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Go back » » » 2018 » June » 13

How To Create 3D Extrusion In After Effects Without Any Plugins

In this tutorial I'll be showing you how to create 3D texts, shapes or logos in After Effects, without any plugin, without using the Ray-traced 3D renderer, or the Cinema 4D renderer, only using a simple expression.

Hey, welcome back to my new video. This is EZ tutorials, and for those of you who are the first time in this channel, please consider subscribing. Lately, I got a lot of requests on how to simulate a 3D extrusion, so, today I decided to show you the easiest way to create this effect, for texts, shapes, or any kind of 2D layers, without using any plugin.

Before we start, I'd like to invite you to support me on Patreon. You can also get access to all my premium content.

In this tutorial will be using the EZ Tools script, which is free to download. You can get it, by clicking the link from the upper right corner of the screen. You can also download the project files of this tutorial clicking the link in the description. So let's start.

Create a new composition. I'm using a FULL HD 1080 pixels preset, with 30 frames per second, and 3 seconds long. Create a new black solid, apply the fill effect to it, then, will change the fill color to a shade of blue. Will use this layer as a background.

For this exemplification, we will use a text layer, so, select the horizontal type tool, and type an X. Center its anchor point, and align it to the center.

The first step to create 3d extrusion is to make our layer 3D. Now, if I change the camera to a top view, you can see that in the 3D space, our layer is flat. To change this, we'll have to create a number of copies of this layer, and offset them in the Z axis, this means that each layer will need to have a consecutive value for the Z position.

The easiest way to achieve this is using an expression, so, right click on the position property, select separate dimensions, then, alt-click the Z position stopwatch, and write index in the expression field.

The index represents this number here, which is the position of the layer in the composition. This layer is the first one in this comp, so the position value will be 1. If will duplicate the layer, the position value will change to 2, and so on.

As you can see, now, in the 3D space we have a nice extrusion. To see it better I will change the camera view to a custom view.

You can clearly see the extrusion. To make it even more realistic, we'll give it a little shadow on the sides. An easy way to do this is by using levels, so search for levels and apply it, change the output white value to around 215, create as many copies as you need of your layer. For this example I will make 20, then, on the top and the bottom one, delete the levels, to come back to the original color of your layer.

As you can see, now the extrusion looks very real. Now, I will show you a way to easily use it. Select all the extrusion layers, pre-compose them, and name the new composition extrusion. We'll have to make the new layer 3D, but, if we take a closer look, the text is flat again. To solve this, you only have to check this checkbox, which will collapse all the transformations we've made inside the pre-composition. if we take a look from the left side, we can see that the anchor point is now at the top of the fake 3D Layer, so, open the anchor point options and change the Z value so that your anchor point gets in the middle.

Let's open the rotation, change the camera view back to the active camera, create a keyframe on the Y rotation, move to the last frame and change the revolutions number to 1. Select both keyframes and easy ease them, and let's see how it looks. We have a very nice 3D extrusion, and it was quite easy to get it. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to create a 3D extrusion in After Effects without using any plugins. Don't forget to subscribe, hit the like button and comment. It would be great to know your opinions on my tutorials. Also, you can make requests for new tutorials, on interesting effects or animations that you would like to learn. See you soon!

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