Animate with Depth: Cameras, Lights and 3D Layers in AE
3.3 (3 ratings)
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Animate with Depth: Cameras, Lights and 3D Layers in AE

Learn to master 3D composition and aniation in Adobe After Effects with this thorough, step-by-step guide
3.3 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
8 students enrolled
Created by Rich Armstrong
Last updated 6/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $40 Discount: 75% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Create 3D compositions, from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop layers, inside Adobe After Effects. Add and animate cameras and lights inside compositions Create 3D animations productively and with greater understanding.
  • Set up your Photoshop and Illustrator documents for After Effects importing
  • Create 3D layers in After Effects.
  • Change and animate 3D layer properties.
  • Add and animate cameras.
  • Add and animate lights.
  • Understand the different types of lights and cameras.
  • Understand material options layers can have.
  • Work with Depth of field, camera blur, orientation, aperture and focus distance.
  • Easily navigate compositions with a lot of lights, shadows and layers.
  • Be productive and efficient when working with many layers.
  • Understand the concept of 2.5D.
  • Add multiple views to view your scene with.
  • Work with parenting and precomposition
  • Create different camera angles.
  • Preview your work quickly
  • Render and compress animations.
View Curriculum
  • You need to have Adobe After Effects installed on your Mac or PC. The course is recorded using After Effects CC.
  • Some foreknowledge of After Effects will be beneficial, but you’ll be able to take the course if you’ve never opened After Effects before – especially if you’re comfortable with Illustrator or Photoshop.

Take your animation skills to the next level by learning all about 3D layers, cameras, and lights in Adobe After Effects. In this class, you’ll learn how to bring your 2D artwork into the 3rd dimension with After Effects. Your flat artwork will become alive in space, giving it depth and energy.

You can watch this course in just over 3 hours, but to cement your knowledge I recommend creating your very own animated 3D postcard of your favourite city, which could take 5-30 hours, depending on your design, animation technique, and duration of animation.

The course is structured into 22 videos, each covering a specific topic. The videos build upon previous video as I show you how I go about creating a 3D animation, based off of some flat 2D Illustrator artwork.

You don’t have to get into big and fancy 3D applications to have fun with 3D. Use your current Photoshop and Illustrator skillset in combination with After Effects to bring your flat-designs to life – it’s not such a big jump to go from Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to Adobe After Effects. They all play really nicely with each other.

Besides getting into 3D with Adobe After Effects, there are a bunch of tips and tricks you’ll pick up even if you’re an After Effects and 3D pro. That being said, this class is meant for beginner to intermediate students, who have a little bit of experience in Adobe After Effects.

Come have fun and create an awesome piece of motion graphics with me!

Here’s what we cover:

In this class we cover everything from importing correctly set up files to rendering awesome animations. There are in-depth videos about 3D layer properties, different types of cameras and camera settings, the kinds of lights you can add to your scene, precomposing and parenting layers, being productive in After Effects, adding multiple views, animating layers in a 3D space, and many more tips and tricks.

Who is the target audience?
  • The target audience of this course is designers and animators who want to learn how to make use of their existing 2D skillset to create 3D scenes and animations.
  • A designer or illustrator who’d like to see their flat-artwork come to life through animation and 3D layout
  • An animator who wants to learn more about working with 3D in After Effects.
  • Don’t take this class if you’re comfortable working with 3D in After Effects and other 3D apps.
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Curriculum For This Course
22 Lectures
22 Lectures 03:09:49

This is a short lecture explaining the 3D space you will be working in.

Preview 00:58

This lecture shows you how to set up your documents for the best results, and easiest manipulation.

If you're pressed for time, I've provided an Illustrator file containing many (and more) of the elements I used to create my animated postcard. Feel free to use it as a starting point – arrange, scale, rotate, change colors etc, before importing into and animating in After Effects.

Preview 08:29

Short quiz on lecture 3

Get Your Artwork into After Effects
4 questions

Arranging Your Layers in 3D Space

This is a quiz for lecture 4

Arranging Your Layers in 3D Space
5 questions

Adding Cameras

This is a quiz on lecture 5

Adding Cameras
2 questions

Parenting 3D Layers

This is a quiz for lecture 6

Parenting 3D Layers
4 questions

Precomping 3D Layers

This is a quiz about lecture 7

Precomping 3D Layers
3 questions

Animating Cameras and 3D layers

This is a quiz for lecture 8

Animating Cameras and 3D layers
5 questions


This is a quiz on lecture 9

1 question

Project Time

And There Was Light

This is a quiz for lecture 11

And there was light
2 questions

More Lights

This is a quiz on lecture 12

More Lights
4 questions

Material Options

This is a quiz on lecture 13

Material Options
3 questions

Useful Camera Techniques

This is a quiz on lecture 14

Useful Camera Techniques
1 question

Rollercoaster Cameras and Auto orientation

Multiple Camera Angles

This is a quiz on lecture16

Multiple Camera Angles
1 question

Make Better Stuff Faster

This is a quiz on lecture 17

Make Better Stuff Faster
1 question

The Flickering Layers Issue

Your Project


Bonus! Layer-art in After Effects

Bonus! Make a cube
About the Instructor
Rich Armstrong
4.4 Average rating
88 Reviews
2,671 Students
7 Courses
Product Designer

Rich's title is Product Designer but he's more of a jack-of-all-trades / generalist / unicorn. He designs, animates and codes. He's studied multimedia design and graphic design, and is a self-taught programmer. He's freelanced, worked for agencies and startups, and now runs Studio Armstrong, an Amsterdam-based creation company, with his wife. He also doodles all the time, has super ginger-powers and can touch his nose with his tongue!

He spends most of his working day researching and experimenting, much like his hero, Lucius Fox, does. Rich likes to think he's a minimalist, but he's fooling himself – he's as messy and unorganised as the any other creative genius.

Rich has been teaching online classes since 2015 – and he likes it a lot :) He's since created the weirdly named Tap Tap Kaboom brand that showcases his experiments, designs and classes.