Chapter 15. 3D Layers

Up to now, you’ve dealt strictly with layers in two dimensions: horizontal and vertical, as measured on the X and Y axes. However, After Effects includes depth as well, measured along the Z axis. As in other 3D programs, you can create one or more cameras from which to view and render your 3D composition. You can also create lights to illuminate 3D layers that cast realistic shadows and have adjustable reflective properties. And despite their unique properties, you can adjust and animate 3D layers, cameras, and lights just as you would any 2D layer.

True, After Effects’ 3D layers are just 2D panels in 3D space, and the program doesn’t incorporate any of the modeling tools or other features you’re likely to find in a dedicated ...

Get After Effects CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.