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  • ProAnimator Reflectivity – Reflection on Floor with Alpha

     Holt Adams updated 7 years, 10 months ago 2 Members · 5 Posts
  • Holt Adams

    March 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    I’m trying to create a reflection of a 3d object (created in ProAnimator) for an After Effects Composition. I have 3D Reflector and can create the reflection on a white solid surface (floor) but have no control over the reflection’s falloff since the object is not a Plane or 3D Text (the limitations for 3D Reflector as I understand them). I can create a AE mask layer and control how the reflection looks, but I’m wanting to leverage Zaxworks tool do it……as a learning process.

    So, I’m trying to create the reflection in ProAnimator. My problem is that when I set the material properties (Specular and Reflectivity) for the the plane object (floor) to create the reflection……the floor is gray vs pure white. If I set the lighting in ProAnimator so Ambient is turned on to show the floor’s white color the reflection is blown out. Is there a way to create reflections in ProAnimator where the reflection is treated similar to how shadows are when you use the Shadow Catcher setting. The results I’m looking for is that the floor that is used to catch the reflection is filtered out (as an alpha channel) so only the reflection and the original 3D object is visible back in AE.

    I tried using the various material options (e.g. Standard Color, Absolute…etc) and turning Base Color on and off and also played with Alpha settings…..but was never able to create the results that I’m looking for.

    Any suggestions?


  • Matt Rhodes

    March 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Hello Holt.

    You can create reflections of ProAnimator scenes in Reflector floors.

    In order to see the ProAnimator reflection, you’ll need to do two things:
    1. In the 3D Reflector ECW params, turn OFF the “Hide 2D Layers” checkbox.
    2. In the ProAnimator ECW params, turn ON “Use Comp Camera.”

    By default, 3D Reflector ignores 2D layers so they don’t interfere with 3D reflections,
    but a 2D layer that has ProAnimator or 3D Invigorator is a special case.

    Note that Falloff does not work with 2D layers, so you can’t use Falloff with ProAnimator
    or 3D Invigorator layers.

    Let us know if you have more questions, or would like an example project.

    Matt Rhodes
    Zaxwerks, Inc.

  • Holt Adams

    March 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm


    Hey there…Yes I totally get how to create reflections on Reflector Floors using 3D Reflector (setting Use Comp Camera and unhide 2D Layers). My experience and as you stated is that I’m not able to control the falloff of the reflections of a 2d layer. This being the case….I’ve created reflections of my 3d objects while in ProAnimator….as I stated in my initial post.

    In using ProAnimator, I have not checked Use Comp Lights. The problem I’m having is that my reflection is on a white floor in ProAnimator (single light source)….and I would like to have just the reflections be rendered back in AE vs the partially lit floor with a dark reflection as shown below.

    Is it possible to have ProAnimator return just the reflection and not the object with the reflection (i.e. floor) similar to how you can use ProAnimator to render shadows only using the Shaddow Catcher Plane. My AE composition has an all white background that I’m wanting my reflection to lay on top of to create the illusion of the reflection falling on a white floor. Below is an 3D Reflector version where I’ve created a Mask to create the falloff.

    I’m hoping there are some simple parameter settings in ProAnimator that I could set to enable me to get the same results for future use in projects.

    Thanks, Holt

  • Matt Rhodes

    March 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I see what you’re requesting now. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

    I’d suggest making the material for the floor completely transparent.
    This way, only the reflection will show up in the mask for the floor in After Effects.

    I made a test scene in ProAnimator:

    The floor has a transparent material with Ray Trace Reflectivity and Falloff applied:

    Once back in After Effects, I added a camera and a blue Solid. You can see that the Solid
    looks like it’s reflecting the ProAnimator scene, even though the reflection is coming from
    within the ProAnimator plug-in.

    Let me know if this helps, or if you have more questions.

    Matt Rhodes
    Zaxwerks, Inc.

  • Holt Adams

    March 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Matt, thanks…..this is exactly what I was looking for. PERFECT!!

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