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Motion Graphics

Learn to Make a Custom 3D Wall Text Reveal

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Using basic AE tools and some expressions you will learn how to create this 3D wall made of custom shapes and a nice laser beam to reveal your text.


Tutorial

Step 1

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "line", set width to 600, height to 30, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 2

In this step we will be creating a base shape from which our 3D wall will be consisting of. You can of course choose any shape you want or even some text. It's pretty much up to you. I want my 3D wall to consist of rectangles and in order to do that create a new Solid by clicking on Layer->New->Solid. Make it white, Name it "field" and set its width to 60, height to 30.


Step 3

Create new rectangular mask by double-clicking on Rectangular Mask Tool.


Step 4

Select the Field layer, press double M and change Mask Expansion to -4 px.


Step 5

Apply the Bevel Aplha effect by clicking on Effects->Perspective->Bevel Alpha.


Step 6

Change the Light Angle property to "-35°" and Light Intensity to "0,55".


Step 7

Now we need to fill the entire composition by our shapes. Of course we could make 10 copies and change their position manually, but imagine how boring that would be if we had 100 copies. To make this easier just change the position of our Field to [30,15] by selecting the layer and hitting the letter P so it's at the very left of our composition. Now Alt-click on the stopwatch next to "Position" to add an expression that will take care of positioning after we make another copies of this layer. Type the following into the expression area:

x=transform.position[0]+(index-1)*60;

y=transform.position[1];

[x,y]

Now what does this expression do? In order to calculate the position of our all Field layers we need to know their current position and how many layers there is and that's exactly what "Index" does. It's index of the layer and we can use it to offset the layer position by certain amount of pixels. Our Field layer is 60 pixels wide, thus the offset is 60px. But since we don't want the first layer to be offset, we need to decrease the layer index - "(index-1)" should do the job. Now we only need to multiply the decreased layer index by our offset (60px) and add it to the X position.

Since there's only room for one line of our elements, the Y position will stay the same.


Step 8

We will also want our layer to fade in, but don't forget that we are going to make another 9 copies, thus simple animating the Opacity property wouldn't be enough as all layers would fade in at the same time and we of course don't want that. Let's use simple expression to let the layers kind of randomly fade in. Click on the Field layer, press "T" to reveal the Opacity property and set it to "0". Alt-Click on the Stopwatch and type the following into the expression box:

tm = timeToFrames();

rnd = wiggle(0,50)+20;

(tm-rnd)*10

TimeToFrames is pretty self-explanatory - it converts time to frames.

wiggle(0,50)+20 will generate just one number (due to the "0") in an interval of 0-50. But I don't like the fact that it it could generate "0" or any other low number, so let's just increment the randomly generated number (rnd variable) by "20".

Now we are kind of set - the layer is slowly fading in and it's offset a bit so it doesn't start immediatelly. But I don't want to wait 100 frames (1 frame = 1%) to fade the layer in so let's multiply the whole thing by "10" - this will speed up the animation 10 times.



Step 9

Select the Field layer and press Ctrl-D 9 times to duplicate the layer. All layers should be lined up perfectly thanks to the expression we applied in Step 7.


Step 10

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "fields", set width to 600, height to 300, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 11

Put the Line composition into the Fields composition.


Step 12

Now we are going to do Step 7 again, except we are going to apply an expression that will take care of position on the Y axis, not X. I'm not going to explain the idea again, it's all written in Step 7. To make sure that the layers will be lined up perfectly after we make some copies of them just change the position of our Line layer to [300,15] by selecting the layer and pressing the letter P so it's at the top of our composition. Now Alt-click on the stopwatch next to "Position" to add an expression. Type the following into the expression area:

x=transform.position[0];

y=transform.position[1]+(index-1)*30;

[x,y]


Step 13

Make 9 copies of the Line layer by selecting it and pressing Ctrl-D 9 times.


Step 14

Randomly offset the layers so they don't start at the same time.


Step 15

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "fields big", set width to 1920, height to 1080, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 16

Put the Fields composition into the Fields big composition.


Step 17

Select the layer and apply the CC RepeTile effect by clicking on Effect->Stylize->CC RepeTile.


Step 18

Set Expand Right to "660", Expand Left to "660", Expand Down to "400", Expand Up to "400" and Tiling to "Checker 180°".


