Video Copilot - Tools for Digital Artists
Frequently Asked Questions
V2 FAQ

Reflections, Shadows and Physics
Appearance
Textures and Models
Missing Assets
Feature Requests and Bugs
Errors
 
Can I open V1 projects in V2
We don't recommend opening old projects inside of Element 3D V2, though if you do we recommend taking some precautions:

Be sure to back up your project, just in case you need to install an old version.
Keep in mind SSAO has a new algorithm that may appear different.
Animation Engine has been improved and may render with different results.
The Bevel Extrusion system has been updated with a better coordinates system and may need tweaking. The New Coordinate system may cause anchor point issues that will change rotation in some cases.

We do apologize for the changes. Moving forward should not be a problem, but we had to make
significant changes to accommodate the new features.
 
Does Element support ray-traced reflections?
Element does not support "ray-traced" reflections. There are Mirror and Spherical reflection modes to create reflections. See here for more info. How do I get objects to reflect each other?
See here for more info on how to setup reflections. Does Element cast Shadows from lights?
Yes! See here for more info. Does Element have a physics system?
Not exactly. Element is an array based plug-in that works by having an absolute particle count and positions. Our unique Animation Engine is able to do amazing things when it knows exactly where particles are at no matter what. This system can be used to achieve many creative animations without sacrificing the control as in simulation based systems. Since we do not have a traditional particle emitter, particles do not automatically animate over time. Why are my shapes looking squished?
Turn your aspect ratio in your composition settings to square pixel. Why is my Element looking flat and not 3D?
Make sure you have applied a camera and that you have the camera tool selected in order to rotate the model. 

Make sure you do not have the "3D Layer" switch checked on the solid that has Element 3D. Why aren't all my objects in my scene?
Element groups work in two ways: Either a group is controlling one single object, or an array of objects. For example, if you have 3 objects set to a group, but your particle number is only set to 1; you will only have one object in your scene. If you have 3 objects and a particle number of 5; you will have an array of 5 randomly generated objects in one single group.

If you have two objects and would like to control them independently, you must designate one of them for group 1 and the other for group 2,3,4, or 5. See 3D Object Groups. Why aren't my textures being imported into Element?
Imported .obj with .mtl files, or c4d files can be imported with textures. If not it means you don't have an mtl or the textures are missing. Check out here for more info on importing objects. How do I submit feature requests, bug reports, and crash reports?
Send them to support@videocopilot.net Why do my exported models from C4D have no shading and look grey inside of Element 3D?
Make sure that the model has been exported out of its 3D program with "normals"

In the Element model options in the scene interface, you can turn on the "auto normals" switch and adjust the "edge threshold" until it looks correct. See 3D Object Troubleshooting. I have moved all my textures associated with my saved preset to another location, how do I relink them?
When you open a project, a dialog will pop up to browse for missing files, or you can search for them manually by clicking "File" while inside the Element UI and select "Relink Missing Files". See Relinking Missing Files. I imported my model in Element and applied one of the pro shaders, why does the material show up as a solid color?
This is caused by not applying a UVW map inside of your external 3D application. To apply a preset UVW map inside of Element, Select your model in the scene window and under Model Surface & Mapping click the drop down for "Texture Mapping". You will be able to choose from various types of texture mapping options. See Exporting 3D Objects and 3D Object Troubleshooing. Why can I see through some polygons?
Make sure that your model doesn't have any backwards polygon normals. Element 3D does not draw polygon backfaces by default. To draw backfaces on polygons you will need to go to the material settings for your model and under the advanced settings click the checkbox marked "draw backfaces". *Also, this could be related to the polygon normals. To auto correct the normals select the model from the scene window and then in the edit window click the checkbox under Model Surface & Mapping marked "Auto Normals". See 3D Object Troubleshooing. Why are my models disappearing when switching to full resolution?
Please try lowering your Multisampling in the Element 3D output controls which will lower the GPU requirements for Element 3D. See Optimizing Render Settings & Preformance. Why aren't the bevels or starter pack models showing up in the Scene Setup?
Run the full Element 3D installer(not the patch) and they should be accessible in the Scene Setup. You may want to install it while logged on as Administrator rather than a user account. When I try to license Element 3D I am getting an "Invalid License" or "Err: 51" error, what do I do?
Delete the following folder if you are on PC and then run the Element 3D installer again and license as normal:
C:/ProgramData/VideoCopilot
**C:/ProgramData is a hidden folder so you might need to type it in the Windows Explorer address bar**

Delete the following folder if you are on MAC and then run the Element 3D installer again and license as normal:
/Users/{username}/Library/Application Support/VideoCopilot
**/Users/{username}/Library is a hidden folder so you might need to go to Finder menu 'Go' and use 'Go to Folder...' and type the path in.** When I run the Element 3D installer I get an "Err. 54", what do I do?
Close After Effects before running installer. You may need to reboot in case it is still open in the processes. If problem persists contact support for assistance. Element 3D not listed in the Effects menu in After Effects, what should I do?

Possible Solutions:  
  1. Run the full Element 3D installer(not the patch) and install it while logged on as Administrator and not a user-account to avoid permissions issues. 
  2. Run the full Element 3D installer, uncheck any version of After Effects that are selected, check "Custom", 32bit or 64bit(64bit is only for After Effects CS5 or later), and then browse your Desktop as the location.

Find the VideoCopilot folder that should be on your Desktop and manually drag it into your Adobe After Effects Plug-ins folder. Then try to open the plug-in again in After Effects.
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