Overview of 3D in After Effects
If you are interested in working with 3D models in After Effects Beta, the latest 3D in After Effects features and updates have 3D model import and rendering. What’s new in 3D model import and rendering? You can now import 3D model files in OBJ, GLTF, and GLB format and render them in the same 3D space as other After Effects layers, using the new Mercury 3D renderer.
Mercury 3D composition renderer
To use 3D in After Effects the Mercury 3D renderer is a high-quality, performance-oriented 3D renderer that uses Adobe Standard Material (ASM) properties for physically based rendering. ASM is a rendering model that is compatible with Adobe and Substance products and allows image-based lighting and consistent appearance across different applications. Some advanced material options like translucency are not yet enabled.
Import 3D models
3D model import and rendering, which covers these features and all existing 3D model import and rendering functionality in After Effects Beta. How to use 3D model import and rendering? To use 3D model import and rendering, you need to have a GPU with at least 4GB of VRAM. On Windows, the GPU must support Direct 3D feature level 11.1 or higher.
You also need to set the composition renderer to Mercury 3D in the Composition Settings dialog or in the Composition panel menu. To import a 3D model file, you can either use the
File > Import > File menu command,
or drag and drop the file from your local disk or from your Creative Cloud Libraries panel.
You can import 3D model files in OBJ, GLTF, and GLB format. If the 3D model file has dependent files (texture image files and BIN for GLTF or MTL and MDL for OBJ), they will be imported along with the 3D model file and placed in a folder with the same name as the 3D model file in the project panel.
3D in After Effects Developers are thrilled to announce major enhancements to 3D model rendering and lighting, starting in After Effects Beta build 24.0×23 Adobe Standard Material (ASM) is now the default rendering model for 3D models. ASM is a physically-based rendering model that is compatible with Adobe and Substance products.
You can also use environment lights to create realistic lighting, reflections, and shadows on 3D layers, using an image-based environment map. Environment lights are a new feature exclusive to the Mercury 3D renderer in After Effects Beta. You can use an HDR or HDRI format image layer as an environment map, or use the default environment map provided by After Effects Beta. You can also control the quality of the renderer and the shadows cast by environment lights in the Renderer Options dialog.
To add an environment light to a composition, you can use the
Layer > New > Light menu command, and set the Light Type to Environment.
Environment lights use a default environment map that provides basic lighting and reflections to your scene.
Adobe Standard Material
Adobe Standard Material Adobe Standard Material (ASM) is a physically based rendering model that is shared across the Adobe and Substance products. This allows image-based lighting and gives your models a more consistent look throughout the entire design pipeline. Some more advanced material options like translucency are not yet enabled.
Environment lights create realistic lighting, reflections, and shadows on 3D layers by using an image-based environment map. Environment lights are a new feature exclusive to the Mercury 3D renderer in After Effects Beta. To add an environment light, choose Layer > New > Light, and set the Light Type to Environment. Environment lights use a default environment map.
HDRI format Image layer
You can change this to use an HDR or HDRI format image layer as an environment map: Import an HDR (Radiance HDR) file into your project. Add the HDR file to a comp with an environment light. Twirl open the environment light’s properties in the Timeline panel. Set the light’s Source property to the HDR layer. The HDR layer’s visibility will be turned off when it is selected as an environment map. You can turn it back on if you want, but this will still be a 2D render of the layer.
To simulate the HDR layer as a background scene layer, apply the CC Environment effect to a solid layer the same size as the comp. The existing Layer > Environment Layer switch does not work with the Mercury 3D renderer. This option works only with the Cinema 4D renderer.