Step 19

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "Element", set width to 1920, height to 1080, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 20

In this step we are going to create our element which we want to be revealed by the laser. Make sure that there's no background and the element is white as this composition will be used as alpha track matte. There's of course a lot of ways to create our element and it pretty much depends on what you want/need. Since my element is plain text I'm going to use the Horizontal Type Tool.



Step 21

Create a new text layer and type "ae tuts". I'm using Verdana, font size 310px and make it bold.



Step 22

Let's create a transition which will be slowly revealing our text. So create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "transition", set width to 1920, height to 1080, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 23

Create a new Solid by clicking on Layer->New->Solid.


Step 24

Make sure it's white and comp size.


Step 25

Apply Linear wipe effect by selecting the layer and clicking Effect->Transition->Linear wipe.


Step 26

Set Wipe Angle to 90° and Feather to 300


Step 27

Now let's animate the Transition Completion. At 00:00 create a keyframe and set it to 0%. Go to 04:00, create another keyframe and set it to 100%.


Step 28

With the layer selected click on Effect->Color Correction->Colorama to apply the effect.


Step 29

In the Input Phase section set Get Phase From to Aplha and In the Modify section tick "Modify Alpha" and "Change Empty Pixels".


Step 30

In the Output Phase section select the Ramp Grey preset.


Step 31

Click on the circle and add another black point.


Step 32

Adjust the slider so it looks like on the picture.


Step 33

Create a new Solid by clicking Layer->New->Solid.


Step 34

Make it comp size and call it fractal.


Step 35

With the fractal layer selected click on Effect->Noise & Grain->Fractal Noise.


Step 36

Set Fractal Type to "Swirly", Noise Type to "Soft Linear", Contract to "150" and Brightness to "-40".


Step 37

Select the fractal layer, right click on it and set the Blending Mode to Color Dodge.


Step 38

Create a new Adjustment Layer by clicking on Layer->New->Adjustment Layer.


Step 39

With the Adjustment layer selected click on Effect->Color Correction->Colorama to apply the effect.


Step 40

In the Output Phase section select the Ramp Grey preset.


Step 41

Click on the circle to add one black and one white point.


Step 42

Adjust them so the circle is nearly 100% black and looks like on the picture.


Step 43

Put the Transition composition into the Element composition (above the text layer) and make it start at 03:00.


Step 44

Set track matte of the text layer to "Luma Inverted Matte".


Step 45

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "wall", set width to 1920, height to 1080, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 46

Put "Element" and "fields big" composition into the Wall composition.


Step 47

Select the Element layer, go to 03:00 and press Ctrl+Shift+D to split the layer. Select the middle layer (the Element layer that is active from 00:00 to 03:00) and delete it.


Step 48

Set track matte of the "fields big" layer to "Luma Inverted Matte".


Step 49

Select the "fields big" layer and click on Effect->Noise & Grain->Fractal noise.


Step 50

Set Fractal Type to "Turbulent Smooth", Noise Type to "Soft Linear", Contrast to "120" and Brightness to "-20".


Step 51

Click on the Evolution stopwatch and type "time*200" into the expression box.


Step 52

Select the "fields big" layer and click on Effect->Stylize->Glow.


Step 53

Set Glow Based On to "Alpha channel", Glow Threshold to 70%, Glow Radius to "3".


Step 54

Select the "fields big" layer and click on Effect->Color Correction->Curves.


Step 55

Create an S-shape to give our wall nice contrast.


Step 56

Select the "fields big" layer and click on Effect->Stylize->Roughen Edges.


Step 57

Set Edge Type to "Roughen", Border to "4", Alt+Click on Evolution stopwatch and type "time*200" into the expression box.


Step 58

Create a new Adjustment Layer by clicking on Layer->New->Adjustment Layer.


Step 59

Select the "fields big" layer and click on Effect->Color Correction->Hue/Saturation.


Step 60

Select the "fields big" layer and click on Effect->Color Correction->Tint.


Step 61

In Hue/Saturation section turn "Colorize" On, set Colorize Hue to 212°. Go to 03:00, set keyframe for Colorize Saturation and set it to 50, set keyframe for Colorize Lightness and set it to 0. Go to Tint section, set keyframe for Amount to Tint and set it to 0%.


Step 62

Go to 06:00 and in Hue/Saturation section set Colorize Saturation to 25 and Colorize Lightness to -40. In Tint section set Amount to Tint to 20%.


