In my 5 part 3D integration VFX series I showed you how to plan, shoot, track, render and composite 3D elements into your scene using After Effects and 3dsMax. If you do not need all the featured offered by a fully fledged 3D program, you can also create cool 3D integration effects using the Element 3D plug-in by videocopilot. This tutorial will show you how :)
Video Copilot Element 3D Tutorial – 3D Integration VFX Part 6
Here is a very simple clip of me pretending to interact with a floating alien object. It is a simple static shot (camera was on a tripod) and I just pretend to try to touch it and then when it floats away I chase after it.
The Element 3D Plug-In
We will use the Element 3D plug-in by videocopilot to add a 3D blob into the scene and animate it so it looks like I am actually interacting with it. Element 3D is a plug-in that lets you set up and animate 3D objects directly in After Effects without the need for an external 3D program. While it is limited in terms of what you can do with it (compared to a full 3D software package like 3dsMax or Cinema 4D), it has enough functionality to allow you to create awesome 3D integration effects very easily.
To use the Element 3D plug-in, create a new layer in your scene and apply the Element effect to it. Next, we need to set up the effect and define the 3D objects we want to use. For this, click on the ‘Scene Setup’ button in the Element effect parameters.
Now let’s go over the details of the Element 3D user interface!