New Tutorial: 3D Truck Composite

Big tutorial Tuesday! I know we have been doing a lot of Element stuff lately we are very excited to bring a new dimension to the After Effects world but this new tutorial has it all! Yes we take a look at using Element but the tutorial is really about setting up your 3D tracking data so that you can composite anything into 3D space. This includes, 3D Layers, other plug-ins and even stock footage. You can even use AE CS6 text extrusion if you don’t have Element 3D.

Watch Tutorial Now

In this tutorial we will cover:

  • Using built-in 3D Camera tracking in AE CS6 and The Foundry Camera Tracker
  • Setup and align the ground plane and adjust 3D coordinates
  • Composite 3D object with Element 3D
  • Build Matte Shadow object inside Element 3D to “catch” soft shading (ambient occlusion)
  • Generate a realistic hard shadow from 3D objects using a simple trick
  • Match AE lighting and color correct Truck to match the scene environment
  • Breakdown compositing footage from Action Essentials 2 and making 3D debris

sunil thapa
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:43 am
Soooooooooo cool.........
    pankaj thapa
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 9:00 am
    r u a compositor?????
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:44 am
The genius does something again. Thanks Andrew. Greetings from Nigeria.
    Arthur Bizkit
    August 1st, 2012 @ 12:57 am
    That's what's up! Kramer stays winning.
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 2:04 pm
    Yea Andrew is always the bomb... Naija 4 life greets Kramer...
Thor Sarup
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:44 am
Yeah this is awesome! Really great results with software/plug-in that isn't as difficult and render heavy as real 3d programs!

Nice work!
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:48 am
Hey Andrew, I only have After Effects CS4 and dont have Foundry Camera Tracker. Will I be able to follow along with any other tools?

Unbearably slow download speeds of 30kbs so thought Id ask, would be quicker than watching :)

    July 31st, 2012 @ 10:55 am
    Unfortunately 3D camera tracking can only be done a couple of ways and Camera Tracker and the CS6 3D tracker are the least expensive. BTW, notice we have an SD button for watching the tutorials a little faster.
    Connor R
    July 31st, 2012 @ 12:22 pm
    If you can bear the download, you might be able to use techniques from this tutorial:

    Voodoo is a free camera tracker, I'm not sure how advanced the features are, but it may just save you some money...
    July 31st, 2012 @ 12:22 pm
    Blender now has built-in 3d camera tracking too, if you want to give that a shot.
    Ben Jones
    July 31st, 2012 @ 3:58 pm
    If you can spare the bucks, adobe is doing a deal for its creative cloud at the moment ($29 a month for cs3 and up users to upgrade). Just a thought.
    July 31st, 2012 @ 5:08 pm
    Steve you are right!! Blender 3d camera tracking is quite unbelivable actually!
sathu kamal
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:53 am
good stuff bro....................
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 3:47 am
    hi there guys just want to know if my internet machine and my editing machine are separate, is the registration information and components needed to get the plugin to work only be valid on my internet computer? or when i download the software from you will i have to use my editing machine? cause i do believe that i will receive a file from you to make it work on my computer.

    if my editing machine crashes or break and i need to replace my motherboard or reinstall windows for some reason will i have to purchase the product again. my reason fro asking is i purchased a plug in on line and was only able to use it on the machine i downloaded it to and it made things really difficult. i landed up wasting money. would just like to know if the components i get from you to get the software to work isn't based on my systems ID?

    how do i purchase the product via download?

    kind regards Marge
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:55 am
Amazing Stuff Man ;)
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:56 am
Awesome stuff! I have the PFhoe. Gonna try it right now.
Jim Gravina
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:00 am
Anyone else notice the appearance of a "Live Cam" effect around 9:40? ;)
    July 31st, 2012 @ 11:39 am
    It's a new plug-in for adding natural camera movement and shake
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 3:51 pm
    Ya, I noticed that too, what is that Effect or Plugin?!?
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:07 am
I love the product but there is one thing that keeps me away from buying the plugin. When am I going to use it? For what? As a living I make corporate films and wedding films. Do you think there will be more elements in the future and if so will it include wedding elements and corporate elements? Like 3d cakes or buildings. So if you ever start a topic on elements requests: Wedding elements, Corporate elements ;-)
    July 31st, 2012 @ 11:08 am
    Of course! We are working on an Electronics and Communications pack and we could probably make some kind of Celebration pack... Many great plans ahead!
    July 31st, 2012 @ 11:15 am
    Cool! I think It would be awesome to use element 3D in corporate and wedding films! That will make the customers eyes go POP. You should make a whole online library like turbosquid only for element 3D ;-)
    July 31st, 2012 @ 2:00 pm
    I'm a beginner and was one of those people that was sold on it and bought it even though I don't do video for anything other than myself. I have lots of ideas and no time. With that said I would still buy it for all the possibilities that can happen with it. I make 3d jewelry for a living and hope to somehow incorporate that into it.

