Render 1 – The 3D environment (Rain, ground).
The ground is actually 2 layers.
Plane 1 (top) – Phong shader – high specualrity, fully transparent. Bump Map is the black and white movie of the rain rings (the particles).
Plane 2 (right below Plane 1) – Lambert (I think). Ground with rock texture.
Render 2 – The Displacement map
In Maya, I Deleted everything except Plane 1, the lights, and the animated camera. I set the lights to 0 intesity (don’t delete them – make their intensity 0 – otherwise, maya uses it’s own fake lighting system which effects the layer making some parts too bright). Replaced the Phong shader with a lambert shader, with everything set to black, except the Incandescence channel (in 3DS max this would be called “Self Illumination”).
In the Incandescence channel I put the same black and white rings movie that I used on the bump map. You can’t see it in the Orthographic view, but if you do a render you will see the rings, and that they are not effected by the fact that there is no light in the scene.
I then rendered out a movie of the same length as the 3D environment render.
In After Effects
Imported the Maya camera data into AE
Imported both renders into AE. Dropped them both in the comp – kept them as 2D layers (remember, the 3D has already been rendered – they are only flat images now).
Made the B&W rings invisible – turned off their eyeball.
placed/rotated the text in 3D so that they appeared flat on the floor. BTW – You can set up null objects in Maya to mark where you want your text layer (or any other AE 3D layer) to be.
Added the displacement map effect to the text, and used the invisible B&W render as the source of displacement. Played with the settings until I got something I liked.
Hoep that helps.