3D Text in 2D!

There are several interesting ways to create “3D” text in After Effects just search for 3D text in After Effects and you will find some crafty solutions. Of course a dedicated 3D program is better but not everyone has access to one.

With all of these creative methods, somehow the aesthetics of the imagery was traded for that fact that it was 3D. In this soon to be Shortcuts Episode I’ll take a look at creating 3D looking text in After Effects that is only 2 dimensional but has many possibilities. The moral being… no matter which method you use, don’t forget to make it look cool too, that is the most important thing. Unless you are in a contest for worst video ever; in which case you can disregard.

Simon Sweden
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:36 am
Cool, Thanks Andrew!!! :D
Simon Sweden
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:38 am
Or actually thanks soon :P
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:38 am
Im number 2
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:42 am
Very cool, and nice links xD
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:46 am
nr 5 for first time :)
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:47 am
nope daniel.. your number 4 =P simon is 1 and 2 :/
just kidding..
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:54 am
Just use Shatter !
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:59 am
Thanks Andrew! Great..
tommie12P(Thorsten Miess)
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:04 pm
yea i use shatter too for 3D text in AE because its easy and renders fast enought!

Your text looks pretty cool, looking forward to it! But everyone can have access to a powerful 3D programm: remeber BLENDER! yeah i use it too.

omg that was the worst fight scene ever!
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:13 pm
Haha funny!
David Stepus
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:14 pm
Hey! i like that font. Can someone tell me the name of that font?
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:14 pm
hehe worst video ever... hey thank you for all this VIDEO COPILOT!!!!
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:28 pm
If that font isn't Bauhaus, it's pretty darn close.
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:29 pm
Damn, I need this tutorial yesterday! Ah well, I'll do with max for now ^_^
Eugene Opperman
June 18th, 2008 @ 12:31 pm
Tis looking good guys!
The perspective on the 3d depth is what's really attractive though. As always, not only does it look cool, its realistic.

Shout out to everyone from Johannesburg, South Africa.
June 18th, 2008 @ 1:01 pm
I presume that those colors above are going to be the new websites colors? lol
They look smooth. Nice job!
June 18th, 2008 @ 1:26 pm
Nice! Good news, I was wondering what happend with the SHORT-CUTS Episodes, glad to know that you sir (Andrew Kramer) continue to make those episodes.

Keep up the good work VideoCopilot team as always.
June 18th, 2008 @ 2:37 pm
Wait a minute, I thought this the best of the worst videos ever.
June 18th, 2008 @ 2:41 pm
I'll correct myself:
of course is this one of the worst movies ever...
June 18th, 2008 @ 4:00 pm
dude.you're incredible.thanks ak!
June 18th, 2008 @ 4:14 pm
As usual, you are amazingly awesome and helpful!
Some Guy
June 18th, 2008 @ 4:50 pm
Looks good. And nice links.
June 18th, 2008 @ 5:09 pm
I've be waiting for this!
June 18th, 2008 @ 5:23 pm
YES!!! SWEET THANKS ANDREW! i've been searching all over for something like this!
June 18th, 2008 @ 5:34 pm
how about you show us in blender how to do some 3d text and we can pick it up from there that if you dont mind of course and i already got a robot at my door so dont bother sending another one.
June 18th, 2008 @ 6:09 pm
Awesome to see so many blog posts, oh and my motto is :As long as it looks cool...
June 18th, 2008 @ 6:47 pm
I thought that Star Trek fight scene was awesome. Did you see how Cpt Kirk fell without even scratching his transponder. And then he dodges that bolder at the last second! Wow, that was suspense at its best! Last time I saw suspense like that was watching Martha Stewart decide whether to make her cake with pink frosting or fuscia. Man, too much!

