I followed Video Copilot 3D Shadows tutorial to create a nice shadow on my text. Because of the angle I'm doing though which is much more ... perspective I suppose you could say it could really use a little depth to it. I looked up if AE could do extrusion (also since I've been told some basic 3D is built-in to AE by members of this exchange) and found How to Extrude Text in AE. The problem is this tutorial tells me to change my Renderer to Ray-Traced 3D as a prerequisite for extrusion but if I do that it tells me Blending Modes don't work and clicking okay anyways seems to agree as my ground on Multiply goes back to Normal with no option to change.

Extruded Text

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Extruded Text moved into scene

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Extruded text when I try to make it 3D for shadows, light and placement in scene

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Is there a native way in After Effects to combine both Layer Modes and Extruded Text?


1 Answer 1


You can work around it using multiple compositions. Do one composition to generate the 3d layer and then use that composition within another to handle the blending (or vice versa depending on your needs).

  • Could you give a basic outline? I guess I'd do Raytace write the text, extrude the text, save that comp. New file, load that comp but in classic 3d and it'll still be extruded - then I add the ground and light and whatnot? Is that what you mean? Will I need to get the text into position as best as possible prior to doing the extrusion or can I save that for when I'm working with the shadows?
    – Ryan
    Jan 16, 2014 at 20:53
  • @Ryan - not a new file, just create a new composition within your project. I believe the renderer is per composition, though I don't have access to my AE machine at the moment to verify.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jan 16, 2014 at 20:59
  • just tried that and it didn't work. As soon as I brought the comp with the extruded text into the Classic 3D "scene" the extruding flattens out. Edit Q with screenshot.
    – Ryan
    Jan 16, 2014 at 21:18
  • @Ryan - ok, I'll give it a shot when I get home today. I was actually planning on working on some 3d AE stuff for a conference I'm working this weekend already anyway.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jan 16, 2014 at 21:39
  • @Ryan - when I nested a ray-traced composition as a layer in a classic 3d composition, it worked as I expected. I'm not sure what is happening in your scene.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jan 17, 2014 at 4:14

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