The Ultimate Guide to 3D in After Effects | Jake Bartlett | Skillshare

The Ultimate Guide to 3D in After Effects

Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

The Ultimate Guide to 3D in After Effects

Jake Bartlett, Motion Designer

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31 Lessons (4h 46m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Class Overview

    • 3. Basics of 3D in AE

    • 4. 3D Cameras Overview

    • 5. Camera Transform Controls

    • 6. Camera Options

    • 7. Two Node Cameras

    • 8. One Node Camera Rig

    • 9. 3D Layer Types

    • 10. Light Types and Controls

    • 11. 3D Layer Material Options

    • 12. My Class Project Overview

    • 13. First Camera Pass

    • 14. Second Camera Pass

    • 15. Final Styling and Effects

    • 16. Real World Examples

    • 17. Rack Focusing

    • 18. Smooth Camera Moves

    • 19. Start Your Project

    • 20. C4D Renderer Overview

    • 21. Animating 3D Text

    • 22. Styling 3D Text

    • 23. C4D Material Options

    • 24. 3D Text Material Overrides

    • 25. Movie Title

    • 26. Extruding Shapes and Curving Layers

    • 27. 2 for 5 Burger Ad

    • 28. Creating a Seamless Backdrop in 3D

    • 29. Animating Extruded Text

    • 30. 3D Skillshare Logo

    • 31. Thanks!

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About This Class


The world of 3D can be daunting, but it's too exciting and the possibilities it opens up make it impossible to ignore. After Effects gives you the ability to take advantage of 3D, and in the Ultimate Guide to 3D in After Effects I'm going to show you how!

In this comprehensive course you'll learn everything there is to know about working in 3D in After Effects and start adding depth to your compositions in no time.

With each quick video we’ll cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Basics of 3D space
  • All 3D camera, light and layer controls & options
  • Building and animating 3D scenes
  • Advanced camera animation techniques
  • Rendering with both standard and Cinema 4D render engines

And much, much more.

By the end of this course you'll know everything you need to work confidently in After Effects 3D. I've created several sample projects that you can download and follow as I teach through the lessons. Along the way you'll see how I approach unique scenarios, and even how I used 3D in some of my real world client work. As always, your classmates and I will be available for project feedback, answering questions, and sharing inspiration.

You should have a basic understanding of Adobe After Effects’ user interface and functionality. Every step will be clearly explained in each video, but we won’t be spending a lot of time learning how to do basic functions. If you're new to After Effects, check out The Beginner's Guide to Animating Custom GIFs or The Beginner's Guide to After Effects first. I'll see you in class!