    I'm sure you could come up with a cool video with the right 3d models at your hands. For now you could definitely use it for some really cool intros.
    July 31st, 2012 @ 7:25 pm
    Haha! "many great plans ahead". I like that :) Sounds very exciting...
    July 31st, 2012 @ 7:43 pm
    Be sure to make some sweet alien craft models as well. And maybe some sea monsters or other mythical creatures. Flooding the tube with fake home videos is always a blast!
    August 1st, 2012 @ 6:24 am
    on the back of that, can we use the VC 3D models for use in producing stock video footage? Have asked this question before, but not got a reply as yet. Great plug-in, thanks,
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:09 am
"You don't want to park in that space.. obviously" laughed so hard

Great as always :)
Bruno Silveira
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:09 am
Awesome like always, but i have a question, i like to buy element but i live in uruguay (a piece of earth close to brazil), you can send the DVD of element to my country? im really excited for this plug in

Sorry if i have grammar errors here speak spanish
    August 1st, 2012 @ 7:46 pm
    When you buy Element 3D, it's a direct download. Not a DVD. all you need is an internet connection, and you should be fine. :)
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:14 am
Hey andrew just wanted to know about animation little bit ..!! I want to go ahead in animation like You but i'm little confused about scope of it and all!! I don't know where we get those jobs and all!! I know about 3D modeling programming in C , Symbian C++ and python! Just wanted to know from you !! Can u tell u few lines?
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:17 am

July 31st, 2012 @ 11:29 am
Andrew, except of the awesomeness of the tutorial, i've noticed 2 things.

1st) your Element version is 1.0.329
When will you release it ?

2nd) the plugin LiveCam that appears under VC dropdown in your AE.
What could that be :)

Thanks & take care.
Carter .R
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:29 am
Awesome Tutorial :D thank you
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:31 am
thanks a lot Andrew , Very Very Good as always .
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:38 am
Very Good Andrew but I think it is possible to create With 3D MAX then why we need to use Element 3D?
    July 31st, 2012 @ 11:47 am
    You can use 3D max, in fact check out the 3D ledge tutorial. You can export the 3D tracking data to 3D max and render out a car. Element just has speed advantages and you are able to composite while you work. So you can move lights around and color correct and even change the size or rotation of your vehicle without re-rendering.
    August 1st, 2012 @ 2:08 am
    C'mon man, are you serious, read what is about Element!!!

    Why would you do 3ds max model, when you can shoot real truck? Indeed.
July 31st, 2012 @ 10:39 am
Awesome stuff man... This is why you such an amazing following.
    July 31st, 2012 @ 10:46 am
    it great...long time waiting foundrycamera track...
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:09 pm
Hey Andrew what is your plugin LiveCam do??? Here's a screenshot of it in the video
    July 31st, 2012 @ 12:22 pm
    Saw it again in the tutorial when he was showing the explosion element from the action essentials... it was on that layer.

    I wish it has to do with "World Position Pass" ...
    If it does that, than Flame & Inferno can go home :)
    July 31st, 2012 @ 8:20 pm
    I noticed the same thing. I doubt it was by accident, but yeah enjoy Element 3D and the upgrades down the pike. It will probably be a long while before we see what "LiveCam" is.
    August 1st, 2012 @ 6:53 am
    They've been talking about it since 2010.;=48941
    August 1st, 2012 @ 7:03 am
    They've been talking about it since 2010.;=48941
    I think they have scrapped the whole project, because there's been NO WORD on ANYTHING related to the project in years. Even then it was just a Tweet or two.
    August 1st, 2012 @ 9:48 am
    i tried that link and there is nothing.
    However what did you see there, can you elaborate.
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:10 pm
I meant does not is*
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:13 pm
Hey Andrew,

when i first get known about your plan (creating a particle plugin) i thought that it would be a very specific in use and that it would not became to a "daily-use-tool". but then u impressed me in a very mindblowing way:-) Iam watching your tutorials since the first hour and think to be a litlle little part of a huge:-)
I believe that you will change the vfx industrie with this incredibble plugin and his possibilities!
thanks for teaching us all of this great stuff and thank you for the minimal price for this awesome tool!

I would like to say to you, that your work, your heartblood and your strength of purpose inspires a lot of people!

(sry for the english)
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:14 pm
Great Tutorial, I Love Element 3D!


July 31st, 2012 @ 12:25 pm
I heard mention that there were native shadows planned eventually. Will that be in an update, or an upgrade purchase? (anytime soon? ;D )

Also, can you import your own 3d environment maps, so as to better match your scene?
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:29 pm
Andrew, What is this is new fx camera or what can u explain me thanks, and you make really good job
Christian Michael
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:30 pm
No surprise, great tutorial as usual. The kicker? Last week I began to work on an effect very very similar to the freeze frame wheel explosion at the end of this tutorial, although mine is on a different subject.

NOW when I finally publish it the comments accusing me of being a copy cat will be abound lol

Mind you…yours is still more goodera :0)
Bilal Bulut
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:45 pm
Thats awesome ! ı lovet it ...thanks for tutorial
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

You can just click and hold right and left mouse buttons simultaneous, for rotating model with environment, instead of holding Alt and mouse button.

It's easy :)

And I have question about this: • Use Animated Reflection Maps
I already buy Element 3D and I need this feature for my project right now. How is it works?

Thank you!
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:54 pm
Andrew Kramer, my hero, once again making my day!
July 31st, 2012 @ 1:03 pm
I can't seem to get any good tracking doing what Kramer does in the video. :/
July 31st, 2012 @ 12:35 pm
Thats seriously impressive...sold.
July 31st, 2012 @ 1:47 pm
Yeah Sir what was the Live Cam?
July 31st, 2012 @ 1:47 pm
WOOOOWW!!!! Thats awesome !
July 31st, 2012 @ 1:55 pm
I second a need for a "celebrations" pack. I to, do a lot of weddings and a wedding/corporate pack would be great. Cakes, wine glasses, bride and groom models, bunting, confetti, wedding albums that open and start the slide show etc etc etc etc etc etc........haha

you get the idea.
July 31st, 2012 @ 2:03 pm
Sooner or later the whole vfx world will be Kramerized!! XDD No one escape! XD We need an altar first like thiss:
Please pray with me: "My father, who is in AE and PS..." :D

