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Ray-tracing with Typography in After Effects
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Released Mar 4, 2013
Laura Hawk

Pluralsight

Laura Hawk
In this series of After Effects tutorials, we will learn how to use the new Ray-tracing feature in CS6 to create 3D animated typography and shapes.

We begin this tutorial in Illustrator, where we lay the ground work for our image. This creation step contains vital information for how the Illustrator file must be set up for it to work once it has been imported to After Effects. We use a few scripts that speed up our process tremendously for some of the more repetitive and tedious parts of the project.

Once we bring our illustrator project into After Effects, this is where the magic starts to happen. We learn some valuable time saving tips when working with Ray-tracing as well as lighting and rendering workflows to get the best possible render in the end.

This training offers a really unique approach to creating a beautiful typography animation as well as tricks that will stick with the rest of your workflow when you work on your own projects that deal with the same issues and goals.

By the end of the tutorial, you will have firsthand knowledge on interfacing between Illustrator and After Effects as well as some Ray-tracing workflows that will make your other projects way less time consuming. Best of all, if you work along side the step-by-step approach, you'll have your very own animated typography project complete with 3D depth, shadows, and some compositing tricks that really add polish to your final piece.
Introduction and Project Overview
1

Introduction and Project Overview

 
01:28
Choosing your text
2

Choosing your text

 
08:00
Using the Spiral tool
3

Using the Spiral tool

 
07:05
Joining paths to make the swirls longer
4

Joining paths to make the swirls longer

 
09:17
Adding smaller secondary spirals
5

Adding smaller secondary spirals

 
05:22
Adding color with Graphic Styles
6

Adding color with Graphic Styles

 
11:36
Using the Blend tool
7

Using the Blend tool

 
11:45
Positioning the dots
8

Positioning the dots

 
05:13
Moving each path to a top-layer
9

Moving each path to a top-layer

 
07:28
Importing as a composition
10

Importing as a composition

 
07:02
Turning the Illustrator layers to shape layers
11

Turning the Illustrator layers to shape layers

 
06:18
Using trim paths
12

Using trim paths

 
15:18
Adding trim paths keyframes for the remaining layers
13

Adding trim paths keyframes for the remaining layers

 
12:34
Adjusting the timing
14

Adjusting the timing

 
12:56
Animating the dots
15

Animating the dots

 
10:56
Adding the lights
16

Adding the lights

 
07:13
Adding the Cameras with Null Controls
17

Adding the Cameras with Null Controls

 
16:13
Switching from Classic 3D to Ray-traced 3D
18

Switching from Classic 3D to Ray-traced 3D

 
06:55
Extruding the shapes and text
19

Extruding the shapes and text

 
07:43
Preventing z-fighting
20

Preventing z-fighting

 
09:20
Fine-tuning the shadows
21

Fine-tuning the shadows

 
04:21
Rendering as a .png sequence
22

Rendering as a .png sequence

 
06:30
Adding motion blur to your render
23

Adding motion blur to your render

 
11:09
Additional Compositing Polish
24

Additional Compositing Polish

 
15:18
Rendering as an H.264
25

Rendering as an H.264

 
04:23