Dan Hume's Blog


3D stroke
November 29, 2009, 8:46 pm
Filed under: After Effects, Principles of Computer Graphics

Ok, I think I’ve got the hang of using the 3D stroke in After Effects. There’s still room for improvement… as always, but I think I’m off to a good start. Anyway, here is a what I did:

It’s actually pretty easy to make the 3D stroke. I went into after effects and created a new composition. Then I went to layer, new and clicked on solid. I chose the solid to be the same color as the composition, which is black. Then I used the Pen tool to create a mask on the solid.

After that I went to effects, trapcode and 3D stroke. Which creates white line on the mask path. On the left hand side you’ll have all the settings and options to create the look of the stroke. I basically just played around the settings to get the look I wanted. The main thing you need to change is the start and end of the stroke. This will alter the size of the stroke so the whole mask path isn’t highlighted. Then I clicked on loop, which will allow the stroke to go round in laps on the mask path.

Then this where I started the animation for the stroke. But before I could go onto the next stage, I had to get a camera from the layer menu. Then on the 3D Stroke menu I had to go to camera, then I clicked on comp camera. This then detaches the stroke from the mask path so you can work in 3D, but the stroke will travel in the direction of the shape of the mask. Then the last set of tools I used were to make the camera movements. I clicked on the unified camera tool.

These  are the tools I used for different movements for the camera. The Orbit Camera does all the rotation movements. The Track XY Camera makes the camera move side ways and up and down. Lastly, the Track Z Camera makes camera zoom in and out. By clicking on one tool at a time, I key framed each movement I wanted by following the light strokes path. 

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