(By the way, my life is pointless and secret(?:) dream to direct a high cost sci-fi movie...but i dont't even have the time to write my script, or draw my wouldn't help anyway..ahh..i'm tired. So, this fan thing is a little cure...i like your site and your tutorials...that's all :) keep your excelllent work Sir! hahaha:)) Respect

(this was my third attempt to post this(and the last one)now in firefox)
July 31st, 2012 @ 2:08 pm
Hi Andrew,
Does The 3D Tracking also work with Moccha?
Can you achieve The Same result with that?
If yes, how does ist work?
Or do you Need The 3D Camera Tracker from CS6 or The Foundry Tracker?
    August 1st, 2012 @ 4:42 pm
    I'm not Andrew, but maybe I can answer your question.
    Mocha Pro can do 3d tracking, i hear, but you'd need to pay an extra $300 or so. You can upgrade to CS6 for about the same price...
    August 11th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm
    Thanks for the Information!!!! :-)
Hugo Strange
July 31st, 2012 @ 2:30 pm
What is the MATRIX ? Sorry ,I meant what is LiveCam. How a bout a small hint ;-)
July 31st, 2012 @ 2:33 pm
Andrew, one request, will there be wood textures in future updates of Element 3D ?
Run amok
July 31st, 2012 @ 1:52 pm
Great job as always Andrew. How much does a good armored truck model cost? How do you know the quality or if it is worth the price? Will you ever come out with a vehicle pack? I really need a good helicopter like the one you use but not sure of how to know how to acquire these models ( and I trust yours ) please get us a vehicle pack!
    July 31st, 2012 @ 4:12 pm
    I second this request. I would rather purchase models and/or packs from person/company I trust. A vehicle pack would be an awesome addition to the line up. :D
Ali farahani
July 31st, 2012 @ 3:30 pm
It was a new method for tracking shot. was a little problematic and hardly to learn this method of camera tracking.
July 31st, 2012 @ 3:33 pm
with atomkraft you can import directly in after effect animated OBJ !!!
    July 31st, 2012 @ 6:25 pm
    you have to own a videocard supported the CUDA stuff, couse the progam is useless without it, and as i know it's not even fully realtime...Element seems better (faster and more practical)
    August 4th, 2012 @ 1:21 pm
    @jay27flow Atomkraft doesn't use CUDA it's all CPU based but as it still isn't out right it is too early to compare it and Element
July 31st, 2012 @ 5:14 pm
Hi .. Here is another example of a 3D Title animation I have done with ELEMENT 3D. Hope you will like it. I would appreciate reading your comments. Thanks in advance. Cheers !
Run amok
July 31st, 2012 @ 4:47 pm
Great job as always Andrew. How much does a good armored truck model cost? How do you know the quality or if it is worth the price? Will you ever come out with a vehicle pack? I really need a good helicopter like the one you use but not sure of how to know how to acquire these models ( and I trust yours ) please get us a vehicle pack!
July 31st, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

Hi Andrew, I need help! First sorry I do not speak perfect English.
I have problems with the lighting of the skate. When I put a light from above, the wheels of the skate should have shade that produces the table. But, are lit as if the table was invisible. Please how I can solve this problem? Thank you very much.

En este imagen está el ejemplo:
July 31st, 2012 @ 7:28 pm
Very nice and helpful tutorial. What about like animating the truck driving in or something like that? How easy might that be? :)
July 31st, 2012 @ 8:02 pm
WOW! So I finally bought Element, and I am like this is awesome! Check out what I put together. There is still so much to learn! And I want to learn more! I am hooked!
July 31st, 2012 @ 9:25 pm
Come on Andrew ! incorporating ''OpenGL Shadow Mapping'' (GLSL) in Element 3D would be a BOMB SHOW ...I'm really looking forward to this version, keep up the good work VC guys, you rock !!!
July 31st, 2012 @ 9:45 pm
Hey Andrew, what do you think of Trapcode Mir?
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:03 pm
Really elegant solution with ground plane :) thanks for the tutorial, Andrew you still the best!

btw, any ideas on including degradation of the picture quality internally to match the raw footage? i mean making the model less ideal. some blur and noise effects can do the trick i suppose, but i think it'd be really helpful to be able to do it from Element.
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:05 pm
King Andrew, I was wondering what happen to the "Matte Painting" contest?
July 31st, 2012 @ 11:24 pm
Andrew, I noticed in the tutorial there is a "LiveCam" Plugin from VC list, Interesting, what was that?
August 1st, 2012 @ 12:13 am
@Andrew Kramer y aint Sam Loya on Twitter? @Segun Omo u wan hookup make demolish Nollywood?
August 1st, 2012 @ 12:14 am
Thats Awsome....Segun how we take dis back 2 Nollywood?
August 1st, 2012 @ 12:42 am
I`m a little bit confused. Moviematching using Element 3D is not as simple as shown in the tutorial. Fot this particular case it works, but I also tried to put 3D object to a different footage. It was tracked in CS6, and for example text or solid just sit perfectly, but when I want to add Element 3D object it just flows in the space. I tried to scale down and move to the middle the nulls and camera as shown in tutorial but it doesn`t help :/

