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Chapter 9. Building and Animating a 3D Object

Chapter 9. Building and Animating a 3D Object

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Chapteroverview

Inthislesson,you'lllearnhowtodothefollowing:

Createa3Dshapefromasolidlayer.

Animateshapesinthreedimensions.

Lookata3Dscenefrommultipleviews.

ApplytheGrideffecttoadddepthperspective.

Controlthewayalayeranimatesbymovingitsanchor

point.

Rotateandpositionlayersalongx,y,andzaxes.

AfterEffectscanworkwithlayersintwodimensions(x,y)or

threedimensions(x,y,z).Sofarinthisbook,you'veworked

almostexclusivelyintwodimensions.Whenyouspecifyalayer

asthree-dimensional(3D),AfterEffectsaddsthezaxis,which

providescontroloverthelayer'sdepth.Bycombiningthisdepth

withavarietyoflightsandcameraangles,youcancreate

animated3Dprojectsthattakeadvantageofthefullrangeof

naturalmotion,lightingandshadows,perspective,andfocusing

effects.

Inthislesson,you'llexplorehowtocontrolandanimatebasic

3Dlayers.Then,inChapter10,"Using3DEffects,"you'll

continueworkingwiththisproject,addinglights,effects,and

otherelementstocompletethecomposition,whichisaweb

animationforafictionalcompanycalledOrangeDot,Inc.



Thislessonwilltakeapproximately1½hourstocomplete.







Gettingstarted

MakesurethefollowingfileisintheAE7_CIB>Lessons>

Lesson09folderonyourharddisk,orcopyitfromtheAdobe

AfterEffects7.0ClassroominaBookDVDnow:

IntheSample_Moviefolder:Lesson09.mov



Note

Therearenoassetsforthislesson.Youwillcreatetheentire

compositioninAfterEffects.



1. OpenandplaytheLesson09.movfiletoseewhatyouwill

createinthislesson.Whenyouaredone,quitthe

QuickTimeplayer.Youmaydeletethissamplemoviefrom

yourharddiskifyouhavelimitedstoragespace.



Settinguptheproject

Whenyoubeginthislesson,restorethedefaultapplication

settingsforAfterEffects.See"Restoringdefaultpreferences".

1. PressCtrl+Alt+Shift(Windows)orCommand+Option+Shift

(MacOS)whilestartingAfterEffects.Whenaskedwhether

youwanttodeleteyourpreferencesfile,clickOK.

AfterEffectsopenstodisplayanempty,untitledproject.



2. ChooseFile>SaveAs.

3. IntheSaveProjectAsdialogbox,navigatetotheAE7_CIB

>Lessons>Lesson09>Finished_Projectfolder.

4. NametheprojectLesson09_Finished.aep,andthenclick

Save.



Creatingthecomposition

Theanimationyouwillcreateinthislessonisforthefictional

OrangeDot,Inc.,companywebsite.Youwillsetupthe

compositionsothatit'soptimizedfortheweb.

1. ClicktheCreateANewCompositionbutton( )atthe

bottomoftheProjectpanel.

2. IntheCompositionSettingsdialogbox,namethe

compositionOrange_Dot,choosetheWebVideo320x240

preset,settheDurationto10:00,andclickOK.



[Viewfullsizeimage]







Animatingasquarein3Dspace

Thebeginningoftheanimationfeaturesabluesquarethat

zoomsintospace.Thenit'sfollowedbysomeothersquares,

whichcometogethertoformacube.Startbycreatingand

animatingthefirstbluesquare.



Creatingthesquare

SincetheOrangeDotspotisdestinedfortheweb,you'llgive

thesquareaweb-safecolorsothattheanimationlooksas

consistentaspossibleondifferentsystems.

1. WiththeCompositionorTimelinepanelactive,chooseLayer

>New>Solid.

2. IntheSolidSettingsdialogbox,dothefollowing:

NamethesolidlayerCubeBottom.

SettheHeightto320pixels.

ClicktheColorswatch,andintheColorPicker,setthe

colorto3333CCinthe#field.Then,clickOKtosetthe

colorandreturntotheSolidSettingsdialogbox.

ClickOK.



Turningonthe3DLayerswitch

Currently,thislayerisflat,withonlyx(width)andy(height)

dimensions.Itcanbemovedonlyalongthoseaxes.Butallyou

havetodoisturnonthe3DLayerswitchtomovethelayerin

threedimensions,includingz(depth).

1. Right-click(Windows)orCtrl-click(MacOS)theParent

columnheadingintheTimelinepanelandchooseHideThis.

Repeatforthe#(layernumber)columnheading.Hiding

thesecolumnswillgiveyoumoreroomtoworkinthetime

ruler.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



2. Ctrl-click(Windows)orCommand-clickthetriangleinthe

LabelcolumnfortheCubeBottomlayerintheTimeline

paneltodisplayallofthelayer'sTransformproperties.



3. Clicktheright-mostboxintheSwitches/Modescolumnfor

theCubeBottomlayertoturnonthe3DLayerswitch.Three

3DRotationpropertiesappearintheTransformgroupfor

thelayer,andpropertiesthatpreviouslysupportedonlytwo

dimensionsnowdisplayathirdvalueforthezaxis.In

addition,anewpropertygroupnamedMaterialOptionsalso

appears.



Note

MaterialOptionsspecifyhowthelayerinteractswithlight.You'll

workwiththeMaterialOptionspropertygroupinChapter10,

"Using3DEffects."



Animatingthesquareinspace

Now,youcananimatethelayer'spositioninthreedimensions.

1. WiththeCubeBottomlayerselectedintheTimelinepanel,

pressthePkeytodisplayjustthelayer'sPositionproperty.

2. PresstheHomekeytomakesurethecurrent-timeindicator

isatthebeginningofthetimeruler.

3. ClickthePositionstopwatch( )toaddakeyframeatthe

defaultvalues,160,120,0(x,y,andz,respectively).



4. Goto0:05.



5. Setthez(right)Positionvalueto1000.0.AfterEffectsadds

akeyframe,andthesquareappearssmallerinthe

Compositionpanel.



6. Dragtheworkareaendmarkerto0:10.



7. Pressthespacebartopreviewtheframesintheworkarea.

Thesquareappearstoscaledowntoasmallersize,butitis

actuallyrecedingin3Dspace.



8. Pressthespacebaragaintoendthepreview,pressthe

Homekeytogotothebeginningofthetimeruler,andthen

chooseFile>Savetosaveyourwork.







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