Advanced 3D Noise & Deform Tutorial

published on July 17, 2020

Hey what's up Andrew Kramer here for Video Copilot dotnet and welcome back to another very exciting tutorial today we're going to be taking a look at creating some really cool deform effects inside of After Effects using element 3d so let's go and take a look at what

We'll be creating so we've built this really unique deform effect using some of the new features in element 3d version 2 specifically the deform effects so now we can bend and twist an add 3d distortion to our model and

Really create some fun effects and this particular effect is all based off of a simple sphere so here are a few other ideas of what you can create using these effects so we've got this sort of hypnotic tentacle monster we've got the

Skeleton of that monster here's kind of a cool title treatment and there's a few other examples got a gummy iceberg and some other fun stuff now let's go and get started first thing we'll do let's create a new composition call this to

Form 720p 10 seconds looks good and then let's go ahead and add a background so we'll add a solid we'll call this background hit OK then let's come over here to the effects and presets and we'll type in ramp then

We'll drag this on to our background then we'll come over here to the effects control set it to a radial ramp and let's move some of the points around so we'll just kind of move this and we'll set the start color to a blueish color

And the end color to like a really dark blue looks good then we'll add a color correction color correction curves and I'll just give it a little bit of contrast here next I want to add another new solid and

This is going to be our element 3d layer so we'll hit OK we'll come over here type in element take Video Copilot element drop it on to our layer then we're going to add some objects by going into the scene setup so we'll click on

That and here's the new element 3d version 2 interface we can come up to the top here add a sphere primitive and we can move around here we could change this to wireframe see what that looks like and see how many segments there are

It's also some tools to hide the grid turn on the environment and stuff like that so pretty cool we'll come over here we'll drop down the object materials select our material and we'll scroll down I won't change the base color to

Blue so let's do something like that and then we'll scroll down a little bit more to our reflectivity and I'll set the intensity to about 50% now the reflection looks pretty white so I want to tint it a little bit of a blue color

And that will make it look a little bit more like a blue metal I can hide the environment kind of see what that looks like alright so this is looking good but I want to make sure there's enough segments to do all of our deformation so

As I showed you before if we change it to wireframe there's not that many segments so if we select our object we can turn the segment amount up so we could turn it up to maybe 36 and that will create a lot more segments to be

Deformed now we'll go and switch it back to shaded and let me talk to you a little bit about the surface options so if we come over here to the object and click on surface options we can also scroll down we can see we have a setting

For the normals now the normals is basically the surface of your object now in this case it's automatically calculated but anytime you add any deform or bending or twisting we want to make sure it's set to dynamic and that

Way it updates every time the mesh is manipulated so we'll set it to dynamic and we'll turn the threshold up to say 180 and that's just going to make sure everything is really smooth the higher the number

The more smooth the polygons will be now another useful tip is the optimized mesh so if we look right here there's 77 thousand vertices but if I turn on the optimized mesh that goes down to 13,000 so that's a huge reduction and that's

Going to speed up all your deformation because instead of having to move around 77,000 vertices and the vertices are each one of these points instead of having to move 77,000 it's only moving 13,000 and what it's doing is instead of

Storing a vertice for each one of these triangles it's only storing one so that should speed things up a bit so we'll go and switch it back to shaded now the other thing you'll notice is that the group folder is set to output on group 1

So when we hit OK we'll come up here to group 1 and we can make some of the changes to this object so I'm going to go down to my particle look go down to my deform settings and scroll down a bit and here we have our noise so once we

Enable that we can turn up the intensity so now we're creating some cool looks we can turn up the scale to make it a little higher frequency noise we can also animate the evolution check this out and that kind of creates kind of a

Bubbly effect now in this particular case I'm going to go down to the Advanced Settings and I actually want to modify the XYZ value so the noise is uniform so it shoots out in all directions but I can turn up the Y

Intensity and that'll stretch it vertically and kind of see what that looks like and if we turn up our scale we'll get a little bit more detail alright so that looks pretty good let's go ahead and create a 3d camera

35-millimeter preset we'll hit OK and we'll take the camera orbit tool and we can move around a bit all right so next I'll select the layer we'll go to our twist turn that on and again on our y-axis let's add a little bit of twist

All right so our deform is looking good but now let's play around with the render settings so we'll close the deform and we'll close the group and we'll come down here to the render settings so everything is really nicely