I think that the goal is to find the exact position of those nulls, which is not such a simple task. You can`t just follow the tutorial, because it won`t work for a different footage. I wish I was wrong, but I can`t just make it work so far :( Anyone is facing the same problem?
    August 1st, 2012 @ 9:14 am
    Same here. I got more or less consistent results by parenting the position data of null to world transform position. Still i think that ground plane manipulation shown in tutorial might get somewhere, need to play with it tho, first try didn't work for me.
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 10:02 am
    You need create a null object from the tracker point and then parent with element in world transformation... In tehory.. :)
    August 12th, 2012 @ 7:45 am
    This is my struggle as well. I just can't get my Element #D object to stick in place i guess because it is not a 3D layer. Please help with more tutorials on 3d camera tracking in CS6
August 1st, 2012 @ 1:22 am
Great work!!
this is really awsome ....can this element 3d plugin run on machine without graphics card...if any trick...?
August 1st, 2012 @ 2:42 am
i'd like to say thank you Andrew Kramer for this awesome sit
and your amazing tutorials it's really helpful
wish you the best always
August 1st, 2012 @ 4:03 am
Ahem, slightly off-topic, but:

I did a successful 3D track of some footage in CS6. I'd now like to use the timewarp plugin on the footage. Question is: How do I "remap" the tracked camera keyframes to stay in sync with the footage speed changes?

Thanks in advance,
    August 1st, 2012 @ 4:37 am
    PS: Tried tracking the timewarped footage, but the tracker don't like it.
    Jeremy Abbott
    August 1st, 2012 @ 12:47 pm
    This is tricky to explain, but what I would try is:
    1) Set your keyframes for the timewarp footage, but don't move them yet. We'll call these "A frames"
    2) Add additional keyframes on the timewarp footage wherever there are camera keyframes. We'll call these "B frames"
    3) Now when you move your A frames, select the frame you want to move, the last A frame before it (or after if you're working in reverse), and any B frames between them. Now hold Alt and click and drag the A frame you intend to move. This will scale the B frames up or down to retain their timing.
    4) Now just realign the camera keyframes to coincide with the B frames! If you have any easy-ease settings on the camera frames make sure to apply them to the B frames as well.
    August 1st, 2012 @ 3:39 pm
    Thanks Jeremy, I'll give it a shot - literally:o)
    Jeremy Abbott
    August 1st, 2012 @ 8:30 pm
    No problem, let me know if it works. Good luck!
Thats 2.5 Dahlas
August 1st, 2012 @ 4:13 am
Hey all, greetings from Sweden. Our little family business is now dipping its feet into CG. Bought Element 3d last week or so and we love it! Thankyou so much for this excellent website, it is safe to say your tutorials locked us in on choosing After Effects in the first place.
Everything you do here just feels great. Neat products topped off with that genuine commitment and positive energy. It is a True Pleasure to finally start repaying you for all that by buying your products. You simply put your competitors to shame. It is no wonder you have gathered such an enthusiastic and friendly community here.

The Dahls
August 1st, 2012 @ 5:19 am
Andrew Sir this is the most possible annoying thing videocopilot could do, limit the download speed for the tutorial. In this part of the world electricity doesn't come for 2 hours continuous and so I am unable to watch your tutorials anymore.
    August 1st, 2012 @ 4:39 pm
    Ahem... click the "SD" button for standard definition...
August 1st, 2012 @ 5:37 am
so how about that matte painting challenge?

August 1st, 2012 @ 6:15 am
Hi Andrew, I need help! First sorry I do not speak perfect English.
I have problems with the lighting of the skate. When I put a light from above, the wheels of the skate should have shade that produces the table. But, are lit as if the table was invisible. Please how I can solve this problem? Thank you very much.
En este imagen está el ejemplo:
August 1st, 2012 @ 6:29 am
Hey, not that your not way tooo busy, but what happened to the Blog Show? :D
August 1st, 2012 @ 6:45 am
Hey Andrew and VC-Team,

thank you for this tutorial !

Well, during playing with Element, I recognize, that only point lights and ambient lights are working in the scenes... I'm using a Mac Pro with a nVidia GTX 285.

Here is a demo movie, that shows the problem:
(German translation: Spotlight=Spotlicht, Pointlight=Punktlicht, Ambient=Umgebung)

And here's the scene:

Did I made something wrong something or is it a Mac bug...?

Thanks and have a nice day


P.S: Just say Andrew, did you get my last mail ?
    August 4th, 2012 @ 4:24 am
    Why is my "comment still awaiting moderation"...?
August 1st, 2012 @ 7:37 am
Element 3D is turning my workflow so fast. It's almost unbelieveble the quick and great results I can achieve.

I'm doing a 4k, 5 minutes video event here and I didn't need to open Maya yet. Elements give me a quick result, nice motion blur and fast composition in at least ten times less work time and work complexity.

I believe Element 3D will be revolutionary for the motiongraphs market, a bit problematic for 3D makers, after all, anyway can do great 3D works know, but definitely the best AE tool since Particular and Optical Flares.

August 1st, 2012 @ 8:32 am
All this time I thought my card supported 32 bit sampling, and I think even though it gives me the option to select it, it doesn't seem to do anything past 8 bit...
    August 1st, 2012 @ 9:56 am
    james, did you try setting the sampling to 8 , rendering a frame to a file,then switching to 32 lets say and rendering another frame. Then in a new comp put two frames above eachother and use difference comp mode. If the image isnot black that means that there are differences, subbtle but there are.

    make sure you are rendering to loseless image format.
    Also try with 8/16/32 bpc on project settings.

    take care.
    August 1st, 2012 @ 11:33 am
    Some GPU's do not support Multi-Sampling beyond 8 so the new update will help get better results.
August 1st, 2012 @ 9:53 am
Hi VC team,
Another great tutorial! I was waiting for some 3d tracking tips, and there they were!
I bought the full Element 3D bundle and I'm very happy with it. Runs great on a Macbook Pro 17" - the rendering speed is amazing.
A suggestion for a new model pack that I would buy instantly: Science & Technology.
Also, is there any way to persuade you to do a tutorial on making/exporting full model uv textures in c4d? When I have a model in c4d I'd like to be able to unwrap and export the texture in one jpg like the ones you used for the truck and the heli. I've spent a lot of time googling that but haven't really found a simple solution.