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Jake Bartlett

Motion Designer

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1. Trailer: Hey, I'm Jake Bartlett and this is the ultimate guide to 3D in After Effects. Working in 3D opens up so many possibilities that you just can't accomplish in 2D. If you're not working with it already, then you're severely limiting what you're capable of as a motion designer. In this class, I'm going to teach you everything you need to know about working in 3D, so that you can take your motion graphics to the next level. You'll be learning all about the standard and cinema 4D renderers as well as 3D cameras, layers, light, material, options, environments, pebbles and extrusions, even animating in 3D and a whole lot more. I've created several projects for this class to teach through that you'll be able to download and dig through my layers and keyframes to see how I approached all different kinds of projects. I'll even be walking you through some of my real-world client work. For the class project, you'll be making a 3D animation. I'll be working on a portion of a lyric video, but I've set up this course that you can take what you learn and apply it to basically any type of project. So you don't necessarily have to work on a lyric video yourself. This class is for any motion designer ready to take their skills into the third dimension. If you don't feel quite comfortable working in 3D or maybe you've never even tried before, this is the class for you. If you're completely new to After Effects, then check out one of my other courses. The Beginner's Guide to After Effects, or The Beginner's Guide to Animating Custom GIFs first. Either of those classes will get you up to speed so that you can follow along with this one. Working in 3D is so much fun and I am so excited to teach you all about it. I'll see you in class. 2. Class Overview: All right, thank you so much for deciding to take this class. I hope that you're as excited about learning 3D as I am about teaching it. It really is so much fun working in After Effects in 3D. Now the way that I suggest that you take this course is by first watching it and then applying it to your class project. You're not really going to be able to create something before you get a really good understanding of the entire picture of working in 3D first. We're going to start by just learning the basics of 3D inside of After Effects and then we're going to move on to my class project where I show you how I animate my lyric video. Then I'll walk you through several projects that I've created specifically for this class that have unique situations that don't come up with my lyric video for my class project and you're going to be able to download all of the project files for those scenes so that you can follow along with me as I'm digging through them. You can either just watch me as I'm working through those projects or take some time and actually play around with them yourself and see if you can try and come up with some of your own camera movements or animations. Then I'm going to walk you through some actual client work of mine where I used 3D in After Effects. That way you'll be able to see how you can take what you learn in this class and apply it in a variety of different styles to different types of projects. Finally, I'm going to show you how to use the cinema 4 D renderer and After Effects so that you can work with true 3D geometry and create some pretty impressive looking graphics without ever leaving the program. It is kind of a long class, but if you just take it one step at a time, you'll have no trouble and if you ever get lost, just take a look at the video labels, the names that I'd given each video are going to be very descriptive so that you can figure out what I teach in every lesson. With all that in mind, let's get started. 3. Basics of 3D in AE: In order to start working with 3D cameras, we have to understand what they are and how they work. Because I feel like a lot of people just don't grasp exactly what's happening when you start animating a 3D camera. Let's start by just talking about what after effects is capable of. Obviously, you can do 2D animation inside of after effects where you just have 2D objects. So let's say I wanted to circle, I've got a circle, I'll just make this 500 by 500, and there's a circle that is a 2D shape. I can move it around in two axes. That's what the 2D, two-dimension stands for, X and Y movement. It's flat, there's no depth to it, I can style this however I want, I could shade it, I can scale it down, I can duplicate it and offset and animate these two shapes in these two dimensions. 2D animation, no problem inside of after effects. 3D animation or three-dimensional animation is also possible inside of after effects, but not to the extent that actual 3D software is capable of, like Cinema 4D or 3D Studio Max Maya actual dedicated 3D software has a much more robust 3D interface and capabilities. What does 3D inside of After Effects look like? Well with both of these 2D layers, I can come over to these little switches, and if you don't see these right here, make sure that you have this little switch enabled in the bottom left corner that hides or shows the layer switches pane. Alright, and then this column right here, which has a 3D cube on it, that is the 3D layer switch so if I turn the 3D layer on by clicking and dragging down on both of those Shape layers. These are now 3D layers, but they look exactly the same, and that's because they still don't have any depth. They're actually still 2D layers they just now exist in 3D space. There's the third Z axis, the Z dimension is now unlocked because I turned on that switch. Again, it doesn't look any different. What exactly happened? well, if I select one of these layers, I now have these different colored handles for each dimension in this three-dimensional space. Green for the Y axis, you can see that hovering over the arrow, red for the X axis and then blue for the Z axis which is pointed towards us. I can click and drag on any of these handles to move it on those axes. When I do this on the Z axis, the left and right, you see that it's actually looking like it's scaling the circle up and down. But what's actually happening is it's moving that layer closer or further away from us in 3D space, and to give you a little bit better perspective on what's actually happening, I'm going to come over and this little menu right here at the bottom of my comp viewer and change it from 1 View to 2 Views-Horizontal. That's going to open up the second viewer for my composition so I can see my scene from two different perspectives. I'm going to click on this one and zoom in, and by pressing the period key on the keyboard a couple times, and you'll see in the top left corner here we have the word top that's letting us know that this is the top down view of my scene over here is my active camera. The active camera is what you can think of as what's going to be rendered. It's whatever you see in the active camera view is what will be rendered when you go to export. But the top-down view is just showing us these blue lines. Well, those blue lines are the same as these blue outlines as I hover over either of these circles. That's just letting me know that there is an object there. If I were to click on this bigger circle, we can see our three axes handles right here, and on the top-down view we see them a little bit differently. The z handle, which is the blue handle, it was pointing towards us in the active camera view is now pointing down in the top-down view. If I click and drag on that, you see that it's moving it further away or closer to us in this active camera view. This is the top down view of our 3D scene, and if I were to disable the 3D layer switch for both of those circles, these are back to being 2D layers, and even in our top-down view, we're going to be seeing them exactly the same as the active camera view because we lost that third dimension. Let me just turn those back on real quick, and let's switch to another view in this top down window. I'll click on this top view to make it active. You can see these in blue triangles in the corners letting you know that's the active view, and then instead of being on the top view, I'm going to click on that menu and come down to custom View 1. These views 1, 2, and 3 are just preset default views that after effects has set for us, but we'll go to custom view 1, and what this view is is like a three-quarters angle up and to the left. Imagine you were standing in front of these two circles, and now you've swung up and to the left and you're looking at a downward angle at our scene. Alright, so now if I click and drag these layers around, you can get a sense for this space that we're working with now, turning on this 3D layer switch, has activated that third dimension and is allowing us to move objects on that Z axis. But you'll notice these layers are still flat, they're two-dimensional. There is no Z depth to either of these objects, and if I grabbed my rotation tool and just rotate around the Y axis by clicking and dragging on that handle, I can rotate this to a point where it's basically invisible. Because this is a two-dimensional layer existing within 3D space. It's not actually a three-dimensional layer. Imagine it like pieces of paper, except the paper is so thin that if you turn it perfectly sideways, you wouldn't even see it. It would be invisible because there's literally no depth to these layers. This kind of 3D is sometimes called 2.5D because it's not quite 3D. We're working with 2D layers in 3D space. Whereas a program like Cinema 4D can work with true 3D geometry inside of 3D space, and while it is a little bit limiting, there's still a lot of possibilities that working inside of 3D space opens up inside of after effects, and as we'll see further along in this class, after effects actually can work with some 3D geometry natively within after effects, but also using some third-party plug-ins. Quickly, I'm going to switch back from my custom view 1 to the top view, and we can see the rotation that we added to these two objects. If I grab this one that we've already rotated a little bit and just click and drag it to rotate it even further. Now its at this weird angle where it's angled upwards and we can see that reflected in our top-down view. If I switch this from top to left, now the camera has swung over to the left side of our scene and we're looking at it directly from the side or I could look at it from the right side, and it's just going to swap around, and I can move around this scene a little bit. Let's say that I had this object way further back in the scene that so that I couldn't even see it in my right view. Well, I can navigate around this a little bit using the camera tools and we're going to cover these at length a little bit later. But just to show you, I can click down and hold on his camera tool and go to my Track Z Camera Tool. Again, we're going to cover this later. Don't worry if you're not following along yet, but I can zoom out on this view until I can see that layer. I'll press C to cycle through my camera tools until I get to this track XY tool, which lets me just pan around my scene and then press C a couple more times until I get to my camera view. Let's say that I wanted to rotate around this scene a little bit, just move the camera around so I could look at it from a different angle. Well, normally with this camera tool I could click and drag and that would happen but in this view, I'm not able to do that, and that's because this is a fixed view. All of these views right here in this section are fixed. If you're looking at it from the front, you cannot change the camera angle. If you're looking at it from the left, you can't change the camera angle, but on Custom View 1, 2, and 3, I can. If I click and drag now you can see them orbiting around my scene in 3D space. I can zoom out. I can track around it, and then I can orbit around with my camera. Hopefully this has given you a little bit of an intro into how this 3D space is working inside of after Effects, even though we're working with 2D layers. 4. 3D Cameras Overview: Where do 3D cameras come into play inside of After Effects? Let's build a little scene in 3D, and then make a camera and see what we can do with it. I'm going to make this kind of 80s themed 3D grid that you've probably seen a million times. But it'll serve as a great example for what the camera is capable of. I'm going start by making a new solid, coming up to layer, new solid. I'm going to make it square. We'll call it 2000 by 2000 and call this one grid. Click OK. The color can be whatever we want it to. Then I'm going to add the grid effect. I'll come over to my Effects and presets, type in grid. Then under the generate category, just click and drag grid over to that layer, a I have a grid. Now I want to make this grid a little bit smaller. I'm going to change the size from corner point to width slider. I'll click on that and then that will make the squares much smaller. I can scale this up or down using the width controller right here. Then I'll just make the border say, three pixels wide and we're good to go. Now I have the grid layer and I want to enable the three switch for it so that I can work with it in 3D space. I'm going to come to my layer switches right here, click on that 3D icon. Now I have my 3D access handles. I want to rotate this flat so that it's basically a floor. I'm going to switch to my rotation tool by pressing W on the keyboard and then click and drag on the red X handle to rotate this in 3D space on the X axis. You can do this with any of these axis on a 3D layer. Let me undo back to where we were. I'll click and drag on that again. But this time I'm going to hold shift so that it snaps to 45 degree increments. I'll go until it's at 90 degrees. It's flat, completely invisible because it's perfectly in the center of my comp. Remember this is just a 2D layer existing in 3D space. In order to see any of it, I need to move it down a little bit. With it selected and having my selection tool active, I'm just going to click and drag down on the z axis. Right away you can start to see some perspective. If I go up or down, you can see that grid is now existing in 3D space. I'll just move it down a little bit so that it's at the floor of my scene. That looks good. Let's make this a nice bright magenta color. Maybe a little bit more purple or something 80s vibe. Click ok, and we're good to go. I'm going to make my comp viewer a little bit bigger so that I can see this at 100 percent and maybe increase the border size by 1.0, just so we can see that grid a little bit nicer. Next, let's add another solid in the background. I'll press Command or Control lie on a PC to make a new solid. This one can be the comp size. My comp is 1280 by 720, so it renders a little bit quicker. We'll call this BG for background and make it maybe a dark purple color. We can always adjust this. I just want to make sure that goes in the background. This layer does not need to be 3D because I wanted to fill up the background with color that's a little bright. I'm going to add a fill to this layer by typing in fill in my effects and presets. Click and drag the fill effect to that background and then make it a darker purple. Next let's make just a little sunset in the background. I'm going to double-click on my ellipse tool to make an ellipse shape layer and then double tap U on the keyboard to bring up the modified properties. That's a really quick way to get into the size of the path. It can make this to be a perfect circle by typing in say, 400 by 400. That's probably too big. I'll link those two properties and scale it down maybe about that big like 250, we'll round it off. I'm going to rename this by selecting it, pressing Enter and just call this son, and then move it up. This has a stroke on it. Since I do not need a stroke. I'm just going to disable that by clicking on a little eyeball next to the stroke. I want to give this kind of a sunset gradient. I actually want to change the fill type. With that selected, I'll come up to the little fill options in my toolbar and click and change this to a linear gradient. Click ok, and then i need to change the actual colors of that gradient. Let me twirl that open under my gradient fill, click on edit gradient, and most of these colors I don't need. I'm just going to click and drag them down to remove them. I just need two colors. This yellow to orange is actually looking pretty good. Maybe I'll make that orange just a little bit more magenta. It goes from yellow to magenta. I like that. Click ok, and I want just to change the angle a little bit. I'm going to bring this down to the bottom, bring this one up to the top. That's how you can edit a gradient of a shape layer just by grabbing those little handles. You can also adjust the positions here. The X-value on both of these should be 0. That way, it's perfectly up and down. To finish this off, I'm going to add an effect called Venetian blinds. With that selected, I'm going to go over to my Effects and Presets. Type in a Venetian. There we go. I want to make sure that I use the transition, not the Animation Preset. Click and drag that onto the Shape Layer and then change the completion to say 50 percent and rotate the direction 90 degrees. That's looking great. Now I think I'm just going to drag this down a little bit and have it to look like it's setting behind this grid. Let's move it right about here. I want to mask off the bottom of this circle. To do that, I'm just going to go into my shape layer and use a merge paths operation to do this. Now if you're a little bit lost with my shape layers workflow, I have an entire class dedicated to shape layer. Called the Ultimate Guide to shape layers and After Effects. Definitely check that out if you want to learn more about shape layers. But none of this is really essential for learning how a 3D camera works. I'm just setting up a scene so it's a little bit easier to understand. I'm going to go into the add and say a rectangle, so that I can have a second rectangle path to use as a mat or a mask. I'm going to make it a little bit wider than the circle. Then make this a little bit taller. Then move it down to rate basically where the grid ends. Then I'm going to click on the contents and add a merge paths. That's going to automatically add a stroke and another fill. I don't need those so I'm going to delete them. I just need to make sure that I go back into my ellipse and move that gradient fill down below the merge paths. Now I'll close those two shapes up, go into my merge paths and change the mode from add to subtract. That's all there is to it. I can now move this group up and down if I want more or less of that circle to show up. But I'd that looks pretty good. Now the last thing that I want to do with this, is just pre-compose so that all the effects and the gradients, everything that I've done to this just stays exactly the way that it is. I'm going to select that layer, come up to layer and all the way down to precompose. And I'll just name this sun, click on Okay, and now if I move it around, we can see that we have this 2-D layer of the effects are contained within the pre-comp. So undo to get back to where it is. Now I need to enable the 3-D layer switch for it. So I'll click on that 3-D layer. If we switched from our active view to our custom view one, we can see that this is actually right in the dead center of our scene. I want it to be right all the way at the back where the grid ends. So I need to click and drag this on the z-axis backwards. It's going to be actually a little bit easier to do this if I look at this from the top down. So let's switch from our custom view one to the top view. Now I need to zoom out so I can see all of the grid and the sun. Like we've already seen, I can navigate around this using some of the Camera tools. So let me click and hold down on the camera tools. What I'll do first is go to my Track at z Camera Tool, you can see that the keyboard shortcut for all of these as c. So if I just press C on the keyboard over and over again, it just cycles through them, so I'll just keep pressing it till I get to that track Z. You can think of this like zooming in and out of your scene are moving closer or further away from it. So I'll just back this up by clicking and dragging down until I can see the whole grid. Perfect, and then I'll switch back to my selection tool. This is the bounding box for the sun layer and it's purple, so it's matching in with that grid a lot. So I'm just gonna change the color of this layer by clicking on the label. Let's just make it something bright like cyan. That way we can see it a lot clearer. All right, now we'll click and drag on that z-axis until it's basically lined up with the top of that layer. It doesn't have to be perfect just as long as it looks like it's at the end of that grid, then I'll switch back to my active camera. You can see that it now needs to move down a little bit. I know for sure that it's rate lined up with the back of the grid layer. It's just floating above it. So let me just click and drag down on that y-axis until the bottom of that sun meets the bottom of that grid. That looks perfect. Now you can see that the bounding box on this layer goes out really far. That's just because when we pre-composed the layer, it made the pre-comp the same size as this comp. That bothers me a little bit, so I'm just going to double-click to go inside of it. Come up to composition, down to composition settings. Then just scale this down on the width and height until it fits that sun shape. Just a little bit better, I'll unlock the aspect ratio and just bring it in a little bit tighter. And then click OK. Alright, I'll close out of that. Now that just fits the shape of the contents a little bit nicer. I do, however, want to scale this up a little bit. So I'm just going to click and drag while holding shift to make it a little bit bigger. And then pull this up on the y-axis until it lines up with the bottom again. So right about there and lines up with the grid. All right, so here's our very basic 3-D scene. I think I'm gonna make my grid spacing just a little bit bigger. So I'll click and drag on the width. That looks good. Now that we have our 3-D scene, how do we actually do something with it? How do we move around it and make it look a little bit more interesting? Well, that's where 3-D cameras come into play. So let's come up to layer and go down to new and say camera. This is going to open up our cameras Settings window and give us a lot of crazy looking options that are all very confusing if you don't know what you're dealing with. But we're gonna walk through all of them in this class, so don't get too overwhelmed for now, what we're going to do is just use a preset. So come over to the preset menu and change this from custom down to, say, 50 mm. All of these presets are based on real-world camera lenses, but we'll just say 50 mm because that's kind of a standard view. Make sure that your type is set to one node camera. Just make sure that enabled that the field is unchecked. We'll talk about that in a little bit. Once that's done, just click on Okay and absolutely nothing has changed and that's totally fine. Having a 3-D camera in our scene, however, allows us to now navigate around it the same way that I was when I was in the custom view one. So these camera tools are now going to control this camera layer. So let's just go to the first Camera Tool-unified Camera Tool and see what happens. Well, if I click and drag in my scene, you can see that it's basically rotating the camera around. It's changing what the camera is looking at. And the best way to get a grasp on what's actually happening here is to think about a camera layer as if you were looking through an actual camera in the real-world. So think about using a DSLR or even just your phone. If you open up the camera and look through it, this tool is basically just changing what your camera is looking at. You can see as I click and drag, it's switched to this kind of rotation tool icon with a circle or a sphere in the middle. The unified Camera tool basically allows you to switch between the other three using modifier keys. So by default, just clicking and dragging, we'll switch to the orbit tool. Let me undo to get back to our standard view. If I were to hold down control and then click and drag, this is going to be the track Z Camera Tool. I can move in and out on my scene. Okay, let me undo that again. You can do the exact same thing by right-clicking and dragging. It doesn't have to be the modifier key. All right, let me undo to get back to where we were. And if I switch to my track X-Y Camera tool, this is going to move around in the x and y-axis, or just pan around the scene. So those three tools are pretty easy to understand if you just think about using an actual camera in the real world, the orbit Camera tool allows you to change what your camera is pointed at. The track X-Y Camera tool allows you to pan around the scene on the x or y axis. So up and down or left and right. And then the track Z Camera tool allows you to move on the z-axis in and out, getting closer or further away from your scene. Those are the very basics of controlling a 3-D camera inside of after effects, it can get a lot more complex, especially with modifying some of those camera settings. But again, we're going to cover all of those in this class, so don't worry about it. The next thing I want to talk about is the field of view. Let's change our Comp viewer, again we can see this from multiple angles. So again, go down to the one view and change it to two views, horizontal. In our top-down view, you can see that there's this green object in our scene. Now remember, looking top down, we see that grid from the top, the sun layer because it's perfectly up and down on that X and Y axis. We're not seeing any depth of it and we're not seeing the front of it. We're just looking straight down from the top. But we have this third object in our scene that's green, and this is the 3-D camera. It is a visual representation of where your camera is in your scene from the top down. So the actual camera is represented by this rectangle right here. You can think of that like the body of the camera. If this was in the real world, and if I click on it, you can see that we have those same 3-D axes handles available to us. So I can click and drag to move this in or out and you see how that's updating and are active camera view. I can move it left and right on the x-axis and I can move it up and down on the y-axis. Okay. But what is this triangle that we're seeing coming out from the camera? This is the field of view, which is often abbreviated FOV. This is a term used in the real world, but it's also applicable to 3D cameras on computers. What it's representing is what the camera can actually see. So it's ending right here in the middle of the scene but you can just imagine this extending out into infinity at these angles. Anything outside of this triangle is not going to be visible in your active camera view. So if I move this a lot closer, just so we can line this up with the sun and then I move the camera over to the point that part of this layer is outside of the triangle. You can see that it's now getting cut off in our active camera view. It is outside of the field of view of this camera. And we can modify this field of view. Let me undo, go back to where we were. If you remember when we made this camera in the camera settings, we chose 50 millimeters. That corresponds to real-world measurements of camera lenses, but that millimeters measurement is what determines your field of view or how much of your scene you can see with your 3D camera. So just for fun, I'm going to duplicate this sun a couple times, so I'm going to press command or control D with it selected and move it just outside of view on the comp. There we go. And then I'll duplicate it one more time and do the same thing on the other side. So currently with this field of view, the 50 millimeter lens, we cannot see those two extra suns. But if I have my camera layer selected and come up to layer cameras settings, I can adjust this preset. So let's just take a look at these numbers again. With camera lenses, the smaller the diameter or the millimeters measurement, the wider angle lens it is, the greater the field of view, the more you can see at the edges of the frame. And the higher the number, the more zoomed in the lens is, the less field of view you have, but it allows you to be further away from your subject and still be nice in zoomed in and see objects far away in really good detail. Now in after effects, this is a computer program. We're not limited to these fixed millimeter measurements. But because they correspond to real-world lenses, it's a great starting point. We can always modify this after the fact. So just to give you an idea of how this is working, let me switch to say 135. And I immediately see what that's going to look like because I have preview checked it. If I uncheck it, you can see it goes back to where it was. But let's pay attention to this view over here. You can see that that triangle gets a lot skinnier and longer and at the same time the field of view gets much narrower. Less of my scene is visible within this 135 millimeter preset. And if we go in the opposite direction, so say from 50 millimeters to 24 millimeters, it gets a lot squattier, but the field of view if you extend these lines out, is much greater and we can see all of these suns now because our lens is basically zoomed out. We have a greater field of view. That's a really important concept to understand because it actually affects the way that your scene looks a lot. As you can see if I uncheck preview again, this is kind of the way that we designed our scene to look. This is how we expect it to look. But just by changing the field of view, everything looks a lot bigger. Let's leave this at the 24 millimeter preset, click okay, and then just move our camera in a bit so that this grid is kind of lined up where it was already. So something like this. Those suns look a lot further away, the grid has changed a lot. So let's do a little experiment here. I'm going to move the camera just to where this grid is touching the bottom of the frame. Okay, and this is our 24 millimeter camera. So I'm going to name this 24 millimeters. And then I'm going to duplicate this layer so that we now have two cameras in our scene. If I move this around, you can see there are two cameras. I'll undo that and after effects by default takes the higher camera in the layer stack and makes that the active camera. That's something important to know. You never really want more than one camera layer existing at the same time in a comp. But just to make this a little less confusing, I'm going to disable the visibility of our first camera. With the second one selected, I'll come up to layer, camera settings. And let's change this from 24 millimeters to say, 80 millimeters. So it's further zoomed in. I'll click okay. And I want to back this up until again that grid is lined up with the base of our comp, right about there. Okay, and I'll rename this layer 80 millimeters. And I want to compare these two views. Now remember both cameras are lined up so that the grid is right lined up with the base of the comp. So let me turn the 24 millimeter camera back on. We can see the differences between these two. This 24 millimeter camera has to be much closer to get the grid to line up where we want it. The 80 millimeter camera can be much further back. But to be able to switch between these two easily, I'm just going to click and drag the 80 millimeter camera forward so that the topmost camera is the one that's active at this point in time. And I'll even just trim this down so that they don't overlap. Hold shift, tell it to snap it right there. And now I can just scrub between these two views and we can very easily see the difference. So on the 24 millimeter view, pay attention to how square this grid looks. Each one of these cells is pretty much a square. It's very obvious those are squares. But if I switch to my 80 millimeter, they're way more compressed. It looks much more like rectangles, even though we have the two different cameras lined up so that we see the same amount of the grid. You can see that the lens that's much more zoomed in and has much less field of view, kind of compresses the entire scene. It makes the sun look a lot closer. It makes the grid look a lot shallower. Whereas the wider 24 millimeter lens makes it look like the grid is really, really big and that that sun is just a really far distance away. It completely changes the perspective of your scene. Nothing within the scene has changed. We didn't do anything to the suns or the grid. It's literally just changing the field of view of the camera lens that we're looking through. And the reason I'm spending so much time giving you these examples is because I really want you to be able to visualize how these things are affecting your scene. Because once you have a good grasp on how adjusting these properties affects the way that your scene looks, you don't have to do so much troubleshooting, trying to figure out how to get your scene to look the way that you actually want it to. You waste a lot less time messing around with settings and seeing what happens and you spend more time just knowing how things work and how to get things to do what you actually want them to. Let's talk a little bit about why you would even want a 3D camera in your scene at all, because before we had these cameras we still were working in 3D space. And I can move these layers around in 3D space, I can animate things in 3D. So what's the benefit of using cameras? Well, one of the reasons is something we just learned about, which was the perspective that the cameras give. So it allows us to change something like this grid. Which is a really obvious thing to see the perspective change on based on the zoom level of your camera. Without those cameras, you don't get that. The default active camera in after effects is just a 50 millimeter lens. So if I were to make a new camera that was 50 millimeters, hit okay, it doesn't change the scene at all. But I'll delete that camera and make a new camera that is, let's say 20 millimeters and click okay and it completely changes the perspective of my scene. So that's the first reason, it allows you to control the perspective of your scene. But it also allows you to just move around the scene as if these were real objects in the real-world and you just had a camera moving around them. If we had a much busier scene with lots of objects in them, we could just maybe parent them all to a 3D null and animate the null around to kind of simulate camera movement. But that's the whole point of 3D cameras. It allows us to animate a camera as if it was a real camera in physical 3D space. 5. Camera Transform Controls: So how do we go about animating a camera? Well, let's get rid of our 80 millimeter and just turn our 24 millimeter lens back on and I'll just walk you through the different properties we have. For now I don't need the two-up view, so I'm going to change this back down to one view so we can see this nice and big and just expand this up a little and twirl down my camera contents. So we have two categories: Transform controls and Camera Options. Transform Controls are not unique to cameras, you get them with basically every type of layer in After Effects, but the Camera Options, obviously, those are unique to camera layers. Let's start with just the Transform Controls. We'll twirl that down and we see stuff that's very familiar, position, orientation, and then rotation. There's no scale because we can't scale the camera up or down and there's no opacity or transparency because there's nothing to add transparency to. So just the position and rotation basically and because this is a three-dimensional layer, we have X, Y, and Z coordinates for the position. We have X, Y, and Z for the orientation and then we have X, Y, and Z Rotation all separated out. So let's start with position. Obviously we have x and y position, moving this on the x-axis moves the camera left and right, the y-axis moves it up and down, and the z-axis moves it in and out. Nothing new there. This is the same as modifying these properties using the camera track X, Y or Z camera tools. It's just modifying those properties. You can just do them down here as well, just like any other layer. Now,with 3D layers, not just cameras, you're going to have an orientation and then the three different rotations. So if I press "R" on one of these Sun layers, you're going see the same four properties come up, Orientation x, y, and z rotation. If you're ever going to animate the rotation of a 3D layer, I would highly suggest that you do it using the x, y, and z properties, not the orientation unless the rotation is going to be very slight. The reason for that is because you should think about orientation as just that, the orientation of the layer. Let's use this Sun as an example, or actually let's use this one in the middle here. I'll press "R" again to bring up the rotation. Right now, this layer is oriented directly towards us, and this is the neutral value of 000 on X, Y and Z orientation. If I take the X orientation and move it left or right, you see that this is tipping it up or down on the X-axis, is the X-axis right here, so it's rotating around that. If I orient it up a little bit, I orient it to the right a little bit by moving the Y-axis and then maybe rotate it on the Z as well. This layer is now oriented based on the orientation property, but you'll notice none of the rotation values have changed because these are all relative to the orientation of the layer. The reason why I say you should use these three properties to animate the rotation and not the orientation, is because once you get to 360 degrees, you see that it just loops around back down to zero. So let me set this all back down to zero real quick. We're back at our neutral value and let's say that I want to rotate this all the way around 360 degrees. I'll set a key frame on the orientation go forward maybe 20 frames, and then rotate this around until it's gone 360 degrees around. So I'm just going to keep turning it and turning it until I see 360, it goes back down to zero. Now let's set our work area, I press "N" on the keyboard to move the end of my work area to this point and play this back. Nothing's happening and that's because the orientation just cycles back around to zero. There is nothing in between that even though I cycled that all the way around 360 degrees. So you might think, if I move it back a couple of degrees, then it'll go around from zero to 356, well, let's see what happens there. Basically nothing if we zoom in really close, you can see that it is just slightly rotating because it's not going all the way around in the direction that we spun it. It's going in whichever direction that value has the least amount of change. So instead of counting from zero to 360, it's just backing up from zero and counting down to the value that we had it set to 356, and it's always going to go in the direction that it has less value to change with. So let me get rid of these key frames and instead, I'll go to the Y-axis rotation and I'll set a key frame at zero, I'll go forward and then I'll rotate this around 360 degrees and as soon as I get to 360, you'll notice this goes back to zero, but we have one cycle or one revolution counted up. So now if we play this back, it's spinning and it's looping, so it looks like it's spinning forever. Now I can change the orientation of this layer to whatever I want and those rotation values that we animated are all relative to that orientation. So that is a very important concept to understand with 3D layers and it also applies to 3D cameras. Let's reset this back down to zero and take a look at our actual camera. So adjusting the orientation, will adjust where the camera is looking and if I switch to my Camera Tool and click and drag, you'll notice that the orientation is what is being modified. But things are slightly different with the camera because generally you're not going to be spinning the camera around and around and around like I was with that sun, you're just going to orient the cameras towards what you want it pointed at. So if I adjust the orientation value, it's going to change what the camera is looking at and I can change the angle on the Z-axis so that it looks like we're tilting the camera one way or another. If I switch to my camera tool, this is going to be modifying the orientation property, not the X, Y, and Z Rotations. This is not to say that you can't use the X, Y, and Z properties to animate the rotation and in some instances you might want to do that just so you can have access to the individual properties but 99% of the time, when I animate the 3D camera using key framing, the orientation is just fine. So if I point the camera over towards this Sun and set a key frame, and then I go forward and I point it over here, it's going to add back key frame and it's just going to animate between those two orientations and that works great. Still you have the option to adjust the rotation or animate the rotation with the separate dimensions or just the combined orientation. So I'll delete these key frames and I'll set this back down to zero but those are the Transform properties that we have access to in this type of camera. There's actually one more that we don't see yet, but we're going talk about that later. For now, let's collapse up that Transform Controls and in the next video we'll take a look at the Camera Options. 