6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2010 12:48 PM by steveprc

    Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5

    steveprc Level 1

      I'm using CS5 and I'm routinely using Illustrator logo files in product videos that I'm editing, and I'd like to add more features to the video, but I can't seem to find answers to what I assumed would be a pretty common situation.

       

      I'd like to add some depth to the logo files (3D) and animate them for the intro of the videos. I've come to the conclusion that After Effects is the best solution for animation, which I can then import into the timeline of Premiere Pro. Assuming the aforementioned is correct, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to import these Illustrator files into After Effects, and if this is the ideal environment in which to create the 3D file. There are 3D options within Illustrator of course, and then there are options within Photoshop, and yet again in After Effects and Premiere Pro. I'm not sure where to begin with this, and all the resources I've seen address how to do this with text but not with an existing Illustrator file.

       

      So, my question is, what do the pros recommend as the best method of making Illustrator files into a 3D object that can be animated within After Effects and/or Premiere Pro. I'm not in a position to buy a plug-in to simplify the process (Zaxwerks doesn't have a CS5 compatible version yet anyway) so I'm curious what would be the best way to achieve these effects using existing CS5 software and features. Any links to resources that address this specific issue would also be much appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Well, your best bet would be to copy&paste the paths to Photoshop, then use Repoussé to add depth, color/ texture it and add light and then import the resulting 3D PSD in AE. not glorious and possibly ridden with a number of performance issues and otehr obstacles, but the best solution if you don't want to spend any extra money or go through the process of learning a full 3D program...

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5
            steveprc Level 1

            Awesome! Thank you so much. If I were to invest in any software that would streamline the process, what would you recommend? Thanks SO MUCH for any info.

            • 3. Re: Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              Depends on your mindset and purse plus how much you want to expand into that area. Blender is free and has good forums and tutorials, but it is not necessarily intuitive and does not obey "industry standards" of other 3D apps, that is mostly it's UI navigation, viewport handling and specific processes (seloection for modeling tools etc.) work considerably different than elsewhere. If all you ever do is text and you want the process to be simple and "just work", Cinema 4D Prime is still a pretty good option, in particular since its procedural approach for spline extrusions will spare you fiddling with polygonal modeling as in some otehr programs. If you will: You could create template scenes there and then only update the splines and text as needed... Everything beyond that depends on how much you expand in the field of 3D, but most otehr programs would probably be overkill for you

               

              Mylenium

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5
                steveprc Level 1

                Good advice that Ill take - thank you again. I hate to impose on you, but if you could give your feedback on software packages that I've found on my own, both Zaxwerks 3D and Lightwave 10 have popped up a lot in my searches. I need a quick solution for the vector art because the videos I'm putting together don't pay extremely well, and a quick solution is the only one that makes sense. But, I would also like to learn and begin to create more complex 3D artwork that integrates with After Effects and/or Premiere Pro. I don't presently have the funds, but I'm working towards something like this, so I'm not afraid to spend the money at some point if it's a useful tool. Sorry to ask so many questions, but it's hard to get a qualified opinion on some of these matters.

                • 5. Re: Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Invigorator Pro, similar to C4D "just works" and there's a sneak peek of new features on the Zaxwerks website for version 5 (check their blog), but it's not yet available, so this probably will not help you. LW is nice, but not for what you need. I've been a "Waver" ever since v4, but it's strictly polygonal and even in LW 10 there is still a separation between modeling and animation. This has benefits for large projects and reusable scenes consisting of repeating items such as they occur on TV series (for which LW is still notorious, anyways), but not so much for what you have in mind. Text there is always immediately converted to polygons, bevels need to be cleaned up, materials need to be assigend fresh etc.. While this doesn't bother me in any way and is a snap after all those years, it is not something I would recommend to someone doing your kind of work. Every time the cleint changes his mind you have to start over or work on frozen polygon data, which can become tricky with complex contours needing to look smooth... It's really more for "serious" animation work...

                   

                  Mylenium

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Need a pro's advice - 3D and annimation of Illustrator files in AE CS5
                    steveprc Level 1

                    Thank you. I'll stop bothering you now. ;o)