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«PROFESSIONAL USER GUIDE © 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Copyright Adobe® After Effects® CS3 User Guide for Windows® and ...»

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Use Global Light Set this to On to use the Global Light Angle and Global Light Altitude in the Blending Options property group instead of the individual layer style’s Angle and Altitude settings. This is useful if you have multiple layer styles applied to the same layer and want to animate the position of the light for all of them.

Working with blending options for layer styles Each layer style has its own blending mode, which determines how it interacts with underlying layers. The underlying layer in this context may or may not include the layer to which the layer style is applied. For example, a drop shadow does not blend with the layer to which it’s applied, because the shadow falls behind the layer; whereas an inner shadow does blend with the layer to which it’s applied.

Layer styles can be categorized as interior layer styles or exterior layer styles. Interior layer styles affect the opaque pixels of the layer to which they’re applied. These include Inner Glow, Inner Shadow, Color Overlay, Gradient Overlay, Satin, and Bevel And Emboss. Exterior layer styles do not blend with the pixels of the layer to which they’re applied, but only interact with the underlying layers. These include Outer Glow and Drop Shadow.

If Blend Interior Styles As Group is set to On, interior layer styles use the blending mode of the layer.

If you modify a layer’s Opacity property, the opacity of the layer’s contents and the opacity of the layer styles are all affected. If, however, you modify the Fill Opacity property in the Blending Options property group, the opacity of the layer styles is unaffected. For example, if a text layer has the Drop Shadow layer style applied, decreasing the Fill Opacity to 0 makes the text disappear, but the drop shadow remains visible.

Use the Blend Ranges From Source option to use the advanced blending options set for the Photoshop file that determine what blending operations to perform based on the color characteristics of the input layer.

AFTER EFFECTS CS3 171 User Guide Exclude channels from blending You can exclude one or more of a layer’s color channels from blending operations.

The Blending Options property group is only included for a layer if the layer has had a layer style added to it. To add a Blending Options property group without a layer style, add an arbitrary layer style and then immediately delete it;

the Blending Options property group and its containing Layer Styles property group will remain.

1 Expand the layer’s Blending Options property group in the Layer Styles property group in the Timeline panel.

2 To exclude a channel from blending, set Red, Green, or Blue to Off in the Advanced Blending property group.

You can animate these properties, so you can exclude a channel from blending at some times but include the channel at other times.

Working with 3D layers About 3D layers The basic objects that you manipulate in After Effects are flat, two-dimensional (2D) layers. When you make a layer a 3D layer, the layer itself remains flat, but it gains additional properties: Position (z), Anchor Point (z), Scale (z), Orientation, X Rotation, Y Rotation, Z Rotation, and Material Options properties. Material Options properties specify how the layer interacts with light and shadows. Only 3D layers interact with shadows, lights, and cameras.

2D layers (left) and layers with 3D properties (right)

Any layer can be a 3D layer, except an audio-only layer. Individual characters within text layers can optionally be 3D sublayers, each with their own 3D properties. A text layer with Enable Per-character 3D selected behaves just like a precomposition that consists of a 3D layer for each character. All camera and light layers have 3D properties.

By default, layers are at a depth (z-axis position) of 0. In After Effects, the origin of the coordinate system is at the upper-left corner; x (width) increases from left to right, y (height) increases from top to bottom, and z (depth) increases from near to far. Some video and 3D applications use a coordinate system that is rotated 180 degrees around the x axis; in these systems, y increases from bottom to top, and z increases from far to near.

You can transform 3D layers relative to the composition’s coordinate space, the layer’s coordinate space, or a custom space by selecting an axis mode.

You can add effects and masks to 3D layers, composite 3D layers with 2D layers, and create and animate camera and light layers to view or illuminate 3D layers from any angle.

All effects are 2D, including effects that simulate 3D distortions. This means that, for example, viewing a layer with the Bulge effect from the side will not show a protrusion.

