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3D Text in After Effects Without Third Party Plugins

Mikey Borup

You don’t need fancy 3D plugins to QUICKLY create 3D text in After Effects. Here’s 3 ways to get it done.

After Effects

If you haven’t ponied up for an external 3D plugin for After Effects (Element3D3D Invigorator) or are looking for a faster solution than the Ray Traced 3D feature, then this tutorial is for you. Using these 3 simple techniques you can give your text a simulated 3D effect in AE.

Have another 3D text solution? Share it in the comments below!

Pseudo Flat 3D

Use simple expressions in After Effects to duplicate a text layer and create a simulated 3D effect. This is a quick way to give your text the appearance of 3D, but you cannot actually move the text in 3D space (doesn’t change perspective).

Pseudo Flat 3D

3D Extrude

This popular technique is similar to the pseudo flat 3D approach, except this text can actually be moved in 3D space. Essentially the text layer is multiplied and incrementally moved one pixel back in Z space to give a 3D effect. Apply an After Effects 3D camera and orbit around the text.

3D Text After Effects

Shatter 3D

This approach uses the built in shatter effect in AE (Effect > Simulation > Shatter). We’ll finish out the tutorial by adding a 3D camera and lighting in After Effects to give the text a dynamic look.

Shatter 3D Text After Effects