BTW, the text looks nice on this AK. Cant wait to see how you play around with it. Tnx
June 18th, 2008 @ 7:26 pm
Hey Andrey how you doing? there is that technique using a texture or a layer, a title and the shatter effect applied on the texture, It works pretty well, but I suppose you already know it, cause you are the After Effects Guru!! :)
June 18th, 2008 @ 7:28 pm
By the Way my mistake, Andrew, not Andrey so sorry....
David Stepus
June 18th, 2008 @ 7:53 pm
can anyone tell me that font? =(
June 18th, 2008 @ 8:30 pm
Andrew, as a Trekkie, I take offense to that last video. :P

Captain Kirk Vs. The Gorn is a classic. But something about you, Andrew tell me you might be a Trekkie, at least in a casual fan sense, yourself.
Mark Miller
June 18th, 2008 @ 8:53 pm
off subject, do you plan on doing tutorials on using automator and after effects? That dvd would be worth it's weight in gold.

do you know of any sites that do?

June 18th, 2008 @ 8:56 pm
very helpfull thnx
June 18th, 2008 @ 10:28 pm
finally !!!
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:22 pm
June 19th, 2008 @ 1:05 am
very cool! And the right topic at the right time! After one year of trying and nearly throwing the computer out of the window I finally know how 3D tracking works! It's not that hard if you know the steps! Here are the results, ok there are some rendering issues, but I it's just a test:


June 19th, 2008 @ 1:07 am
I got a pair of Adidas 'Trons' to celebrate getting a new job.... they are mint... they glow in the dark and everything... they've got velcro too...

I'm 27.
June 19th, 2008 @ 1:33 am
Concerning this check http://maltaannon.com/articles/after-effects/ce-shapeextruder/
it is real 3D, free and you everything you can do with your 2D letters you can use the same effects here... so can be very cool too :D
click on the CE Extruder image to acces the tutorial and be sure to check out the follow up article for even more advanced uses...
Andrew Kramer has a great site and huge quantity of cool tutorials but be sure to check out Malta Annon it's the best European motion graphic site at the moment
he's busy with some really cool motion graphic scripts and creative workflow methods
June 19th, 2008 @ 4:36 am
Been waiting for 3D-like text for a looooong time.
June 19th, 2008 @ 4:41 am
In the last few days I get more and more in compositing 3D Objects with liveaction footage. When I render out my 3D elements as png with alpha and import them into afterfx I always get an ugly fringe around the object, if I use shrink mate the shadows of the object disappears. Same with motionblur! Does someone knows a good workaround for that? I could render out the shadow pass separately but that doesn't work for the motionblur, any idea?

Thank you in advance
June 19th, 2008 @ 5:29 am
@ Speedbreaker nice one, actually yesterday i did the same :D but i was 2 lazy 2 share it online :P up to matchtmoving :DD
June 19th, 2008 @ 5:32 am

You can render out a seperate alpha channel and put it on top to use as a mask for your composited shapes.

@AK... Hmmmm! delicious 3d can't wait, I love using C4d but but sometimes it's overkill. This looks like a good old fashioned in house reach around. When I get out I'm going to have a stab at it...
June 19th, 2008 @ 5:38 am
When using the shatter effect, is there a way to use a light with reflection along with a camera move?
June 19th, 2008 @ 5:56 am
dude....more like best fight scene ever. I can't decide which is my favorite part....the mean axe-handle hit, or when the intensity builds and Shatner (in an effort of desperation) throws the rock.

This reminds of something I was working on recently, in that it was a space captain vs. lizardman fight on a distant planet, and I was shocked to not find some quality lizardman ambience, nor boulder crashing sounds (at least not of this caliber) on my designer SFX DVD. Will there be an update for this?

June 19th, 2008 @ 5:56 am

I alreay tried that. :-(
The problem is the alpha cuts the parts of the motionblur which are outside of the object.
But thank you anyway!
June 19th, 2008 @ 6:13 am
you should record that engergi tutorial soon
Daryl Booth
June 19th, 2008 @ 9:17 am
@ ARTone[z]

This is why I suggested a tutorial comp to entice the VCP visitors to `think out of the Kramer box`

