Working in 3D

3D compositing adds depth to your scenes.

Switching to 3D

To change a composite shot into 3D you need to add a camera. This can be done using the New Layer menu at the top of the composite shot timeline.

A default camera will be added and the scene will automatically switch into 3D.

For more information on cameras see Virtual cameras.

If you add a 3D layer to a timeline a camera will be automatically added.

For more information on cameras see Virtual cameras.

Switching back to 2D

If you want to change back to a 2D composite shot, you need to remove all your camera layers from the timeline.

Any 3D layers in your composite shot will be disabled if you have no active cameras.

Customizing the 3D Viewer

To aid navigation and placement in the 3D space you can change your viewer to display multiple views from different angles.

You can display up to 4 views simultaneously from different angles. The View menu in the Viewer is used to add additional 3D views.

Multi view

The view mode is displayed at the top left of each view. Clicking on this displays all the available modes:

Active camera view

The active camera view shows what will be rendered when you export. This is what will appear in your videos.

Changing the position and orientation when in active camera view will change your camera's properties.

For more information on cameras see Virtual cameras.

Perspective view

The perspective view is a useful way to explore your scene without affecting the position of your camera.

Orthographic views

The orthographic views provide flat, 2D views of your 3D scene. The orthographic views do not show perspective or depth.

You can choose from front, back, left, right, top and bottom views.

As they are presented in a 2D 'blueprint' form, the orthographic views are very useful for precise positioning of layers in the 3D space.

The orthographic views are controlled in a similar way to the Viewer when it is in 2D mode.

Zoom and pan controls in the corner of the Viewer can be clicked and dragged for quick movements.

Resetting the views

You can reset a view using the Reset current view option View menu.

Navigating 3D space

Navigating in a 3D composite shot is different than in a 2D composite shot as you also have to take the Z-axis (depth) into consideration.

Orbit tool camera-orbit@2x

The quickest and easiest way to move around the 3D space is using the orbit tool. You can also hold Ctrl and right click the mouse to orbit without switching tools.

When the orbit tool is selected, you will not see the wireframe outlines of your layers and you will not be able to use the Viewer transform controls. Change back to the Select tool to return to the normal mode.

With the orbit tool selected you can click anywhere in the 3D space to rotate around that point.

If you click on a layer the view will rotate around the layer.
If you click on an empty space it will rotate around that point on the 3D grid.

3D move controls camera-dolly@2xcamera-rotate@2xcamera-move@2x

To the right of the 3D Viewer are three move controls. These are operated by clicking and dragging on them with the mouse.

Track Z: Moves the camera or view forwards and backwards along its own Z axis.
Track XY: Moves the camera or view horizontally and vertically along its own X and Y axes.
Pan: Rotates the camera or view without moving its position.

Render options

At the bottom-left of the 3D Viewer are buttons for turning lights, shadows, motion blur, depth of field, the perspective grid and motion paths on and off.

These settings only affect the Viewer. They do not affect your final export.