Organized so that you can jump into any specific thing you need we're going to jump into the ambient occlusion so we'll open that up scroll down and we'll enable it and what this does is creates a little bit of

Shading in some of the crevices of our 3d objects we can play around with the radius which will change the distance of the ambient occlusion we can also play around with the intensity and the gamma now in the new version we've added a

Couple of quality presets and what this does is just changes some of the samples and quality so I can change it to medium and that will automatically set the samples to 16 and the multi sampling to 2 so it's just a really nice way to be

Able to quickly jump around the quality without having to go into all of the individual settings so I think this looks pretty good go and close that now another thing I want to touch on is the physical environment with the new

Physical shaders one of the most important things is our environment so if I turn this on by showing it in the background we can see that we have this kind of cool light room that's adding to the reflection of our object so whatever

Our environment looks like will affect our 3d object so if I turn up the exposure that'll actually increase the brightness of our object as well so we'll turn the background off and maybe what we'll do is we'll play with it will

Turn the gamma up a bit and just give it a little bit more contrast the other thing we can do is rotate the environment so if again if I turn it on to look at it I can rotate it and move some of the reflective lights around so

We'll turn it off here we'll just kind of move this around just to create some more interesting reflection and lighting now the other thing we can do is tint the color of the environment so I'm going to add a little bit of blue in

There and that looks pretty good so again we can add some contrast and really make it stand out really punchy looking that looks nice alright so we can go ahead and close that now the other

Important thing is render quality so we can go down to the output and there's a few important settings I want to point out so we have our multi sampling this is your graphics card sampling so if your card supports 16 you can change

That to 16 we also have the enhanced multi sampling which will clean up the edges even more so we turn that on you can see that things are going to look even better kind of zoom in right here look at that edge as we turn this on and

This will help you improve the quality now the render speed is still really fast but if you want to you can come down to the render mode and set it to preview and this will just keep the settings lower while you work and when

You're ready to render you can switch it back up to full so this is looking good maybe we'll darken our background just to give it a bit more contrast alright now this is looking pretty good let's go ahead and play it with the animation so

We'll go back to group 1 go down to the deform and let's animate the intensity of the noise so what we could do is move forward to about 3 seconds and we'll set the intensity keyframe then we'll move back to zero and set that to 0% so now

It's going to animate on just like that almost looks like it grows on so that's pretty cool so we can rotate the particle using the particle rotation and we'll just rotate the Y rotation just like this so a keyframe that rotation

Move back and we'll set it to say negative 90 degrees that looks pretty cool and depending on what direction so let's set it to 90 instead of negative 90 actually look a little bit different little bit better maybe it's all

Subjective I guess but if I say it looks better then it's not subjective the key is to really just play around with all of the settings so we can animate the particle replicator so we could set this to a ring and repeat the particle safe I

Times and now we've got five of these cool twisted objects and we could turn the particle size down so I know it seems a little bit confusing with all the settings but basically have your replicator and then you have the

Particle look the particle look is basically the individual particle and the particle replicator allows you to duplicate it so if I change the scale of the replicator shape that's just going to increase the ring size but if I want

To change the size of the particle I'll just go into the particle look and turn that size down all right let me go ahead and just undo that now it might be fun to add a quick title so we could just type something in here and we'll turn

That off and then go to element 3d and then we'll scroll down to the custom layers so open that up custom text and we'll select the twisted text so now if we jump back into the scene setup and now we can go ahead and extrude that

Text so here we can see the path is selected custom path number one and we've got our 3d text now what's going to happen if I hit OK right now well let's find out hit OK and it's twisted crazy right and that's because

The object is inside of the same group folder on Group one so there's a couple of different things we can do here one we could select our extrusion model click on the advanced and then turn off the enable deformation so then if we hit

OK and now we can see the text is no longer deformed but what I really want to do is take that text and put it on a new group so the way to do that is just drag that object out of the group folder until it turns red let go and now that

Object is in the route and you can see I can output it to a different group so this time I'll just click on group two and now that's going to go out to group two now if you want to use it as a particle replicator you can just use

This button to switch between a particle and a particle replicator for people who've used version one but anyway this is set to group two and just make sure that if we go to the advanced the enable