June 19th, 2008 @ 9:51 am
@Daryl Booth
Yeah that would be awesome! perhaps someone could record a tutorial about compositing 3D Objects with live action footage without a fringe around the object. see my earlier post :-)
Daryl Booth
June 19th, 2008 @ 11:04 am
So a tute on this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqn78CaswyI might be useful then?
C Dub
June 19th, 2008 @ 11:27 am
@Steve - Just animate the light position.
June 19th, 2008 @ 12:41 pm
OK Guys, I am going to let you in on a huge secret--not going to tell you how it works because it's so damn obvious.. but check out the utility called RSG Grow Bounds! It comes with Cycore FX in CS3 and guess what? It allows you to render outside of the bounds of an import regardless of the size.. AK knows what I am talking about, just purchase TWITCH and you will know what I am talking about
June 19th, 2008 @ 1:58 pm
@Jive turkey:
ok, but for what do I need that?
June 19th, 2008 @ 2:54 pm
Sorry its completely unrelated but did Andrew Kramer and Co do the VFX for 'Wanted'? Check out the final bullet shot http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/wanted/large/final.html im sure the lil black sheep does much he doesnt tell us/brag about here. Looks a lil familiar!
June 19th, 2008 @ 3:39 pm
Hey Adnrew.

I don't know where to write this so Ill write it here.

Partially because of you and your knowledge and insperation I am now employed at at an awesome post production studio in Toronto. Its literally my dream job and I feel like you are partially responsible for me making it come true. I can't give you all the credit though :D I had some great 3D Teachers in school and I self taught my self lots of things- but you are definitly in the top 3.


You rock!
June 19th, 2008 @ 4:30 pm
I really wish they'd integrate 3D text into AE soon. That was one of my hopes for CS3. Other apps have had 3D text for years, so it shouldn't be so difficult for a top of the line program like AE to include it in the program.

Speaking of worst video ever, does anyone need a movie?

Peter Valcanas
June 19th, 2008 @ 4:30 pm
I was looking for the font that AK used and I think it's called Expressa EF Heavy and it's not a free font.

Just thought I'd let you know! If I'm wrong or if anyone finds a similar font for nada please let us know!
June 19th, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

O m g.. that video is sick.. listen send me an email so we can talk or just post it here.. listen my friend, how the heck did you do that amazing motion tracking?? What are these "steps" that you speak of????????

Dude, please do tell b/c that is super sweet!
June 19th, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

Oh my god, after postig 2 short test shoots I'm now able to imagine the traffic you must have on this site! unbelievable! I had to take the shoots down or my provider will kill me :-)

But here is the freehand track with some improvements on the rendering:


I will post up a little write up of the steps tomorrow if Andrew doesn't mind!
Foo Fighter
June 19th, 2008 @ 5:36 pm
pffffhahaaaaa! i still can´t breath from laughing!!!
your "kirk vs. lil godzilla - slow-mo" fight-link had lead me to another one >>

i´ve wet my pants today watching it!! laughing is such a cure!

Thanks man!
June 19th, 2008 @ 6:24 pm
Speedbreaker, send me an email. I have a blog post coming up on the subject and we can talk about it more appropriately. Thanks.
June 19th, 2008 @ 11:54 pm
hey andrew,
you thought that fight was bad check out this link, its funny.

June 20th, 2008 @ 3:02 am
Hi Guys, I have a question about one of the tut's from AK (Planet), can someone please tell me where to ask?


Daryl Booth
June 20th, 2008 @ 4:21 am
June 20th, 2008 @ 9:13 am
HI Andrew Kramer NICe tutorials
June 20th, 2008 @ 12:19 pm
The worst fight scene ever was hilarious. I remember watching that when it aired when I was a kid. I was terrified.

Looking forward to what's next AK!

Peter Valcanas
June 20th, 2008 @ 1:38 pm
It's funny how things change, when I watched that series I thought it was great !

I also knew that there was something different about Mr. Sulu but couldn't figure out what.
June 20th, 2008 @ 5:12 pm
hey speed breaker,
brilliant work there my friend. Now that would make a fantastic tutorial to learn.
just curious does 3d max have a motion tracker?
June 20th, 2008 @ 5:20 pm
Andrew, this is a follow up to a post from a while back and is possibly THE WORST VIDEO EVER.


Can we learn the amazing 3D effects they used from you????