As with all masks, mask coordinates on a 3D layer are in the 2D coordinate space of the layer.

AFTER EFFECTS CS3 172 User Guide Note: After Effects 7.0 and earlier included a Standard 3D rendering plug-in; this plug-in is not included with After Effects CS3. In After Effects 6.0 and later, the default plug-in for rendering 3D layers has been the Advanced 3D rendering plug-in. When you open a project that was created with the Standard 3D rendering plug-in, the project is converted to use the Advanced 3D rendering plug-in. As third-party plug-ins become available, you can choose them from the Advanced section of the Composition Settings dialog box.

Paul Tuersley provides a pair of scripts for converting a composition based on a layered Photoshop file into a set of 3D layers, www.adobe.com/go/learn_ae_paulphotoshop3dlayers.

You can download an example project from the AE Enhancers forum that shows how to arrange several 3D layers in

the shape of a sphere, control the layers with a null layer, and light them:


Several plug-ins add the ability to manipulate, warp, and extrude 3D shapes in After Effects. Rich Young of AE Portal

provides information about Zaxwerks 3D Warps and Zaxwerks Invigorator PRO, two such products:


See also “Work with per-character 3D text properties” on page 293 “3D files from other applications” on page 77 “Shortcuts for 3D layers” on page 649 “Cameras, lights, and points of interest” on page 176 “Layer 3D attributes and methods” on page 572 Convert 3D layers When you convert a layer to 3D, a depth (z) value is added to its Position, Anchor Point, and Scale properties, and the layer gains Orientation, Y Rotation, X Rotation, and Material Options properties. The single Rotation property is renamed Z Rotation.

When you convert a 3D layer back to 2D, the Y Rotation, X Rotation, Orientation, and Material Options properties are removed, including all values, keyframes, and expressions. (These values cannot be restored by converting the layer back to a 3D layer.) The Anchor Point, Position, and Scale properties remain, along with their keyframes and expressions, but their z values are hidden and ignored.

See also “Work with per-character 3D text properties” on page 293 “Layer switches and columns in the Timeline panel” on page 147 “Shortcuts for 3D layers” on page 649 Convert a layer to a 3D layer ❖ Select the layer’s 3D Layer switch in the Timeline panel, or select the layer and choose Layer 3D Layer.

–  –  –

Convert a 3D layer to a 2D layer ❖ Deselect the layer’s 3D Layer switch in the Timeline panel, or select the layer and choose Layer 3D Layer.

Show or hide 3D axes and layer controls 3D axes are color-coded arrows: red for x, green for y, and blue for z.

• To show or hide 3D axes, camera and light wireframe icons, layer handles, and the point of interest, choose View Show Layer Controls.

If the axis that you want to manipulate is difficult to see, try a different setting in the Select View Layout menu at the bottom of the Composition panel.

• To show or hide a set of persistent 3D reference axes, click the Grid And Guides Options button at the bottom of the Composition panel, and choose 3D Reference Axes.

See also“Show or hide layer controls in the Composition panel” on page 127

Move a 3D layer 1 Select the 3D layer that you want to move.

2 Do one of the following:

• In the Composition panel, use the Selection tool to drag the arrowhead of the 3D axis layer control corresponding to the axis along which you want to move the layer. Shift-drag to move the layer more quickly.

• In the Timeline panel, modify the Position property values.

Press P to show Position.

See also “Selecting and arranging layers” on page 137 “Modify layer properties” on page 152 “Shortcuts for 3D layers” on page 649

–  –  –

Donat Van Bellinghen provides a some expressions for placing and orienting a 3D layer in the plane defined by three points: www.adobe.com/go/learn_ae_donat3dlayer3points.

See also “Selecting and arranging layers” on page 137 “Modify layer properties” on page 152 “Shortcuts for 3D layers” on page 649 Rotate or orient a 3D layer in the Composition panel 1 Select the 3D layer that you want to turn.

