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Video Tutorial: 3D Folder in After Effects

Mikey Borup

In this Premiumbeat exclusive tutorial we show you how to create a 3D folder in Adobe After Effects.

Adobe After Effects

A 3D file folder could make a fitting addition to your next corporate video or presentation. In the following video tutorial we’ll show you how to create such a folder in After Effects. Tweak the settings and customize to give it your own look.

The After Effects video tutorial covers:

  • Using 3D layers
  • Using lights and shadows
  • Layer styles
  • Precomposing

Pay close attention to the way lights work with 3D objects. If you can’t see any shadows make sure your 3D layer has ‘accept shadows’ selected in the drop-down menu.

Don’t want to watch the video? Follow along with the step-by-step tutorial below. Click any image for larger view. 

1 Create a new composition and new brown solid.
2 Place the anchor point on the bottom of the solid and name it back. Duplicate.
3 Pre-compose duplicated solid and name it “Front”.
4 Mask out a folder tab using the pen tool.
5 Add a white sticker label using a shaper layer, then add a hand written font on the tab.
6 Add a new point light to add shadows.
7 Rotate the back layer across the x axis just a few degrees.
8 Turn on cast shadows to the front layer.
9 Make a new solid for the background.
10 Precompose the front and back layers. Turn on the 3Dd button and the collapse transformations button.
11 Duplicate the light and parent one light to the front of the folder. Rotate 180 degrees and parent the other light to the folder.
12 Keyframe a 5 frame rotation transitions. Have the folder rotate for 3 seconds and rotate back for 5 frames.
13 Go into the pre comp and set the x rotation of the front to 3 degrees, move forward 5 frames and set the rotation to 45 degrees. Set keyframes to simulate a “bounce”.
14 Create some text and stylize however you want in the pre-comp.
15 Precompose the text and move the anchor point to the bottom of the text. Keyframe the position of the text to come out when the folder opens and go back in when before the folder closes. Rotate the paper forward and set motion blur on.

Have any tips for making 3D folders in After Effects?
Share in the comments below.