All the best
August 1st, 2012 @ 10:08 am
Sorry Andrew, but I think last part of tutorial is too fast. While watching the video, I was excited mostly for the explosion...
August 1st, 2012 @ 10:47 am
will an update with real shadows with element 3d be up soon?
    August 1st, 2012 @ 12:55 pm
    We don't have plans to add shadows until V2. High quality shadows are something we are after and this is not a trivial feature. It requires a lot of work and we want it to be fast and look great!
August 1st, 2012 @ 12:03 pm
ok, for an AE guy like me who has never cared to dabble in 3D, until now of course, I'm wondering, will 3D packs like this one
work in Element?
    Jeremy Abbott
    August 1st, 2012 @ 12:48 pm
    I think you would have to import them into C4D first then save them as Element compatible formats...but I don't know, I'm not a doctor.
    Jeremy Abbott
    August 1st, 2012 @ 1:56 pm
    Except without being able to go into the C4D files and take several steps there's no guarantee the models will load properly. For example making sure that melange is turned on and that the objects aren't using instanced geometry inside of C4D that needs to be converted to real geometry for Element.
    Even then, you still need to reload the textures. But these models don't come with separate textures, he's put them into a .lib4d file, which is a library file you have to open in C4D. I'm pretty sure you'd have to open them in C4D and export the materials all separately in order to work in Element.
    I may be wrong, but I think these packs are useless without being able to open in C4D first and resave them all.
    Jeremy Abbott
    August 1st, 2012 @ 1:57 pm
    Watch this tutorial from 3:35 on to see what I'm talking about:
August 1st, 2012 @ 1:25 pm
Hi Nathanael .. The models in those packs are all made in Cinema 4D.
And ELEMENT 3D supports C4D files. You should also be able to use the textures.
For more informations about what ELEMENT 3D can do for you, watch this clips here:

cheers !
August 1st, 2012 @ 2:02 pm
If the model is to be anchored to the ground plane, would it be possible to use Mocha to create camera tracking points?
August 1st, 2012 @ 4:37 pm
Hey Andrew. Are the vehicle models going to be available to the public for royalty-free use? You could make a vehicle model pack with your models... I bet a lot of people would buy it.
August 1st, 2012 @ 4:44 pm
Very impressive Andrew!
usama M sultan
August 1st, 2012 @ 8:18 pm
usually in C4D you can use a gradient for the ambient occlusion instead of using a solid color in Element 3D so I'm just asking if there will be an update or so ?
August 1st, 2012 @ 8:42 pm
Need Help

I wanna buy a nu laptop ruinning win7, without making any update before i buy ELEMENT 3D.
what laptop u can advise me without changing any card or OpenGL

and not too expensive?

August 1st, 2012 @ 9:25 pm
I am just a hobbyist and therefore understand that this question may be answered by having a basic skill set, but how do you create the environment maps. I am very familiar, and comfortable with Photoshop and After Effects, but have never used a 3D program. If I wanted to create a scene where I froze my live action video of say a water sprinkler, and panned around an array of water droplets how could I make an environment map of that frozen frame. I have read about equirectangular programs, but how do you go from taking those 360x180 picture sets to a full environment map?
August 2nd, 2012 @ 12:57 am
Andrew, I followed the tutorial step by step, replacing the truck with a grenade.

When I added the plane flat surface, it keeps appearing above the grenade element. I cannot get it to go behind it/under it.

I'm obviously doing something stupid.
Element 4D
August 2nd, 2012 @ 1:30 am
Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace-> WHAT IS LIVECAM?
I suppose it has something to do with the camera wiggle in the explosion part!
    Jim Gravina
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 9:26 am
    I doubt it has anything to do with anything in this tutorial..he never used it.
August 2nd, 2012 @ 6:18 am
Hey Andrew,

thanks for the tutorial (all tutorials) and your hard work. Element 3D is really a timesaver... I am a much better husband now. :)
After your tutorial I thought: A truck in a garage, that makes no sense. So I placed a hole city in it. Here is my Testshot:

Took 10 Minutes to render.

Greetings from Germany

August 2nd, 2012 @ 6:28 am
How about one section in VC (Free 3d objects ) so we can upload or request model for project i have many of them high quality cars, helicopter, airplanes. Example somebody need a specific building or spaceship corridor they can sketch a picture with explanation and we can make and upload for them...
August 2nd, 2012 @ 7:43 am
where i can get this pootage ?
August 2nd, 2012 @ 7:43 am
where i can get this Footage ?
August 2nd, 2012 @ 8:56 am
If he has been saying the most exciting tutorial for the past 6 years or so this is the one. However I kind of noticed Kramer tone is kind of low. I think this super amazing fellow is worn out after working tirelessly to put the 3D element in action. Kramer you sounded down not like usuall its funny how the most exciting tutorial did not go with exciting sound. Am proposing a vacation for you and your team. Come and visit the Maasai mara -KENYA and see the 7th wonder may be u will get excited and produce another exciting tutorial. All work and no vacation makes Kramer a dull VFX tutor.
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 9:42 am
    I noticed the same thing. Brother needs to take some time to recharge..(not before releasing the new update to element card only supports 8x multisampling...I need me some supersampling!)
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 2:04 pm
    Well people grow up sometimes you know...and also, he has more responsibility's, he's a small business owner with more employees to pay, more mouth to feed (including his own family).And even more employees to Hire (C++)

    Plug-ins are getting more complex... intern, more people are expecting more and more from his plug-ins (professionals not kids !!!!).
    He would get his ass chewed buy reviewers out there if his new more complex plug-ins don't live up to there hype ...(but ELEMENT 3D does)'s not a joke anymore ?

