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Adding 3D Lights

Lesson 18 from: Adobe After Effects CC Quick Start

Chad Perkins

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Lesson Info

18. Adding 3D Lights

Lesson Info

Adding 3D Lights

Now I'd like to move on and look at lighting in 3-D. We're gonna kinda build this scene up a little bit. We haven't staggered all of our layers. We're not gonna take the time to really space these layers out in 3-D, but I recommend playing around with that on your own time with your own layers and stuff like that. But what I wanna do is now that we have this 3-D, we could have lights. So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna go-- I don't have any blank spots on the timeline panel anymore. So what I could do is go to the layer menu and choose a new-- and by the way, this is where we create a new solid, right. So also we're gonna create a new light, new camera, and other different things here in after effects. So same place you go to create new solid you also create a new light, which is what we're gonna do. You could also go to, if you like doing the timeline panel like I do, you can go to one of these blank spots right here and right click, and choose new light; new light. But a full light i...

s a spotlight. I find those a little unwieldy, a little tough to use, especially for teaching. So I'm just gonna right now stick to a point light, which is essentially like a light bulb. It just emits light in all directions. And I'm just gonna leave the default settings, and I'm gonna click okay. And you see the difference. Here's the before light, after light; before light, after light. So already we're starting to have a more organic feel. Again, this whole thing we've been talking about this whole time, we want things to feel organic as much as possible. And so now, because we have this light, it's like lighting these objects, lighting these layers in a very organic way. So here's the before where this side of the mountian is just as lit up as this side of the mountain. That's not realistic because the light in the background is coming from the center. But the left and right sides of all the objects are pretty much the same. So by turning on the light, we now have something a little bit more realistic. And I could go over to these controllers, see X, Y, and Z. So if I put my cursor over X and it says X, that means when I click and drag this, I'll be moving this in the X dimension. And you can see how this is causing light to kind of go through the scene. And if we move this all the way over, it kinda creates this cool silhouette. Let's bring that hair wavy stuff back in. Lightening, come on, forget about it, it's amazing. Now the lightening is actually getting darker because of the light. And that's not great, lightening is not going to get dark because of light or the absence of light. Lightening is light. So what I can do is go down from the lightening and make it 2-D, and so then it stays bright. So as I move my light over, the lightning's not affected and we get this really awesome silhouette, right. We could also adjust the Z-- Y, too, up and down, not as exciting. But I could also move the Z of the light. So I could move the light further back to create a perfect silhouette, forward more. I could also animate this. So I could start here and then slowly bring it in like that if I wanted to. All because these objects are three-dimensional. They're in 3-D space, because again, only 3-D layers get lights and cameras applied to them. As soon as we made the lightning layers 2-D, they were just super bright again and not influenced by the light at all. Now, if I wanna double-click this light layer, the same double-clicking thing that I said don't ever do, like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters, in that instance, crossing the streams is bad. In this instance, just like in Ghostbusters, crossing the streams actually works. So I'm gonna double-click the point light. We have light options, so I can change this from a point light to a spotlight. And with the spotlight we have a cone, which is again, it makes it confusing because we have a direction that we're shooting in and that can be cool, but also a little bit more unwieldy and difficult to control. So be aware of that. I'm actually gonna undo that. I like the way this point light looked. And I like this half-silhouette thing that's going down. I just, it's just awesome. Just a little hint, just a little hint. And if you were an illustrator, trying to play with this in Illustrator, how hard would it be to relight everything from a different source to change the colors, the gradients? It would take you the rest of your life if you work as slow as I do. (chuckle) But still it would take you a long time even if you work at normal speed. But, yeah, with this light we just have so much flexibility. And again, we can animate it over time, so we can just start there and I love it. Okay, so that's the end of our talk on lighting.

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Ratings and Reviews

Grace Duong

I really enjoyed this course! As a self-taught After Effects user, this was great if you want to cover the basics and understand the program even more. I also enjoyed Chad's obvious enthusiasm for After Effects and his energy. Definitely felt like I took away some useful tips for my workflow!

a Creativelive Student

If you want to get into learning AE. Watch this video first. I've watched many AE tutorials and I still had many 'why' questions. Chad is great and explaining things and even uses great analogies​ so you understand what is going on. I highly recommend it. Thank you.

Pauly Wright

I bought this over a year ago when it was over $50 and it was still worth every penny then. I'm a videographer that knows Adobe Premier Pro and I wanted to understand After Effects more to make information, figures, stats in videos more engaging. Chad is really enthusiastic, passionate about what he does and he doesn't waffle. After watching this i'm now confident to put this in practise. Highly recommended.

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