6. Camera Options: Let's look at these Camera Options. Now, there are a lot of properties in this list, but the majority of them are all focused on one thing, so don't get too overwhelmed. Let's just walk through them together. First of all, we have the Zoom, and this is literally going to just change the zoom of your lens. Just like we were in the Camera Settings, with choosing the focal length preset, or the millimeter measurement of our lens, this is what's determining how far zoomed in or out, our lens is. We can go really far wide, or we can go really far in. Because we're doing this digitally on a computer, and it's all just math and pixels, we aren't limited to any real-world focal lengths, so you can really stylize this if you want, and make it as far out, and wide, and distorted as you want, or make it nice and zoomed in, it's totally up to you. If I were to select this camera layer and go into the Camera Settings, I can always change this back to one of the presets,so let's say 24 millimeters. Now, all these other millimeter measurements, they're all there just to give you an idea of how Aftereffects is calculating what it's seeing, and you can see that we even have this nice diagram of an actual film camera, but here are lots and lots of properties here that apply to real-world measurements, but honestly the way that we work as motion designers, most of the time you just want to get it to look the way you want it to look; so you don't have to worry too much about what this looks like. I'm never adjusting these properties within the Camera Settings dialogue, so don't worry about that. I'll just change the preset back to 24 millimeters and click OKAY. If you ever wanted to animate the zoom of your lens, you can absolutely do it that way, setting a key-frame for the Zoom. Next is Depth of Field, and this is basically what's going to enable all of the remaining properties to even be applicable. depth of field, if you're not aware, is a photography term for how much of your scene will be in focus when you're taking a picture or video. If you have a lot of depth of field, then most of your scene is going to be completely in focus and not blurry at all. A shallow depth of field is going to give you very blurred out backgrounds and foregrounds, and whatever your subject is, whatever is in focus will be nice and sharp. Let's take a look at what that does right now. If I enable the depth of field, nothing really changes, and that's because the settings that we have for controlling that depth of field are pretty low right now, so it's not very noticeable, or apparent that depth of field is enabled. To make this a little easier to see, I'm going to switch back to my 2 Views Horizontal, and I'm going to move my suns around so that there's some that are closer to the camera, and some that are further away. Already we can see that things are getting a little bit blurry. Let's switch back to our 1 View mode, and you can see that this is slightly blurrier than this one, and this one is slightly blurrier than this one. The next property is the Focus Distance, and this is going to determine what's in focus at any point in time, and the distance is basically how far away from the camera the focus will be set. But to see this even more dramatically, we need to go to the next property, which is aperture; this is another photography term. An aperture of a lens is actually what determines how much light is let in through it, and the wider the aperture, the more light is let in, but a side effect of that is that you have a shallower depth of field, less of your image will be in focus, the more light you let in. Again, if you're not following along, that's okay. The important thing to note is that if we increase the aperture, you can see that right away things get blurrier. This sun that's a lot closer to the lens is much blurrier. Our grid is blurry up here, it's in focus right here, and it gets blurry towards the back. Now that we can see that blur a lot more clearly, I'm actually going to switch to just fitting this to 100 percent so we can see nice and clear, this is where everything is in focus. I can now change my focus distance. If I dial it back, I can target this point of my scene, so that this sun is in focus. If I back it up even further, we can get it to the point where this sun in the foreground is in focus. Now, this is really close to the camera, and it was a low-resolution comp, so that's why we're still getting some pixelated edges here, but it is in fact in focus. If I were to go to the start of my timeline, set a key-frame on the focus distance, and then go forward maybe two seconds, move my work area by pressing N, and then shift this focus distance back to say the second sun, right about there, and maybe I'll bring these in a little bit and just easy-ease than by pressing F9 on the keyboard. We can now animate this focus distance changing, and you can see really clearly because we have this grid on the floor. What exactly is happening? We're adjusting the focus of our camera lens to go from the foreground sun to that mid-ground sun. To make it even easier to know whether or not what we want and focus is actually in focus, just switch over to your 2 Up view, and you can see this new line on our camera display, and this is indicating where our focus actually is set, so I can be very precise this way. Zoom in nice and close here, and makes sure that this is 100 percent just locked in to that first sun right there that's closest to the camera. Then, go to the second key-frame, shift around here, holding down Space Bar to temporarily switch to my pan tool, and then just modify that focus distance until it's nice and lined up with that back Sun. Now, I know for certain that this sun in the background is in focus at this point, this sun right here is in focus at that point. That's just a really useful overlay of our camera dialogue in this top-down view or any view where you can actually see the camera. I'm going to switch back to my 1 View, cool, so the next option is our Blur Level, and you can basically think of this like a multiplier of the aperture. At 100 percent, it's going to behave the way that you would think it would, but if you want it to have even more blur, you could say, pump that up to 150, and everything's going to be a lot more blurry, or you could drop it down by 50 percent. This is also a way to easily enable or disable depth of field if you were ever trying to animate that on or off, instead of animating the focus distance, I could just set the blur level, go forward, and turn it all the way down to zero, and then that's going to animate from lots of depth of field to absolutely none. The next property is the Iris Shape. You can actually see that one, two, three, four, five properties in a row, are all related to the iris, and then we have three related to the highlight. What exactly is the iris? The iris is another photography term; this is a real-world thing, where the shape of the aperture of the lens which is made up of a bunch of blades, can actually shape the way that the out-of-focus objects look. To see this a little bit more clearly, I'm going to make another circle. We don't need a gradient, let's just make it a bright color, I'll change it to a solid, and let's just say a nice bright pale-green. I'm going to make it a perfect circle, we'll say 100 pixels by 100 pixels. Make sure it's 3D. I want to place this pretty far in the back. So let's switch to our top-down view and move it back towards the sun, but also over to the side just so we can distinguish between the two. I'll switch back to my active camera, and there it is really out of focus, but we can tell that it's there. If I turn the depth of field off and back on, you can see what's happening. I'm actually going to disable the visibility of this sun just so we can see that a little bit more isolated, and what you'll notice is that even though that was a circle when it's blurred out-of-focus, it's a rectangle now it's a square basically, and that's because of our iris shape. It's set to fast rectangle. If we look at all the other options, they're basically just polygons with another side added. So if I change this triangle, the out-of-focus shape looks like a triangle. If I move it up to a square, it's going to be boxy, every one of these is going to up the number of sides on that polygon, which will make this out-of-focus shape more and more realistic to what actually happens in a real-world with actual lenses. But the side effect is that it takes longer to render the more sides that you add. It's like samples of motion blur. Now, if I move it all the way up to decagon, this is probably going to be the most realistic, it'll just take longer to render. I'm going to turn the aperture level down, so it's not quite so dramatic, but something like that should be fine, and then I'll just duplicate this shape. I'll rename it actually first to circle, duplicate and then move it over and grab that handle and move it over here, and I want to change this shape to being a square. So I'm going to disable my depth of field for a second, add in a rectangle. I'll move that into the ellipse group and just delete the ellipse. So now I have a square next to a circle, and I'll rename that square, and then I'm actually going to scale both of these down quite a bit just so they're really tiny. So we've got a tiny circle and a tiny square, and then I'll turn the depth of field back on. Now we can see these really faint out-of-focus blobs here. I'm going to zoom in nice and close so we can see that at this scale, a circle and a square are basically going to blur out to the same shape. If I turn this back down to say an octagon instead of a decagon, you can start to see those angled edges a little more clearly. I realized it's probably a little difficult to see, so I'm going to use my little adjust exposure control down here just to artificially boost the brightness of my comp, so you can see this a little easier. So those little angles here are what I'm talking about. If I change this down to pentagon, then we're just going to get the five sides. The next value of Iris rotation, that's going to just change the orientation of those out-of-focus objects, and that can make a pretty big effect on something like these grid lines, if I rotate the iris a little bit, you can see that's really changing the way that those things are getting blurred out. But if we have more iris shape sides and we turn it up to decagon, it becomes much more round, and you're not really going to notice. Now, that may or may not be something you want, so maybe you want to turn it down to octagon or heptagon to get that more straight-edge look. It's totally an art-directed choice, it's something that you can choose, but that is how you modify the look of your out-of-focus objects. This is also referred to as a bokeh, B-O-K-E-H. If you look that term up, you're going to see lots and lots of photos that have really, shallow depth of field. The next option is iris roundness, and this can actually just smooth out all of those edges. So if you are going after that, really round bokeh look, you can really speed this render time up by lowering the number of sides down and then just turning the roundness all the way up. You can even go all the way down to triangle, and it's still pretty much circular on both the circle and the square shapes. But I'll leave this may be at pentagon, just to make that a little bit more perfectly round, and we can move on down to the next option, which is iris aspect ratio. Now, this is something that if you start paying attention to the out-of-focus objects in things like movies, especially really cinematic movies, you'll notice that the out-of-focus objects are not perfect circles. They're actually a different aspect ratio because the filmmakers were using anamorphic lenses that have lots of distortion to them or something like that. So if I hold down Command or Control on a PC and click and drag to adjust this very slightly, we can control the aspect ratio of our iris and make it nice and tall and skinny like that, which is something you see pretty often in cinematic movies. So if I lowered it to maybe 0.6, we get ovals instead of circles, or if I bump it up to 2.35, we're going to get really super wide out-of-focus ovals. But again, if you start paying attention, you'll notice that most of the time, things like television are going to have perfectly round out-of-focus objects, and more cinematic movies are going to be filmed with anamorphic lenses, and they're going to have bokeh that looks more like this. The next option is the iris diffraction fringe, and I'm going to have to just be 100 percent honest with you. This is one of the very first times that I've ever come across something in After Effects that I cannot figure out what the heck it does. If I'm ever stumped by something, if I don't understand it, I always just go to the After Effects help online and there's always an explanation of what something in After Effects does. I could not find a single article or external YouTube tutorial, anything explaining what this iris diffraction fringe does and I couldn't actually get it to change anything inside of After Effects no matter what I did. So if you know what it is, please leave a comment on the community tab so that I can learn what it does but at this point, because I've never actually used it and I can't find anyone who explains what this is actually going to do, I'd say that you can just ignore this property, and I'm just going to have to admit that I do not know everything, which is nothing new to me. I try to explain every feature that I possibly can in these types of classes, and unfortunately, I could not figure out what this property does. So we're just going to scoot right on by this and move on to the next three options, which are the highlight gain, highlight threshold, and highlight saturation. So highlight gain, if I turn this up a little bit, and actually I'll turn my exposure control back down off. If I bump this up, we're not really seeing anything change. But if I turn my highlight threshold down, as I do that, you can see that different parts of my image are getting a little bit blown out. All right. Let me turn this all the way back up and then just slowly bump it down again. If there was no highlight game, then that brightness would not be happening. But what it's doing is taking the out-of-focus objects and things that are bright within those out-of-focus objects based on this threshold and making them brighter. We can also increase the saturation. So if we don't want this to look super pale and white, we can turn the saturation back up. These three properties aren't really linked to anything else. If I change the focus distance, it's not going to change the highlight game. This is really just a control for how brighter things in your scene are appearing overall. It doesn't really have anything to do with the camera itself, but this is where the controls for it live. So I'm going to turn that highlight gain all the way back off, and that is the end of the camera options properties. So those are all the things that we have access to currently with the camera and now you can see what all of those things are allowing us to do in shaping the way that our scene appears. It really adds a nice quality to the look of your scene by adding in these real-world properties that you would have with actual camera lenses, and it just looks cool. So it's really fun to play around with, but a really great benefit of being able to control this depth of field is that you're able to direct the attention of the viewer to a specific part of the scene. So if I turn that sun back on in the background, just by changing the focus distance of my camera, I can tell the viewer that they should be looking at this sun that's right up close to the camera by putting the focus distance right there, or I can tell him actually, you should be looking all the way in the background to that sun back here and you can animate between those two. If we add in a little bit of camera movement by using the track X and Y tool, we get this really nice sense of depth, because we have the parallax effect between all three of these layers and the grid on the floor, we get that nice visual indication of depth. It's a sense of scale and distance. That's a lot harder to fake in 2D. So even though we're working with 2D layers, because we have access to a 3D space, we're able to add a greater sense of depth much more easily just by spacing things out in that 3D space. 7. Two Node Cameras: Now there are actually two different types of cameras that we can work with in After Effects. The first one, if I go to my camera settings, is a One-Node Camera. That's what we've been using this whole time. But we also have the option to use a Two-Node Camera. Let's talk about the difference between the two. First of all, a One-Node Camera, I'll just switch to my top down view or my two up view. One-node means that there's just one point to be able to control this camera from. Where this x, y, and z handle is, that's the origin of the layer. You can think of it like the anchor point of the layer. If I rotate the camera, it's around that point. The position coordinates are based on that point. No matter where I move it, that's where the numbers are going to update from in the Transform controls for the camera. But if I change this to a Two-Node Camera by coming up to layer, camera settings and change this to two node. Right away, we see that there's a new option in our transform controls, the point of interest. Let me hit okay. Our camera overlay has changed a little bit. We now have this thing that looks like an anchor point with a line attached to the camera. This is the point of interest. So the first node is the camera, and the second node is the point of interest. What this allows you to do is basically tell after effects where your cameras should be looking independently of where the camera actually is. Let's say I want it to be looking at this and sun right here, I can just click and drag the point of interest to that point and my camera is now oriented towards it. The actual orientation in rotation values have not changed, but it is now pointing at that point of interest. If I click and drag the camera around, you'll notice that no matter where I put it, it's always going to be looking at that sun, even if I wrap around the other side. It doesn't matter where I put my camera in my scene, it's always going to be pointed towards the point of interest. In certain situations, this makes animating a camera much easier because I don't have to worry about the orientation of the camera to get the camera to look where I wanted to. It can get a little weird though because you can still adjust the orientation. If I point this up or down, or turn it left or right, you can see that it's no longer pointed at the point of interest, but the camera is still kind of locked to that point of interest, it's just oriented away from it. Same thing goes for the rotation. If I were to rotate this left or right, up or down, those values are relative to the point of interests. You can think of it like, if the camera was on a tripod, the tripod is still pointed at the point of interest, but maybe you rotated the top of the tripod that the camera was actually mounted too, so it's not looking at it anymore. Because of this, I almost never animate the orientation while using a Two-Node Camera, as well as the x and y rotation. The only one I would ever really do is the z rotation because that lets you bank the camera like this, rolling it around. It's still going to be looking at whatever the point of interest is, you're just giving it an angle, rotating the camera on that z-axis. I realized that might seem like we're over complicating things by adding two different properties that we have to keep track of now in order to animate something. But in many situations, this is actually really helpful for locking the focus and I don't mean the depth of field focus, but just the subject that the camera is looking at in one spot, so that you can just easily animate the camera around it. It makes camera movements very flexible and can sometimes be much easier to animate than just a Single-Node-Camera. Now let me reset the point of interest and the position and I want to point out something with the camera tools. Now that we have a Two-Node Camera, if I grab the track x-y camera tool, let's say that I had set the point of interest to that box on there, I'll just move that real quick. On the track x-y tool, if I move this around, you can see that on this view, the point of interest is moving with it. So the track x-y moves both position and point of interest values. I'll undo just a couple of times. If I switch to my track at z camera tool, you'll notice that the point of interest does not change. The only exception is if you go beyond where the point of interest actually is. So if the camera moves past that point of interest, watch what happens. Right there, it just shifts out forward and it just stays with the camera at a specific distance no matter how far out you push it. That's just a little weird behavior of the track z camera tool, but something you should be aware of. With that second node, the word orbit camera tool makes a lot more sense because you're orbiting around that point of interest, rather than just changing the direction of the camera the way that it behaves with a single node camera. That's how that works. With the unified camera tool, again, it's going to by default switch to the orbit tool. If you right click it will track z and you just press c to cycle through the tools to get to the track x, y. I'm going to reset these values one more time. And I want to show you one more thing that having a Two-Node Camera is really beneficial for. If I right click on this camera layer and go down to the camera menu, you can see that we have a few options. These three down here are what I want to focus on. The first one is linked focus distance to point of interest, second is link focus distance to layer, and then the third is set focus distance to layer. Let's start with that one. In order to get this to work and for us to be able to see it clearly, I'm going to back the camera up a little bit so we can clearly see that this sun right here is out of focus. I'm going to select that sun and then I'm going to command or control click on the camera, so both are selected. Then right-click, go to that camera menu and then say set focus distance to layer. As I did that, you can see that my focus distance indicator is now locked perfectly onto that layer, so I know that is 100 percent in focus. That's a really quick way to set your focus distance precisely to a layer. Now let's go back into that camera menu and take a look at link focus distance to point of interest. If I click on that. Now just like it sounds may focus distance is always going to be wherever my point of interest is. It's doing this through expression. If I open up my focus distance, you can see that after effects added a whole bunch of expressions, but it was all automatic, I don't have to think about it at all. Now wherever my point of interest is, you can see them, my focus distance is staying with it. I can move this around and you can take a look in this view, the focus is always going to be wherever that point of interest is. I'll be honest, I don't really like this behavior because I can't adjust my focus distance off of that point of interest and it's not very often that I always want my focus distance to be where my point of interest is. Let me undo that until we get back to my regular camera. There we go. Then we have a third option, which was link focus distance to layer. Instead of using one of these layers to link it to, I'm going to make a null object, by coming up to layer, new null object and I'm going to rename this focus distance. I need to make sure to enable the 3D switch for that layer so that that null exists in this 3D space. With that selected, I'll shift click on the camera, right click camera, and now say link focus distance to layer. Now instead of being the point of interest that might focus distances linked to it's linked to this null. So I can move the null wherever I want and I can also move my point of interest wherever I want and they're independent. But I now have this layer that I can animate from place to place to control the focus of my camera. This is extremely helpful when you're working with shallow depth of field and trying to give off really nice cinematic, wreck focus, animations, and it just simplifies the whole process. It allows you to animate that focus distance as if it were any other layer. That's a really useful little feature of after effects. That's really the difference between the One-Node and Two-Node Cameras. Which one you want to use really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're not doing a lot of these cool fly around moves, you might not need that point of interests, that second node that you can just have your camera be looking at. If you're not using depth of field, then the linking the focus distance to a null isn't going to be necessary. But it's always good to know your options so that you can choose the best option for your situation. 8. One Node Camera Rig: Now sometimes I don't want to use a two node camera because I don't need these extra controls. But animating a one node camera with the camera tools can sometimes be a little bit frustrating, constantly switching back to those tools. But there's a really easy rig that you can set up for a one node camera, to be able to control it with a null and basically move it around and animate it just like any other layer. So I'm going to change my camera back to a one node camera really quick, so I can show you how this setup works. So I'll do that, and for now I'm just going to disable my depth of field. I don't need to see that, so I'm going to turn that off. The focus distance is still linked to that null, and I don't want that anymore, so I'm going to delete that and then double-tap E on the camera to bring that up, and just clear this out. So my focus distance is no longer linked, I don't have to worry about that anymore. Finally, I just want to reset my transform properties so the camera is right where it would be if I had just created it. Now I'm going to add a new null object, and this is going to be our camera controller. So go to layer new null object, and I'm going to rename this camera controller, and make sure that it's 3-D. Now all I need to do is parent my camera to the null object, and now the null object is controlling the position and all of the transform properties of this camera. So if I click and drag on this yellow square that I have in the middle of my screen, you see that it's going to be moving my camera around. If I move the z-axis, it's going to move it in and out, and the null itself looks like it's not moving at all because the camera is parented to it. So our perspective in this act of camera view is through that camera's eyes, and the camera relative to this null object is always the same. So it's basically just giving us this little camera control right in the middle of our comp. Whatever we do with it, is going to modify the world around the camera, and what the camera is seeing. If I switched my rotation tool by pressing 'W', I can rotate the camera around that point, and if I click and drag in the middle, I can just freely adjust the rotation overall. This why I don't have to switch between these camera controls to modify the camera, I can just move it around, go in and out, and always have this central controller for my camera right in the middle of the screen. Another really great thing about this is that it allows me to animate the position of the camera independently of the controller, which we can use to our advantage to create some fake camera shake, if we want to add in a little bit more organic movement, and that's something that I will cover in a later video. But it's that easy to make a really simple to use camera rig inside of after-effects. Just make sure that your camera is where it would be when you first create it, without any Transform controls being modified, because your null object is going to be right in the center of your scene or the world of this comp, and this comp is 1280 by 720, so that would be 640 by 320 by zero, I believe, and then orientation would be zeroed out, and because that's where it's creating the null, you want to make sure that your camera is also wherever its origin would be, so that when you parent the camera to that null, it's all nice and lined up. Now, I actually noticed that my point of interest is still here. If I twirl this down and opened my Transform controls, there it is. So I don't know what I missed there, but let's go back into the camera settings, change that to one node, click Okay, and now I don't need to worry about that extra property. So there we go. I must have just forgotten to switch that before I made up this rig, but that's all you need to do to create a very simple on-screen rig for controlling a one-node camera. 9. 3D Layer Types: Now that we've gotten a good grasp on how cameras work, we need to talk a little bit about what actually is affected by cameras, what works with them, so that we can know when it would be smart to actually use one. Let's just start by making a camera, and we'll stick with the 50 millimeter. Just the standard angle of view. A 50 millimeter lens on a camera is basically the same field of view that we have as humans with our eyeballs. In terms of perspective, 50 millimeters is going to be as close to the way that we actually see the world through our eyes. That's true for physical cameras, as well as 3-D cameras on a computer. We're going to use the 50 millimeter preset, One-Node is fine for now. We can always change that later if we need to. We get this little warning from after-effects saying, that cameras and lights do not affect 2-D layers. Select a layer and choose a layer, 3-D layer from the menu. We're going to get into lights in just a little bit. But basically they're just saying, hey, there's nothing in your scene that is 3-D, so this camera that you're creating, it's not going to do anything, but that's okay. Let's click "okay", and now that we have our camera, we need some objects in our scene. Let's just start again by making a circle, and I'll make it nice and small, maybe 300 by 300. Turn off that stroke, and make this a little bit more bearable of a color to look at. Just like that is fine. I'll just scale this down even a little bit more. Okay, currently this circle is 2-D, so it's not going to be affected by this camera at all. By the way, I like to just keep my cameras at the top of my layer stack, just so I always know where they are. That's just my little way of organizing things. But if I grab my camera tool and I start moving things around, I'll press "R" to bring up the rotation and orientation. You can see that the orientation is changing, but obviously my 2-D layer, which is not affected by 3-D cameras, isn't changing at all. So let me undo, get back to zero. Before I turn it 3-D, I just want to switch my views and my comp really quickly. We've only looked at these two views option, but I actually want to go to four views and I'll show you why. If I click on that, we have our active camera over here, but then at the same time we can see the top, the front, and the right views of our 3-D scene all at the same time. We can see that 3-D camera in each one of these views, and I'm going to zoom out on each of them just so we can see it a little bit clearer. I'm going to go to my track Z camera tool, and click and drag out, press "C" to switch around till I get to my track XY, and just position this so that I can see the entire thing nice and clearly. There's my camera and that's my field of view. I'll do the same thing for the right view over here. Just zoom out nice and far so we can see the whole camera. We're looking at that camera from the right side. We're looking at the camera from the top down, and this front view is basically the same as our active camera. There's just no perspective in it. I realized that's a little confusing, but it'll make more sense in just a little bit. What I want to point out is that you're not seeing anything in our scene from our active camera view in any of these other views. That's because this layer is still 2-D, and my background layer is also 2-D. It's just a solid layer with a gradient ramp on it. Those two layers are only going to show up in our active camera view where we can see 2-D objects. But as soon as I enable that 3-D switch on our circle, it shows up in our other views. With that selected, it's a lot easier to see that it's right there at the origin of the world of this comp. From the top, from the front, and from the right. Being able to see all of these views at once can be really useful for animating. We'll see that a little further into the class once we actually do start animating things. I'm just going to fit all of these to view by selecting each one, and then pressing shift question mark, and that just changes this to fit for each one of these views and each one can have its own zoom levels. Just make sure that you're on whichever view you want to be modifying before you start modifying those things. I actually have decided I want to change this to a Two-Node camera. I'm just going to come up to layer camera settings with it selected, and change it to a Two-Node camera. That way I can have that point of interest locked right where that circle is, and then just move my camera around it. As I do this, you can see in all of these views at the same time exactly what's happening from the top down, the cameras swinging around. From the front view, it's moving left and right, and from the right view, same thing, just from a 90-degree angle compared to the front view. But we can always see in the active camera view what the camera is actually seeing. This is just a really useful way to be able to visualize exactly how your camera is moving in 3-D space, as well as the layers in 3-D space. All right, let's undo that to get back to the neutral position camera. I'm going to collapse that up, and take a look at the circle for a second. When I enable that 3-D switch, a few things happen. I'm actually going to turn this off for a second, and you see that it's now gone back down to just contents and transform. If I enable that again, we get two more options, geometry options which is grayed out, we'll talk about that in a bit and the material options. But in addition to that, if I open up the transform controls, things in here change too. If I turn the 3-D off, a lot less options are available in our transform controls. Let's just take a look at the anchor point and position first. If I turn this back on, it goes from X and Y properties to X, Y and Z properties. Same thing for the scale, instead of two dimensions because it was a 2-D layer before, we have three-dimensions for X, Y, and Z. But right in here we also have four options for rotation basically, instead of just the single 2-D rotation. This is because in a 2-D layer we can only rotate it on that one axis, but when you enable 3-D, we get the orientation, which we've already talked about, and the X, Y, and Z rotation separated out into their own dimensions. Again, I realize this is all stuff that we've covered already, but hopefully it's starting to make sense, and you understand why we have access to those properties now. This 3-D layer switch is pretty much available for any visual layer and even some non-visual layers. We already saw that if you create a null object, you can turn that into a 3-D layer as well, and use it in 3-D space to control a camera or a group of objects. Adjustment layers can also be 3-D. I don't usually use adjustment layers this way, but it is possible to position them in 3-D space, and have them behave the same way where they're affecting everything in the layer stack below it within the area that they are visible in the comp. This is actually a good thing to point out. You see that I pushed that adjustment layer back in 3-D space in the z-axis and my circle is still upfront, right here at the camera. But in my active camera view, if we just add an effect to this adjustment layer like a glow, you'll notice that affected my circle. If I increase the intensity, I lower this threshold, and just make the radius a lot bigger. It's actually affecting everything that it's covering as if it were a 2-D layer. It's just existing in that 3-D space. This is a weird behavior, and one reason why I typically wouldn't use an adjustment layer in 3-D space. Because after effects is going to keep that layer in the position that I placed it in, in 3-D space. But it's behaving basically like a 2-D layer. If I move the camera around, it's going to move around in 3-D space. But it's like this weird window adding this rectangle glow over everything. And even though I pushed it further back in z space in that circle, it's still affecting it because it's above that circle layer in the render order down here in my timeline. If I were to lower it below that circle, now it's not affecting it. This is a really strange behavior, but something you got to get used to. After effects, even though it does work in 3D space, the layer order affects things and sometimes that can be really weird and frustrating, so be aware of that. Let me undo, we don't need that adjustment layer, we don't need that, no. Solid layers and shape layers can both be 3D. If I had a solid in here and I made it, say a square, and just turn on that 3D switch. There we go, we've got a 3D layer and I can move it around the scene. Text layers can also be 3D so if I typed out some text and turned on the 3D switch, I can now move that around in 3D space. I can rotate it, I can place it up here, scale it up and down. Just like you'd expect. Now there's a really interesting situation where you can actually have things that are applied to 2D layers, respond to 3D cameras. There are certain effects that are 3D active or, 3D enabled. To demonstrate this, I'm going to make a new solid layer, the size of my comp. I want it to be the size of my comp, because that's basically like the window for my effect to be applied to. I'll click okay, and if this solid didn't fill the comp, then it's basically cropping the effect within it. One effect that works with 3D cameras is called ball action. I'm going to type in ball action, and there we go, I'm going to drag that out to my solid layer. You see this a little bit better, I'm going to switch to my one view and zoom to 100 percent. What this effect does is, splits up whatever you've applied it to, basically into a grid made up of a bunch of spheres. If I turn my grid spacing up a little bit, you can see them a little better, and if I turn the ball size down, there we go, you can see it nice and clearly. These are actually these shaded spheres. I'll make them about that size, and to see this a little better, I'm actually going to change the color of the layer. Let's just make it brighter and maybe green, just so it's nice and easy to see. I'll turn off my other layers in the scene. There we go. This is a 2D layer, I'm not enabling 3D. But you'll notice this little icon right here next to the effect. This is letting us know this is a 3D enabled effect. If I switch to my to two view horizontal, so we can see two views and then I change this view to say, the custom view one, those spheres are showing up now. Let me switch to my orbit tool and it just grab here in my scene and click and drag. You'll notice that this is actually a 3D effect. These spheres have depth to them. When I get to the side, it doesn't turn into this invisible layer with no depth to it at all, even though it is a 2D layer. That's because of this effect ball action has taken over the rendering of this solid layer. Remember, we made it the same size as our comp, so it's basically just like a window or a screen for this effect to rendering. But since it's a 3D enabled effect, we can move around our camera and the 3D effect is going to respond as if it was rendering in actual 3D space. You can do a lot of really cool things with this effect, like scatter these spheres out and then we've got a particle cloud, or you could twist the layer. This is actually a really great effect for making a DNA strand, if that's something you ever needed to do. I could mask off some of these. I'll just double-click the rectangle mask and then crop it in a little bit while holding command or control in a PC and just make that a little bit narrower, and now we've got a DNA strand. I can zoom out a little bit and twirl around this. You can even apply other effects to it. If I add a four color gradient right here, and move it at the start of the effect stack. Those colors are now being applied first to the solid like that and then I apply that CC ball action and it's coloring that effect. That's a really fun 3D enabled effect to play around with. But remember this is all being done on a 2D layer. If I were to enable 3D, I'm going to get a warning that says effects that use cameras or lights should be applied to 2D layers. Basically after effects is saying, hey, you're going to mess this up if you make it a 3D layer. If I click okay, you see that it's now rendering weird and I move around and it's just not going to behave the same way that I expect. If I rotate the layer, now we're getting to that point where it basically turns invisible. Because in a weird round about way, enabling 3D on a 3D effect makes it 2D. It's a really weird thing to think about, but that's what's happening. With those 3D enabled effects, make sure you apply them to 2D layers. Now if I turn some of my other layers back on, I want to point something out. After effects is not truly rendering 3D geometry in 3D space with this effect. If I go back to just my single view, and I rename this ball action, I'm going to move this just below the text layer. Now, because this is a 2D layer and the layers above and below it are 3D, watch what happens if I grab my text layer and move it over the DNA. It's rendering on top, even though the text layer is technically behind it. See at this angle, it looks right because this text layer is further back in Z space than the DNA is. But if I twirl this around, the text is getting rendered on top of that layer. This is again a side effect of after effects, basically working in two and a half D, working with 2D layers in 3D space. When you have a 2D layer between other 3D layers, it completely destroys the rendering inside of after effects. Just like with the adjustment layer, the layer order matters even though this effect is 3D enabled, because it's 2D, it's always going to render above whatever it is on top in the layer stack and below the other layers that it's below in the layer stack. If I wanted this in front of that text layer, I have to move it above it in the layer stack as well. If I move it below all of my 3D layers, it's going to render behind all of them, even though it exists in front of most of those objects. See there's no intersection of that 3D space between the 3D effect and other 3D layers. This is something that can really trip you up if you're not aware of what's happening, so it's very important that you understand that. Any 2D layer is going to render above or below 3D layers depending on where it is in the layer stack. I'm going to reset my cameras, transform controls, and let's clean this scene up a little bit. I don't need the text or any of these other effects, we'll just keep that circle for now. In the next video we'll talk about 3D lights. 