    Oh! and what about investments much money did he put up for all this.Didn't they buy or rent a bigger place $$$.

    I myself hear a more mature ANDREW KRAMER...he still has the jokes and punch line, even in this video.
    As a mature person my self I don't need him to act like Bozo the clown in order for me to get the jokes...or to watch his tutorials. It's the information that matters. GO GO Kramer ;-)

    P.S: For all of you who thinks that ANDREW KRAMER is down and out ...Follow him on Twitter, look at some his pics... he's off to SIGGRAPH next week to present ELEMENT 3D...(FREE online tutorials is not all that he has on his plate) keep growing Andrew! don't be put in a box.
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 10:08 pm
    Just saying he sounds he should be.
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 1:55 am
    HEY HUGO STRANGE. What I meant was the guy is tired and need rest. We all run up and down and not give ourselves time to recharge just because we have to make it perfect and I know KRAMER is one of those guys that does that. Sometimes you might push it to the limit of no return and I know people like you (HUGO)will run away once KRAMER cannot give another exciting tutorial or do you swear allegiance to VIDEOCOPILOT.NET whether Kramer is there or not?. As for those who will complain about the 3d element plugin, LET THEM BE, the world is full of them. The world wont care a thing if something was to happen to KRAMER they will simply say life must go on, but what about his family they'll need him even when he is not there. So lets just be honest with KRAMER (only for those who care like us) "KRAMER take some time off"
Lucas de Souza
August 2nd, 2012 @ 12:32 pm
PERFECT...Nothing more need be said...
August 2nd, 2012 @ 2:05 pm
Hi Andrew, Can you offer a trial version lets say with a watermark or something so poor students like me could learn and play with it before being able to afford it?
August 2nd, 2012 @ 2:39 pm
Hey ANDREW "REALTIME" OpenGL ("Soft")shadow is in MAXON C4d R14 ;-)
Look for it at 1:31

by the way, I got the C4D R14 link from your Tweet...Oh and that planet space image you created in ELEMENT 3D is really ,really nice !!!! you should post it here...just to drive these kids crazy !!! ;-) they'll be begging for it to be a Tut. Of course that would break rule #3 ;-)

So to all of you thinking that ANDREW is all down and out....think again...He has more on his plate then you can imagine.He's off to SIGGRAPH next week to show off ? I'll give you guys a hint: E_E_E__ _D
August 2nd, 2012 @ 3:20 pm
Please explain about the Live Cam that was in the VideoCopilot directory
August 2nd, 2012 @ 3:57 pm
Andrew please do you mind if i name my first son afTer YOU?
August 2nd, 2012 @ 3:59 pm
Very nice and helpful tutorial.tanks
August 2nd, 2012 @ 4:24 pm
hey andrew i'm from guatemala city, i need learn make textures, like the airplane, the truck, the weapon... unfortunately in my city there are no universities where learn it and i don't have the funds to travel to another city to learn it. if you could do a tutorial, I would appreciate a lot .. good bye, god bless you..
August 2nd, 2012 @ 6:07 pm
Thanks Andrew greeting from pakistan ,balochistan,Quetta
August 2nd, 2012 @ 6:23 pm
Andrew, Where do you get those great models and how do you set it up with the texure layers like the ones in your video. Are those exports out of 3dMax?
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 6:51 pm
    Dear sir ! Did you watch the Tutorials ? or have you watch any other ELEMENT 3D Tutorials these past 2 weeks ? check it out at 9:59s

    I'll bet you a smiley face ;-) that the information is on there.

    I know it's been asked a little under 100 times, and has been answered in Andrew videos these past weeks !!
    take an hour to watch all the videos you'll get the info there.I promise !!!!!
August 2nd, 2012 @ 7:15 pm
Thanks to Tino today for helping me out with the problem i was facing, it was simple and yet effective.

here is a render of some testing. thanks tino.
August 2nd, 2012 @ 9:00 pm
First Post:

I'm sorry this is so stupid. Who in their right mind would consider this a good shot. You'd have to spend some time grading and color correcting the model MAYBE but the materials and lighting of ELEMENT 3D just aren't good enough for this type of compositing. I bought Element and yes I love it for my fast paced TV graphic environment, but this isn't the proper usage for it. It would be just as easy and fast to render this out in Maya with any 1/2 decent computer. The only reason you would want or NEED to do this tutorial with this plugin is if you only own a laptop. Again sorry for the bad feedback but I've been very disappointed with your amazingly free tutorials as of late.
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 10:06 pm
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 10:31 pm
    K !
    Let's Analyze :
    1.The truck looks good and believable. Maybe not for an ILM movie...but for a TV commercial hell yeah ! mentioned MAYA..? Well that means to me that you are no lightweight and should be able to make your own shaders (materials) !

    3.In "your opinion" what would be the proper usage for ELEMENT 3D ?

    4.YOU SAID "It would be just as easy and fast to render this out in Maya with any 1/2 decent computer"
    4a)ok, let's see you load a video footage in MAYA, track it.Get your 600,000 polygon model right ? fully hi rez. Then create a particle fire explosion to blow up under the truck and lift it up in the air ...OK.

    All this in less then 20 minutes ? Oh and in 720p or better.Oh and motion blur.Oh and camera shake.oh and also scrub through your footage,move something (anything) and re-render ;-)

    5.why under 20 minutes because The tutorial took 33 minutes... of course he's talking and showing stuff at the same time.