2 Select the Rotation tool, and choose Orientation or Rotation from the Set menu to determine whether the tool affects Orientation or Rotation properties.

3 In the Composition panel, do one of the following:

• Drag the arrowhead of the 3D axis layer control corresponding to the axis around which you want to turn the layer.

• Drag a layer handle. Dragging a corner handle turns the layer around the z axis; dragging a left or right center handle turns the layer around the y axis; dragging a top or bottom handle turns the layer around the x axis.

• Drag the layer.

Shift-drag to constrain your manipulations to 45-degree increments.

Rotate or orient a 3D layer in the Timeline panel 1 Select the 3D layer that you want to turn.

2 In the Timeline panel, modify the Rotation or Orientation property values.

Press R to show Rotation and Orientation properties.

Axis modes Axis modes specify on which set of axes a 3D layer is transformed. Choose a mode in the Tools panel.

Aligns the axes to the surface of a 3D layer.

Local Axis mode Aligns the axes to the absolute coordinates of the composition. Regardless of the rotations you World Axis mode perform on a layer, the axes always represent 3D space relative to the 3D world.

Aligns the axes to the view you have selected. For example, suppose that a layer has been rotated View Axis mode and the view changed to a custom view; any subsequent transformation made to that layer while in View Axis mode happens along the axes corresponding to the direction from which you are looking at the layer.

Note: The camera tools always adjust along the view’s local axes, so the action of the camera tools is not affected by the axis modes.

–  –  –

How render order and collapsed transformations affect 3D layers The positions of certain kinds of layers in the layer stacking order in the Timeline panel prevent groups of 3D layers from being processed together to determine intersections and shadows.

A shadow cast by a 3D layer does not affect a 2D layer or any layer that is on the other side of the 2D layer in the layer stacking order. Similarly, a 3D layer will not intersect with a 2D layer or any layer that is on the other side of the 2D layer in the layer stacking order. No such restriction exists for lights.

3D layers intersecting (left), and 3D layers prevented from intersecting by intervening 2D layer (right) Just like 2D layers, other types of layers also prevent 3D layers on either side from intersecting or casting shadows on

one another:

• An adjustment layer

• A 3D layer with a layer style applied

• A 3D precomposition to which an effect, closed mask (with mask mode other than None), or track matte has been applied

• A 3D precomposition layer without collapsed transformations A precomposition with collapsed transformations (Collapse Transformations switch selected) does not interfere with the interaction of 3D layers on either side—as long as all of the layers in the precomposition are themselves 3D layers. Collapsing transformations exposes the 3D properties of the layers that compose the precomposition. Essentially, collapsing transformations in this case allows each 3D layer to be composited into the main composition individually, rather than creating a single 2D composite for the precomposition layer and compositing that into the main composition. The tradeoff is that this setting removes your ability to specify certain layer settings for the precomposition as a whole—such as blending mode, quality, and motion blur.

Shadows cast by continuously rasterized 3D layers (including text layers) are not affected by effects applied to that layer. If you want the shadow to show the results of the effect, then precompose the layer with the effect.

To ensure that the shadow remains where expected on a 3D layer with a track matte, precompose the 3D layer and the track matte layer together (but don’t collapse transformations), and then apply the shadow to the precomposition.

Effects on continuously rasterized vector layers with 3D properties are rendered in 2D and then projected onto the 3D layer. OpenGL rendering does not support this sort of projection, so results may differ when rendering using OpenGL. This projection does not occur for compositions with collapsed transformations.

AFTER EFFECTS CS3 176 User Guide See also “Render order and collapsing transformations” on page 115 “Precompose layers” on page 114 “Continuously rasterize a layer containing vector graphics” on page 151 Cameras, lights, and points of interest Create a camera layer and change camera settings You can view 3D layers from any angle and distance using camera layers. Just as it’s easier in the real world to move cameras through and around a scene than it is to move and rotate the scene itself, it’s often easiest to get different views of a composition by setting up a camera layer and moving it around in a composition.

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