10. Light Types and Controls: 3D lights add a lot of possibilities to how you can actually make your 3D layers look inside of after effects. So let's go up to layer New Light and take a look at what our options are. There are actually lots of different types of lights that we can have inside of after effects, and they each have some unique settings. Let's just go to our light type and choose point to start, because this is probably the easiest one to understand at first. So let's just stick with point for now. The color can be white. Just make that pure white intensity 100% is fine for now, leave the fall off set to none and let's not cast any shadows yet. We'll just keep it nice and simple. Click OK and now we have a light in our scene. This is what the icon for it looks like. You can see it's kind of this sun burst kind of icon and nothing really changed. The circle actually got just slightly dimmer, but it was so subtle you probably didn't even notice it. You can think of a point light, kind of like a light bulb. It's a point in space that a light is emitting from. So if I was dangling a light bulb from the ceiling in this world, that's where the light bulb would be. If I click and drag this around, you can see that it's actually shading that circle. If I move it over here, the light is going to get dimmer until it gets super, super dark and if I move it down here, it's brightest at this point and kind of falls off into the darker edge of this layer. But wherever I put this point, light is where the light is going to be casting from. To visualize this even better, I'm going to switch to my two views horizontal, so we can see that the light is actually in front of the circle. I am going to change this to the top view and zoom in here, nice and close so we can see what's going on. My circle is right here, and the light is out here in front of it. If I click and drag this forward, you see that it's getting much more dark because it's so much closer to the same Z plane as the circle. I'm going to need to move this down in order to get it to affect that circle more and as soon as I move it behind that layer, it's pure black. That light is casting from behind it. None of the light is getting to the front of that circle. So it's just in complete darkness. Remember my background is a 2D layer, so the lights are not affecting that at all.It's just there to give us something to see in the background. But as I move this light around the circle, you can see how it's affecting the layer. Let's make our scene just have a little bit more depth to it by duplicating this circle and just spacing it out from the original a few times. So I'll just put some around kind of in a circle pattern. So I'll just keep duplicating and moving these copies around until they are in a rough circle just around my scene and that way we can see how the light is affecting multiple layers at the same time. I'm also going to rotate my camera up into the side a little bit, just so we can see this more clearly. Now at that point light I can click and drag it around and you can see how when it's behind these layers, they are all in total darkness. When it's in front, that light is casting on them. If I move it in the middle here, then only these layers in the back, which we can see where that light is bouncing onto are being lit up. Okay, so why are all of these layers 100% Black? Well, it's because currently since we only have one light, this is the only place in our scene that, that light is being cast from and as far as after effects is concerned, no other light exists. Obviously, in the real world that's not how it works unless you are in a perfectly dark room with absolutely no sources of light and no way for light to get into it. This is never going to be a realistic way to light a scene. There's going to be ambient illumination or ambient light coming from some place else, whether it's the sky or light bouncing off of a wall, you are never going to have just this one, single source of light, and that's it. Now we don't need to worry too much about realism at this point because we're just learning how lights work. But this is a great opportunity to point out the next type of light. So let's come up to Layer, New Light one more time and instead of doing a point light, let's go down to ambient light. If I choose that, you'll notice that most of the options are grayed out. We just have color and intensity as options. Color can stay white again, intensity will leave it at a 100 and click OK. So everything just got a whole lot brighter. And if you noticed, the ambient light is selected, but we don't see any icon for it in our scene. And that's because an ambient light affects everything uniformly. If I open up the controls for it, there are no transform controls because there is no point that it exists in. This is just a way to brighten up or darken everything in your scene at the same time uniformly. So if I open up the light options and we look at the intensity, it's set to 100%. If I turn my point light off by just hiding it, this looks exactly the same as it would if I turn the ambient light off as well because 100% ambient light is exactly the same as having no lights at all. But, when you combine an ambient light with say, a point light, then it's adding to that light. So we have a point light at 100%, but we also have ambient light at 100%, meaning that we are starting at a point where there basically is uniform light to everything and we are adding more brightness to it with that point light. So I don't really want this to be 100% intensity. I do want this side where the point light is not hitting these faces to be dimmer. I just don't want it to be 100% black. So let's dial the intensity of that light down a little bit, but not all the way, maybe 40%. So now we still have some value to these faces and a little bit of color, but it's not 100% gone. Okay, so that's the difference between a point light and an ambient light. But, there is more to a point light, we have not covered all of that yet, so let's collapse up the ambient light for now, leave it as is, and then collapse and open this one up again so we can see everything that we have access to in here. Obviously, we have transformed controls, but it's just position. There is no rotation because light is emitting from every single direction around this point. So rotating it would do absolutely nothing. It's another reason why it's called a point light because it just exists at 1 point in space. Then we have light options and there are quite a few options in here to go over. So let's just start at the top. Obviously, we have the intensity, we can turn that down. We can go way beyond 100%. We can even go to a negative number and it's going to act kind of like a vacuum of white. It is taking light away. This is something that doesn't exist in the real world obviously. But, because this is all just being calculated and after effects, we can do these weird things. So that is an option. Let's just leave it at 100. Next is the color. We have it set to white, which means that it's not really going to affect the color of anything at our scene. It's just going to effect the brightness or the value of those colors. If I change this to something crazy like bright red, now it really is affecting our layers. It's changing the colors because we're adding a light color to it. I can make it a blue color, teal color, and it's going to add that color to my layers. Alright, so that is a way that you can kind of add some mood light to your scene. I'm going to leave that back down to white. Next is fall off and radius and fall-up distance both and go with these. Fall off is a naturally occurring phenomenon with lights in the real-world. Basically, what it means is the further away the light is, the less it's affecting the object it's hitting. So currently fall off is set to none. So no matter how far away I moved this light, it's going to be affecting everything at the same intensity no matter how far away move it, it gets a little bit dimmer on some of these objects as they move closer. But that's just because of the angle relative to the rest of the layers. So don't let that confuse you. If I enable fall off and we say change it from none to smooth, you see that the layers in the back got a lot darker. They are no longer being affected the same amount as the layers that are closer to the light. If I adjust the radius of this fall off and make it bigger, you can see that it's affecting those further away layers more so you can kind of think of the radius as a sphere around this light that is getting bigger or smaller as I adjust it to show you at what point the fall off begins to happen. The fall off distance is kind of a second sphere and I realize this is kind of hard to picture. So let me just make a circle really quick and we are going to make this one with just a stroke this time and I'll make it white and I want to make sure that this is a perfect circle. And I'm going to turn on 3D. And it looks like I accidentally turned off the ellipse path, not the fill. Okay, there we go. And then I want to rotate this so that I can see it from the top-down view. So I'm going to press W on the keyboard to switch to my rotation tool. Click and drag on the X-axis while holding shift to snap into 90 degree angles or 45 degree angles, and then just move this right over my light. Now I'm going to do something crazy with expressions just to illustrate this, a little bit easier. And what I want to do is just link the size of this circle to the radius of my fall-off. And I can do this really simple. I'm just going to add an expression. If you're not following along, don't worry, but I'm just going to make a variable called R for radius. And I'm going to make that variable my radius for my light. And then I'm going to plug that radius into an array for the X and Y size and type in R for the radius of my light's fall-off. And multiply that by two because the radius is half of the diameter and the size value is the diameter from one edge to the other. The radius is from the center of a circle to the edge. So R times two, R times two. What this is doing is taking the radius value, multiplying it by two, so we get the full width and applying that to both the X and Y values of our circle. Again, if you're not following along, don't worry about it, you don't need to do this. I'm just illustrating how this fall-off works. But now the size of my circle is linked to the radius of my fall-off. So we can visualize exactly where this light is effecting in our scene. So let me zoom out a little bit so we can see all of this at once. And I'll make that circle just a little bit thicker so it's easier to see. So if I make the radius of my light fall-off smaller, you can see the area that the light is affecting these other ones. But if I pull it back a little bit further, you'll notice that these circles in the front are still being affected, even if I go down pretty far, this circle isn't touching those, so why are these objects still being affected by that fall-off? Well, it's because of the next setting, which is the fall-off distance, and I'm going to visualize this one as well. So let's rename this the radius duplicate and call this the fall-off distance. Okay, so I'm going to collapse this layer, double tap E to bring up that expression. And what I want this circle to be is basically the same as the radius just with an addition of the fall-off distance value. So to simplify this expression even a little bit more, I'm going to add another variable and I'll add an F for fall-off distance, and I'm going to link that up to the fall-off distance, and then I'm just going to change both of these to be times two. So I don't have to do that calculation in my array, and I'll just say R plus F, and then R plus F. So it'll be the radius times two plus the fall-off distance times two for both the X and Y values of this fall-off distance. And I'm going to make this a magenta color just so we can distinguish the two circles. So now this should make a little bit more sense. You see that these circles within the magenta circle are being affected because they're within the fall-off distance. And I realize that I didn't really explain what fall-off distance means, it's basically the distance between the actual start of the fall-off and where the light actually stops affecting other objects. And so you can kind of think of it like a gradient between this point and this point. The light is most extreme at this point and it gradually gets dimmer and dimmer the further out you go. And outside of this second circle, the light is no longer affecting objects. So if I bring my fall-off distance in a little bit, it's going to be a much tighter fall-off and this light isn't going to affect as much. But if I move it around and oh, I actually forgot that I needed to parent the radius and fall-off distance to this point and I'm going to hold down shift while I do that. Because if you hold shift, it's going to basically move all of the transform properties to the parent when you're parenting it. But that also reset my rotation. So let me just grab both of those, rotate them down again. But now those circles are parented to the light. So if I move it around, we're going to see that fall-off move with it. So let's move this down so that it's in line with these circles, and then increase our radius, as well as increase the fall-off distance. And now we can see that since this white circle, the radius of our fall-off, is touching all these objects, the light is actually affecting them more. And if I turn up my fall-off distance, it's going to just make that fall-off a little bit smoother. So that is how radius and fall off work. And hopefully that little visual illustration really helped you understand that. Now we do have a second option here which is called inverse-square clamped. Instead of smooth, if I turn that on, you can see that things just updated visually a little bit. If I undo and redo, it's just a different way of having the fall-off be calculated. Inverse-square is more physically accurate to the actual real-world lighting and smooth is kind of more like a linear fall-off between zero and a hundred percent basically. So if you're going for realism, then you're probably going to want to use inverse-square clamp. Just set your expectations because again, After Effects is not a true 3D program and it's very difficult to achieve a lot of realism inside of a program like After Effects. All right. Next up is cast shadows, shadow darkness and shadow diffusion. So cast shadows is set to off currently. But if I turn it on, nothing really changed. And that's because 3D layers themselves also have something called material options. If I open this up, material options, we saw this before but we didn't take a look at what it actually is. So let me expand this up and we'll twirl that down. The first option is cast shadows, and it's set to off. So by default, 3D layers' cast shadows are turned off. If I enable that, still nothing has changed. To see this, we're going to need to take a few more steps. So let's just copy the material options. I'll just select it and press command or control C, then select my other circles and say command or control V to paste. And now we're starting to get something happening. We're seeing some shadows on top of these other circles. If I move this around, you can see that sure enough, this light actually is casting shadows and that these layers are also casting shadows. That's great. I'm going to turn off my radius and fall-off distance because we understand that now we don't see it anymore. But to see this even a little bit better, what I'm going to do is make a new solid layer and make it really big. So I'll just make it like 2000 by 2000 and I'll make it kind of the same bluish color. Okay, click OK. And then I need to enable 3D on that layer. And I'm going to push it back behind all of the circles. Okay. Since this light has that fall off and it's the only light in our scene besides the ambient light, that background is not getting lit up very much at all. So what I would probably want to do here is balance out my lights by turning up the ambient light and then press T to bring up the intensity with that selected and then turn down the point light a little bit. So maybe I'll have 70 percent ambient, and on this intensity of the point light, I'll just turn that down a little bit, so that my lighting is a little bit more balanced out. So I'll rename this layer wall and then I'll duplicate it and call it floor, rotate it on the x-axis so it's flat and lower it down below those circles so that I'm not intersecting any of them anymore. It's basically just below them, and then move it out in Z space so that we have that intersection between the wall and the floor. I'm just barely trying to overlap that, so we don't have any distance between the floor in the background. Now as I move this light around, you can really see how these lights are actually casting shadows using these objects. This is a lot of fun and it can add a lot of realism to your otherwise pretty flat After Effects render. So let's take a look at some of the options we have with these shadows. I'll just move the light right about here, and under our light options for the shadow section, we have shadow darkness and shadow diffusion. The first option is pretty self-explanatory. It makes the shadows darker or lighter, right? So we can turn down the intensity of those shadows or we can really crank them up and make them nice and visible, but we also have a shadow diffusion. So if I zoom in here nice and close, so we can see this shadow really clearly and I turn up the diffusion, you can see that that is making a much more realistic looking shadow because the parts of the objects that are closer to where the shadow is being cast are much sharper and as they get further away from the part of the object that's actually casting the shadow, it gets blurrier and softer. It diffuses that shadow. We can even see this in the top-down view if I move this around, so we can see all of these circles. You can see how that diffusion is making these shadows really soft compared to here where there is no softness at all. It's a really nice effect and much more realistic to the real world and that's the end of the options list for a point light. Now that we know how that works, let's take a look at some of our other lights. So I'll just turn that one off for now and add a new light. Go up to layer new light, and spot light is the next one that we want to look at. So you probably have heard of a spot light. You might have a pretty good idea of what that is. I'm again going to leave the color at white. The intensity of 100 is fine and then we have some other options in here, like cone angle, cone feather. We're just going to leave them at default for now and click Okay. So with my top-down view, I'm going to zoom out so we can see it a little bit better and this icon for this light is much different than the point light, which was just this little sunburst icon. So what is this new overlay telling us? As you can see, it's the shape of a cone, so that makes sense. It's the spot light, it has cone options but the difference between this and a point light is that it's not emitting in every single direction. It's emitting towards a point of interest. If I twirl this layer up and go into my transform controls, you see that it has a point of interest, just like a two node camera and I can click and drag that point of interest just like a two node camera. So this concept actually should transfer over really easily now that we understand how a two node camera works. We can give the light something to look at, and when we move the position of the light around, it's always going to be pointed at that point of interest, and if we go into our light options, we have this section for cone angle and cone feather. You can think of this like the field of view of your camera. If I turn the cone angle down, the cone shape gets narrower and you can see how this is becoming more of like an actual spot light that you would see in say, a performance theater. So I can make this about the size that I needed to cover this circle you can see how it's falling off and hitting that background and the wall as if that was like a stage. The next option is cone feathers, so if you pay attention to this edge right here, where it's feathered, if I turn it all the way down to 0 percent, then we're just going to get a harsh cutoff between the light and dark areas. If I turn it way up to 100 percent, then it's going to be much softer around those edges. So those are the only other two options that are unique to this cone light. We still have fall off, which I could turn on to inverse clamped and then you see that it's hitting this circle a lot brighter and it's fading off into the distance a lot more. If I turn my radius up and I turned my fall off distance up, then it's going to be affecting more things in the background that light is going to travel further, but it's the same concept between spot lights and point lights. Now I actually have casts shadows turned off, and that's why the light is just going straight through this object. So if I turn cast shadows on, there we go, we see those again. I can turn the darkness down a little bit, I can turn up the diffusion, and as I'm doing this, you can see that it does affect the render time. The more diffusion you add to your lights, the more three D objects casting shadows you have in your scene, the longer it's going to take to render, but that's just the cost of having these cool looking effects. So that's spot lights. We have one more light to cover. Let me disable that spot light and go back up to layer, new, light, and go to light type and choose the first option which is parallel. Most of the options on this one are grayed out. Let's leave color at white intensity 100 and fall off to none for now. We can also leave casts shadows off to start. Click Okay, and our scene got pretty bright, pretty quick. So let me zoom out a little bit, so we can see what's going on, and the icon for this type of light is this circle with three arrows coming off of it. The easiest way to think about a parallel light is the sun. The sun is millions of miles away from us. So the light that's coming from it is extremely direct and what that means is that the shading is going to be very uniform. It's coming from one direction and it's blanketing everything that it hits at the same value. This light does have a point of interest just like a spot light, so I can give it in an area that I want it to be pointed at and then I can move the light around. So let's say I want to move it up a little bit, you can see that it's really affecting the entire scene quite a bit and the reason for this is because the angle that this point of interest is giving us the line connected from the light to the point of interest, is the angle that the light is actually coming from and it's shooting the entire scene at the exact same time in this very uniform away with that same intensity of light. It doesn't matter how close or how far away the light gets on that z-axis. All that matters is the angle. So if I twirl open my transform properties and we take a look at our position and our point of interest. I can bring the position of this light really close to the point of interest and I'll just drag this all the way down and if I adjust the position now, just so that the angle of the light is changing, you can see that it's drastically affecting how the scene looks, but everything's being changed equally. This is a great light to use if you want very flat shading. If we go into light options, we do have the same options of intensity, color, and fall off, so if I change this to inverse square clamped, that is going to have that same fall off and you can really see that radius now visually just because of the nature of this parallel light, but if we're thinking about a parallel light like the sun, it's not going to have a fall off because it's such a massively bright light source and it's so incredibly far away, it's lighting everything equally. So let's turn that fall off back off. This light just flood the entire scene, But let's turn on casts shadows because this is something that's unique to parallel lights that we need to understand. As you can see, the angle of the shadows is changing depending on the angle that we're getting between our source of light and the point of interest. It doesn't matter where this light is in the scene, the shadows are always going to be exactly the same, as long as the angle between that light and point of interest are the same. What a parallel light does not give us the option to do is control the shadow diffusion. We can change the darkness, but it will not have that diffusion and this is again something that's basically mimicking real-world light. If we use that sun as an example, direct sunlight is going to cast shadows that are extremely crisp. They're not going to have that diffusion because the light source is so far away. So those are our light types. We have the point light, the spot light, the parallel light, and the ambient light. No matter what I'm doing, I almost always have an ambient light in my scene just to brighten everything up and fill in the dark parts a little bit and I usually use one of the other three types of lights depending on what I'm going for. Obviously, if I need that shatter diffusion, then I can't use a parallel light, and if I need a very focused area of light than I'm going to use a spot light, so I can control where that light is going. Other times, I don't really care where the light is going. I just need a bunch of light being emitted into my scene and then I'm just going to keep it simple and stick with a point light and mess with the intensity, the color, the way that the shadows are being handled. It all just depends on what you're trying to do. 11. 3D Layer Material Options: Now let's talk about the material options that we very briefly looked at on the circles. All we did was change cast shadows to on, but we have a lot of other things that we can control here. Let's turn off the parallel light and the spotlight. So we are left with just this point light, and I'm going to make it a little bit more intense. So press T to bring up the intensity and just brighten it up a little bit. I'll close that up and let's go through these material options. Obviously we have cast shadows, which turns shadows on, but there's actually a third option if I click one more time, which is cast shadows only, and you can see right here, my circle actually disappeared, but it's still casting a shadow. That's actually a really useful thing if that's something you need to do. You just need to cast a shadow on something, but you don't want to see the source of that shadow.So be aware of that setting. I'll leave that set up to on. Actually to make this even easier to see, I'm going to link all of the material options for all of these circles to these ones right here. I'm going to just select it, come up to edit, copy with property links, and then paste on all the remaining circles. That way as I adjust these settings, all of these other ones are now linked up with expressions. So they're all going to update at the same time too, at least for the properties that I can link with expressions, the ones where I just have a switch and not actual key frame properties, those aren't going to be linked, but that's okay. The next option is light transmission. If I turn this from zero percent to 100 percent, take a look at this overhead view. These shadows are now the color of the objects that are casting the shadows. Let me turn that back down to zero and you can see exactly what's happening. Turn that up, they become more blue, and if I were to change these two different colors, say yellow., Then that light transmission is going to mix with the surface it's touching, which is the blue floor and it's's becoming kind of this green color. So whatever you have this set to, if you have light transmission turned on, you can thin of it more like a semi-transparent object or maybe stained glass, colored glass that the light is shining through and being tinted by. Let's undo to get back to where we didn't have any of that light transmission. Then we have except shadows that's turned on. But we can also set that to accept shadows only and then it's basically going to act as a shadow catcher. And this will be something that would be useful if you were trying to track graphics into actual shot footage and you needed to make artificial shadows on the ground. Obviously, you don't want to see that fake ground layer in after effects. You just want to see the shadows that are resulting on top of it and composite them onto the footage. That's the scenario where I want to use the accepts shadows only feature. You [inaudible] also turn accepts shadows off if you don't want them getting hit by the shadows in your scene. Next we have accepts lights, which is defaulted on, but you can also turn that off, so that this layer is not affected by the light in your scene at all. You can change the color. It's always going to be that flat vector looking shape no matter what. But as soon as you turn accepts lights back on, then it is affected by those lights. Let's get back to our original color and make sure accepts lights is still on. And these next five properties are basically how your objects are going to accept lights and interact with them. This can get pretty confusing, but we'll just walk through them one at a time and kind of talk about them. First of all, we have ambient. This property basically only interacts with ambient lights so If I turn ambient all the way down to zero, remember all of these circles are linked to each other. So let me just go back to one view and fit this to my view. All of these are tied together with expression, so as I change these material properties, all of the circles are going to update at the same time. So with ambient all the way off, our ambient light isn't affecting them anymore. What is affecting is the background in the floor layers because I'm not modifying those material properties. But as I turn this on and off, you'll notice, these circles are not changing at all. So that is what the ambient material option controls. How much influenced the ambiance light have over those individual layers. Next up is diffuse, and this is basically how much of the original color of that layer is overriding the rest of the lights, so if I turn it all the way down, the original color of the layer isn't really influencing how they are being shaded by the lights. But if I turn it up, then we're going to get a lot more influence from that color, and it's going to be a lot brighter because it's combined with this ambient light. So if you turn your diffuse up a lot, you might want to turn your ambient light down a bit. And i can see that there's a lot more harsh shading coming from the light on some of these objects that are closer to it. Let me turn that back down to 50 and turn ambient back to 100. Next we have specular intensity and specular shininess. If I modify this, you can kind of see that this is basically like the highlight of your material. So if you want your object to look shiny and reflective, like it's really reflecting a lot of light. You're probably going to want to turn your specular intensity up quite a bit. If you don't want any of that reflection, if you want it to be something that's a lot duller of a material that doesn't reflect light all that much, then you're probably going to turn your specular intensity down quite a bit. But let's say that we do want that specular intensity. We want that turned all the way up. Where then we also have the ability to control the specular shininess. If I turn this up a lot, it looks like the shininess went away. And that's actually because this value is shaping the way that, that specularity is appearing on these layers. So let's go to our two views, so we can see whether the light is in relationship to our objects. And If I move this nicing close to the front one right here, and then drop it down. There we go, It took a little bit of time to render, but now it's right in front of that circle. We can see this specularity and the specular shininess, a lot clearer. Let me back the light up just a little bit in Z-space. Now let's turn that shininess all the way down. You see that the entire object is reflecting that specular. That specular intensity is pretty much uniformly covering the entire object. But if I turn this up to say, 50 or around there, then that specular has a fall off just like our light source had a fall off. [inaudible] it's bringing that in a lot tighter. If I turn it up a lot further, that specular hit is going to be even tighter and tighter on that circle. It's just going to shape the way that, that specularity looks on your object. Finally, we have this option called metal, to visualize this a little bit more, I'm going to just change all the D's to a different color. Let's say something like this in green color.. And let's turn this metal value all the way down. You can see that's really just affecting the specularity of this circle. I'll move it rate over in front of this light, so we can see it clear again. Let's turn that metal all the way back up. There's a lot more falloff between the brightest and the darkest parts of that specularity.. And If I turn metal all the way down, there's now a lot less. So it is just another way to shape that specularity on your layer, but that's it. That's the last material option using the standard after effects 3D renderer. These material options are uniform across all 3D layers. There's no different options based on the type of 3D layer. Kind of like, there are different options for different types of 3D lights. Where things get a lot more complicated is this section right here, geometry options, but that only shows up if we're using the cinema 4D renderer, not the classic 3D renderer. We're going to touch on that further on in the class because there are very few scenarios where I would ever go into the cinema 4D renderer within after-effects. So don't even worry about that right now. But hopefully now you have a good understanding of how material options work inside of after effects. 12. My Class Project Overview: So we've covered pretty much everything there is to know about the standard 3D tenderer and after effects. We know how to use cameras, we know how to use 3D layers and 3D lights. I'm actually going to start walking you through my class project for this class which will be about the first 30 seconds of a lyric video for this song called Troubled Deep. Instead of walking you through every single step of how this is going to be created since that would take a really long time, I'm going to focus mostly on animating the cameras and talk you through what my process is for the rest of the lyric video. I have another course called The Ultimate Guide to Kinetic Type in after effects, where I show you how to sync your graphics with audio. There's a project very similar to this one in that class. I also have another class called The Ultimate Guide to Text Animators and after effects, where I teach you really efficient ways of animating text. If you really want the full lyric video package, really want to take this course as well as The Ultimate Guide to Kinetic Type and The Ultimate Guide to Text Animators to really understand how you can be most efficient in building this type of a project. The lyric videos are one of my favorite types of projects, so that's why I chose to use that as this class project. If you choose to do a lyric video for your class project, it does not have to be the entire song. Like I said, I'm only doing the first about 25 to 30 seconds of this one and you don't even have to animate the text. For my project, I'm planning on just having text. I'm not putting any other graphics into it but obviously you have free range over your own projects. Feel free to make it as complex or as simple as you'd like. What I really want you to focus on, is animating 3D cameras really smoothly and going from one thing to the next very nicely. Let's quickly walk through what my approach is to setting up and actually creating this type of project. First of all, obviously I need to bring in the song. I've created a little bit of a folder structure in after effects just to stay nice and organized and imported my audio. I made a new composition and I made sure to set it up to the specifications that I wanted it to be. So 1920 by 1080, that's a full HD frame. I chose to go with 30 frames per second for this comp and I made the duration the same as the song. From there, I just brought my song into my comp and I started blocking out the text. That's what I'm calling this part of the process is blocking. What I mean by blocking is literally just putting out text layers with the lines that are going to be on each section of the song. At this stage, I'm just listening to the music and deciding how much text is going to be on screen at any given time. If I play this back, we can hear the music along with it. You can call me stupid. You can call me cheap. You can say I'm lazy. At this point, literally all I'm doing is typing out the texts. It's nice and centered in the comp. I'm not worried about design. I'm not even really worried about the fonts at this point. I'm just timing out these blocks of text to where they're saying in the song. So I'm just cutting from one to the next. Again, this is just the amount of text that I think will be on screen at a time. so as I go into animate, this will animate on before the camera moves on to the next line and then that will animate on and so on until the very end. That's my first step. I usually do duplicate my comps before I start in the next step, just so I have this paper trail going back in time and seeing what my process is and that way I can easily get back to something else that I changed further along the way. After this stage, after I've pretty much blocked out the entire song with all the lyrics, I'll go to the next step, which is the typography and animation. The animation is just in regards to the actual text. In this comp, I'm actually laying out a little bit more of composition. I'm choosing the actual fonts. For this particular lyric video and a lot of lyric videos that I do, I try to layout and design my text in a pleasing way, phrase by phrase. So in this comp we have everything blocked out to the timing and in this comp, I'm taking that timing one step further. I'm actually animating the words on when they're sung in the song and I'm laying them out the way that I want them to appear. I brought out some guides to have a rule of thirds, which is just a design composition tool. That's just a basic fundamental principle in design to help you line things up in an area of interest in the frame at these points where the thirds cross is a generally pleasing place to have elements for your eye to look at in a design. But I went through that whole section, the entire part of the song that I'm going to cover in this class project and I animated all of the text to that song. So let's just play this back in full so you can see what we're dealing with. You can call me stupid. You can call me cheap. You can say I'm lazy. You can say I'm weak. You think that using her will get to me. And if you're right then you're in trouble deep. 