Step 63

Select the Adjustment Layer and apply Curves effect by clicking on Effect->Color Correction->Curves.


Step 64

Darken the Wall by setting the Curves effect like on the picture.


Step 65

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "Element 2", set width to 1920, height to 1080, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 66

Go to the Wall composition, select "Element" and "fields big" and copy them by clicking on Edit->Copy.


Step 67

Go to the Element 2 composition and paste the layers we've just copied by by clicking on Edit->Paste.


Step 68

Set Track Matte of the "fields big" layer to "Luma Matte".


Step 69

Select "Element" and "fields big" and click on Layer->Pre-compose.


Step 70

Name the new composition "Element Pre-comp", tick "Move all atributes into the new composition" and hit OK.


Step 71

With the "Element Pre-comp" layer selected go to Effect->Color Correction->Hue/Saturation and apply the effect.


Step 72

With the "Element Pre-comp" layer selected go to Effect->Color Correction->Curves and apply the effect.


Step 73

With the "Element Pre-comp" layer selected go to Effect->Stylize->Glow and apply the effect.


Step 74

Go to 03:00 and in the Hue/Saturation section turn Colorize On, set Colorize Hue to "212°", set a keyframe for Colorize Saturation and make it "50". Set a keyframe for Curves but don't adjust them yet, leave them as they are.


In the Glow section set Glow Threshold to "10%", "Glow radius" to 50. Set a keyframe for "Glow Intensity" and set it to "0".


Step 75

Go to 05:00, set Colorize Saturation to "0" and Glow Intensity to "0,5".


Step 76

While still being at 05:00 adjust the Curves channels to give our text nice yellowish look.


Step 77

Create a new Solid by clicking Layer->New->Solid, make it comp size and name it "Particles".


Step 78

With the "Particles" layer selected click on Effect->Simulation->CC Particle World to apply the effect.


Step 79

Click on the "Particles" layer, hit the letter P to reveal the position and change it to [545,600].


Step 80

Turn Grid Off, set Birth Rate to "1", Longetivity to "0.35", Velocity to "0.05", Gravity to "0.075", Particle Type to "Motion Polygon", Birth Size to "0.1" and Death Size to "0.2".


Step 81

Move the layer so it starts at 04:02.


Step 82

With the "Particles" layer selected click on Effect->Blur & Sharpen->CC Vector Blur.


Step 83

Change the Amount to "10".


Step 84

Make couple of copies, change their position so there are particle effects for all letters and of course make them start a little bit later so they are kind of synced with the transition.


Step 85

Go to 06:15 and set keyframes for Birth Rate for all particle layers. Then go to 06:20 and set the keyframes to "0".


Step 86

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New composition. Name it "2D comp", set width to 1920, height to 1080, pixel aspect ratio to "square pixels", frame rate to 25 and make it 15 seconds long.


Step 87

Put Wall and Element 2 into this composition and make them both 3D. Go to 03:05 and set a keyframe for the position of "Element 2". Go to 06:05 and change the position to [940, 520, -100] so the layers will be separated in 3D space aswell.


Step 88

Create a new Solid by clicking on Layer->New->Solid.


Step 89

Name it Flare, make it black and hit OK.


Step 90

With the Flare layer selected go to Effect->Generate->Lens Flare and apply the effect.


Step 91

Change the transfer mode of the Flare layer to "Screen". Set a keyframe for Flare Center and change it to [925, 630]. Set a keyframe for Flare Brightness and set it to 0%.


Step 92

Go to 06:05 and change the Flare Center to [1500, 630]. Also set the Flare Brightness to 100% and move the keyframe to 05:15.


Step 93

Create a new Solid by clicking on Layer->New->Solid.


Step 94

Name it Flare 2, make it black and hit OK.


Step 95

With the Flare 2 layer selected go to Effect->Generate->Lens Flare and apply the effect.


Step 96

Change Transfer Mode of the Flare 2 layer to "Screen". Go to 03:20, set keyframes for Flare Center and Flare Brightness. Set Flare Center to [404, 430], Flare Brightness to "0%". Also change the Lens Type to "105mm Prime".


Step 97

Go to 04:20 and set Flare Center to [700,440], Flare Brightness to "80%".


Step 98

Trim the Flare layers so they start with the first Flace Center keyframe.


Step 99

Create a new composition by clicking on Composition->New Composition.