Deformation is back on and then we can hit okay so the good thing is now I can control the text on its own group so if we open up group two I can rotate the particle maybe turn it so that it's facing us I can change the size of it

You can also move it around by moving the particle replicator position X Y Z so it can move this around but the really cool thing is I can add my own deform settings to the text so if I go to particle look then we can go down to

The deform scroll down to the bend enable it and now we can bend the text by itself now this isn't the direction so we'll bend it and then change the direction to 90 degrees and that way it'll Bend into a circle like that go

Ahead and decrease the amount of Bend and turn the particle size down and we can also turn on the center mode and then actually center the text around the circle so if we were to rotate the particle now watch this rotate it's

Going to rotate and spin in a perfect circle so that's what that center setting does so it's just a handy way to recenter the particle around the center of the rotation so there we go and maybe what we could do also is go back into

The set up and add just a little bit of illumination to this material so if we go down to the bevel material now here we can control all of the bevel settings so we can change the extrusion amount make that you know deeper we can play

Around with the size of the bevel all that good stuff then we can go down a little bit further and turn on the illumination for the material and just brighten it up just a touch and that will just make the the front face I'll

Set the Fornell to like negative one just make it a little brighter now the other thing to keep in mind is that if I am doing some other type of deform I want to make sure that I have enough segments so the s looks like it has a

Lot of segments in wireframe mode but the tea doesn't have a lot of resolution so the deform is going to look a little bit blocky so in order to add additional subdivision we can do a couple of things first we can select the

Extrusion object we can scroll down to the tessellation and set the depth segments up to something like three and that will add additional segments then the other thing we could do is click on surface options and we have a

Subdivision amount so we can set it to 1 and that will subdivide every triangle we can set it to 2 and get even more resolution and then once you're good just go ahead turn on the optimized mesh and that will try to reduce it as much

As possible so just keep in mind that this is a lot of triangles so the key is to use as few as possible so switch that back to shaded and I don't think we actually need that many for this particular case for just a simple Bend

So we'll go ahead and hit OK and I think that's looking pretty good okay pretty cool and I invite you guys to play around with all of the different settings here's a couple of fun things you can try out let's say we take this

Group here and let's duplicate all and what that will do is create another group with the same exact copy but on the second copy what I'm going to do is change the material so let's change it to sort of a gray material without a

Colored reflection and let's set the glossiness down so it's no longer a smooth material it's kind of a rough looking you know aluminum almost and then we'll hit okay now if we want to see that other object

We need to make sure we increase the particle count so really quick let me set this to a 3d grid and now you can see that we have both of those particles rendering at the same time let's go ahead and set this to one two three like

That so we've got three of them side by side but the noise pattern is exactly the same on each one so what we could do is go down to the particle look go to the deform and turn on the randomize under the noise and what that will do is

Randomize each one so it has a different unique seed so that's really really cool because if I turn this off of 3d grid you're set it to a point and increase the particle count to two now we have two objects rendering in the same space

But because they have a different noise pattern now we've created a really cool blend effect with those two materials at the same time and just to give you one other fun thing to play around with in the advanced settings you'll see this

Exponent and if we turn it up what it does is creates a noise pattern that has higher values and lower values so there's not that many in-between values so this way you get kind of a more stringy looking effect so if I turn off

Group two real quick just disable that we can see inside of the group one effect that instead of having all of the noise be really really long we actually have just a few stretched

Out spikes so that's just a really cool you know unique effect and by the way if you change the random seed you're going to get a completely different look so this is like such a fun way to build some cool effects in fact let's take a

Little further let's turn the particle count up to five then we'll open up the particle look and let's turn up the particle size random and what this will do is get rid of some of the overlapping so if we turn this up a bit and now

We'll have different size particles and they'll just overlap a little bit nicer so that's cool and also if you change the replicator random seed you'll change what color particles are you know we're there we go we could turn on some random

Rotation that's pretty wild again this is what it's all about get in there start experimenting playing around you can really create some very cool very fun results and that's basically what I did for all of these other

Examples alright guys hope you had a good time checking this out we've added a ton of new features in element 3d version 2 it's available now we've got things like dynamic reflections shadows you know I've got all the deform tools

There's a ton of cool stuff so be sure to check it out Video Copilot dinette thank you again for watching I'm Andrew Kramer and we will see you next time

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