Converting 2D images into a 3D animated scene in After Effects

Learn all the steps required to take a 2D layered Illustrator file, import it into After Effects and create an animated 3D scene. Creating and moving a camera in 3D space is explained along with how to enable motion blur to add realism.


0:00 – Intro

  • Overview of video to be created
  • Overview of Illustrator file with static artwork

1:05 – Importing Illustrator file into After Effects

  • Import Kind: Composition
  • Footage Dimensions: Document Size

3:21 – Turning 2D After Effects layers into 3D

7:53 – Creating a camera in After Effects

  • By default, After Effects displays 3D content as if it were being viewed through a 50mm lens. Thus when creating a camera, if the 50mm setting is chosen, the scene will appear unaltered when viewed through this new camera.

10:47 – Animating an After Effects camera

  • Animating the camera allows the viewer to “move” through the scene

12:36 – Continuously Rasterize

  • Although vector artwork is theoretically resolution independent, zooming in on such artwork within After Effects makes it look pixelated. To have After Effects resample this artwork and have it looking crisp, activate the Continuously Rasterize switch.

13:54 – Motion Blur

  • Includes trick for removing motion blur from first frame

ORIGINAL FILE (Source of vector content) (Designed by Vectorpouch)


Importing an Illustrator file into After Effects

The ZIP file above includes the following files…

  • Illustrator file with static artwork
  • lounge-animated.aep: After Effects file containing all animation
    • Comp 01-lounge-static: Graphics as imported from Illustrator file
    • Comp 02-lounge-3d: Graphics moved in Z space and scaled
    • Comp 03-lounge-3d-animated: 3D animated camera
  • lounge-animated.mp4: Exported video

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