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After Effects: February 2014 Archives

It’s easy to create a video texture inside of 3D text within Adobe After Effects CC.

AE interface.pngYou can play the short video tutorial below, our read through this text based tutorial to accomplish the task.


To start, create a composition from a video file.   In this example, I’ve got this pool of water that I want to use as a texture. Drag the video file from the project window area directly into an empty composition.

drag to composition window.pngNow that you have the video file inside the composition area, right click on it, and choose environment layer.

convert to environment.png

After converting the layer into an environment layer, the image will look like you've zoomed into it.   This is because After Effects wraps the video frame around the environment.

The best way to think of this, is to imagine a video camera inside the middle of a sphere.

What the camera sees is the environment.

If you’re using relatively generic textures like water, fire, or clouds, in general you won’t have to worry much about the 3D camera location.

Next, click on the type tool within the toolbar area.

Click in the composition window and type some text.

Type text.pngRight click on the text, and choose 3D layer from the contextual menu.

3D Text Layer.pngThen navigate back to the toolbar menu and click on the rotation tool.

rotate tool.png

 Navigate to the timeline area, and twirl down the disclosure triangle for text layer. Adjust the extrusion Depth to a value of around 40.

extrude depth.pngThis will add some 3D depth to your text . Now, as an optional step at this point, the 3D text won’t look very good until you add a light.

 To do that, navigate to the Layer menu and choose light. Then press the okay button.

 Okay so now, to make it look like the water it inside the text object, we need to have our text layer reflect back the environment.

 To do this, twirl down the disclosure triangle for the Material options.

reflection intensity.pngAdjust the reflection intensity to 100%. So, now the text is reflecting back the environment inside the characters.

 Now, if you choose you can hide the environment from the background, by twirling down the disclosure triangle for the environment layer.

 At the bottom, look for the parameter that says ‘appears in reflections’.

reflections only.pngChange the value from ‘on’ to ‘only’.

This will remove the environment from the background, but it will still allow it to be reflected back inside the text characters.

rotate 3d text.pngAs an added effect you can now rotate and/or animate your text in 3D space.

For other great tips like this, or to enroll in an Adobe Effects course, visit GeniusDV.com

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This page is a archive of entries in the After Effects category from February 2014.

After Effects: September 2013 is the previous archive.

After Effects: May 2014 is the next archive.

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