape. Believe me, you don't want to do it by hand with expressions, and I know no script that will help you with that, so fear not (And I won't release mine to the public either) and have a look at that plug.