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3D Type QuickTip By Ko Maruyama
It seemed pretty obvious that the 3D transformation possibilities for Adobe After Effects CS3 would be useful for many more things than merely moving type around on a 3D axis (as Total Training's Brian Maffitt demonstrated during this year's NAB), but there are very simple things that you can do with the tool that you ALREADY know how to do.  But maybe you weren't at NAB - and although it's already available on the Adobe website, it's possible that you haven't taken a look at AE CS3 yet.  tsk. tsk.

Brian showed off how to put small pieces of random text shooting out along an animated path to create what looked like an awesome plasma (pseudo-particle generator) look, but you could run text along the path to SAY something just as easily.

While you can't put a spline in 3D yet, now you can transform the type into true 3D space.

10 Quick Steps for spiral text:

1. You can create a spiral in After Effects if you want, but if you have After Effects, chances are that you have Adobe Illustrator as well (you'll WANT to get AI CS3).   Make your spiral in AECS3, then select the spline and copy it to the paste board. (no more fidgeting with the AICB preferences - it just works)

click images for larger view

2.  In After Effects, PASTE the spiral mask shape directly onto the text layer that you've created in your composition.

3. Enable the new ability to transform your text in 3D space (on a per character basis!)  This is under the "Animate" properties, but you won't animate this parameter, you'll merely turn it on so that you have access to 3D transformations in the other animatable properties.

4. Set a first animator as an "offset" for the rotation of the individual text.


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