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Why Projection 3D Is An Amazing VFX Tool

Why Projection 3D Is An Amazing VFX Tool

Here's why you should invest time into Projection 3D, an advanced tool for camera projection mapping and photo parallax animation.

Think about all the times you may have only needed a minor 3D camera move, but you had to spend hours developing a 3D scene. Maybe you wanted more of a 3D look, but you didn't have the time or know-how to get the job done. Projection 3D is an incredibly powerful tool that can push both your imagination and your scene to their limits!

While there are a number of ways to convert a 2D image into a 3D projection, it can often be a time-consuming process that isn't without its own challenges and limitations.

Projection 3D v3
is here to make your 2D to 3D projection process more streamlined (and more impressive) than ever!
Image of a real 3D projection.
Source: Toolfarm.com

How Projection 3D Works

If you've never heard of Projection 3D, it's a great plugin available on aescripts.com that allows you to not only create 2D to 3D projections easily in After Effects, but it utilizes several complex techniques to truly add depth and life to your projection.

Whenever you're working with 2D elements, Projection 3D allows you to turn your 2D image into actual video with 3D camera movements by generating actual 3D planes and mapping elements of your scene to them, effectively creating quasi-3D sequences capable of animation. Simply import clean background plates, separate elements, add additional VFX elements, and you're ready to guide your 3D camera through the scene!

Even something as simple as a landscape scene can turn into video footage that mimics the look of a drone or crane shot, adding natural depth and parallax as your 3D camera follows your animation path.

Take a look at the video below to see Projection 3D in action!
Throughout that video, it's easy to forget you're not watching traditional video or photorealistic 3D renders! These are all 2D-generated scenes that have undergone 3D projection to simulate a true, dynamic 3D camera.

This is a great tool for those who don't consider themselves 3D experts, but are looking to expand their capabilities into the realm of 3D animation in an easy and effective way. It's also a lot less resource-intensive than creating a traditional 3D render with various elements, lighting, and effects.

It's excellent for compositing, extending the duration of shots, or even integrating with existing video to pull background elements for animation. It's also perfect for creating mesmerizing title sequences or credits!

Beyond even that, it works for creating immersive matte paintings, generating captivating b-roll, as well as engaging social content and commercial product shots. It's such a great technique for adding another layer of realism to any scene, and it's unbelievably versatile.

New Features in Projection 3D v3 

Now in its third major release, projections are more dynamic than ever in Projection 3D.
Camera matching is now more intuitive with fSpy integration. A new Clean Edges feature allows you to avoid having to manually animate masks for individual elements (one of the most tedious processes from previous versions), by using Photoshop to create a single frame with foreground elements separated from the background. 

This can then be re-routed into After Effects and behave as if you had manually animated masks, letting you work smarter and not harder!

Independent Object
is a game-changer, because it allows you to harness the power of Projection 3D to animate individual objects throughout the world of your scene. In the examples above of the car driving down a road and the large ship on the ocean, the Independent Object function makes the car and ship move in z space, and feel as though they're moving either towards or away from the camera.

Additionally, you can even perform object removals!

How to Get Started with Projection 3D v3

If you're interested in checking out Projection 3D, it can be downloaded here. The download page is also a great source for tutorials like this one, ranging from beginner to advanced levels.
For an extra touch of realism in your 2D-to-3D scene (with or without Projection 3D), check out our CreatorVault lens flare overlays and the ActionVFX Optic category lens flares, along with the rest of our VFX library!

First time here? From Fire and massive Explosions to Blood and Gore VFX, we have the largest VFX library in the world ready to be composited in your project. Check out over 3,800 VFX stock footage elements right here. You can also download our free products!

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