    6. And if you are not happy after your 45 minute hour plus render do a slight rearrangement in MAYA then re-render again ;-)

    SOME people just want to copy and paste...why are some of you buying this plugin ? where is the ILM in you ..where is the VFX artist in you ? no one wants to think anymore.

    Artist do great works with less then this plugin, where are you skills Man?
    you could add your own debris in the explosion to make it more believable.Think...think...think ! the plugin is $150 MAYA is how much ? if you spent money on both and Adobe After Effect then you must be a serious "artist".

    Andrew works in the industry !!! think he would put out a plug-in like this,in the face of all his peers ?
    The guy is going to SIGGRAPH for God sake.... DO YOU KNOW WHAT SIGGRAPH IS? All of the best minds of VFX,COMPUTER-TECHNOLOGY ARE GOING TO BE THERE !!! So is ELEMENT 3D.

    Sorry dude maybe you are not cut out for this ?

    P.S: you should understand a product before you buy it. do you need it ? what are it's limits ect...
    August 2nd, 2012 @ 11:19 pm
    Tanner, you may be right, this shot would look better using Maya.

    Believe it or not, I get plenty of criticism about my stuff from time to time and I try to make an effort to improve myself and this site. I've heard it all, my tutorials are too fast or too long and my jokes aren't funny and my stories are boring and I mis-remember movie actors and everyone is quick to point out my flaws. Even the flaws in my VFX when I'm too sloppy or lazy or forget to put a shadow in the right place or something. I love it, keeps me on my toes and makes me better. Sometimes people call out my mistakes and don't even pay attention to what I'm teaching! But, I know that the majority of people see what I'm trying to do here and that's key.

    BUT this actually reminds me about something important...

    I don't think people should read your comment and feel like they should not TRY to push the limits of our software or any software for that matter, JUST because someone says it is not good enough or not the "proper usage". That is something I will respond to.

    I remember hearing similar criticism about After Effects, 3D max, and many others programs several years ago, like "They weren't good enough for film work..." And still people pushed the limits and both were used in films and now a lot of people use them on Film projects. At the end of the day, they didn't accept what other people said and neither do I. But more importantly, I don't want anyone to either, it closes off creativity and makes people think there is only one way to do something and not to try. This tutorial represents ideas and concepts that will lead to even more ambitious creations, there is even a guy that made a cool script to cast even more accurate shadows.

    I'm not saying Element compares to any of these major programs, I think it's a great plug-in and does some cool stuff but at the end of the day, it's a creative tool and the capabilities are in the hands of the Artist. No program makes you creative, it's about effort and passion.

    Does it replace a full on 3D program? Not at all but I've personally used it on a major upcoming film and it looked amazing! Yah, there are things I couldn't do so I used 3D max but the KEY is to look at what YOU CAN DO!

    What about adding a few choppers in the BG of a war scene, or putting some broken metal or debris on the ground after a plane crash or even some Jets flying overhead. It would be very hard to tell what program was used and at the end of the day it doesn't matter as long as it helps get the job done, no one cares what program you use.

    So ask yourself: What can you use it for? Will this save me time? and do you feel lucky?
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 5:44 am
    Hey Tanner your comment is very very stupid you know! Andrew put it up all his efforts in this Plug in and then you only spit like it was dirt?.... where is your creativity?? where is your being artist??
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 5:48 am
    by the way Andrew thank you for the tutorial..and one thing i notice is your low voice now..i understand.i know you were tired and you need to RECHARGE!! hahahaha..nice work :D
    August 4th, 2012 @ 9:49 pm
    Andrew, I logged in to tell you that I appreciate the thoughtful and respectful comment you gave Tanner. This is probably the main reason I love your site so much, as odd as that sounds. Character is key.
    August 6th, 2012 @ 9:46 am
    "So ask yourself... do you feel lucky?"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! I salute your sense of humor! Just ignore all negative feedback about your humor. It's great!
August 2nd, 2012 @ 11:04 pm
Hi, I'm using the Foundrys camera tracker for this tutorial but I just cant seem to get it right. All the nulls stay well tracked, but when I bring in Element,the model slides on the surface and wont stay locked down. Anyone have the same problem/solution?

Kind regards
August 2nd, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

all in AE .. lights, camera.. never thought it would be possible. So many possibilities, we are having to much fun over here.
August 3rd, 2012 @ 1:42 am
Andrew, Welcome in the 3d product universe!
Always a zillions bugs to fix.
Always a zillions of plaignant people.
Always a zillions graphic cards to consider.
Always a update to make.
Old on :)
August 3rd, 2012 @ 1:53 am
Models in "Action FX" iPhone app looks quite familiar :)
Miguel Gomes
August 3rd, 2012 @ 2:36 am
Hello friend. Been a fan since the early tutorials (since the sixth one i believe), so i think i can remember what it was back then, regarding online pratical help and tutorials. You established a name for yourself, with hard work and more important of all, you and your TEAM helped millions expanding their horizons and imagination. I'm not even in the vfx buisiness and i do stuff to myself because i just simply enjoy it.
Regarding Mr Tanner commentary, and your replies: i think i understand why you fell you have to explain yourself to such bad feedback, but in cases like these please reconsider, We can never win a discussion with those kind of arguments. No matter what we say. So, it's not worth your time, it never will. So just a little advice: keep up the good work, and for example, regarding tutorial time, some have to be short, others very long, like the last one. In the last one, i felt that it was to small for the magnitude of what you were showing... It's better to understand what is the tool you're trying to demonstrante and what it can do, rather than just show what you've done with it. You're the expert, so remember that on the otherside the majority aren't. If they were, they wouldn't need tutorials. Put yourself on the other side of the screen. DON'T loose perspective of what you've always done here. We can't please them all. So keep up those jokes. Never saw ANYONE that can pull a joke like you do in any (ANY) tutorial. I bulls*t you not.
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 2:43 am
    Thanks Miguel, I'll keep that in mind about those watching the tutorials. And don't worry, I usually stay out of awkward stuff but it was really an excuse to talk about something I've been thinking about for a while.
    When you tell people there are limits... they believe them. Just like with children, most schools ruin their imagination by teaching them with such rigid information instead of allowing them to explore ideas... That's an idea I'll take one for the team on.
    Thats 2.5 Dahlas
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 3:35 am
    Yea, dont understand what the fuss was about there to begin with. Nothing wrong with this tutorial, as fun and informative as ever. People have been asking for a tut on how to integrate camera tracking with Element, and thats what they got. It is a technical demonstration, not a final broadcast production for a client. So if someone thinks it is not looking good enough, well that does not seem very relevant.