I sure could use a hug right now!
June 20th, 2008 @ 5:21 pm
Sorry to double post but i just realized he spelled his own name wrong in the opening credits. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
June 20th, 2008 @ 5:27 pm
Camaraman - LOL
June 20th, 2008 @ 8:03 pm
Aharon made a tutorial on the 3d text using the shatter effect. I hope it's something different. Otherwise I will be disappointed. Just a little though :)
June 20th, 2008 @ 8:53 pm
ANDREW! I have a suggestion.

I think you should make a FORUM.

I think you can create an even larger community for After Effects if you opened a forum.
June 20th, 2008 @ 11:18 pm
I totaly agree, creative cow is a very fine site but the structure of its forum I dont like that much... AK, do it yourself with the usual quality and that forum will be great!!
June 21st, 2008 @ 1:24 am
wow these guys got some other great tutorials too, seems like they got creative talent aswell.

You should consider teaming up with these guys, maybe get some cool idea's and they could release the same great quality content as your tutorials (referring to the... crappy youtube quality) while in the process!.
The 1 Hit kill
June 21st, 2008 @ 2:01 am

don't you think they already know that? and please stay on topic..
June 21st, 2008 @ 9:57 am
Hey Andrew, just wanted to say thanks for all you do and keep up the good work.

I recently browsed around on other tutorial sites and your's is by far the most organized and most professionial... with a comedic flair as a bonus :)

Oh and I already got to use a few pieces from your collection here...

It was for the 48 Hour film project. My first time ever at making a movie of any length. I think it turned out OK i guess (for a bunch of newbs). If anything, it was good practice and i learned a lot.

Thanks again!
June 21st, 2008 @ 10:21 am
blog rule:

# 5. Do not ask or beg for forums.

There are rules in life, and there are rules here.
I suppose most of you who are asking for forums also park in the red zone
thinking your special :)
copilot fan
June 21st, 2008 @ 12:11 pm
thanks andrew for the new links. got myself some pretty nice fonts. If i ever gonna make some money out of your teachings be sure i'm gonna make a donation to you.[(don't know if food or money :)]

ps i fell that the energy tut is comming soon :)
June 21st, 2008 @ 10:55 pm
Very cool, and nice links xD

June 22nd, 2008 @ 3:55 pm
hey everyone, I am making a forum for after effects users and video copiot users. This way we don't hassle Andrew to create one and he can concerntrate on running his business.

I'll let you know when its ready

hope this is okay andrew?
June 22nd, 2008 @ 6:25 pm
Shouldent the new design come this 20 juny??
Kim A. Strandli
June 22nd, 2008 @ 8:58 pm
Ben, seriously, necessary?
Why do you think we havent heard from A,K the last days? MAAAYBE because they are working to get the new design out? I dont think VC would just forget the date...

"Oh, this guy named Ben, wrote in the commentary section, that the design should come out 2 days ago! We totally forgot! Let's release it immediately! "
Dont think sooo... Just sit back, and relax... And dont look at this post as an angry post, just a... post.. somethingsomething
June 22nd, 2008 @ 9:05 pm
20th of JULY guys!

One month to go!
June 22nd, 2008 @ 11:31 pm
Hi can i ask what type of font do you use what we see on the pictures?? Thanks
June 23rd, 2008 @ 7:07 am
Nice links Andrew, thanks!
June 24th, 2008 @ 8:50 am
Hi Andrew,

Im very happy that there is a guys like you who spend their time by giving people ability to learn.
Maybe its all about family roots? As a REMARK was the famiuos writer in Europe who gave his heart by writing the books. And actualy he is my famiuos. Check your roots, and of course if you like reading, check (REMARK - its his pseudonim, read it from the end to the start).
His book ("3 friends") and the other is realy something!
June 28th, 2008 @ 8:48 pm
umm........... how made it?
June 30th, 2008 @ 5:48 pm
Can't wait for this tutorial Andrew, I was thinking about how to do 3D looking text in AE just before you made this post. Keep the good work up!
December 2nd, 2010 @ 9:15 am
Looks like an attractive, solution.
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