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Tutorial: Creating a 3D Look with 4K Footage in Adobe After Effects CC

In this tutorial, we explore how to add depth and visual interest to your videos by applying 3D properties in Adobe After Effects and leveraging the additional pixel real estate in 4K footage used for 1080p HD projects.

Keyframing Your Property Adjustments

One of the coolest things here is that you can add keyframes to adjustments to have your property adjustments change over time. In this example, we'll add one for the Y Rotation. Make sure your playhead is at the beginning of the timeline and add a keyframe by clicking the clock icon to the left of Y Rotation in the Transform properties (Figure 5). Then, move ahead in time on the timeline and adjust the value for the Y Rotation. This will add a second keyframe.

We can smooth out the keyframed adjustment over time by right-clicking on the first one, and in the pull-down that appears, choosing Keyframe Assistant > Easy Ease Out (Figure 6, below).

Figure 4

Figure 6. Easy Ease Out will ease us into the keyframed rotation adjustment.

Do the same thing for the second keyframe, but this time choose Easy Ease In. You can see a preview of this move at the 2:31 mark of the tutorial video that accompanies this article.

Previewing the Effect

I added some text and a shape to this project (Figure 1) to emphasize the depth we created with this effect. You can turn off the 3D effects by selecting the Cube icon next to the layer (Figure 4). You can see the 4K clip with the 3D properties turned off in the tutorial video at the 2:47 mark. To undo that (and re-apply the 3D properties), click Command+C (Mac OS) or Ctrl+C (Windows). You can watch the 4K clip with the 3D properties turned on at the 2:57 mark of the tutorial video.

As you can see when you preview the clip, there is much more depth in the video with the 3D properties added. This is most evident in the bridge and the buildings in the background. Overall, it creates a more interesting look for the video. I encourage you to play around with these effects and see how you can apply these effects to your videos. 


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