'Cause I won't break, no I know I won't wait. You're in trouble deep. I just want to point out that I'm not thinking at all about the camera moves at this point, nothing is in 3D, but there was this little point right here that was a little weird. It was different than the rest of it and that's just because I was thinking of different ways of animating my type. So at this point, I was thinking that the texts could fly from behind the camera into place. So it looks a little weird currently because I don't have a 3-D camera and I don't know how far that needs to animate. But I put it in that way anyways, just so I knew that's how I wanted it to animate. Otherwise, all of this is just timing for the words to sync up to the lyrics and having them nice in design and set up in the frame the way that I wanted them to look. Once I'm happy with all of that, I move on to my first camera pass. In this comp, you can see that I have two camera views because that made moving from one frame to the next a lot easier. Let's take a look at this as a whole and just see what this step took me to. You can call me stupid. You can call me cheap. You can say I'm lazy. You can say I'm weak. Okay. So I'm just going to stop right there because obviously these camera moves are not very smooth. None of this animation is looking good. There are some times where text just disappears like right there and the reason for that is because in this point, I'm not trying to animate the cameras that nicely. I'm just trying to get a sense of space and figure out which direction the camera is going to move from phrase to phrase. This is completely up to you and you can be as creative with this as you want to be and that's part of why I like lyric videos. You get to have a lot of creative freedom and figuring out how your camera's going to move, how playful you want your text to be. But this is the point of the process where I'm just choosing where I want the camera to move from one place to the next. For this first move, I'm just moving from left to right and you'll notice that I'm thinking through having the camera moving constantly on each one of these, the cameras slowly pushing in on the phrase before moving to the next phrase. The progression on this pass is move in, push to the right, move in, push down, move in, push to the left and I just made decisions trying to change it up as much as possible. Sometimes I would throw in some rotation like right here but I just kept playing around with this until I was happy with the way that it was looking. In just a little bit, I'm going to show you how I would take this comp right here and add in this first camera pass but before I do that, let's just walk through the rest of the process. Next, I have a second camera pass. This pass is purpose is to have the camera movement much smoother and looking a lot better. Let's play this back a little bit and see how it looks different. You can see that all the movements are very smooth now, transitions from one phrase to the next ease in and out without any kind of hiccups or jump cuts. This is the comp that I do all of that polishing in but you'll notice the text is still white, there is no background. All I'm concerned with at this point is having the text syncs up to the lyrics, having them laid out nicely and blocked out in every single one of these phrases and then having that camera movement go from one phrase to the next, nice and smoothly and consistently throughout the entire thing. After I'm happy with that second camera pass, I move on to what I'm calling the animated comp but I guess a better term for this would probably just be a final comp. I'm just going to call this instead of animated, we'll call it final. This is where I add all of the graphic styling, any effects, any background elements, anything that's not the lyrics and the camera movements that needs to be in this finished project happen in this comp. You can see that I chose some colors, I gave this a background, I changed the colors of the text, I added in some grain and these specks that kind of float in space and it gives the entire environment a little bit more atmosphere. I added some effects like this vignette. I have a little bit of stylization on the actual text, overall. If I turn this off and back on, you can see that's adding a Gaussian blurring and unsharp mask, which is a technique for just making things look a little bit less perfect. I've got this noise that's just adding an overall grain effect to everything. I've got this layer called clouds, which if I open it up, press E to bring up the effects, you'll see that there's a turbulent noise on this layer and it's set to multiply. If I open up the opacity, it's set to six percent. What this effect really is, if I solo it out, is just a turbulent noise that's going crazy. I added this just to have some texture over the entire comp but because it was six percent transparency and it's set to multiply, we hardly see it. With this all put together, here's what the final render looks like. You can call me stupid. You can call me cheap. You can say I'm lazy. You can say I'm weak. You think that using her will get to me. And if you're then you are in trouble deep. 'Cause I won't break, no I know I won't wait. You're in trouble deep. There you have it. It's nothing complicated, but it's kind of fun. You know, I just tried to give a little bit of visual interest to some of these elements like I said, these little dots, the specs are like dust floating in the environment and that just gives you a little bit more sense of space. If I didn't have those, then the only thing that would be giving you any indication of moving around in 3D space would be the text. I didn't want it to be too distracting and honestly, there's probably more than there should be to keep the focus on the text but I just wanted to illustrate that adding a little bit of an environment can really help give more sense of scale to your scene. In a lyric video that can be pretty complicated because you want to keep the focus on the text. It's also going to be a long animation, so even if you wanted to put a bunch of other elements into it, it's going to take you obviously a lot of time to build assets for the entire song. Whereas just making a cloud of particles like this is something that you can just stick in your scene and will be throughout the entire video. You notice that there was that little bit of flickering around the edges that was that cloud layer that I used with the turbulent noise set to multiply just to give it a little bit of a flickery like an old film, kind of a vibe. I wasn't really trying to make an old film look but the music is kind of Southern, kind of twangy, bluesy. So I just thought, you know, hinting at something that was more like a Western, even with the colors fit the song a little bit better. That's really what your goal should be when you're working with a piece of music is putting graphics that match whatever the song's vibe is. That's my process of handling this type of project. Starting with the blocking, moving into the typography and animation, doing a camera pass to figure out where in 3D space each one of these phrases will be, then smoothing out all of that camera animation, making all of the movement look nice and clean. Then finally, adding all the effects and all of the colors, finishing off the entire look of the animation and we're done. 13. First Camera Pass: At this point, let's back up to this typography and animation comp and get from this point to the final camera pass. I'll just start by organizing my After Effects project just for this class to make it a little bit easier. We'll call this original and put all of these comps into that folder then I'm going to duplicate the typography and animation comp and move it out of that folder. We're going to rename this "Camera Pass 01". I'll double-click on that right away. I know that's the right comp and close all other timeline panels. That way I'm just left with this single comp and I can work from here. We're back to layers that are not 3-D. The only ones that have 3-D switches on our texts, layers that have per characters 3-D enabled in their animation options. Again, this is something you can learn all about in my Ultimate Guide to text animators class. Check that out if you're interested but that's why that little unique two cube 3-D switches on that layer. It's letting me know that per character 3-D is enabled for that layer. I need to turn 3-D on for all of this text because it's all going to be animated in 3-D. I'm just going to click on this first layer and drag all the way down the list until all of my text layers are now 3-D. There are some layers that are disabled here that I kept just for this one word lazy, I had do little bit of path animation, so I converted the text to shape layers, but I don't need these layers anymore at this point because I have my backup comps. So I'm just going to clear those out and just make sure that the only things that are in this comp are things I actually need. But now everything is in 3-D, so I have my 3-D switch. I can move it in and out and at this point I need to decide what kind of camera I want to create. Let me turn off my guides real quick before we do that, come up to view and show guides to hide that. Let's think about our camera. Obviously 50 millimeters is going to mimic our eyes. It's going to keep the same perspective that we see right here. Because there are no other elements in our scene, like the grid that I had in the example with the sunsets, even if I chose a different camera perspective, it wouldn't change the way this looks at all. Why don't we start by making a camera and seeing how the different perspectives affect things when we can't see anything else for reference. So I'm going to make a new camera and I'm going to keep it a two-node camera, we'll use the preset of maybe 50 millimeters just as a starting point. This is our standard, basically no distortion camera view. If I press "C" to get to my camera tool, I can click and drag and it's going to orbit around that text. There's no real perspective shift when I move the camera around at a 50 millimeters camera lens. Because my point of interests is right in the center of my scene, and that's where all of these texts layers were created, the camera orbits right around that text. But what if we changed this camera settings? Let's go back in the camera settings and then change it to say 135 millimeters lens. Well then it's going to be super far zoomed in. I'll "Click OK" then open up the transform properties and back the position up quite a bit, hold down, shift until it's about where it was I'll turned my guides back on commands. Semicolon is the shortcut for that, just to kinda get that line backup with that rule of thirds, something like that, then disable that again commands on my column. Then I can orbit around this text again. It might not be all that apparent what changed, but there's even less of a perspective shift when I rotate this camera around, because having such a zoomed in lens is really compressing all of the perspective in my scene. Even though there are no other elements in the scene, it is a different look. Let me undo that until we get back to our 50 millimeters lens, then let's change that camera settings again. This time we'll go down to say, 20 millimeters, which is a very zoomed out lens, very wide angle. Click "OK" then push the camera really far in until we get about where we were before. Now watch what happens when I orbit the camera. That text gets a lot more distortion around that perspective, if I move it down to the side a little bit, it even looks kind of a lot bigger. That makes a big difference on how you're perceiving this text. If I really fill up the frame and move the camera around like this, that text looks like it has a lot of heft. You can think of the 20th Century Fox logo animation. It kind of has this angle where the text is extruded and setting in the Hollywood Hills with those search lights. This is kinda camera movement. You see that camera is low, wide angle and just rotating around to give you a sense of scale, even though I don't have any other elements and my scene, this is actually affecting how you're perceiving how big this text is. We can push this even further. Let me go back in the camera settings and change this to a 15 millimeters lens and then push in even closer. If I switch to my two views, you can see that my camera is really close to the text, but if I move this around now we're going to get a whole lot of distortion around the edges of the frame. That text is going to have a lot more of a perspective shift then a zoomed in lens. This is a consideration you need to make at this stage, how do you want your text to look? You wanted to feel like you're really up close to a super large text? Do you want it to feel pretty normal, like it's just normal sized text without much distortion at all? Or do you want to feel like you're really far away from it or it might be a lot smaller without much perspective change at all? I think for this camera pass, I'm going to take a little bit different direction than I did with the final render we just saw and have more of this lens distortion and kind of have this close up view. I like the way that looks. Another thing I want to point out real quick is that you don't have to stick to these preset size. Remember changing that camera settings preset is just changing the zoom value. If I want an even wider lens than 15 millimeters, I can do that just by zooming the camera out a little bit further and then moving the camera in. Now look at how much lens distortion I have. It's totally wide and distorted and looks really crazy. Because we're doing this in after effects, it's all just being calculated to render the however we want it to look. You can really push this far and make it look however you want. I think that's a little too extreme, so I'm going to back up a little bit until we're back to this point. I'm just going to pull the camera out a little bit more so it lines up where I had it before. Now all my text should relatively look the same because the camera is looking straight on at it and the position of the camera to the text is keeping it in that thirds. This is actually a good line to test this on because I want that text top and bottom to line up with the third. I know I had it set that way when I was laying all this out in 2-D. I'm just going to round this off to negative 800 to kind of set that zoom value. So the zoom is at 800 pixels and my camera is 800 pixels back from the center of my scene. Now that that's decided, I need to start thinking about how I want the camera to move as the text is animating on, as well as between phrases. This again, really depends on the song that you choose, the project that you're working on but for this particular example, I think I want to keep the constant camera movement throughout the entire animation. I never want the camera to really be sitting still. I'm just gonna go to the start of this text animation and set a key frame on the position of the camera. I'll just hold "Option" and press "P or Alt key" on a PC and that's its position key-frame on the camera. I do have the point of interest, but I don't think I want to use a two-node camera on this animation. That's just a personal preference. This is a point that you should really start thinking about what kind of cameras set up you want to use. If you want to use a two-node cameras so that you have that point of interest, that's totally fine. Maybe you want to use a one-node camera, or in this case, I want to use a null object to control a one-node camera. I'm going to set that up really quickly. I'm going to go up to layer camera settings and change this to a one-node camera. Click "OK". Then I'm going to add a new null object, make that 3-D and I'll rename this camera controller then parent my camera to it. That way I can grab this null around and just animate with that instead of the camera itself. I'm actually going to take that position key-frame off and instead set a position key-frame on my camera controller Option or Alt-P. With that said, I'm just going to back it up to before that text animates and then move forward to probably right about here because this is the point that the camera's probably going to transfer from this phrase to the next phrase. At this point, I just want to move the camera in a little bit to see what that motion looks like. That pushing is probably faster than I want it to be. It gets a little bit closer than it needs to, I'm just going to back it out a little bit and play it again. I think that speed is a little bit better. On all of these phrases, I'm going to try my best to match that kind of a push in speed to keep that movement very consistent, throughout the entire song. But this time around, I'd like to make the animation a little bit more dynamic than just having all of this straight on text the entire time. Let's play around with that perspective and that wide-angle lens that we have, to give it a different feel. So back up here a little bit, and switch to my rotation tool by pressing W on the keyboard, and then click and drag in this null to adjust the orientation of that null. I'm going to push it down into the left a little bit, maybe. I don't have to be very extreme with this, but just enough to give it a little bit more sense of this 3D space. Then I'll press "Shift R" to bring up the rotation for that layer, and set a key frame on the orientation value. Then I'll just back this up and hold "Shift", so that it snaps to this other key frame on the position. Then I'll move forward to that second key frame, again, holding "Shift" to snap to it; and rotate the camera around just a little bit. Then, let's see what that looks like. That rotation is probably a little bit too extreme. I think I want to move closer to the text on both of these position values. I'm just going to zoom in a little bit on both of those, and play it back. I'm still not really happy with this camera movement, but I want to just pause and say that this is literally my process. This is how I go through figuring out how I want my camera to move. I just try something, play it back, and see if I actually like it. Then I just modify things, adjust things until I'm happy. I'm just going to keep on moving with this and eventually, I'm going to speed up this process. You don't have to see me making all of these decisions in real-time. But at least with this example for the first couple of phrases, I'm going to walk you through the entire thing. I'm just going to back this up to maybe here, and then move my key frames just so I have a better point of reference of what I'm actually doing when I'm modifying these key frames. I'm going to move this up and to the left a little bit more, and maybe zoom in on this text. So that it's kind of starting where the text starts, and then pulling out and rotating around as that second line comes in. I'll back up before the text animates on, right about there, move these key frames back and play again. That's better, but I'm still not quite there. I want to keep this text nice and large in the frame. It is really easy to make your text too big or any element in the frame too big. Don't push your texts so close to the edges here, just basic design principle. You want to make sure that you're giving some room to breathe. But I kind of want to make sure that the emphasis goes from the top left to the bottom right. I'm going to just kind of push and pull this around until I'm happy with the way it looks.That's really getting there. But I think I want to push this wide angle lens even further, because honestly there's not as much lens distortion as I was expecting. Let me go back into my camera settings, into the camera options, and zoom out even further. We'll go to maybe 450, and then push the camera in. Now, I'm going to try and do this at the same time for both key frames by selecting the property. Making sure both key frames are selected, and also making sure that my timeline scrubber is on top of one of those key frames. Then I'll just click and drag the Z property. And this is going to modify both key frames proportionally. I want to move this up a little bit. Then we'll see where this first set of key frames was. That's not bad, but now we have more of that camera distortion. I just want to end up a little bit closer to the text. This is really extreme, but it's just going to be a different field than the other example; the final render that you've already seen. I'm going to try and just push it a little bit further than I normally would, just to see what we end up with. Let's play this one more time. I think, that's actually pretty good. Remember, I'm not worried that much about the actual camera movement. I'm just concerned with where the cameras starts and ends for this phrase. I can worry about the easing between these key frames in the next camera pass. For now, I just want to get everything blocked out. But let's call that first phrase done. On my keyboard, I have a number pad on the right side and there is a period on that number pad. If I press that, it will preview just the audio. If you don't have that number pad with that decimal point, then just hold down "Control", and press the actual period key on the main part of your keyboard to preview the audio only. But I want to do that at this point, just so I can see how much time I have between the end of this camera move and the start of the next phrase. I need to get the camera to the next phrase within that time, and I want to make sure that it's not too rushed. The text is actually animated on at this point, and I kind of have just a camera move. I have some time to play with how quick or slow I want this camera transition to be between phrases. We'll just keep these key frames where they are for now, and go to where the next block of text starts. This isn't the exact same position in this after-effects comp world as this text. The camera really doesn't need to go anywhere to see it next. Obviously, that's not what I want. I want the text to be in a different location, so I can move my camera from point A to point B. This is where I want to bring in my second comp viewer, so that I can see this scene from a different perspective. I think from the top down is going to work just fine. This way, we can see how the camera is moving around the text right here. There's my camera, there's my camera controller, here's my text. I can decide where I want the next block of text to be. I'm going to zoom out nice and far here, and then grab these texts layers, which this layer right here has position animation on it already. I'm going to parent that line to this line right here. That way, I can move it around and still preserve that position animation. But, let's say I want it to go maybe back into the right a little bit, since the camera was moving from the top left to the bottom right of the first phrase. We'll have the camera kind of pan over, go through space, and turn to the right a little bit more. I'm going to grab that text layer, move it over and move it back in Z space, and maybe somewhere around there is a good spot. That's where I need to get my camera to, using this camera controller. I'm just going to move this over, move this back, and kind of grab it on the z-axis here, and push it in. Maybe, we'll kind of have that same left-to-right camera movement. So I need to rotate it, press W-D with my rotation tool, and just readjust that camera rotation to something like this. Now obviously, it took the camera too far to get to that point. But I needed that text for reference. Now, I can back my scrubber up in time to where that text starts to animate. That's about when I want the camera to be to that next block of text. It doesn't have to be before that text starts animating, because the camera could be moving as those lyrics are coming on. But we'll play with it, until we're happy with the way that it looks. Now that I have the camera about where I want it to be, I'm going to switch back to my one view. We can look at what's happening. It moves from this point, past the text, and then to this point as the text is animating on. I think I can even push that out a little bit further to make that transition last a little longer. Then it's going to do a very similar type of camera move, where it's just rotating around; moving, and maybe pushing in a little bit to get a little bit different of a perspective change to this point. Those are my basic key frames. Now I'll just work on the timing a little bit. I have all the way to this point before the next block of text animates on. Maybe, I'll push these key frames out, to right around here, and we can play this back.[music] I think that's good, for this next transition, I think I want to move actually through the text, I want to fly between these lines, so let's get this next block of text behind all of this text in three space. I will switch to my horizontal view, move my timeline scrubber over this point so I can see all this text and grab it all. I'll press P to bring up the position properties and sure enough, I did animate the position of these four layers so I need to make sure that they are parented to this layer, that way, that position animation is preserved and I can just move the one text layer instead of all of them. I'll just position this further back in space, remember the camera hasn't moved yet, so I need this to be further away for the camera to fly to, so I'm going to just push it back about there and then we can animate the camera again. It's going from this point here, it needs to get to that text back there, so I'll switch back to my one view, grab my camera controller and zoom in to that point and maybe on this one, I'll keep the rotation fairly straight on to start and then I'll kind of rotate it down. This text all looks nice and big and tall, so I'm going to move this forward in time again, push in, actually I'm going to push both of these in quite a bit, I need to back this up and get even closer on this text so the camera's not moving too fast and then rotate this down a little bit and position this more like it's looking up at this really big text. I'm just playing around with this, you can use guides that you've set out yourself or just press the apostrophe key on the keyboard to bring up the title safe and action safe guides, your comp guides and that kind of helps me keep things nice and centered and lined up. This is what this camera move looks like, it zooms through that text, I made sure that it goes straight between these two layers so it doesn't intersect anything and then, as it gets to this text, it's going to just keep pushing in slightly and rotating down, looking up at all that text. That's really my process, I'm going to time-lapse through a lot of the rest of this process but I'm making these decisions kind of on the fly, how do I want the camera to move next between these blocks of text? What direction should it be moving? Do I want to rotate the camera at all? Until I've gotten through all of it. One thing I should point out that if I go back to my two views, I am getting outside of the comp with my camera because I'm moving around so much, so just remember that you can zoom out using the track Z camera tool and you can pan around in this view just by using the track XY. Always remember those little tools, those camera tools that you can use in any of the perspective views or the custom views to be able to navigate around your world and reposition elements however you need to. Now at this point of the song right here, let's just listen to it, that point right there where there's like a guitar slide,[MUSIC] I want to have a camera movement where the camera's kind of falling back and rotating up so pointing towards the sky basically for this next transition. Now to get this to line up nicely, I want to use my command or control key while scrubbing through to preview the audio as I'm scrubbing,[NOISE] so right there.[NOISE] That frame is where that hit is with the drums and where the guitar slide starts, so that's where I want the last key frames of this camera movement for the previous phrase to end and the camera transition to the next phrase begins. But if I play this again,[MUSIC] I want it to end right about there, so basically right when the text is coming in, that's where this camera move is going to end. This is going to be a little bit more complex of a move so I'm going to show you how I'm going to approach it. Obviously, I need to rotate the camera but I want to do this in a way that I can see it from multiple angles., so let's switch to two views and then instead of the top-down view, let's look at the left view and I've got to figure out where my camera is, there it is. I'll zoom in nice and close so this is the left side of this text so my camera's here, the camera controller here and the text. I want the camera to rotate back so that it's basically pointing up instead of straight on and I also want the camera to move back in Z space a little bit. I'm going to move the camera back a little bit and then I'm going to rotate the X-axis this direction and hold shift so that it snaps to 90 degree increments and now you can see because we're rotating around the null object, the camera is actually past that text in Z space, so it's behind it now. I actually need to push this back even further, basically, until we can't see it anymore so I really want to move that back quite a bit and then maybe move it up, so it's more of a straight line from this point to this point but that camera movement is now pulling back and looking up. But if we play this back and I'm just going to mute the audio for a second so that it's not distracting, you see that it's got a weird movement to it, besides the fact that it's really jerky, let me just ease this with the F9 key so it's easier to look at. You can see that it pulls back, rotates a little bit and then it rotates a little faster and then it looks like it's just sliding down and this is because of the way that the camera is actually moving. Remember, we're animating the null, not the camera, so the motion isn't exactly what I want it to be. If you watch the camera itself, it's kind of traveling from here to here and just barely arching, it's really more of a linear movement than anything and I want to shape that motion path so that it does arch and follows more of a circular movement, really arching more like this instead of going straight in a line. If you've ever used motion path as an after effect, you've probably known that you can modify them, so if I select just my null and look in any of these points, they're all linear and that's actually because I have a preference setup in after effects that defaults all of this motion to being perfectly linear. If you come up to After Effects, go to Preferences and then General, there's a checkbox right here that says Default Spatial Interpolation to Linear. This is by default unchecked and I really want to encourage you to check it because with it unchecked, after Effects is going to try to automatically smooth out all of your motion pads and it's going to be bad, trust me, it's going to do a poor job of it and you're going to wonder why your camera is drifting or why your animations of other objects are just moving in ways that you aren't expecting. Set that default to Linear Spatial Interpolation so that you have control over how your motion pads move. Now in 3D, we have the ability to work and not just two dimensions with motion paths but obviously third dimension, Z space as well. This can be pretty confusing if you're not looking at it from the right perspective, so let me just show you what I mean by this. I want to arch this motion path, so I'm going to switch to my pen tool to do this and then click on this point right here and that will add a [inaudible] handle which I can then shape my motion path with. If I would just want to arch it upwards, that's fine, I'm looking at this from the left view, the left perspective view so I know it's directly on that left axis and I can know that I'm only modifying this motion path on the y and z axes, the x axis, which would be left and right, I don't have access to in this straight on left view. Let's just arch this up a little bit and see how that affected my camera move. Okay, it is very subtle, but there is a difference. I think I want to make this even more extreme. So I'm going to add a second handle. First, I'll back this one up over here and then add a second one right here on this point, and this is going to add a second handle that is modifying the path between the previous two key frames. So I need to be very careful here. Again, the actual camera movement can be smoothed out in the next camera pass but I'm just taking his opportunity to show you how all these motion paths work. So I'll switch to my Pen tool, click and drag to try and make this a little bit straighter between these two points and I'm going to zoom in nice and close so I can see this clearly. But with that Pen tool, because they started modifying the path, it broke the relationship between this handle and this handle and that's exactly what I wanted. But now that that's straight between these two key frames, I can focus on this arc rate here and just make this a little bit more circular. So now let's take a look at how that looks. Even just scrubbing through, you can see that it's kind of constantly rotating at a steady rate now, rather than having this weird slight rotation moving back and then rotating more. So let's play this back and I think that's looking a little bit better. Again, this is not the beauty pass for this camera pass. We're not easing these key frames yet, so it doesn't look all that great but the actual path that the camera is taking is now looking a little bit better to me. I just noticed that it looks like my camera actually rotated too far back. It's at 91.9 degrees and that's probably because when I was holding "Shift" to snap it in increments of 90 degrees, I forgot that the camera wasn't rotated perfectly straight onto this text. So I just want to make sure that I change that to 90 degrees, and now we're at a good neutral place. But this is going to make things a little bit more complicated for the next block of text, because now that text is at a different angle than what my cameras pointed at. So from here on out, I need to make sure that I'm rotating all of these layers to the camera's perspective correctly. Okay, I'm going to get back at this and finish up the rest of my text. Now that I've added in another key frame, I want to point out something. That is, because I added in that Bezier handle on the previous key frame, I now have Bezier handles on the next key frame. So I want to actually just remove that for now and worry about that more in the next camera pass when I'm doing more of the polished look, but I just switched to my left view, broke the relationship between those two handles, straightened it out again right here, and then removed the handle on this key frame. I can even take off the easing by command clicking on it so that there's no influence on that key frame at all. All right, back to it. At this point I want to rotate 180 degrees clockwise, so the text is going around to the left, and in my left perspective view, obviously, I can't see the motion that I want to arc here. So really I need to switch to the front view to be able to see this and just reposition until I can find my motion paths, and go from here. Actually, that's not the perspective I want to look at because remember my camera is rotated around in 3D space. So I needed to kind of just move around this until I see this text, the way that it should be seen. So the top view is actually backwards, which means that this perspective view is on the opposite side of the text that my camera is seeing from. So I actually need to go to the bottom view and then reposition my camera so that I'm looking at this from the other side. So this is where you really need to keep track of what orientation your camera is set to, and just figure out what view you need to look at in order to modify the motion path at any given point. So I want to arc this one out this direction. So if I drag that position key frame, so it's selected, I can even modify this in my active camera view. Click once just to add that handle, and now I can see it clearly in my bottom view. I'll grab this handle way out here and just bring it down, since I didn't really want a handle there, and then just arc out this camera movement. So I'm going to handle this just like the other rotation where I kind of arc this out quite a bit to give it more of a circular movement between phrases. I think I'm going to move this even further down and arc it out a little bit further. Another really quick way of getting text-oriented and lined up with where your camera is, is by parenting it to your camera controller or camera while holding "Shift". So this text layer for the next phrase is parented to this text layer. If I grab that text layer and grab the parent pick whip while holding down "Shift" and drag it to the camera controller. It's going to parent it to that camera controller, but also adopt all of those transform properties. So it moved that layer to where the camera controller is, and it rotated and oriented around so that it's now facing the camera. It's the same as that camera controller. That's a really quick way to reposition it but as soon as that's done, I'm going to un-parent it from the camera so that it's not affected by the camera's movement. Now on this push in, if I just move it straightforward on the z-axis, it's going to intersect that O. Obviously, I don't want that. And it's going to be kind of tricky because I want to move it, kind of overrate, maybe going straight through that O but as soon as I do that, if I keep pushing back and then I step back a little bit, there's no guarantee that the camera's motion path is still going to align to the middle of that O. So really I want to grab that second key frame of the motion path and adjust it with my playhead, kind of where it's going to pass through the O. So at this frame with this spacing, that's kind of where it is. If I go to my two views and look at this from the view where I can basically see at top-down on the text, which I honestly don't know what angle that would be for the orientation that I'm currently in, it looks like it's actually the top view. So let me just reposition this a little bit so I can see it better, zoom in nice and close. What I want to do is drag that second key frame, this one right here, and the motion path and just modify it until it goes between the O segment, which I actually can't even tell where that is anymore. So I want to go right in here so I need to