Step 100

Name it "Final comp", make it 1280x720, 25 frames per second and 15 seconds long.


Step 101

Create a new Solid by clicking on Layer->New->Solid.


Step 102

Make it 1280x720 and name it "bg".


Step 103

With the "bg" layer selected click on Effect->Generate->Ramp to apply the effect.


Step 104

Set Ramp Shape to "Radial Ramp", Start of Ramp to [640,360], End of Ramp to [640,1095]. Colour code of the Start Color is #070731 so basically dark blue. The End Color is pure black.


Step 105

Put "2D comp" into this composition and make it 3D.


Step 106

Create a new Camera by clicking on Layer->New->Camera.


Step 107

Select the "35mm" preset and click OK.


Step 108

Go to the beginning, bring up Position and Point of Interest by pressing P+Shift+A and set Position to [-270.7,-231.4,-155.2] and Point of Interest to [-181.5,1009.2,-194.9]. Also use Easy Ease Out by clicking on Animation->Keyframe Assistant->Easy Ease Out


Step 109

Go to 03:21 and set Position to [-467.6,386.1,-320.9] and Point of Interest to [497.3,215.7,446.2]. Select the two keyframes you've just created and press F9 to apply Easy Ease.


Step 110

Go to 06:16 and set Position to [1230.6,697.1,-891.1] and Point of Interest to [691.8,322.9,166.4]. Select the two keyframes you've just created and press F9 to apply Easy Ease.


Step 111

Create a new Solid by clicking on Layer->New->Solid.


Step 112

Name it "beam" and make it comp size.


Step 113

Create a new Null Object by clicking on Layer->New->Null Object and rename it to "slider".


Step 114

With the "beam" layer selected click on Effect->Generate->Beam to apply the Beam effect.


Step 115

Now select the "slider" layer and click on Effect->Expression Controls->Slider Control.


Step 116

Change the Length to 100%, Time to 50% and Ending Thickness to 400. Change the Inside Color to #FFC000.


Step 117

Here it gets a little bit tricky. If we tried to adjust our beam to follow the revealing text, it would turn into a flat layer when it would cross the camera. The trick is to transform the beam points to the 3D positions of our wall. More info about this expression can be found at http://www.motionscript.com/mastering-expressions/lst-lens-flare.html.


So Alt+Click on the Stopwatch next to the Starting Point and type the following into the expression box:


beam = thisComp.layer("2D comp");

beam.toComp([960,500,-700]);


Of course that we need to change our Ending point aswell, but this time we are going to use our Slider effect, which will control the position of the Ending Point on the X axis so it can be easily animated afterwards.


beam = thisComp.layer("2D comp");

beam.toComp([thisComp.layer("slider").effect("Slider Control")("Slider"),500,0]);


Step 118

At 03:21 set a keyframe for Slider and make it "500". Go to 06:06 and set it to "1450".


Step 119

Change Transfer Mode of the Beam layer to "Linear Light".


Step 120

Go to 03:17, set a keyframe for the Length and make it 98,9%. Go 4 frames forward to 03:21 and set it to 100%. At 06:06 make another keyframe and set it to 100%, go 4 frames forward to 06:10 and set it to 93%. You can also trim the layers so "slider" starts at 03:21 and "beam" at 03:17.


Step 121

Create a new Null Object by clicking on Layer->New->Null Object.


Step 122

Name it "shake" and trim it so it starts at 03:21.


Step 123

Apply the AfterShake preset to the "shake" layer. If you don't have it you can get it from http://www.videocopilot.net/presets/after_shake/


Step 124

Go to 03:21, split the "2D comp" layer and parent the upper 2D layer to Shake.


Step 125

While still being at 03:21, set a keyframe for Speed, Amount and Rotation and make them 10, 70, 25.


Step 126

Go to 06:06 and set Speed, Amount and Rotation to 0. Select the 6 keyframes you've just created and press F9 to apply Easy Ease.


Step 127

Go to 03:21, select the Camera layer, press AA to bring up Camera Options, Enable Depth of Field, set a keyframe to Focus Distance and make it 600. Set another keyframe but this time for Aperture and make it 100.


Step 128

Go to 06:06, set Focus Distance to 1100 and Aperture to 200. Select the 4 keyframes and hit F9 to get Easy Ease again.


Step 129

Turn the Motion Blur switch on and enable it for the Beam and 2D comp layers.


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