Recreating Complex Bevels

After seeing the impressive Lionsgate title treatment I thought I would try to recreate the intricate bevel in Element 3D. While it is not exactly the same, I was able to use a single extrude object with 5 bevels layers. Here is the previous text tutorial that examines the extrude tool in Element 3D.

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Element 3D V1.6.1 Ready to Download!

Element 3D V1.6.1 is now available to address many bugs and stability enhancements from V 1.6 plus this free wallpaper!

The update is free to current customers or you can get Element 3D  and join the 3D revolution!

https://www.videocopilot.net/products/element/update/

Changes:

  • Fixed incorrect World Position Null when using downsampling.
  • Fixed Matte materials when using Supersampling.
  • Fixed slowdown when using 3D Object replicator.
  • Fixed crashes when using Generate 3D Position.
  • Fixed crash when using Multi Processor rendering.
  • Fixed environment map not relinking properly.
  • Changed Default settings of Extrude tool.
  • Added AE CC directory to installer.

NOTE: Extrude tool default has been updated to make extrusion easier. The spike filter has been turned on to help cut bad polygons and the normalize scale mode has been turned off by default. This allows text to be created and edited without completely resizing when you change the text. Keep in mind the size of the bevel is based on the size of your text layer.

Top Features in previous updates: V1.5 and V1.6

  • Animated OBJ Sequences Support
  • Built-In Glow Rendering
  • Added generate 3D position null.
  • Added group nulls.
  • New Draft Modes for faster workflows
  • New Particle Distribution Ordering & Repeating Options

Watch Feature videos for previous updates

Animated Aperture in Element 3D!

Here is the animation I created last night using extruded masks inside Element 3D to build some kind of angry aperture. I animated the various group values to ‘reveal’ parts of the object. I usually do the sound design last so when animating it helps to have a lot of movement to motivate the sound FX. You want stuff to look good and sound good!

Watch on Youtube in HD

I used the materials from the Pro Shaders with some minor tweaks.

Download Project (CS6, Element 3D & Optical Flares used)

Experimental 3D Extrusions

Even though I usually use 3Ds max for modelling, I decided to spend some time playing around with Element 3D and the extrusion tool. This entire scene was built directly inside of Element 3D with simple extrusions.

I was actually pretty surprised by how much you can do with it in combination with the particle replicators. Originally we designed the extrusion feature for making 3D text and extruding logo’s but with a little bit of work I created some interesting designs.

I created a velociraptor-nail shaped mask and extruded it for the aperture blade and the same for the ring and star. For the star I used the ring replicator mode to distribute around the outside edge. I’m going to clean up the project a bit and release along with my final animation so you guys and gals can dig through.

New Tutorial: BioHazard Logo

In this exciting new tutorial, we’ll create an impressive 3D logo right inside of After Effects using the new plug-in Element 3D. First we create masks of the logo and use Element to extrude and animate the final result.

The key to a dramatic title like this is lighting! You want to keep things dark and add subtle contrasting lights. You definitely don’t want to have everything lit up and bright or it will be less mysterious and therefore unmysterious. Which is not a word, which is why it is bad.

Watch the Tutorial!

Then check out the Plug-in!

Here is the final result that we will be creating!

BioHazard Logo with Element 3D!

Here’s another dramatic logo I created with our new plug-in Element 3D using extruded masks. I used the Pro Shaders for the surface and I’m currently working on a short tutorial for this project right now! For those who saw an early version of it, I updated this one with some additional moving parts. Watch it in full screen baby!

The plug-in just came out last week but be sure to check it out!

This project with DOF took less than 7 minutes to render with my Geforce 580 at 720p.
Not too shabby.

Element 3D Release Date!

UPDATE: Now Available

Our 3D object based plug-in for Adobe After effects known as Element 3D has an official release date! You know that little plug-in we’ve been working on that let’s you use real 3D objects as particles… well it’s finally ready for release!

Available here: JULY 10, 2012

I’ll be showing you everything there is to know about this plug-in and we hope you’ll see why it has taken so much hard work and more importantly, we hope you can see the amazing possibilities!

Some Technical Features: (tutorials and demonstrations coming soon)

  • Supports 3D Objects in 2 formats (OBJ and native C4D files)
  • Powerful particle based animation system.
  • Easily Extrude and Bevel Text and Mask shapes! Wait til you see how it works!
  • Powerful Custom User Interface. Surprise!
  • Compatible with After Effects CS3 and above (we built our own Open GL Render Engine!)

Creative Features list in the works! Thank you for your patience, we are truly excited!!

Price you ask? It will be announced soon!

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.

More on Bump Mapping


Bricks with bump mapping in AE


Same Bricks with no bump mapping

Bump Mapping is an effective way to add surface-dimension to still images and textures by allowing light to interact with the contours of the surface. Usually this is done in a 3D program but a similar technique can be imitated in After Effects, as shown in the latest Short_Cuts Tutorial.

The above example shows how bump mapping can have a dramatic effect on a still image, but sometimes a separate bump map is needed to simulate the proper depth. I created a new bump map by manipulating the original image to look like the one on the right. The white area designates “extrusion” while the black stays unchanged.

This new image is then selected by the Glass filter to be used as the “Bump Map” layer. After playing with the settings, the bricks now appears to extrude slightly. The actual settings can be seen by clicking on the screen shot.

QUICK TIP: The bump map doesn’t have to be a descendant of the original image. Think of the possibilities…

Also be sure to play with the material options to mimic the properties of the surface. In this case, dull bricks don’t have as much specular hot spots.

Now if you have already built bump maps to use in your 3D program, then you know how fun it is to make custom bump maps from images. Unfortunately, simply inverting an image is never good enough because the necessary depth information is not always black or white.

3D Extrusion in After Effects by Maltaannon

Of all the ways to create 3D text in After Effects this has to be one of the bests. Using some very ingenious scripting, Maltaannon figured a way to make the Shapes in After Effects CS3 extrude into 3D space.

It even comes with a handy preset to make things even easier. Maltaannon was working on this ingenious project for several weeks before I released my 3D Text Tutorials so it was really well thought out and comprehensive. Keep an eye on this guy he is a crafty one.

Watch Video