back this up, maybe right about there. Now it should fly directly through the center of that O. So that's how I would handle that type of situation. For the end of this animation, I have this transition already designed where it kind of warps out. So I want to make sure that that is nice and straight on. So I'm going to make sure that orientation at the final key frames is just straight on at a 90 degree angle to the text. I wanted to fill up the frame nice and big like that but with that, my camera moves are all blocked out. I just want to time this a little bit better, probably just going all the way to the end of that transition, so that movement is constant. But now everything is set up. I have every one of my camera movements. For every phrase blocked out, I have the transitions laid out so I know how the camera is going to be moving from phrase to phrase. It's just a different take on the same song, the same lyrics, as the render that I've already showed you, but I think this will just have a little bit different of a field and we can move on to the next pass. 14. Second Camera Pass: Now that I have my first camera pass done, I'm going to duplicate this comp and call it camera pass 02, double-click to get into it. This is where I can start really smoothing things out, adjusting motion paths, easing key frames and making it all flow from one phrase to the next. Let's start at the beginning, now, I'm going to disable the audio just because that's going to get in the way at this point, I'm not really worried about it. Now, I don't necessarily need to ease in and out of the start of a phrase, into the end of a phrase, it's more easing between phrases. If I play this back, you can see that's very jarring, I need to make sure that from this keyframe to this keyframe is nice and smooth. That's going to be a combination of easing as well as motion path modification. Let's just start with the easing, first of all, I want to convert these two key frames, the position and orientation, to auto bezier. To do that, just hold down command or control and click on that set of key frames once, now they're circles instead of diamonds and that means that they are now continuous bezier keyframes. If you don't know what that means, I'll just go into the graph editor for the position value and you see that this is what the other keyframes look like. The linear keyframes that had no easing at all, auto bezier just took the speed and smoothly transitioned from the speed between these two keyframes and the speed of these two keyframes, it's not very nice, but play it back. You can see that it's still pretty jarring, but it's a starting point. What it does, do is link the incoming and outgoing velocities of these handles. Now, if your graph doesn't look like mine, it's probably because you're set to value graph, make sure that you're on the speed graph, if this is the type of graph you want to see. I want to smooth this out so that it's not as jarring of a transition. If you're not used to working in the graph editor, this is something that I cover in even another one of my classes, checkout animating with ease. Where I show you how all of the graph editor works and how to completely control all of the motion inside of after effects, so that your motion ends up exactly the way that you want it to look. But basically, I want all of these keyframes to be continuous bezier, so that the incoming and outgoing velocities are linked, and then I want all of these curves to look smooth, nothing boxy like this. I'm going to get out of this and actually just convert all of these keyframes to continuous bezier. Select all of them, command or control click, so they're all round. Now go back into my graph editor, and I'm just going to worry about the position for now, so I'll just click on that property, zoom in nice and close so I'm just focused on one transition at a time. We can see that the speed is now going at a pretty constants pace between the first two keyframes, then it speeds up real fast and then slows down real fast, I want to ease that transition. I'm going to grab this keyframe, pull it down, and then the outgoing influence, I'm just going to push that out a little bit, so that the fastest point of this motion is right in the middle of that transition. I pulled this one out this way, I pulled that one out that way, now we've got this nice mountain curve or peak curve, this transition should be a lot smoother now, it's a much more gradual transition from slow to fast. If I play it back, there we go, it is pretty drastic, but it's a lot smoother than before, that works great. It is still a little jarring right there, and that's because of the orientation property that also needs to be smoothed out. Let's switch over to orientation, you'll notice that everything is changing at a constant speed. That's because even though I've set it to continuous bezier, all the rotation is completely linear. I'm going to have to modify the speed of these keyframes or the velocity of the keyframes in order to get it to ease in and out of motions. At this keyframe, I don't want it to be rotating in one direction and then just suddenly shift to rotating in a different direction, I want to ease that transition. To do that, I'm going to bring this down all the way, I could even just select in and press "F9" to easy ease it. Then I can just modify my curve like this, now if I play this back, that transition is a lot smoother. Now, I'm going to need to modify these other keyframes as well, because now the orientation shift from here to here is very jarring. I've got to ease in and out of these keyframes as well. To make this process a little simpler, I'm just going to select all my orientation keyframes and easy ease them by pressing "F9". Now we've got all of these nice arches for our speed graph on all of the orientation. We can take a look at how that is playing back. There you go, those first two camera moves are now a lot smoother and we can further modify this to be more or less eased. Maybe, I want this first camera move to be a little bit faster getting into this ease, and on this one, maybe, the opposite, we'll have it ease more on the front end and less on this back end. I don't actually like the way that looks, so I'm going to take that off, I don't want that drastic of an ease, most of them are going to probably be pretty symmetrical. But that's the basic process with the position and orientation keyframes. But we can still shape this motion a little bit more using that motion path. Doing this in the act of camera view is a little bit dangerous, and I'll show you why, let's say that I want to curve this path because even though my keyframes are no longer linear, the actual spatial interpolation is linear. Remember, because of that preference that I have set, it's always moving in a straight line from point a to point b to point c, I have to introduce those bezier handles into my motion path in order to shape the motion path. I'm going to switch to my pen tool and click on that keyframe, you can see the way that this is shaped. Now, the reason why this is a little dangerous is because I'm looking at this in a two-dimensional view, but I'm trying to modify something that's in three-dimensions. It's basically just going to take whatever angle of view my comp is currently looking at and apply a 2D transformation to it. I can try to bring this bezier handle in and as I do this you can see it's drastically modifying the position of my camera, but that's really not going to cut it. Let me switch to my two views and change this one to the top. It's already there, so let me just zoom out until I can see the camera, now I can shape this from the top down. This will give me access to the x and the z axis, I can see that my motion path is now doing this little loop. I don't want the camera to be moving back on this first phrase and then forward, at least not that much. I'm going to select that key frame in this top-down view, I need to modify this bazier handle so that this is a less extreme arch, let me reposition this so we can see it easier. But now this motion path is arching a little less drastically, but it's curving very nicely from this point into that point. Looking at it from this view, I can see that my motion path is dipping and then moving up, in this view I'm just going to click and drag it so that it's a nice curve from this angle as well. As soon as I can see that my motion path is nice and smooth in these two different perspectives, I can know that that's probably going to be a smooth camera move. Let's play that back and see the difference, there we go. We've got a nice smooth camera move here and it eases through that motion path both spatially and through the actual spacing of the keyframes, because we modified that speed graph. Now we have a very nice buttery smooth camera movement from point a to point b all the way to point c. Now I'm just going to repeat this process for this shot, I'm going to grab that second keyframe, bring up my two views so I can see them both at once. I want to smooth this out, now, this is where you really got to get familiar with these camera tools. I'm cycling through them just by tapping the "C" key, but this way I can quickly reposition my scene so it's in the center of this view and I can get in nice and tight and just make sure that this is all working well. I'm going to introduce some handles here and here, we're going to get this crazy loop because the bezier handles went so far out, but we're just going to back it up. Back this one up, and try and make something nice and smooth for this motion as well. At this point, I might want to consider grabbing this path point and just clicking and dragging it to modify it just a little bit so that it's a little bit smoother here. Now, it is shaping this portion of the motion path a little, but I think it's subtle enough that that will actually work just fine. Let's play that back, that's working really well, the camera's coming through doing this little tiny arch and then smoothly transitioning right there through the text. Now I'm just going to repeat that process over and over again until all of the shots are covered and all of the camera movements are looking nice and smooth. Now, something I do need to take note of is that this layer is getting cut off before the camera has moved completely passed it. I like to make it a habit of keeping layers on until the next camera move where I'm sure that they're no longer visible. I'm going to go to that next set of keyframes for each one of these texts layers and trim those layers to that point. Hold down "Option" or "Alt" on a PC, press the right bracket with layer selected, and that moves the out point to the point in time that your scrubber is at. That way, I know that this set of text is going to stay on screen until the camera's well beyond it. So here's where I ended up, let's get back to our one view and play this back. [MUSIC]. That's my process of smoothing out all the motion. Remember that you need to ease your keyframes, making sure that your position keyframes are set to auto bezier and they have nice curves that are nice and smooth. If you want that camera movement from one key frame to the next to actually be smooth. But then you also have to think about the motion path, and make sure that the spatial interpolation between keyframes is nice and smooth, that you have nice curves with all of your motion paths. Also remember that your orientation will need to be eased, depending on the camera movement, you might need to actually mess with those curves as well. But that is how I would do my second camera pass on a project like this. As you can see, I've got very drastically different results with this version, just by modifying the way that the camera is moving. 15. Final Styling and Effects: From here I can take the existing look for my original, which I'll duplicate and move out and we'll call this final and go into that comp and basically I want to replace everything that's in here. So i'm going to select the camera, hold shift and go all the way down to the last text layer and delete, and then i'm just going to copy and paste all of these layers. So starting with the camera controller and scrolling down holding Shift and clicking on the last text layer, copy Command or Control C and paste right above this layer right here, Command or Control V, and now my animation has been transferred over. Now, obviously the colors are wrong. So let me grab those really quickly again, going back into that final, I can just grab the color of any one of these texts layers, copy and then apply that to all of the text layers in this in comp. So I'll select everything, paste that color value, and then these are shape layers for that text, so I need to make sure I paste it in there as well and then finally I have a pre-comp for this last block of text so I need to make sure that my fill for that is set to the right color. And now my updated camera movement has been inserted into this style that I had already created. Now again, i'm not going to walk you through how I created this step-by-step because that's not really what this class is about. But I do want to show you one thing that I did in this comp, which is this layer down here called form. Form is a plug-in from a company called Trapcode, and it's a particle generator. What it lets you do is basically create a grid of particles that you can style in lots of different ways. It's a really great way of making things like clouds or mist, general atmosphere but you can push it way further than that and do a lot of really complex things with it. All i'm using it for here is the little dust particles that are in the background, so these little spheres, these dots that are floating around in my environment and these are 3D enabled that's why we have the 3D icon right here. But that means it's going to respond to my camera movement. If I solo this layer out and turn the background off, you can see these dots, they're really small. If I go into my particle settings and turn the size up quite a bit, then they're much more apparent what's going on and if I just scrub through, you can see that the camera movement is revealing that these are actually existing in 3D space. Now again, this isn't effect applied to a 2D layer, so it's going to render on top or below of whatever it is on top of or below in the layer stack. But because they're just tiny little particles, these dust particles, it doesn't really make that big of a difference. So let me undo back to where they were, nice and small and in the environment. But that's a really easy way to add a little bit of atmosphere and a little bit more sense of space in your 3D compositions. Everything else was just stylizing it a little bit we already talked about the texture that I added using the turbulent noise and then the effect stack of blurring, sharpening and then adding some grain and then I have a vignette. The background is just a gradient from this light color to a little bit darker shade of it, to give the background a little bit of a sense of lighting like there's a light source up on this side. But that's all the steps that I took to stylize this a little bit. Now, like I said if you're doing a lyric video, feel free to do the entire song and feel free to push your design as far as you want. or as little as you want. Honestly, you could just have blocks of texts that are not animated and I won't mind at all really, what I just want to see is that you have a good sense for how to place objects in 3D space, working with the 3D environment in After Effects, and being able to smoothly animate your camera around those objects in that 3D space. It doesn't matter to me how you're animating the camera, if anything in your scene is actually animated or if there are any other design elements, I just want to see that you know how to navigate around this 3D space and actually move your camera around. Be as complex or as simple as you'd like. Now another really great part of After Effects and motion graphics in general is the ability to add motion blur, which is another one of those real-world phenomenon, whether you're looking through a camera or even your own eyes. Things that move fast are blurry and with the camera you can really control how much motion blur there is based on the shutter speed of the camera. In After Effects, you can do the exact same thing and it can add a lot of realism and emphasis to your motion. Now I don't have any currently enabled in this lyric video. If I go to some place where the camera's moving kind of fast and let me turn off the effects and this renders a little quicker. Let's say right about here, when the cameras really moving through this text at a pretty decent speed, there is no motion blur, this is nice, crisp, clean from one frame to the next. But if I come over to my layers palette and take a look at these switches, right here is the 3D column, but this little icon right here with the ball and the trail, that is the motion blurs. So I want to select all of those layers that make up my comp and all the lyrics and enabled the motion blur switch on them. Now that that's done instantly, my comp has this blurriness on top of its text and this is what motion blur is. So let's just back up a little bit and play this section, this little transition from here to here. You can see it's going to take more time to render. For one, I have the form layer in the background, so it's got to calculate that. But motion blur does add render time because it's basically making a bunch of copies of what you're seeing and merging them altogether in this nice and blend to generate that motion blur. Let's play this back. Okay, so like I said, it is subtle. It can easily be overlooked, but that's partially because your brain is used to seeing this motion blur on things that are moving fast. So it can really add a lot of a realism to your movement. Again, if we turn this off and play it back, it doesn't necessarily look bad, but that blur really sells the fact that you're moving quickly and like I said, you can shape the way that this motion blur looks. So if I go into my Composition Settings, then go into the Advanced tab. This is where you have a motion blur category. So if I move this out of the way, I have preview checked. So modifying these properties will update the way that the motion blur looks. Currently my shutter angle is set to 90 degrees. It doesn't matter if you don't know what that means, but I've actually modified this from the default. Yours is probably set to 180, so let's change that, and when I apply this, just watch some of the blur right here and see what happens. See it really blurred out a lot more. So basically think about the shutter angle as the higher the number, the more motion blur, the longer the motion blur trails are going to be and the smaller the number 90 degrees was much tighter, or if you drop this down to 45, then it's going to be even less noticeable. 360 would be a crazy amount of motion blur and you can see all the individual samples. It doesn't look that great. For this particular piece I wanted it set to 90 because I thought that was a pretty realistic looking amount of motion blur. But next I want to move down to this samples per frame section. This is the number of individual samples that make up the motion blur. If I turn this really download to say four, then you're going to see each one of those individual samples and this is how you can really understand how the motion blur is being calculated. It's basically taking where this text would move a certain distance based on your shutter angle, and then duplicating and lowering the opacity of each individual copy. So since there are only four samples, we have one, two, three, and four would be the original sample. So you need to turn this up until you can't really see those samples anymore. 16 is going to do it just fine for this one, but if you had a shutter angle of 180, those sample start to come back, you might need to push this up to 24 or even 36 and as you do this, the render times take a longer and longer. So a lot of the time I'll disable my motion blur for my comp while i'm working just so it renders more quickly and then re-enable it on the final look over to make sure everything is working fine. But i'm going to turn this back down to 90 and 16 and then click okay. There's a really quick way to disable all of the motion blur for the comp and that's this icon right here. If I just click that off, no more motion blur things will render more quickly so be aware of that. But that's how you can implement motion blur into your animations. Another way to add realism to your animations, specifically your 3D cameras, is adding in camera shake because that's a natural thing to happen. If you have a handheld camera, there's going to be a little bit of camera shake. And we can fake this using just some very basic expressions, and the way that i'm going to do it with my camera setup, since I have a camera controller, is applying a little bit of wiggle or shake to my actual camera, not the camera controller. Remember, because this is parented to the null object, I can move it around independently of the null object. In this way, i'm going to preserve all the animation I put on the camera controller. So what I basically want to do is wiggle the orientation of my camera just a little bit and possibly some of the position. But let's start with the orientation. So with the cameras selected, I'll press R to bring up the rotation, and instead of applying the expression to just the orientation, i'm going to make three different expressions for the x, y, and z rotation. The reason i'm doing this is just so I don't have to add in more complex expressions to target each one of these values within a single property. Let's start with just the x rotation. So if I move this around, you can see it's moving the camera up and down. I'm going to disable my motion blur just so this renders a little bit more quickly. Yeah, that's much better. Okay, and i'm going to add an expression to this property by holding down Option or Alt on a PC and clicking on the x rotation. Don't worry if you don't understand expressions, just follow along, I'll explain everything that i'm doing and by the end of this process, you'll have a nice little camera shake rig. We're going to be using the wiggle expression to randomly adjust this property in a given range. So to start, i'm just going to type out wiggle, and After Effects is even going to give me a little bit of a auto-fill and i'm just going to double-click on that, and that will give me the rest of this expression, see it made parentheses for me to type in. So this is where I need to put some numbers. The way the wiggle expression works is you're saying wiggle this property and then we need two numbers separated by a comma. The first number is going to be the frequency or how many times per second this wiggle should happen randomly. So let's just say something like three times a second. So wiggle three times a second and then we need to put a comma and give it another value. This second value is the amplitude, or basically how much is the maximum that we went after effects to change this value and this is going to be measured in the units of whatever you're applying it to. So degrees, let's say five degrees. It doesn't take a lot of wiggling to get camera shake to show up on rotation values for the camera. So that's all we need to do.So one more time, this is saying wiggle the x rotation three times a second by an amount of five pixels, either positive or negative. Just to follow proper syntax, i'm going to add a semicolon at the end of that line and then click out of it, and let's play this to see what happens. You can call me, and actually I'm just gonna mute my audio real quick and play that back. You can see that the camera is now shaking up and down. Basically, the tilt of the camera is moving on the x-axis three times a second by a maximum of five degrees in either direction, and this is obviously way too much. We don't want this wiggly wobbly camera shake. Let's modify maybe the amplitude, the second value here, and instead of five degrees, let's say two degrees. So it's going to be a maximum of two degrees off of the neutral value of zero, either positive or negative. Now the shaking is much more subtle. It might still be too much honestly, but for now, let's call that good and move on to the next property. Now I want to basically, do the same thing on the Y Rotation. I'm just going to right-click on "X Rotation", say Copy Expression Only then select the Y Rotation and Paste, Command or Control V. Twirl this down. So we can see that we have the same exact expression and play this back again. Now, not only are we wiggling up and down, we're also wiggling left and right and we're getting a little wiggly wobbly again. It's probably too much, but let's just move on to the Z Rotation so we have wiggle on all three axes, and then we'll start manipulating these numbers. I'll just select that "Z Rotation" and "Paste" again, twirl that down, and then preview this one more time. Now it's like our camera operator is drunk. He cannot keep his hands still. It's way too crazy, but now that we're here, we can start dialing in these numbers. Definitely on the z-axis where it's rotating like a clock on the clockwise or counterclockwise motion, that needs to move a lot less. Instead of two degrees, I'm going to just put this down to 0.5. It's just a half a degree wiggle rotation on that z-axis, and then on the y-axis and even probably the x-axis, I'm going to drop these down to one because I want this camera shake to be very subtle. Enough for you to notice it, but not enough for you to feel super dizzy and wobbly. It's a lot more subtle now, and I think it's looking better, but we can also lower the frequency of some of these. Maybe on the z-axis instead of three times per second, it wiggles just one time per second and maybe the y-axis, we wiggle, I don't know, 2.3 times per second just to get a little variation between the X and the Y. Now they're all wiggling at different frequencies on each axis and the z-axis has a different amplitude than the other two properties. Now we've created a much more subtle camera shake. It's still very noticeable, but a lot more subtle. Now a much easier way to modify these numbers without having to go into each expression and change these numbers one at a time, is to just add in some slider controls which do nothing on their own. They're just empty effects that you can tie expressions to. Let me show you how to do that really quickly. Now you can't actually apply effects to cameras. If I go up to my effect panel, you see nothing is there. I'm just going to use the camera controller as a place to hold these expression controls and we'll reference them from these expressions. With my camera controller selected, I'll come up to "Effect", down to "Expression Controls", and then "Slider Control". I'll click on that, and this is just going to give me an empty slider with a value between 0-100. I'm going to rename this effect by having selected and press "Enter". I'll call this X Frequency and press "Enter" again. Then I'm going to right-click on the slider and say "Edit Value". I don't need the maximum range to be 100. I'll just set this up to 10. Honestly, that's probably way more than I need, but that way my range is much smaller as I move this slider around. Now that that's done, I'm going to duplicate this by pressing "Command" or "Control D". I'll call this Y Frequency. Then I'll duplicate it one more time and call this Z Frequency. Then I need a slider for the amplitude. Remember the second value is amplitude. I'm going to duplicate this again and call this X Amplitude, duplicate, call it Y Amplitude, and then duplicate and call it Z Amplitude. Now I have sliders for every one of these values in my expressions. Let's just transfer these numbers into the corresponding sliders. The X Rotations wiggle frequency, X Frequency is three. I'll collapse this up and the amplitude for the X is one. The wiggle for Y is 2.3 on the frequency, 2.3 and one on the amplitude. Then we have one and 0.5 for the Z. One on the frequency, 0.5 on the amplitude. Now that I have those same values all transferred over to the sliders, I can change my expressions to reference these sliders instead. To keep these active when I select the camera, I'm going to lock the effects controls panel just by clicking this little lock right here. Now I can go to any other layer, but these will stay visible. With that done, I'm gonna go into my X Rotation and I want to select the frequency value, that first number, then just grab my "Expression pick whip", click and drag all the way up to the X Frequency and let go. After Effects automatically plugs in all of the code that you need to reference that value. Then we can go to the second number right here after the comma, the amplitude and reference the X Amplitude. I'll click off of this and actually get an expression error. The reason for that is because after effects actually left off a parenthesis at the very end of the expression. I need to go just before that semicolon and add a second closing parentheses to close off that argument. With that extra parentheses, I should be able to click off. There we go. Now that's solved. Now this value is being wiggled based on the X Frequency and the X Amplitude values. If I turn the amplitude up, you can see that's affecting how much the camera is wiggling at any given point. I'll undo that and let's plug in the rest of these numbers. So again, the process is, select the first value, the frequency, this is the Y Rotation. I'll grab that "Expression pick whip" and go up to the Y Frequency. After Effects fills in the code. Then I'll select that second value, the amplitude, go up to the Y Amplitude. Let go and then just make sure that I add that extra parentheses at the end. I really don't know why I After Effects is removing that last one, but it must just be some bug. Click off of that and no errors, so I know that worked. Let's do the Z Rotation. Just select that number "Expression pick whip" the Z Frequency. Select the second number, pick with the Z Amplitude, finish it off with a closing parentheses and click off. Now the animation itself is no different because all of those values are exactly the same. But let's say that I don't like how much it's bobbing up and down or how quickly it's bobbing up and down on that x-axis. Well, I'm just going to change my X Frequency from 3-1.8, and now without having to modify any code, my camera shake has been updated. This is also a really easy way to animate camera shake to be more or less intense. If we didn't want camera shake until the cameras started moving more, maybe right about here. Then I can set key frames to basically enable that and then disable it someplace else. Let's say that right about here is where I want the wiggle to kick in, I'll set key frames on the X, Y, and Z Amplitudes, and then press "U" to bring up my key frames. There are my key frames for X, Y, and Z. Then I'll back up a little bit to about here. This is where I want it to start wiggling and I'll set these values down to zero. Now it's going to animate the amplitude of each of these values from zero up to whatever I want it to wiggle at. The start of my animation has no wiggle. Then right here it starts to kick in. Now it's really subtle because our values are so low. Just to illustrate this a little bit better, I'm going to increase the amplitude of each of these and we'll see what that does. It's still pretty subtle because the camera transitions off the text pretty quickly. But maybe we want it to continue wiggling until right about here. I'll just copy these three key frames, "Command C", "Command V" and then go forward in time and turn these values back down to zero. Let's play that section back. There you go. That's how you can build a very simple camera shake rig. You could do this on any property you want. It doesn't have to just be the rotation. You could also add some shake to the position, may be the camera is moving up and down and left and right a little bit as well. It's totally up to you and you can create whatever look that you want this way. But feel free to play around with this. Hopefully, those expressions didn't scare you and you're excited to maybe try and add some camera shake into your own projects. 16. Real World Examples: In this video, I just want to quickly walk through some of the actual lyric videos that I've made for clients and show you how I use 3D cameras and elements in them. So this first one is for a band called Plastic planets and I used a lot of the same tricks or techniques in this as I did in my class sample project. So I used trap code form again to make these particles to give kind of an environment but I also generate a star field in the background. I wanted this lyric video to look like it was in space. But the way that it's working is that even though it's responding to the camera movement, it's only moving with the rotation and that's because if you were in space, the stars are obviously so far away from you that you don't really see any movement. You just see rotation. And that was one technique I used. You can see that this is a very cinematic looking aspect ratio for the frame, so I added motion blur to try and add a little bit more realism to it. There's a lot of film grain and kind of chromatic aberration. I was really stylizing all of this to feel a lot more cinematic,and then right here I'm using a plug-in from video copilot called optical flares, which is also 3D enabled to just make this nice little lens flare. But if I just scrub through some of this, you can see like at this part, I'm flying through space a lot more. Again, these are all just 3D effects, taking advantage of having the ability to move things in 3D space and give a lot more sense of an environment to the lyrics of the song. But otherwise, this was put together in exactly the same way as my class project. I blocked out all of the lyrics, laid them out in a more typographic designed way, animated them, and then figured out how the camera was going to move from one phrase to the next. The next lyric video is one that I actually did for Norah Jones and this one is slightly different because the style is much more graphic. It's a lot of flat looking shapes, not nearly as much depth. But I still used 3D layers and 3D cameras to move around all of it just because it's a lot easier to just enable that 3D switch and move my camera around rather than parenting all of these layers to a null and animating the null to do all the camera moves for me. So even though all of this motion is very linear and stylized, it was done with 3D cameras and 3D layers,and that was especially useful on, say, this sequence right here, where I was kind of just filling the song where there were no lyrics. I could just very easily push in and out on my scene, turn the camera around, move things around without having to add any key frames to any of the actual elements. I was just animating the 3D camera. Next up is a lyric video I did for a band called The Pink Dust and this was a very slow song with a lot of breathing room between lyrics. So I took a long time to animate them on and there's a lot of these little drifting shots. Honestly, the motion in this is so subtle that I'm pretty sure I actually did this without a 3D camera. But where I know that I did use a 3D camera is right in this final section right here where things start to speed up. You can see that there's just a very subtle camera shake to all of this because I wanted to add to that sense of speeding along through space with these animals running. So I made a very similar camera shake rig to what I did in this class for this lyric video on this section. All right, then there's one more example right here for an artist named Jordan Jones. This one was done in a neon sign style but if we pushed through a little bit, we can see this section right here. This is in 3D and I added these kind of like vertical lights in the background and just space them out in zSpace to give a little bit more of a sense of environment. Because if this was just this one line of text and the background, you wouldn't have a very good sense of depth and the scale of the environment, but having those vertical lights in the background, it give some more visual interest and help demonstrate that you're actually in a three-dimensional space. Same thing for other parts of this video. I'm just pushing through all of these one at a time using 3D camera. Everything's set to be a 3D layer and it's just pushing through. So those are some ways that I've used 3D cameras in my actual real-world client work. As you can see, there's lots of variety just between those four projects. My whole point in showing you all of this is just to kind of give you an idea of how you can use 3D elements, 3D layers, and cameras in a variety of different ways. There's no one way to do it and you don't have to make a project that looks like my lyric video for my class project. Experiment, have fun with things, play around until you get something that you're really excited about. 