    Just our 2.5 cents
August 3rd, 2012 @ 4:08 am
Thanks Andrew...

From IRAN!
Reza Basirat
August 3rd, 2012 @ 6:46 am
Thanks a lot Andrew.
I Think the Livecam is a next stuff, next mutation.
August 3rd, 2012 @ 8:06 am
Hey Andrew, this Element plug-in is amazing. One suggestion is maybe the next update can have the textures already set up by default upon importing.
Jeremy Abbott
August 3rd, 2012 @ 12:00 pm
Hey Andrew, I admire your professionalism in dealing with posts like the one from Tanner. Props to your well thought out and excellent response.

Can you tell us which upcoming film it is that you used it on? Or promise to tell us when it comes out if you're not allowed to say right now? It would be awesome to be able to look for its industry use in theatres!
August 3rd, 2012 @ 2:32 pm
Hi Andrew! Thank you for awesome plug-in! It has unbelievable capabilities! I dont have it yet. but soon i will buy it.. I have one question:
In this tutorial then the car explouding and jumps up the shadow changes it form very realistic. How you made it?
Oh, and another one question:
whether you plan to do drop shadows from AE lights?
Sorry for my English:D
August 4th, 2012 @ 5:34 pm
Hi Andrew I have suggestion for next update. I was making assigning textures for my 3d object in elements and i never noticed before until i load hi res photo realistic car and need to put 56 textures and then need to adjust UV Repeat x and y (copy x and paste than copy y and paste) for each of Diffuse,Specular,Normal bump. Now this is a lot of copy and paste and a large amount of coffee. My suggestion is if is possible to have option to lock UV Repeat a little box icon next to Diffuse, Specular, Refl/Ref, Illumination, Normal Bump, Occlusion just behind visibility switch thingy box that will automatically apply UV Repeat size (x,y) based on the Diffuse UV repeat size to all of them with box clicked on. Just something like visibility box option but with option to have same UV repeat when click on it ??
August 4th, 2012 @ 6:51 pm
here is what i did so far.
August 5th, 2012 @ 4:36 pm
Tribute of pursuit question for the day
Who is most likely to buy VideoCopilot
A) Autodesk
B) Adobe
C) Maxon
August 13th, 2012 @ 5:44 am
great tutorial!! I did my own exploding car model video based on this knowledge ;] check it out
August 15th, 2012 @ 12:32 pm
I think it'd be sweet if you introduced kinematics so folks could animate models inside of Element.

jus sayin'....
August 17th, 2012 @ 2:01 pm
Did you create the truck model yourself? It's pretty fantastic, any idea where we can get it?
September 15th, 2012 @ 4:06 pm
oi! Eu sou um grande admirador do video copilot e de todos que fazem parte de grupo . Quero dizer que eu conheci o after a sete meses atrs e fiquei imprecionado o a gama de efeitos que ele tem. Quero dizer que voces so minha forte de expirao. Parabns a todos . Eu ja conseguir fazer alguns do tutorias .eu ainda no sei falar ingles e fica dificio as vezes de acompanha os tutorias. Os brasileiros agradecem em especial eu se voces colocarem legenda em portugues. Eu estou juntando uma grana para compra alguns do dvds de efeitos. Boa noite a todos. Em nome da proftas produes .o seu sonho personalizado.
deepak mistry
October 17th, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

can i create cast shadow of element 3d model & How

please anyone can help me
James Norman
November 2nd, 2012 @ 10:18 am
Hi Andrew. This looks very exciting and I already thrilled at the prospect of getting this, I only have two questions.
1) the truck and the Jet models, are they supplied by Element 3D?
2) in the environment settings, will we be allowed to add our own photos and default them as a environmental reflection?
Great work, keep it up!
James Norman
November 2nd, 2012 @ 3:41 pm
Hi Andrew. This looks very exciting and I already thrilled at the prospect of getting this, I only have two questions.
1) the truck and the Jet models, are they supplied by Element 3D?
2) in the environment settings, will we be allowed to add our own photos and default them as a environmental reflection?
Great work, keep it up!
November 3rd, 2012 @ 4:32 pm
Thanks a lot for this gift and your job !
November 5th, 2012 @ 7:54 pm
Awesome tutorial! Saw a tutorial with an airplane in it already but it wasn't in Element 3d. I think it'd be awesome to have a tutorial or free download of an airplane for Element 3d. Or a tutorial if you have time! One with wheels so we can use it on the ground with awesome real cars swerving in and out of the tires. I think that'd be cool. Appreciate sticking up for having no limits with your ideas, Andrew. You're an inspiration to us all.
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