17. Rack Focusing: I have two examples here to show you that use rack focusing and really tight camera angles to give something that looks a little bit more realistic. You can tell that this frame is again, very cinematic aspect ratio. It's a ratio of 2.35:1 instead of 16:9 but let me just play this back so you can see it. Obviously, there's a lot going on in this scene but the thing that I really want you to focus on is the slow camera move and then that rack focus, where the focus distance changes from leading your eye to looking right here where we're nice and in focus, and then rack focusing or changing the focus to this point right here. That's really leading your eye from one spot to another. Because I have this nice steep angle of the camera aligned to this data panel, we're getting some really shallow depth of field that's blurring out all this background really beautifully and we're getting these nice, cool bokeh off of these elements in the background. You can see that there this oval shape and as it gets closer to the point of focus, they're nice and crisp, but it just gives a very nice effect. Then I have a second example here that is very similar, tight, up-close, zoomed-in lens, shallow depth of field, focused right here, and then I'll play it. This time I added a little bit of a camera movement and also a second camera angle. So let's play this one more time. You can see that the cameras are drifting. It shifts a little bit as the focus changes and then we cut the camera angle and do the same thing where the focus point is over here, but because this is more of a straight on angle, we don't see as much of that shallow depth of field. It's also pulled back a little bit compared to this tight close-up angle but the camera angle does move right here from being focused on this side of the frame to kind of panning over and focusing on this side of the frame. So let's play that back one more time. This is a project file that I'm actually giving you access to. You can download it and take a look and you can see how I made it. Just be aware this is a very render-intensive project file because I was working in 32 bits per channel so that I could simulate light a little bit more. You can learn more about that in my Animating with Light class, but if I move the scrubber you can see that this one frame is taking very long to render and that's because I have effects on top of effects, glows all of this really shallow depth of field all stacked on top of each other and it's going to take a long time to render. Again, as I'm working and animating my cameras, I disable all of those effects, I turn off the depth of field, which by the way, you can do just like disabling motion blur, there's a switch right here called Draft 3D and when you do that, it's going to disable the depth of field and render much quicker. Feel free to dig around through that and take a look at how I had it set-up. You can see that I use that same trick of making a null for my focal point and then linking that camera's focus distance to that layer so that way I can control that focus distance just using a null object and I did the same thing in a second comp, which I'm calling the data stream, controlling that focal distance with a null object instead. This is actually a good time to point out that I created that second camera angle by making a second camera so I ended this camera's layer right here and created a second one that was further zoomed-out, re-positioned it however I wanted and because in my timeline, this camera no longer exists and this one does at this point in time, after effects just switches my active camera to being that camera's view. Those are just a few more ways that you can mess around with 3D cameras to get a certain feel. 18. Smooth Camera Moves: In this video, I want to walk you through another one of my actual client projects and show you a unique camera movement and how I handled it. Let's just play this scene back. We've got two people pull out to reveal its a concert and then slide up to transition to the next set of graphics, and then it just transitions out.The thing that's unique about this is that the camera's moving backwards and not really stopping before it moves upwards, and looking back at it now it honestly is a little bit more jerky than I would like it to be.I'd rather have this movement be really consistent, constant, and smooth from this scene to this scene. I'm going to show you how I'd handled that now, with experience I've had since doing this project using some other assets.But before we get there, I want to point out that even though this is a very flat vectory style, I was able to add a lot of depth just by making this crowd and if we look at this from the top view and zoom out a little, you can see how I built this, ignore that lens flare for now.But right here is my stage, my speakers, and the two music artists, and then we have a crowd. All of these different layers are the crowd spread out and here's my camera down here.Even though I'm working with very stylized flat vector-looking characters, I'm able to create this scene in 3D space, but we've also got some other elements going on here. I made these fireworks with a plugin called Trap-code particular, which is a particle emitter.It's really great for making things like explosions and fireworks. But then there's also this lens flare that's being generated using video copilots optical flares. You'll notice that this is being positioned using a light.If I move this around, see that, that's going to change the position of the lens flare. That's how you can use obstacle flares in 3D space. You can tell it to look at a light source, and make a flare there.In this particular scene, I don't want that light to actually affect any of my artwork so I disabled all the material options for all of these characters.They don't accept lights, they don't cast shadows. I'm still maintaining this very stylistic design choice while implementing this lens flare into the entire scene. There's just another example of how we can use 3D space and layers to create a really interesting scene. Now let's move to another project which you can actually download and follow along with me if you'd like.This project is, this camping scene that I'm calling the great outdoors, and I'll just play this back so you can see what the final looks like. That's all there is to it. It's a very simple little animation.But as you can see, the camera moves out very smoothly and transitions to that upward movement very smoothly. It's all very consistent and very constant.This is what I was talking about with the last example of the concert where, I'd rather have this nice sweeping movement that curves into the upward movement. What I did in this situation, was actually introduce a second object to control the camera for that second camera move. If I bring up my key frames, I'll show you how I did this.If I move this null object out of the way, so those key frames aren't influencing anything, this first set of key frames just moves from tight in at the camp site to this wide angle and it just moves back and upwards slightly. If I undo and bring this second [inaudible] back in, what this is doing, is going from this zoomed out view to raising the camera up so we reveal the text and frame the rest of this shot.If I put this back to where it's supposed to be, then we can see exactly what's happening.This first camera move, which is being key framed right on the camera's position, is zooming out and before it's even finished and eased into this nice smooth resting point, the null object, the secondary control of moving upwards on that y-axis, is starting to ease in and to lift the camera up, even though it's still moving backwards. That creates a much smoother transition between those two camera moves. It's a really simple technique, but just parenting that camera to the [inaudible] and controlling the movement of a camera from two different layers makes for a really pleasing single camera move.Like I said, this is a project file that you can also download yourself and try and recreate these camera movements. The way that I created this myself was by first, basically designing this frame in illustrator because I knew this is what the final results should look like.Then I transferred all of the artwork into the after effects and animated things like these trees. If we take a look at one of these camps, I had just broken up the layers into shape layers and I added this random wiggle movement using a combination of effects and just animation.I'm actually controlling all of that rotation through wiggle expressions on the rotation values of these individual layers, and I added a couple of slider controls to control how fast and how much they're moving. We've also got a bend effect on top of everything that's just tilting the tree completely. But I just did that for each instance of the trees and then just populated the entire scene with them. Again, if we take a look at the top view, you can see that I just spaced all of these individual elements out. This center part here is my campfire in the tent. You can see that I color-coded these with labels just so I can identify them easier.But if I zoom out even further, there's the tree lines and the mountains in the back, the moon, the clouds, this object right here is the floor and it's just there to fill in the base of the frame. If we take a look at this,maybe the custom view one, I can now pan around this and you can see that I've just spaced all of these individual elements out in 3D space to give a lot of sense of depth.Nothing complex, just a lot of careful placement and framing with the camera. But it all comes back to this final frame that I designed in Illustrator. This is what drove the entire scene. Another really interesting thing that you can do with 3D Layers and after effects, is actually decomposed them while preserving their 3D placement. In this scene I have all of these copies of the grass and then all of these groupings of trees. I can actually collapse all of that down while preserving everything that you see here exactly as it is.Let's just start with the grass. If I select all of my grass layers, and go up to layer precompose, I'll just rename this grass precomp, and then click OK. Now my composition did update and the grass is not looking at the way that it should.If I solo this layer, it is a flat 2D comp,there's no depth to it at all.But if you're familiar with this continuously rasterized switch, you also know that it has another name called collapse transformations. The continuously rasterized feature is for when you bring in illustrator artwork or vector artwork, and you always want it to look crisp no matter what scale it's set to.That's what continuously rasterizing does. We can see that is always active on text layers because they are vector. That exact same switch, for whatever reason, the after effects team decided to use that same switch to do what's called the collapsed transformations.Watch what happens when I click the switch on this precomp. All that grass goes back to where it was and if i switch to my custom view one and orbit around, sure enough, all of that grass is spaced out in 3D space. Let me un-solo this,and there you go, you can see all that grass is still there.Now if I select this precomp, you'll notice it's still a 2D layer, even though that's displaying in 3D. But if I make this precomp a 3D precomp, we get a bounding box around all of those layers, and we can even see the individual bounding boxes for all of the different layers within that precomp. Now the anchor point is a way up in the center of the scene just because that's where the center of the precomp was when we precomped it. But I can rotate this around however I want, and you can see this truly is all of the 3D layers, just as they were before I precomped them. Let's do the same thing with all of these trees. I'll grab all of those trees, just ship click on all of them. Press Command, Shift Ctrl, and I'll call this trees precomp, Click OK, then make sure to enable the collapse transformations and the 3D layer switch. All of these trees are now preserved exactly as they were before.What's great is that it's even preserving intersection of layers so if I zoom in here, take a look at this tree right here that's in front of the tent, if I move this back a little bit, it gets to a point where right there, the tree shifts behind the tent.These precomped layers are behaving exactly as if all of these 3D layers we're still in this comp, and they are rendering on top of or behind what they're supposed to. As you can see, my timeline is now a lot cleaner because there are less layers to look at. 19. Start Your Project: At this point if you're inspired and you're excited about what I've taught you so far. Feel free to start working on your own class project and remember it can be whatever you want it to be.If you need a little bit of inspiration, some starting points then by all means make a portion of a lyric video.It doesn't have to be the entire song or it could be put as much or as little into it as you want and like I said you can animate the lyrics or just have them be solid blocks of text. You can implement other graphics like some of the real-world projects that I just showed you or not make it like my lyric video and just work on making really smooth camera movements because that does take practice and once you're good at it, it can really take your animations to the next level and make your project stand above others. Or if you want to learn more about the cinema 4D renderer before you take on a class project, then continue watching the rest of this class and we are going to get into some pretty cool stuff here.So just keep watching if that's what you want to do.Otherwise I'm excited to see what you come up with and start making in your class projects. 20. C4D Renderer Overview: Now that you feel pretty comfortable working with the After Effects 3D engine, I'm just going to flip the tables on you and we're going to talk about a completely different 3D render engine we have access to, here in After Effects. It's the Cinema 4D render engine and it is pretty limited but you can still do some really cool things with it. But before I even do that, I should tell you that if you're serious about getting into 3D graphics inside of After Effects, and you're not ready to jump into actually learning a 3D piece of software, then you really owe it to yourself to look up Video Copilots element 3D plug-in. It is hands down the fastest way to create 3D geometry inside of After Effects, and it does a substantially better job than the Cinema 4D renderer in After Effects. The only reason I'm not covering it in this class is because it's not free and you'll find all of the training you'll ever need on that plug-in radon Video Copilot website for free. Still it's great to know what After Effects is capable of on its own, so, let's get into it. Let's just make a new composition, and just for render times to make this render a little quicker, I'm going to make it 1,280 by 720. Thirty frames per second is fine, and for the duration, I'll just put in 30 seconds. Doesn't really matter what the length is. But before I hit "Okay", I'm going to come over to this 3D renderer tab, and this is where we choose which render engine we want to use. We have access to the Clasic 3D, which is what we've been using this whole time, but we also have this Cinema 4D renderer. If I select that, we get a bunch of text showing up, letting us know exactly why this is so limited. First of all, let's just read about what this render engine does. The Cinema 4D renderer enables extrusion of text and shapes. It is the preferred renderer for extruded 3D work on most computers. That last part is debatable, but this is the important part. It allows us to add extrusion or depth on the z-axis of text and shape layers. If we look at this column right, this is enabled, we can see extruded and beveled text and shapes, so, we're going to take a look at that. We also have access to reflections. True reflections in 3D space, which is great, curved footage layers, which is very useful in certain situations. A footage layer is basically a non-vector layer,so, text layers and shape layers are both vector, but footage layers are things like solids or actual video footage, still images, things like that. Material overrides on text and shaped bubbles and sides, which will make a lot more sense in a little bit. Environment layers in reflections only and pre-compute depth pass width channel effects. That's a really advanced topic. It's probably not something we're going to touch in this class. That's all great. These are all new things that we get in the Cinema 40 render engine that we don't get in the standard one. But check out this disabled column. This is kind of why the Cinema 4D renderer is such a let down in After Effects, at least in its current state. We don't have access to blending modes using the Cinema 4D render, so, no setting things to multiply, or screen, or overlay, or edit blending mode. We can't use Track Mattes, so, there's no way to matte one layer using another layer. We don't have access to layer styles, so, we can't add inner shadow to objects or a stroke to the outside of them. We don't have access to masks and effects on continuously rasterized layers text and shape layers, or collapsed 3D pre-composition layers. We don't have access to preserving the underlying transparency or light transmission. Remember, when we went into the material properties of those circle layers and I turn up the light transmission and it was like stained glass where the light shining through it was colored the same as the circles, we don't have that. We don't even have access to transparency or index of refraction, which is actually a leftover option from a previous 3D render that isn't even part of After Effects anymore. We can't tell a layer to only accept shadows, which means we can't make a shadow catcher. You will always be able to see whatever object is catching that shadow. These last two are killer. We don't have access to motion blur or depth of field. These are two things that you can reproduce using other methods, but it's just really frustrating that we can't just enable the motion blur switch turned on the camera depth of field, and have it rendered the way that it does in the classic renderer. Switching to the Cinema 40 renderer does give you access to a lot of really cool things, but the trade-off is huge. You are losing a lot of things that you probably use on a regular basis in the standard 3D renderer. Now that we've gotten the overview of that, before I hit "Okay", I just want to click on this "Options" button to show you that we have some renders setting options. I'm going to say this right now, the Cinema 4D renderer is stupidly slow inside of After Effects because it's way more render intensive, all 3D software is, and After Effects isn't really designed for giving you a 3D workflow. Typically, when you're working in 3D, you're previewing it at a very primitive state with very low resolution texture previews, and you're making a bunch of edits without seeing what the final looks like, and then doing a preview render to see how it looks. In After Effects, it's constantly giving you what the final render will be. You can lower the quality settings. We've already seen that you can do things like disabled emotion blur, turned on draft 3D to turn off the depth of field, but the Cinema 4D renderer takes it to a whole another level. It's very, very render intensive and your machine honestly may not even be able to handle it. My current machine can hardly keep up with it, but I'm on an iMac from 2013, so, it is a little old. But my point was all of this is, that in this options tab, you can turn the quality of your rendered down a lot, so that when you're working, things render faster, and then turn the quality up before it's time to render. I typically render at 50 percent quality because the further you go up here, the longer everything takes to render and it just gets out of hand quick. Definitely start low, bump it up, and then just see how long one frame takes to render and evaluate the quality of that render before you decide to export. We're just going to leave that at 50 for now, and then click "Okay". Now I have a new composition using the Cinema 4D renderer Obviously there's nothing in this yet, so, why don't we make something? I'll start by just showing you how to extrude a text layer. I'm going to just type out extrusion, make this white, and then turn the size down a little bit, and then I'll just use my align palette to get this nice and centered in the comp. Then I'll enable the 3D switch for that layer, and now that we have something in 3D and are seeing that we have renderer Cinema 4D showing up in the top right of our comp viewer. If you click on that, you can change the render settings. This brings us straight back the composition settings, the quality settings are all accessible right there. In fact, if you click on this little wrench icon, you get straight to those Cinema 4D render options. Let's make a camera. I'll make it a two-node camera with maybe a 24 millimeter lens, so, a little wide. Now just orbit around, so, we can see that this is indeed still just a flat text layer. But even though it is just a flat text layer, you can see it's taking longer to render. Remember this is just a 1,280 by 720 comp. I am viewing it at full resolution, but it's just a flat text layer, and you can see that After Effects is taking more time to render than normal. I'm just going to position this camera to the side a little bit so we can see the sides of the text a little more. Then I'm going to open up the layer properties and get down to the geometry options. This is no longer grayed out because we're using that Cinema 4D renderer. If I toil this down, we have access to four different options: The first one that you need access to is at the bottom of the list, which is weird to me, but that's what we need to focus on first, the extrusion depth. Currently it's set to zero, so, we have a flat text layer, it's two-dimensional. But if I click and drag this out, you see that we now have some depths to that text. Now, it just looks like a solid block here because everything is 100 percent white. Let's add a light to our scene and see what happens. I'm going to go up to Layer, New, Light. All of the lights are exactly the same as the classic render engine, so, I'm just going to make a point light, intensity 100, white, that's fine. We'll leave fall off and cast shadows off for now. Now we can see that there is actually some depth here. So let's get to views here, and I'll reposition my light a little. So if I grab that and move it around, we can see how that is affecting the lighting of my text. Just like before, this is the only point of light in the entire scene, so, it's very harsh. Why don't we add an ambient light as well. Make it new light, change it to ambient and maybe set the intensity down to 35. Now we just have a little bit of light filling in everything and you can see that extrusion a lot more. We'll switch back to one view and take a look here. I can twirl around this, and sure enough these are true 3D geometry letters, which is really, really nice. I can change the color of this just like a regular After Effects text layer to anything I want. Let's make something that's like this yellow caution tape color. I can control how extruded that text is. Now it only goes in one direction from the front to the back. I can't go to a negative number, which is a little annoying because you could animate this text, maybe bouncing out, but you'd have to key frame to properties because you'd have to move the text at the same distance that you're extruding it out. We're actually going to take a look at how to do that in a little bit. But for now, let's just set the extrusion depth to 100. Now I'm going to move my camera in quite a bit, so, we can get a nice close-up of the edges of this text. You can see that the edges are very perfect, there 90 degree angles, there's no rounding on it at all. Well, that's what these other options are for. We have the bevel style, which is set to none, but in that menu we have angular, concave, and convex. So convex is going to be your most typical style of bevel. You can see that that rounded off the edges. Let me zoom in real nice and tight here, so we can see this. There we go. You can see how this is the face of the text and it just very smoothly curves into the top and the side edges of the text. After Effects gives names to all of these sides, so, the face of the text is the front, then we have the bevel, the sides, and the back. We can actually style each one of these individually and we're going to do that in just a little bit. But let's take a look at the other bevel styles. So convex is curving outwards, concave is the opposite, it curves inwards. You can see how that looks different. Then our last option is angular, and this doesn't have any curve at all. It's just like this chiseled angle from the front of the text to the sides. Then we have the ability to control the bevel depth. So if I turn this up, it's going to make that bevel a lot bigger. Now, it's leaving the face of the text exactly the same as if it wasn't a 3D layer. It's not changing anything about that. Instead it's changing the extrusion basically how wide that bevel goes beyond the face, and you can see that because my text was pretty close together, that bevel is now pushing each character into each other. So at this point, if I wanted a bevel that big, I would need to increase the tracking so that these letters aren't running into each other. We can turn that bevel depth way up, we can keep it small just so it has a little bit of detail, and we can choose whatever type of bevel style we want. Next up is the hole bevel depth, which only applies to letters that have a closed path within them, like the hole of this o, if I turn this all the way down, see it gets rid of that bevel on the interior of that letter. Now I've never really run into a scenario where I would want that, so, you may never touch that option, but that's what it does. Those are the basic geometry options for a text layer. 21. Animating 3D Text: Let's reset our camera, so we're back to looking at it straight on, and then talk about how we can style the different parts of this text layer. Right here is an animate menu with a little drop-down arrow. If you click on that, it gives you access to all of the same text animators that we had access to in the regular 3D engine. So you can use text animators just like before. Why don't I actually just show you how that works really quick. I'll use the position property that animate this on, and I want to make sure that I enable per character 3D. That way I have access to all three dimensions on this position property. What I want to do is just have the text basically come all the way back behind the camera so that we don't see it, and then I'll animate it back on using the range selector. So I'm going to go into that and go into the advanced, change my shape from square to ramp up, and then modify the offset properties. So I'm going to turn this all the way to negative 100 at the start and set a key frame, and then go forward maybe about one second and change this to positive 100. So now that text is going to fly from behind the camera right into position. If I ease this low value, that is going to make the animation nice and smooth, and maybe I'll turn the end value down so that it is a little bit more spread out, not so even across all of the text. All of this is covered in my ultimate guided text animators. So if you're not following along, definitely go check out that course, and you'd be able to make these kind of text animators without really even thinking about it. Let's just play this back and see what it looks like. As you can see, it does take more time to render, but we don't have anything too intensive happening, so it's not that bad. So there you go, we are using actual 3D geometry combined with a text animator, animating the same way you would as if it was in 2D, and it looks great, if you're just trying to make some nice looking 3D text. This is a perfectly passable way of doing it and you can get away with a lot inside of after effects using this animation blender to do text animation. 22. Styling 3D Text: Well, let's talk about how we can style this text a little more in that same animate menu. There's this section right here that says front, bevel, side and back and there are a whole lot of options in each one of these. What you can think of these as are basically the overrides for whatever you have your material options set to. Now we haven't even looked at what these material options are yet. We'll get to that in just a second. But you can also just change the color. So that's what this menu right here is, four. So under front color, this is going to allow me to change the color of just the front or the bevel or the side, or the back. So why don't we take the side color and animate the RGB. I don't need to change the hue, saturation, brightness or opacity, i just want to change the actual color so red, green, blue color. By default it switched it to red, and right away we see that it updates. So we have this two tone text now. Every other part of the text is taking the color from the actual text layers color, but we're now overriding the side color with whatever we set here. So maybe I want to choose something like a blue color. I don't know, purple. There we go. That's wacky and then on that same animator, you see that it made a new animator just for that override. Why don't we add another one to say the bevel. So we'll add in RGB color to the bevel and I can make that whatever I want it to be. So maybe I'll make that bright white. I realized none of this is looking all that great, but I'm just trying to show you that you have the ability to individually modify these different parts of the text using these overrides, which is really useful and because of the way that after effects handles that you can actually animate these things. So using the range selector, I could dial this back so that only part of the text is getting that transformation or maybe we animate it wiping on so that it's revealed that those parts of the text change. You can treat these overrides just like any other animator. 23. C4D Material Options: I'm going to delete that for now so that we can move on to talking about what these material options are for the Cinema 4-D render. Because there are some new options. So I'm just going to give myself a lot of room here. Let's go over what we already know. Obviously, there's cast shadows. This is currently set to off and our lights aren't even set to casting shadows. So why don't we just put a wall behind this text. I'll make a new solid layer and we'll make it 2000 by 2000. That's great. Maybe this blue will work again. I'll set that to be a 3-D layer. Then I'll switch to my top view and make sure that that solid layer goes right behind the text layer. So that the text is right up against it and switch back to my active camera. Okay, so we first need to enable casting shadows on our light, which would be under the light options. Cast shadows, turn that on. Nothing changed because we also need to go to our text layer and say that this is cast shadows. There we go, we've got a shadow showing up on the background now based on wherever this light is. Now because it's taking so long to render, I'm going to drop my resolution down to half and that way it's just going to update a little bit quicker. So depending on how close this is to the wall, the shadows are going to be longer. If I pull it back further, there going to be a lot shorter. But these are true 3-D shadows. So they are taking into account the extrusion of the text and casting the shadows pretty realistically. But we don't really have any diffusion and that really adds a lot of realism to it. So why don't we go into our light options and turn that diffusion up to say 35. Now that's a little too much. Maybe we'll drop it down to 15. Now the edges of that shadow are just a little softer. I'm going to turn my shadow darkness down to say 40 as well because that was a really dark shadow at 100%. Just like before, we could enable some fall off, so maybe I'll switch that to inverse square clamped. Turn the radius up and turn the fall off distance up as well. Just to make something a little bit more realistic. Then maybe we'll reposition this light up here on the right corner and pull it back a little bit and we'll call that good for now. Okay, so let's go back to these material options. We've got cast shadows on, we've got except shadows and lights turned on. Then we have this option that says appears in reflections. Well, in order for something to appear in a reflection, you have to have a reflection, right? So let's take this layer, this wall layer. I'll rename this wall and go into the material options for it. Let's figure out how to make this reflective. Well, down at the bottom we have reflection intensity, sharpness, and roll off intensity is all the way down to zero right now, what if I turn this up to 100? Well, everything got a lot darker, but if we take a look right in here, you can see that this is reflecting the text and it's tinting it the color of the layer. Let's switch this to full. I'm actually going to duplicate my camera so I can zoom in nice and tight. So we can see this reflection in more detail. So this is the reflection of the X. If I go back to that wall layer and I turn the reflection sharpness down to 50%, then that reflection after this renders is going to be more blurry, the further away the object is from that surface. So rate where the wall is touching the text that is still nice and sharp. But as soon as you get further away, it starts to blur out. That's really kind of a nice effect. If I turned the sharpness all the way down and that's going to be even more extreme. It's going to look much more like a glossy material rather than a mirror. But you have the ability to control how blurry or sharp that reflection is. Lastly, we have the reflection roll off. If I turn this up to 50, what you're going to see is that in the same way that the blurriness gets stronger the further away the object is from the surface, the roll-off is allowing that reflection to get dimmer or less noticeable. So if I turn that roll-off far up, the reflection is going to disappear for the parts of the objects that are further away from that material. Those are the reflection properties. What happens if we do that to the text? What have we turn that reflection intensity all the way up to 100? Well, it takes a while to render for one as you can see. But now all of the surfaces of this text are reflecting. So we're seeing something that looks very metallic. If I turn the second camera off so we get back out to this wider view. It's a little less noticeable, but there are reflections happening on every one of the surfaces of this text. If I back this up to maybe right in the middle of our animation, where some of the text is closer to the camera, you can see that this is absolutely reflecting everything else in the scene. But why did everything gets so dark? Well, it's because like just in the real-world, reflections are basically mirrors of what's in the environment around it. In after effects, all we have in our scene is the text, the wall, and then the two lights. The point light and the ambient light. So there's nothing for this text to be reflecting from our point of view. If you imagine this space and a real 3-D space behind this camera, there's nothing. It's a black void. So there's nothing for After Effects to reflect. That's where environment layers come into play in the cinema 40 render-er. Basically anything can be an environment layer inside of after effects. But there are these images called HDRI maps or environment maps, that are designed for generating reflection environments for 3-D software. There's this website called HDRI haven , where there's a huge library of HDRIs that are completely free to use. So head over to and come to the HDRI's tab. There are lots of different categories to pick from. Some of my favorite are the studio setups, because they're made with real studios in studio lights. Now these images look really weird, but what they are is a full 360 degree panorama of a room. Taken with really high-quality cameras that actually capture the light information in the scene so that they can more accurately reproduce lighting inside a 3-D software. What all these spheres are at the bottom of all of these previews is showing you what this environment looks like on a sphere that's made of glass and see-through. One that's made of a map material with no real reflections. One that's like a mirror, sphere, like a chrome ball, and then one that's more like a plastic that has a color to it, but also has reflections. So it's just giving you a preview of what these environments are going to look like, before you even try to apply them to your scenes. There's also plenty of outdoor scenes, so you can just browse all of these categories and choose something that looks fun to you. Why don't we just try this one right here, that's this nice green grass park. I'll click on that, and like I said, these are free to download and use, and they're all very high resolution, but you really don't need to go extremely high. This one image is 375 MB. That's going to take forever to render inside of after effects. Honestly, you probably don't need to go above 2K. You could probably even get away with 1K. So just for render times, I'm going to choose the 1K version and then go back into after effects. I need to import that HDRI into after effects, just like any other layer. So I double-clicked in my project panel and I'll go to that HDR file. I don't need to create a composition for this. I'll click open, and now I just need to bring this into the composition that I want it to show up it and it doesn't matter where it is because we're not going to see it. I'm going to right click on this layer instead and come down to environment layer. That's going to disable the visibility of the layer and instantly you see that my text looks a whole lot different and the wall, everything is reflective and it's now reflecting that environment. It's taking that 360-degree image and basically turning it into a sphere that our scene is now living inside. You can think of it like a planetarium, like a dome that's going over your entire scene to generate reflections. So everything is much brighter now and you can even see in the details of that reflection, those buildings in the background. Okay, so this drastically changes everything including the color. It's taking, that blue sky and the green grass and applying those colors to our scene. We have the ability to modify how some of this is appearing. So if I open up my HDRI layer and go into the options, we can do things like change the orientation. So if I grab the y-value on the orientation. I can spin this around like a globe, to change what part of this environment is being reflected in the text. As you can see, this is taking much longer to render. So again I'm going to switch this back down to half and I think I might make the wall not reflective anymore or at least not as sharp. Why don't we turn the sharpness down to 20 and turn the reflection roll off up to maybe 40? So now if I turn that reflection intensity down to zero instead of 100, and then just undo and redo to get back and forth between it. You can see how it's much more subtle now. Honestly, I think a 100% is even too much. Let's drop that down to 50 because the back wall doesn't need a lot of reflection in it at all. I just want to have a little bit of this shininess coming off from the text that's touching right up against the wall. But nothing too crazy. I'll collapse that and just lock that layer so don't modify it anymore. Now let's modify our material options a little more. Let's start with the reflection. First of all, I think the reflection intensity is too high, so let's just turn that down to 65 and turn the reflection sharpness way down to 25. Now we can't see all those little details and the reflection like those buildings, but the environment is still illuminating the front of the text. We're getting some reflection of color in there. I think the reflection roll-off is fine at zero percent, but let's take a look at the other settings. Some of these are familiar like the ambient. This again is going to determine how much influence the ambient lights in our scene are affected. So if I turn it all the way down, it's just going to get darker. I don't want that because I like how it was filling in these gaps between texts, so let me undo that. Then we have the diffuse, which determines how much of the color that we've applied to it is influencing the way that it looks. So if I turn the diffuse all the way up, it's going to get a little bit more yellow, a little bit brighter. I'll undo that as well. Then we have the specular intensity again. This is based on where your light is on the text layer. It makes that specularity more or less intense. Then the specular shininess, which shapes that a little bit more, as well as the metal property, which also modifies how the colors are being blended with that specularity. All of these things are identical to the way that we were working with the classic render-er. It just now works with actual 3-D geometry instead of just flat 2-D layers. Alright, so let me undo those last couple of settings. So we're back to the way that the text and looked before. I want to point out that we can disable the color of this HDRI if we add an effect to it. So if I remove the saturation by adding a tint effect, I'll just type in tint and my effects and presets and drag that out. It's going to take all the color out of that image because it's tinting it black and white. If I undo and redo, it's actually a little hard to see, but it is taking the color out of the scene. So why don't I just make that wall a 100% reflective again. Take the sharpness all the way of down to 100 and turn that roll-off off. So it's basically a mirror. You can see that with that tint on, there's no color. With the tint off, those colors come back in. So if you want to lower the influence that the colors of your environment have on the scene, just add a tint to it and you don't have to do at a 100%, you could dial it back to 40% so that you're still getting a little bit of those colors. But they're just not as intense as if it was full color. 24. 3D Text Material Overrides: Okay, so now that we know how these material options work, let's go back to this animate section, and take a look at those overrides again. If you remember, we have access to a lot of things, not just the color for each one of these. So what if we wanted to make the bevel like a mirror, like it's Chrome. Well, let's go to the bevel, and then choose an override for the reflection intensity. Its default value is zero percent, so the bevel no longer has any reflection intensity at all. But if I turn this all the way up to 100, it's going to override what we have set for the material options overall, and now it's 100% reflective. But it still doesn't look like a mirror, it's tinted yellow. So let's go in to that Add menu again, go to the bevel, and add some more properties. I want to add in the reflection sharpness, I want to add in the reflection roll off, and because the default values for these are 100%, and zero percent, they're now overriding all of the other material properties that we modified from these default values. So now my bevel is nice and reflective, but I want to make it a different color, override this material color. So let's go back into the properties for the bevel, and change the color RGB property. It's going to default to red, but really I just want to make it kind of this mid gray color. That way it's kind of like a mirror, and we'll remove all that color information, and now it looks kind of like Chrome. I'll turn this back on to full so we can see this a little more clearly. Let it render, and there we go. Now we've got that metal looking edge on our bevel. Maybe I could bump up the actual bevel size. Let's go into our geometry options and turn that bevel depth up to say, six. That's going to make that bevel a lot bigger, and a lot more noticeable. Cool. I think the six value is a little too extreme, but I'm also using a very heavyweight font. If I change this from extra black to maybe just black, that'll give us a little bit more spacing in all of these little holes and the gaps in the text. So let's check out how that looks. Yeah, that's a little bit better now that E isn't collapsing in on itself. The bevel looks metal now, but let's say that we also want to change the way that the sides look. Maybe they shouldn't be yellow. We want them to be a darker color. Well, in this same animator, we can just add another override, for the sides, color, change the RGB, and maybe make it a dark blue. All the other material properties are still being adopted from further down in the list here. It's taking everything that's not in here, and still applying it. So that was probably a little too dark, maybe will brighten it up a little bit. But the things like reflection, intensity, sharpness and roll-off are all still being driven by the material options. So there we go, we've got some different looking text. If I back this up to a frame where the text is moving, it might look cool. We can see this in a little bit more detail. There you go. Now that this is nice and close, you can definitely see that this is nice and reflective, and maybe we don't want it to be quite so sharp. So let's go back to that bevel reflection sharpness, and turn it down to say, I don't know, 70%. Now it's just a little bit blurry, and doesn't reveal what the environment is all that much. Speaking of the environment, why don't we download a different one, and just to swap it out so you can see how drastic a change in the environment map can make on how your render looks. So let's go back to HDRI Haven, and this time let's go to one of the studio setups. So this one right here, if you take a look at these preview spheres, you can see that these two bright lights in the studio, are basically on the sides of whatever the subject of the photo is. So let's try that, and see what it does. I'll click on that, and download the 2K version this time, and then bring that into after effects. Open that up, and all I have to do is, bring that into my scene, right-click on it and make it an environment layer, and then just disable the original environment that we had before. So I'll give it a little bit of time to render here, and there we go. Our scene looks different. Just so I can switch back and forth. I'm going to take a snapshot of this view, and then disable that environment and enable the other one. So we went from this using the park environment, the outdoor scene, to this, which is very different. Now, the lights may not be oriented the way that we want them to be. So let's go back into that, and maybe twirl that environment around by going into the options, and adjusting the Y Rotation. I'm going to do this in 90% increments just to see how it affects the scene, and to make this even quicker, let's drop it down a quarter resolution. So that's what it is at 90%, let's change it to 180, and then 270. It does take some time to reposition this. So maybe if I turn off my wall layer, this will render a little bit quicker, and I can kind of just reposition this, and see how it's affecting the text. In fact, if I turn off my lights, it'll be even more noticeable. So you can see that rotating this environment is actually like casting lights in the scene. That's because it's an HDR image, which captures that light data. So I think if I put this at 90 degrees, we're going to get lights on either side of the text. If I back this up to maybe where some of this text is flying out, it might be more apparent. So this is what 90 degrees is, and this is set to zero degrees. It's really just rotating that environment around. So maybe something where that light is going to hit all of this text would be good. Somewhere around there. Okay. I'll turn my background back on, and then I'll also turn my lights back on. So the point light, and the ambient light. I'll just turn that back up to full. So as you're making these three scenes, definitely be aware of how your environment layer can really drastically change the way that your text looks. Now, I'm not really happy with the way that this lighting is going. So really quickly, I'm going to switch to a two up view, and we'll make that the horizontal view. I want to point out that using the cinema 4D render, each one of your views can have quality options. Currently they're both the same. So this is going to take just as long to render as this view. What I want to do, is change this quality from off down here, this is the menu for the preview quality. It's showing me the final quality for both views, and I want to change this down to fast draft. That's going to remove all of the lighting effects and a lot of the reflection, render, intensive stuff. But honestly, I could even go down to wireframe, so that we're just seeing outlines of the text. I don't need to see that in detail, and this is going to save me a lot of time in render previews. So with that done, I can now reposition my light, and kind of set this up so that it just looks a little better. I'm going to drop my quality down to quarter, and now I can reposition this so that I have a light on the left side of my text, and then I'll duplicate this with command or control D, and move it to the right side of the text, so that I'm getting a hit from each side, and kind of illuminating the scene a little bit more. Then maybe I'll select both lights and bringing them closer to the text. Now I can see them in this active camera view. That's probably too close. So let me back that up and maybe drop them down a little bit. Yeah, that's definitely too close. So I'm going to back that up in Z space, and we might want to bring them a little bit closer together because, the outside edges of the texts are getting a lot of light, but the front isn't all that illuminated. So really why don't we just make two lights, kind of front center in that environment, and then just turn the intensity of both of them down. So I'll select both lights, press T to bring up the intensity and then drop them down to maybe 75. There we go and now it looks a little bit better now. Now the word extrusion isn't all that exciting, but we can easily adjust this because it is just a text layer and after effects. So we could double-click on this layer, and say, "Caution, " because that was kind of why I picked that yellow color, it kind of was like caution tape. But you can update that to whatever you want, and that text animator is preserving the animation. Now you can see that, as soon as that text goes further out in Z space than the lights, the face of the text is no longer illuminated. So if that's something that you're happy with, great. If you want to adjust it, feel free to. I'm going to try and add in one more type of light. We're going to go up to layer, new, light, and change this to a parallel light. It doesn't need to cast shadows, I just want this to work for illumination. Just to make it easy to see, I'm going to turn it up to 100% to start. Click okay. What I want this light to do, is basically hit the text. If we're looking at this from the top down view, basically directly from the side, and slightly above it. So it's hitting the top left of all of our text. So I'm just going to grab the light here, and change the angle. Remember a parallel light, it doesn't matter where it is in your scene. The only thing that influences anything, is the angle from the light itself to the point of interest. So if I just move this around a little bit, and maybe bump it up on the y-axis, and then make sure that it's out a little bit in front of the text. It's now going to be illuminating just the sides of the text. You see if I turn that off and back on, you can see what it's doing. Maybe I want it to be even higher up. So it's really a downwards angle, almost at a 45 degree, and just brightening everything up a little bit at that point. So turn that off and back on again, and you can see what it's doing now. I probably want to balance out my lights just a little bit more, so I'm going to take this a left one, and it turned that down to say 65, now that we have that parallel light. Now that's all balanced out a little bit better. So I'll go back to my one view. Set this to a full, so that we can see what it looks like, and then zoom into 100%. I pressed the question mark key on the keyboard, to do that. Now that we have all these lights, and the shadows, reflections, in material overrides, obviously it takes longer and longer the more you add to it. But now we have a pretty nice looking render, and if I zoom in pass 100%, we can see what the quality of this render looks like. I think at this frame it looks fine. If I back it up to where the text is animated, we can get a nice close-up view. This is where we're going to play around with the quality settings. So right in here on the eye, you can see that this is a little bit grainy. We can reduce that grain if we go into our render options, and turn this up. Now like I said, I typically don't go beyond 50%, but if we turn this up to say 65% and clicked okay, it's going to take longer to render, but pay attention to this green right here, and we'll see how it looks after it's finished. So it cleared up that grain a little bit. It's definitely not gone, but this is part of working in 3D. It's going to take a lot of time to calculate a really clean render. So if you've never worked in 3D before, you're going to have a pretty harsh reality check, when you realize that renders are no longer going to take minutes, they're going to take hours. It's a really render intensive process for your computer, and it just takes a lot of time to make graphics that look really good in 3D. 25. Movie Title: Now, let me open up one of these sample projects that you'll be able to download and it is going to be called, ''Movie Title''. If you open that up, you're going to see a Comp with some 3 D text, very similar to what I just created, but finished off in a render Comp with some added effects like a vignette and grain, as well as optical flares and video copilot. If you don't have that plug-in, it will not render, but you'll be able to see what it looks like here. While that's previewing, I'm just going to show you what the final render look like. There we go. You can see that I had this gold bevel and sides. If you look closely, there's actually more than one bevel. It's hard to see because I have motion blur, which I'll show you how I did. There are multiple bevels in this text, and I'll show you how I made that as well. If you play it again, you can see that why I just used a text animator to do that Z position animation as well as a little bit of a rotation. I had a camera just tilted downwards and moving backwards. That optical flare is flickering, and it's existing in 3 D space, so it looks a little more realistic. Then, I added this little bit of a magenta light on the side just to give a very mood epic lighting feel to this entire scene. Let's take a look at the aftereffects project and I'll show you how I did this. First of all, I want to show you how I did the motion blur. That is under this affects adjustment layer, I used an effect called, ''CC Force Motion Blur''. This literally analyses whatever you apply it to. In this case, I'm using an adjustment layer. Everything below this in the Comp, and it's analyzing the motion from one frame to the next and artificially blurring everything out. This does take a long time to render, but we have motion blur samples in the shutter angle, just like we do in our Comp setting. I increased the samples to 16. Honestly, that probably could've been bumped up to probably 24. I have my shutter angle set to 90 degrees. That works just fine, and it's a way to get around that cinema 4 D renderer or not being able to calculate motion blur. Then I did that same trick of using the Gaussian blur and unsharp mask just to make it feel a little less digital, added in some noise for grain, and then optics compensation. This is just a lens distortion effect that warps out the corners of my image a little bit. Now, I want to point out something, I'm using blending modes in this Comp, but the cinema 40 renderer doesn't allow blending modes. Well, that is right. What I ended up doing was taking the title preComp, which is where the animation of that text happen using the cinema 4 D renderer, and I put that into another comp that uses the classic 3 D renderer. That is one way to get around those limitations. You can bring your 3 D geometry from a cinema 4 D composition into a classic 3 D composition. That way I can use these blending modes. You can add in masks and track masks, all of those things exactly as you would using the regular renderer. Now, if you do open up this project file, I want to strongly encourage you to work not at full resolution. Drop this down to say quarter. Even that is going to take forever to render. You might want to disable the effects, and you can work even faster if you check this box right here, draft 3 D. That's basically going to remove all the lighting from the 3 D objects. It's going to render a lot faster. This is how I recommend that you work when you're focusing on things like the animation of the text. Drop the quality down really far, enable draft 3 D. You might even change this to fast draft, so you don't have any influence from the environment or anything at all. This is now rendering much quicker, and you can focus on the movement of your text, and not be bogged down by how long it takes to render all those effects. If you switch to draft 3 D and fast draft, you could even leave this probably at full, and it won't take that long to render. Now quickly, let me show you how I made this text. You see that we have three different texts layers. If I turn off the first two, we have what I used for the face of the text, which is just the single color. Let me zoom in nice and close here. I'll have to turn off my fast draft. We'll change this to maybe just the draft quality. You can see that there is a bevel in there, but then I wanted a second bevel. I added a duplicate of that text layer using the same animations as before. That way, I could customize a second bevel, and change the colors without having to use any of those overrides. I changed the bevel depth to be bigger so that it popped out of this text. I made the extrusion depth less if I switch to my top view, and reposition this so we can see it clearly. I made that second bevel, less extruded and I pushed it in Z space back further, so it was offset from the face of that text. Then, I did the exact same thing. I duplicated it, I pushed out the bevel to have more depth, I lowered the extrusion, and I pushed it backwards. All three of those together made for a really interesting looking 3 D text layer. That's what it looked like at full quality. This was using another one of those studio HDR environment maps, and I have two different lights and these are both parallel lights. I didn't use any point lights here, just very direct lighting from each direction. Put that all together and you end up with this animation. Feel free to download that project file, and poke around through it to see how I made it. 26. Extruding Shapes and Curving Layers: All right, I know we've spent a lot of time using the Cinema 4D Render Engine already, but there's more to it. I want to really give you an overview of everything you have access to here. Really we've just touched how to extrude text layers and add bevels to them. But remember we can work with more than just text layers. So I'm going to rename this Comp real quick Caution. I'm going to duplicate it and I'll just rename this Comp 2. Will go into this comp and let's just disable the text for now. I want to lower my Render Settings quite a bit so that this doesn't take so long to get through. So I'm going to turn this down to draft and now we're nice and grainy, so this will render quicker. Remember that we can not only extrude text layers, but we can also extrude shape layers. So if I were to make a star and change the size of it so that was smaller. Then just turn off the stroke for now and made it a greenish yellow color. I can enable 3D on this. I'm now given geometry options for it, and I can extrude it out just like the text. If I do that, I move it around and rotate it. We have a 3D star and all of the same bevel options as text layers. So I'm not going to go through all of this again. It's exactly the same as text layers. I just wanted to show you that you can in fact extrude shape layers. This could be any custom path that you make or any of these primitive shapes. If you turn the stroke on, it's going to add that stroke and bevel it as well. We could turn this down to be smaller. Put the fill on top of the stroke that all behaves exactly the same. The Cinema 4D Render is just going to extrude it. The same thing goes with the text. We could have added an outline to it with a different color. But in addition to extruding shape and text layers, we can also curve footage layers remember. So let's add in a new solid and I'll just make this 1280 by 720 so it's the same size of the comp, make it 3D. This is going to be confusing if it's the same color as our wall. Let's change the color to this orange color. Now if I look at this from the top down view, it is spaced off of the wall a little bit. I'm going to push the wall back even further in these space, just so we have a little bit more room. Now let's take this new solid layer and just scale it down a little bit. Okay so we have a rectangle and if I rotate it to this side so we can see there's no dimension to it. Unfortunately, I cannot extrude it. If I go into the geometry options, I'm not really sure why, but it is just a limitation of after effects. You can only extrude shape and text layers. But what you can do with the footage layer is curve it. So if I increase the curvature of this layer, you can see that it's bending it out from the center. The left and right edges are staying and the back is curving. Now if I turn this quality back off the final and turn my resolution backup to four. You can see that this is actually very segmented. It's not very smooth and that's because of the next option segments. It's only set to four, which means it's breaking up this rectangle into one, two, three, four segments and then curving it from there. If you want this to be smooth, you're going to really have to crank this up to something probably like 80. That's going to take longer to render, just like everything else in 3D. But now we have this nice curved layer. Like I said, this can be any kind of footage, so I could just grab this HDR image and replace it. I hold down option Alt clicked and dragged with that layer selected and that replaced the footage. Here's our curved image layer. I can rotate this around however I want, wait for it to render. There you have it. Now we do have material options tab, which gives us all the same options that we had on our text layers. We could turn, cast shadows on, turn this specular intensity all the way off if we don't like the way that it's affecting the image. All of those things still apply. So if you want a curve, a layer, that's how you can do it. 27. 2 for 5 Burger Ad: Let's take a look at one example where curving a layer like this might be really useful. I'm going to open up another project file that you will have access to and it's in the two for five folder. This is a really quick ad for a burger chain and I'll just show you the final render really quickly just so you can get an at-a-glance view of what this after-effects project created. It's a very quick animation moving through a couple of different environments and it's fairly simple. There's not a lot to it, very solid, single colored extrusions on these texts with a little bit of a bevel just to give a sense of depth and some nice even lighting that are providing soft shadows, but there's a sense of an environment even though we have these solid colors in the background and that's because of this right here, this seamless transition from the floor to the wall that's using that curved layer ability that we have in After Effects. Now that you've seen this final render, let's take a look at how I built it and like I said, this is a project file you can download and poke around in yourself. In my render Comp, I have three different pre comps for each one of the different scenes. let's go into the first one and see how I made it. We have a bunch of lights and camera, the text layer, just the number 2 and then three layers for the environment, we have a wall, a curve and a floor and I'll show you how these are made. To make this render faster, I'm going disable the lights and the number and then switch to my custom view one so we can see this at an angle. Honestly, the scene is not that render intensive, so I could even turn those back on and it still is very responsive. I do have fast draft enabled though. If I turn this off, the final quality, it's going take longer to render, but still nothing compared to the other scene because there are no reflections, there's no environment layer and that really does take a long time to render, but what I've done here is made a floor layer, which is just a rectangle, solid and the same for the back wall layer. It's just rotated 90 degrees and then in between them I have a rectangle with a curve and I went into the geometry options, set the curvature and the segments to fit this angle so that it looked like a nice quarter circle. That provided a very seamless transition from the floor to the wall. This is a very common studio setup, something that you would have in a real physical studio called a cyclorAMA wall and it just gives that nice seamless background transitioning from the floor to the wall. If we didn't have that curve and I moved that wall layer down, then that transition is going to be extremely sharp. We're going see that now there's nothing wrong with that. I just think that it looks a little bit nicer having that curved transition. Let me show you how I got this to line up perfectly. If I turn all of my lights and my text off and I just move these layers out of the way. The first thing I did was rotate this floor layer 90 degrees so that it was parallel to the floor so that it actually created a floor and I moved it down a little bit. I'm going to switch back to my Custom View 1 , so we can see this a little easier and navigate around here. But if I zoom in. What I did from here was create this curved layer and rotated it back 45 degrees. Because if I take off the orientation transformations I made, this is actually what the solid look like. It was very tall and skinny and I can't control the direction of the curve. I was stuck with it, curving it that direction. I had to rotate it like this and then if I change my camera angle, you can see that that is not lining up with the floor or the wall. It's just on its side. I needed to also rotate this back 45 degrees by holding Shift and clicking and dragging with the rotation tool on that y-axis. Now that's lined up nicely with how it's going to connect to the floor and the wall but how did I get it perfectly line up to the floor? Well, that was with snapping, even in 3D space, snapping in After Effects still works. I just moved my mouse close to the bottom center of this layer without grabbing that transform handle, I didn't want to scale the layer out or move it around like this but I just grabbed right about here and then hold down command, which temporarily enables snapping and you can see that I was close enough to the center edge of this floor layer that it just automatically said, you want to snap to that edge? There we go. Now that's actually not the edge I wanted it to snap to so I need to reposition this getting a little bit tighter and I could even do it from the corner here. I want to grab it right here, hold command and there we go. It snaps right there, this corner to this corner of this layer and those are perfectly lined up now. I did the same thing for the wall. I grab any one of these points. It could be the middle hold down command and then just make sure that snapping the right point and I've created a seamless wall. If I go back to my active of camera and turn on all my other 3D layers. Then we get that nice seamless transition wall. I repeated that for the other two scenes. In this one it was a white color instead of yellow, but the same idea, floor curved wall. I just animated the camera's between them. I got the camera moves to look the way that I wanted them to. So I could just push straight into that white color, which is the same color as the environment of this next shot and that's how I created those transitions. It went from yellow to white, white into the yellow and the final end scene is also on that yellow background. There you can see my final composition. Again, feel free to download this project to actually see how I laid everything out in, handled the lighting and the shadows, but the way that I got through the transitions is by putting all three of those comps in their own comp. This one does not have any 3D to it. There is no 3D render engine to choose. But because there's no 3D, I'm not limited by any of those limitations of the Cinema 4D renderer. I did make that motion blur adjustment layer with the pixel motion blur to give me a better sense of speed as I'm pushing through those layers though, there you can see it better. I'm going to disable that just this renders faster. The way that I got from one scene to the next, you can see that the next scene is showing through here. If I bring up my keyframes by pressing U, this is the first frame that this second composition is visible and I just have a feathered circular mask animated using the expansion for three frames. It's such a fast camera movement that I really just hand animated those three frames. There's nothing than it appears. The expansion gets a little bigger and then it completely reveals the entire composition. That's all there is to it. The camera from within that. Composition is mimicking the same camera move from this one. So that matches up really nicely in terms of speed and then it moves through to the next number 5. The same thing for this composition. This is the first frame. You see it? It's not there on the previous frame and then it appears this one I did scale up a little bit as it animates on, but I use that same mask feather and expansion to reveal the rest of that composition and that's how I transition from one comp into the next. It's pretty simple, but when you combine it with a 3D environment and all of those fest camera movements, it makes for a really nice looking final product. 28. Creating a Seamless Backdrop in 3D: Now there actually is another way to make a cyc wall like this without using footage layers and having three different sections like this, and that's by using an extruded shape layer. I'm going to go back to my active camera, and I'll show you how I would do this. To make it nice and perfect, I'm going to base it on rectangles. I'm going to just start by double-clicking on the rectangle tool without any layer selected, so it makes a rectangle shape layer. I'm just going to resize it a little bit down. We can always adjust this later, but what I want to do is use the roundness property to round off the corners. Then I want to duplicate this rectangle path and add a merge path set to subtract. My fill disappears because both paths are in the exact same spot. If I just shift the position off a little bit in the X and Y positions, so maybe 15 pixels off each side, then we get this thin line. I'm going to solo this layer so we're not distracted by everything else in our scene. Imagine we're looking at our studio cyc wall straight on from the left side, so this would be the floor and this would be the back wall. This should work just as it is, if I make it a 3D layer, it disappears just because of the placement of our camera, but if I change to custom view one, there it is. Our layer, and I'll go into the geometry options forward and increase the Extrusion Depth. Now you can kind of see what I'm talking about, it's drawing the profile of this 3D extruded shape. From here I can press R to bring up the rotation and it just sees then I am going to rotate this 90 degrees, so it's facing the right direction. If I un-solo this now and just twirl around my camera, I can line this up with the cyc I already had. So I'm just going to move this until the floor matches up there, shift it over here, and then just push it forward a little bit until the back wall lines up, so it's somewhere about there. Now it's not quite as wide as I want it to be, and my extrusion is set to the max of 1,000. If we go to the extrusion depth, that's as far as I can go as 1,000 pixels. I can scale this layer on the Z axis. If I just press S to bring up the scale and unlink them, then I can grab the Z and make this as wide as I want. I'm just going to make it nice and big and then pull it over here a little bit. Now that it's basically in place of where my cyc wall already was, I'm just going to grab that fill color by going into my solid setting options and copying that fill, and then applying that same color to the shape layer. I also need to make sure that I bring the material properties over, so I'm going to open that up, grab the material options, copy and paste, and now my cyc wall looks basically identical to what I had made up from my three solid layers. Let's switch back to our active camera, and here we are. Like I said it basically looks identical, but we're doing it with one layer instead of three. If I switch back to my custom view one, we can also play around with the roundness. If we wanted that transition to be smaller, I would just need to go into the contents, into each one of these rectangles, and change the roundness down. Actually I'm going to switch to my left view so I can see this straight on, and I can see the profile of that shape layer, and then just turn the roundness down. I'm going to need to do this for both of them, in fact, I'm just going to link the roundness of the second one to the first one, just by using the property pick whip, so now those two numbers will always be the same. There we go I've made that curve smaller, I'll make it two view, so that I can see both at the same time. Then as I modify this, you can see how it makes that transition look differently. It's very fast to render, really easy to modify, and probably a better solution than what I had done originally. But there's two different approaches to making a cyc wall inside of After Effects. 29. Animating Extruded Text: Now one part of this composition that I do want to show you how I made, were these texts layers. If we look at the final render again, right here, you'll notice that that text is animated. The extrusion is popping out towards you. If we go back into After Effects and I solo out, say the five, and I switch to a custom view where I can move my camera around. I'll zoom in here and rotate this around. I'll even make my preview set the fast draft so that it renders really quickly. What I did here, if I press U to show the key frames, is animated the Z position in the opposite direction of the Extrusion Depth. At the start of this animation, the Extrusion Depth is 50, and at the end of the animation, it's 50. It's starting and ending at the same place. It's just popping out towards you during the animation. It goes from 50 on the Extrusion Depth up to 300, back down to 10 and then 50 again. What I had to do to keep it in place basically is offset that Extrusion Depth with the Z position. So if I take those key frames away for the Z position, you see that the extrusion is happening in the opposite direction. As that extrusion is going outwards, I had to animate the text forwards by the same amount, and I made it even a little bit more complicated because the Z position is actually 50. If it was zero, these numbers would be really easy to line up. I'm going to quickly show you how to link these two numbers up using expressions so that you don't have to animate two different properties. I'm just going to get rid of these key frames and our text is now just extruding backwards. What I want to do is link the Z position to the Extrusion Depth. I did that using the expression pick whip, clicking and dragging to the Extrusion Depth. Now, this is not all you have to do because we play this back, you can see the text is moving in the wrong direction. So we need to modify the expression just a little bit. If I open this up and expand this out a little bit, so we have more room, all it's doing is referencing the geometry option of the Extrusion Depth for this text layer. That's partially what I want, but I want to move that Z position in the opposite direction. So I need to multiply this by a negative one to get it to be the opposite or inverse number. Let's do that and see what happens. Instantly, that text is now popping out in the opposite direction. That's exactly what we wanted, the problem is, I can no longer move this around in Z space, because it is a hard-coded value now. I can't modify that value. All I have to do to get around this though, is modify my expression one more time. At the start of it, just type in the word 'value' and then say plus that expression. It's going to take whatever I put in here and then add the offset based on the Extrusion Depth. So if I click off of that, I can now type in whatever value I want. If I say 50 on the Z position, it's going to zero out the position because it's offset 50 pixels from the Extrusion Depth. I could just add another 50 pixels to this, so 100, or I could just hard code in that value. So I'll undo and say, value plus 50 and then the rest of it. Now it's going to add 50 to whatever value I put in here. Now that 50 pixel offset that I had in the Z position is going to be calculated in my expression, I can type in 150 and that is the value I'm going to get, or negative 50, and it will reposition it. So very easily now I can reposition that text, but the whole animation is being driven by that Extrusion Depth property. That's all you have to do to have that kind of extrusion animation. It's very easy to control. 30. 3D Skillshare Logo: Here's one final example that shows you really how you can push this Cinema 4D render engine pretty far inside of After Effects. Now this single loop took an hour to render and it's only four seconds long. So prepare yourself for that. But this is using that exact same technique of extruding out that text in a very smooth way and then just making a bunch of duplicates. The way that I made these duplicates was by taking the Shape Layer that made up the Skillshare logo and adding an offset operator so that the pads expanded out and I had to combine that with a merge pads operator. If we take a look in here, this is a very render-intensive projects. I'm going to turn on draft 3D and fast draft, and that's going to eliminate all of the shading so it looks completely flat. But if I just solo these one at a time, here's my Skillshare logo and here's my first outline of that logo. So let's just look at that one. You'll see that there's actually a hole inside where that logo would be. If I turned draft 3D off, it'll be more apparent. We got the standard logo and then we've got this hole punched out inside. The way I made this was by going in to the group for all the shapes, I have two groups called Offset and Offset 2 and then Merge Paths. So let me just turn off the Merge Paths so we can see what's happening here. If I turn the second Offset off, I have just the standard logo on the inside. Nothing is being adjusted from the original logo there. Then I have the Offset 2, which is where I actually do have an offset paths that's pushing this out a certain distance. I actually linked that up to a slider control just so I could modify this more quickly outside I've got digging through all of these contents of the layers, but it's just pushing the pads outwards. Once I had that group set up, I had to make the second copy of that logo without any offset. So really this should be called Logo and offset. Then I used a Merge Paths to exclude the intersections. It's punching a hole there, making room for the original unedited version of the logo. Then I just continue to duplicate an offset that layer over and over again until I got it to fill up the entire frame. If I press U to bring up the key frames, we can see that the animation is all just offset in time. It's extruding the text upwards and then coming back downwards. I smoothed all this out using the graph editor. It's just a nice kind of sine wave motion that gives this really hypnotic kind of feel to the entire animation. For the camera, I just had a really zoomed in lens that was far away to get rid of a lot of the perspective and compress the depth of field. Then just slowly pushed in and kind of rotated the camera a little bit as well. Now you'll notice that this final render does look different than what we're looking at here. It's not just because I have draft 3D turned on, it's because they actually rendered this sequence out because one frame took so long to render. If I turn my quality back to final, you'd see that it's taking a long time to even start rendering one frame. I'm going to just save my machine some trouble and turn that back down to first draft and just say that I did export this from this state first and then it made a new composition that's my final render composition. I brought that final render into here. Now currently set up that way because I'm not going to be giving you that giant render file to download. Instead, the actual PreComp with that animation is just plugged into here. But then inside of this comp, I added my effects. It's the same process every time I added in some Unsharp Mask, some Color Correction, some grain and the Optics Compensation to give a little bit extortion around the outside edges. I added in a Vignette. But I also have this depth map. That is what's blurring out the edges of this scene. If I go to that animation comp, you see that there is an effect called Camera Lens Blur applied. This is a pretty advanced effect, but the way that it works is basically blurring out your image or your composition based on brightness values. That's contained within what's called a Depth Map. That's what this composition is right here. If I double-click on it, it's just a really big square composition with a gradient from white to black to white again. The way that you can think of this Depth Map is anything that's pure black is in focus. There's no blurring at all. Everything that's pure white has the maximum amount of blur that you set the effect to. Everything in-between, from white to black, gets gradually less and less blurry. I put this at an angle, brought it into my render comp. If we turn it on, see that it's just placed in the comp and then disabled, because the effect of this camera lens blur just needs to reference that layer. It doesn't need to actually see it. I went into the effect to the blur map and chose my depth map as the layer to use for the blurring. I made sure that my channel was set to Luminance, the luminosity from black to white. Then and applied a blur based on the settings that I had set up here to that entire layer using that gradient. It makes for a very realistic camera blur. Like I said, this is very advanced and you can use it with 3D renders from actual 3D programs to add in depth of field after the fact and that saves you a lot of time, when rendering out of say cinema 4D, and I'm basically treating my cinema 4D comp the exact same way. I'm just getting my 3D geometry, lighting, and camera movement all set up in this comp. I exported that so that it didn't have to constantly render every single frame and then brought it into this render comp or the final composite to adding color correction, the effects, and that camera blur. That's one way that you can really push the cinema 4D render engine inside of After Effects to make a really nice-looking motion graphics without actually having to leave the program. 31. Thanks!: And that is the end of this class.Thank you so much for taking it, for watching through all of the videos. If you have any questions at all, be sure to post a discussion and I will be happy to answer as quickly as I can and also be sure to create a class project. I love seeing the work that you actually create and if you want any feedback on your project, be sure to ask a question and I will do my best to answer it as best as I can. Also if you create a project and you share it on social media, be sure to tag me @JakeinMotion so that I can see it. Especially on Instagram, so I can re-post it into my stories. I love being able to show off my students' work. I would love it if you left me a review for this class so that I can know if you liked it or didn't like it so that I can constantly be making my classes better. Thank you again so much for taking this class. Be sure to subscribe to me here on Skillshare so that you know when I post new classes and I'll see you in the next one.